…even if it is wrong and insulting!
So, on a social media site I was involved in conversation about relationships and money, and someone posted this:
” I couldn’t spend money I don’t make. Would not feel moral. If you don’t contribute, you cannot spend. Every able body should work if possible, just makes it easier on the family financially. I’ve been working since I was 13.”
Okay, first, I was working at that age too! Babysitting, berry picking, then at 14 I was REQUIRED to work by my private high school, and I did, every day after school. I worked almost full-time while in college (meaning there were a lot of weeks when I worked 32 hours, on the midnight shift.) I worked full-time until I was 24, when I left work after finding out I was expecting my second baby, knowing how sick I’d been with the first pregnancy, I just couldn’t see holding down a job. I stayed home from December 2000 until the spring of 2005. I worked full-time (except for a few months after we moved to IL) until 2008 when I left a terrible working environment, and the Hubs and I decided it would be best for our family if I was home, since he was going to be gone for work during the week.
Second, the fact that I work a job that is 3 times the hours of a regular full-time job, with no holidays, no weekends, almost no vacation (yes, my kids do go visit family, but I still have the house, the animals, all the other chores, etc.) and I don’t get much recognition (not that that is why I’m doing this, don’t misunderstand me). I certainly don’t get a paycheck. I don’t get promotions…well, one day, a long time from now, I’d like to be promoted to Granny/Nana/Grammy/GiGi/Whatever-the-grandbabies-wanna-call-me. I don’t expect recognition. I don’t expect a paycheck. I do expect some appreciation, respect, and some cooperation.
Third, what’s his is mine and what is mine is his! There is no “his” and “hers” in my marriage, just OURS. We are both all in. I cannot imagine being in a relationship that wasn’t an “Ours” relationship. It’s kind of sad. I know all humans are selfish, but marriage requires you to work on that. Maybe that explains the divorce rate in this country.
Let’s put it this way, I make it so the kids stay alive, are well fed, that my hubby has a clean(ish) home, and a fresh made bed to crawl into when he’s able to be home. I make sure that when he’s here, he gets decent, well rounded, home cooked meals. I would wash his work clothes when he’s home, but he insists on doing it himself. I think I do CONTRIBUTE, and certainly, I earn my “pay.” If we were going to to crunch the number, I’d easily deserve at LEAST a quarter of the Hub’s pay, just for what I do around here. If I made minimum wage, and I only noted the hours doing the home-maker duties that are more active you’ve easily got a 40 hour week, which would be $290 in pay. That doesn’t involve all the time and energy it takes to keep track of the kids activities, school functions, etc. I don’t know, you spend 2 weeks at home, doing what needs to be done, and then tell me I don’t earn my money. And honestly, I don’t spend money on myself. Well, not much, anyway. I buy clothes, usually second hand, because I’m a tightwad, or I buy crafting supplies (yes, those can be expensive, but I usually don’t buy high end yarns, and I try to buy my fabric on sale OR thrift it.)
I tried, and am trying to not be judgemental of this persons comment, just as I’m trying to not feel judged by that person, since they don’t know me, but it is hard. How many times have I heard some version of “Ohhhhh, you stay home? That must be _________.” Fill in the blank with: nice, relaxing, boring, you must have lots of time on your hands, do you know what’s happening on my favorite soap opera. Okay, I’ve never heard the soap opera one. And I’m sick of it. Even the back handed, “How nice for you.” I have never heard that sentence said without a tone. Good Grief! Please, there are days where I would beg to go back to work, to get out of the house, to see other grown-ups every day. But I know that the payoff with my family is worth my sacrifice, and our sacrifice (obviously, it would be nice sometimes to have that extra income.)
It feels like there is a multi-sided Mommy-War going on. The sides look like this to me:
You have to be a green/hippy/vegan/g-free/attachement parenting Mom(pick one or more) but not necessarily a working or stay-at-home mom.
The Stay-At-Homes that think those who work are wrong, and all the little factions that shoot off from this one (see the above list for your choices, and add militant homeschoolers)
The Working Moms who think those who stay home are just lazy soap opera watchers
The Stay-At-Homes & Working Mom’s who could care less what other Mom’s are doing, as it’s their families choice….I’d like to call us Switzerland! Who’s with me? 😉
Why can’t we all stop judging each other’s parenting & relationship decisions? I, for one, am sick of it. So I am trying very hard to understand where the person who made the quoted comment might be coming from.