March 30, 2012

"Lucky" to be a stay-at-home-mom

My friend went to the bank the other day to discuss her financial situation; she works part time and stays home with her daughter the rest of the time. Her banker told her she was "lucky to have been able to stay home as long as she has, and maybe it's time to consider returning to work full time." I have heard this mantra through out my career as a mom on more than one occasion, and every time it makes me see red. Why is it that I'm "lucky" to be my childs primary caregiver? Isn't that the natural order of thing? I understand there are times when people NEED to go back to work, single parents, financial crisis, sanity! But shouldn't it be that we are lucky to have an two cars in the driveway, a cell phone each, data plans, great sound systems, high-def and netflix? Aren't we "lucky" when we can afford fancy hair cuts, highlights and fake nails, not when can be with our children at their most vulnerable stages of life? I feel "lucky" that I live in house where everyone has their own bedroom, and that I can go to the store and buy pre-made foods, that we have a computer (okay maybe more than one) and the internet, and a machine that washes my clothes for me, and that I own more than 2 pairs of pants. I do not, however, feel "lucky" to be able to raise my own kids, we, as a family have made sacrifices and changes to our lifestyle to be able to afford one parent to be at home. I have worked on weekends, done child care from my home, taken on-line courses and chosen a career that can work around my kids needs and my husbands work schedule in order to be a stay-at-home mom, and that's not "luck," it's determining what's important to me and making that a priority, while passing up on things that are not necessary, like cable TV, costly pre-packaged food, trips to the movie theatre, a dishwasher and those much coveted new shoes. We chose to fix things rather than buy new ones, grow make and store our own food when we can, find entertainment outdoors, limit our screen time, and conserve our energy consumption because being physically present for my kids is a priority to me! *Don't get me wrong, I am not placing judgment on anyone or their choice of lifestyle, being a working-mom is just a tough a job!

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