Mother: I just retired from a position that I liked very much. I can’t say I loved it because as anyone knows that works out side of the home there is almost always something that is a thorn in your side or that drives you up a wall with any job.
I was very blessed when I was in my first marriage that I could be a stay at home wife and mother. But to be honest when I was growing up I never saw myself as a wife and mother. I was going to be a career woman, I would travel the world and do wonderful things. I read a lot and I could always put myself in the shoes of the heroine, I was going to be a stewardess, now known as a flight attendant, a model, explorer, writer,corporate lawyer, I wasn’t sure what my career was going to be just that I would have one. But I met and feel in love with my first husband, had my two children and as it was in most homes in the late 60’s early 70’s I was a homemaker! The balancing act that I had was getting my husband and kids out the door to work and school, cleaning the kitchen after breakfast, doing laundry, grocery shopping and having dinner on the table at 5. The husband was the money maker, the lawn mow’er and the fixer of things broken, the wife did the rest, at least in our home!! With my son in high school, daughter in junior high, husband out of town a lot for work, I decided to go to college. I graduated and got a job. I am not sure why, even though I had a good profession, I never considered it a career. I think in the early years of my having a job I was just plain exhausted. Nothing changed on the home front. I could come home after work and the breakfast dishes were still on the table, laundry still needed done and dinner needed fixed. My husbands’ thoughts on the subject were that once I made as much as he did he would share the work load, but as long as I wasn’t able to contribute as much financially as he did to the household then the home was still my responsibility. Needless to say as my work life grew, my thoughts on things changed and we divorced. In the late 80’s and early 90’s husbands shared work loads. They did laundry, they shopped, they dropped kids off at daycare and school, husbands took time off from their jobs to take children to the doctor. There were/are husbands who stay home and the wife is the wage earner. I know there is no utopia out there where everything between a husband and a wife is 50/50 but I do think that things have changed for the better. My second husband, thanks to his first wife, carries his share of the household chores. He can iron better than I can, cook a meal, run the washer and drier, and shop for groceries. Is it 50/50, of course not, but when I was employed full time I knew the work at home was a shared responsibility, not just mine.
Daughter: Growing up I knew I wanted to be a mom, plain and simple. Much like mother, I stayed home with my girlies till they reached an age where I was comfortable with going back to work, which put me out of the work force for 19 years. I chose to transition gradually by working from home first. Wow, was that an adventure! My first work from home job was a total nightmare! Looking back I know it was mainly my anxiety of not working for so long and being totally shocked by how things had changed in that 19 years! LOL I worked three different work from home jobs and it became easier as I went, thank goodness!
Last year, it became nearly impossible to find a work from home position so I decided to look for something outside the home. I took a summer temporary position that turned into a permanent part-time position. Working outside the home was a whole new ballgame. At least working from home, I was still in the same house with my youngest who is still home-schooled. Now I’m working outside the home, part time while still home-schooling! Needless to say, we had many challenges, but it has all worked out! We are wrapping up our school year and her test scores are absolutely wonderful!!
Every couple of years there’s always an uproar in the media pitting stay-at-home-moms up against working-moms. In my opinion this is nothing more than the media reaching for something to cause controversy. I have done both! Each holds it’s own set of pros and cons! Each holds it’s own trials and tribulations, just like everything else in this world. All mothers, whether staying at home or working everyday outside the home, deserve respect and support! Just because one aspect is right for your family doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for someone else’s family. This whole concept of people trying to push their beliefs upon everyone else is so unrealistic! “Can’t we all just get along?” LOL As women, we need to support each other, not tear each other down! Life can be hard enough with all the different seasons that we all go through, no one should be made to feel guilty for making a decision that is best for their family just because others don’t agree.
It’s like I always tell my girlies, you learn by doing. Even when we make the wrong decisions we learn from it and can move on from there. Life is a long compilation of trials and errors. We all need to have a good sense of humor while traveling this road of life as well as extending grace freely so that when need be, it will be freely extended to us as well.