It’s been a while (it seems) since I have posted anything new on here. I’ve been pretty busy trying to get my new ItWorks business going. But, above all, I have been busy with Christian and Keiko. In case you didn’t notice — parenting is a full-time job. Which brings me to the point of this particular post — my decision to work from home.
Everyone has their own opinion. One person feels I am wasting my education. Others feel like I am somehow depriving Christian by not working 8 hours a day and shipping him off to daycare. Others look down on my desire to remain a Stay At Home Mom and homeschool him. I get asked a few times a month at least one of the following questions:
1. Did you find a real job yet?
2. When are you going to put Christian in daycare?
3. Why don’t you find a job in your field?
Some people are polite and genuinely curious when asking. Others are just downright rude and judgmental. They all annoy me and that is the truth. Even if someone is asking out of pure curiosity, there is still that fact that they are questioning my right to parent my child the way I see fit. That is something that I don’t respond well to. I do my best to not judge others for their decisions. Even when it comes to the parenting choices that other people make, I may not agree with or understand, but I never judge. And I NEVER tell them that (or imply) that what they are doing is wrong. I just focus on being the best mom that I can be and raising my son the best I can. I accept that my opinion only matters where it concerns me and mine.
Another thing that bothers me is this assumption that one’s child will not be fully functioning or happy if they are not being partially raised by others. Why do people think it is necessary for me to PAY someone else for the privilege of raising my son. Don’t get me wrong — I don’t see anything wrong with daycares and nannies or childcare in general. But, to me, those types of situations are ones that I would utilize ONLY if I have to. When I have had to get a traditional job to make ends meet, i did have my family help out by watching Christian while I was at work. I looked into local daycares. Shoot, I even put him on the waiting list for the best one I could find. However, for me, sending my son to someone else to be cared for is not something that I WANT to do. It is something that I would do out of pure necessity.
The same goes for getting a traditional job. People, hear me! I DO NOT LIKE WORKING!!! The one exception was when I was a nanny. Now THAT job I loved. Why? Because I love working with children. I love watching them grow and learn. I love being a part of that process. Now I am a mom. I have my own child to take care of. To watch grow and learn. To love and nurture. THIS MAKES ME HAPPY. So if I can do this and just this forever, I am happy.
Now, I was not afforded the luxury of having a good husband who has a great job and a sense of responsibility. I am a single mom. And the bills have to be paid. So I have to make sure that happens. However, I make that happen on MY terms. I do NOT see the point in being miserable to make money. I have had, at various points since becoming a single mom, to get a traditional job to make ends meet. I HATED it! Every. Single. Time. There was no joy for me in leaving my son each day. Being away for 8+ hours a day. Doing a job that was not fun or remotely enjoyable. Or being overworked and underpaid at the one job that may have been enjoyable. The 9 to 5 deal is not for me. Not anymore. It doesn’t make me happy. In fact, it was rather depressing.
Now, even when I had a “man” who was paying the bills, I was not happy. Why? Because I don’t like being dependent on someone else. I am not prideful. I will ask for and accept help when I need it. But to be at home, day in and day out, while someone else provides for me is just not a situation that appeals to me. Yes, being a mom is a job in and of itself, but I hated feeling like I wasn’t pulling my weight financially.
That’s when I got into the Work At Home game. To me it was the best of both worlds — income and being able to stay at home. Well, home most of the time. I joined a party plan business, so I did have to leave home for a couple of hours here and there. But it was always on my schedule and I had the rest of the time to myself. Plus, the parties were really fun so it satisfied that part of me that was yearning for a bit of a social life. It was the perfect arrangement. I got to have some adult time a couple of times a month, I was able to contribute to the household, and I had as much time as I wanted to spend with my son.
Now that I have been a WAHM for 9 months, I am still amazed at how many people try to sell me on the 9 to 5 lifestyle. Are they blind? I have been managing to pay my bills. Alone, but with the grace of God. We have all of our needs met. Christian does not want for anything. I am here to witness every new development in his life. Here to love him and teach him. He is happy. I am happy. Why is that not good enough?
One argument that people throw my way often is that he needs to be socialized. As if we just sit in a corner in the house all day every day. Mommy/Son hermits. No. We go to the library. To various parks. We have playdates. He socializes. Granted, he is not around 20 kids a day, for 8 hours a day. So what? He likes playing with other kids. He shares just about as well as other kids his age — which is not very much. He laughs and sings and has fun. He is sociable. Very much so. So there goes that argument.
Other people point out that I have two degrees. Why don’t I use them? Well…I don’t know if you noticed, but the job market kinda sucks. I searched for a job in my field for several years. But, to be honest, I was happy being a nanny. And now I am happy being a mom. I am still working steadily towards my Master’s. And when I get that we will see what happens. But, for now, I have no intention of looking for anything when I know the answer — I have to have my master’s to do what it is that I want to do in my field — which is to provide counseling. Sooooo….yeah. Please don’t think for a second that you have put more thought into my career path than I have.
Anyways, I just wanted to get this out. It has been bothering me. To all the other parents out there that are facing criticism for your choices. Just let it roll off your back. Every one parents their children differently. Just focus on being the best parent that you can be. After all, that’s all we can do — our best. If we live our lives trying to satisfy everyone else, we are in for a world of stress. And I don’t do stress. 🙂
Single Mommy Warrior…out!
Update: June 1st, 2014: Still happy. Still working from home. Still homeschooling. Almost finished with my masters degree. There is definitely something to be said about living life the way YOU want and not the way everyone else says you should.
Gonna leave you guys with some music to drive the point home. Take it away Bon Jovi!