The choices I have made

Do not Judge me

This is for all those of you who want to look down their nose at me and tell me how I should be living my life.  I never ask for pity, not do I wish for it.  I rarely ask for assistance unless I REALLY need it.  At times I do ask for advice, if it is sound I will implement it.  I truly hate it when you tell me that I should be living within my means.  I am not asking for you to Judge me.

If I made a bill, then at the time I did it, I could afford it.  I wouldn’t have done so if I felt I couldn’t.  Downsizing is something that I continue to do on a daily basis.  With the companies demanding some sort of future commitment ie;  Contracts it makes it difficult to downsize.  If I just cannot afford to pay the bill (through no fault of my own) there isn’t a darn thing I can do about it.



Quest for comfort

Over the years I have had to do without many things that you have been able to enjoy. Trips, cruises, expensive cars and toys. I do not envy you, rather it should be the other way around. In your quest to have these said items, what have you had to do without? I have had everything you’ve had to do without. Let me explain.

Because of the behavior of my children I have not been able to keep a steady job or have a career. If I would have known that certain genetic traits were passed into the minds of my children would I have done things differently? Probably not, I do not regret for one instant the birth of all of my children.

Does this make you sad for me? It shouldn’t, because of the behavior of a couple of my kids I have known the greatest joy, from them and the others. It has allowed me to be there when they wake up, when they got home from school and I was able to tuck them safely in their beds at night. In your quest for comfort, can you say the same?



Not willing to take a risk

I stayed at home to prevent any thing from happening that my children might have done.  Their behaviors were not always good, but I can with the utmost certainty say that due to my diligence, I did not raise another Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy.  Had I threw caution to the wind and worked anyway would the results be different?  Of this I have no answers, I was not willing to take that risk.

I was able to attend every one of the parent teacher conferences without having to take time off of work to do so.  Any time a teacher called me with complaints or praise they were able to reach me without having to leave a message.  I was able to attend all plays and concerts that were held. Without having to rearrange my schedule.


Your Child

My children did not have to make an appointment with me ’just to talk’.  In fact, many of their friends with whom the parents were working would come to me for advice or just a shoulder to cry on.  As an added bonus some of those Mother’s day gifts and cards that were meant for you, came to me instead.   I was the one they wanted to introduce a new boyfriend or girlfriend to just too see if they ’met with my approval’.

When a button needed to be sewn on, it was me that they came to, to teach them how to do so.  When they stood in my driveway at 10:30 at night waiting for you to come get them, but forgot, it was me who took them home rather than let them walk.  Just so I knew they would be safe.

When your child came to me and asked “What smells so good in your kitchen?” my reply being “Roast with potatoes and veggies”, with them saying they never had it before.  It was me who invited them to eat, adding bread to make sure there was enough to go around, so my children could eat as well.  I knew very well that McDonalds or Burger King was the normal thing they ate.

When your child came to me crying because their heart was broken, I held them until their sobs subsided, because you were not available to do so.  When your child was called a bad name, it was me who explained to them that some people were just plain mean. 

When your child came to me telling me that they had made a mistake and gotten pregnant. I was the one who convinced them to tell you and promised them that if you kicked them out, they could come live with me until things got right between the two of you.


Your Parents

Then you decided to take off on vacations during the Holiday’s, because you worked so hard all year long and deserved it.   I was the one who invited your parents over for those dinners that you missed.  When your mother was good enough to baby-sit for you all year long but not good enough to spend Thanksgiving with, it was me who had her for dinner.  She said she had the best time she ever had.  When you began to see the closeness that was beginning between us, I reluctantly gave you back your parents so you could enjoy them as much as I had.  I hope that you have realized what wonderful people they are, and have stopped demanding that they change to conform to your way of thinking.


My Blessings

I happened to be blessed enough to have a husband who worked all year long.  This allowed me to be the ‘stay at home’ mom that you so despise.  The money he made was good, but it varied depending on where he was sent.  Some weeks were better than others.  At one point I was able to depend on a certain amount of money.  Times have changed.  I can no longer depend on this amount, rather than his income go up, it has went down.  This has been through no fault of his.

The miles are not there for him to drive, the Government has changed the hours of service, younger drivers who are paid less get the prime runs (it is cost effective for the company).  He has to stay out longer to attempt to make a decent amount of money, missing out on a lot at home.  He relies on me to tell him the happenings of our home life.  He has missed out on an awful lot, just so one of us could stay at home to take care of the kids.

Yes, there is an Upside

Again I do not ask for pity.  I am simply explaining my life.  Everyone makes choices in life, I have made mine.  I chose to stay at home and be a Mother for my children.  You make your choices, you chose to work and spend your time away from home.  As far as I can see, my rewards are greater than yours will ever be.

So do not look down your nose at me for making my choices.  Do not tell me to live within my means.  Just like you, I am doing the best that I can with the choices I have made.  I will continue to be there for your children, because they need me and because it is in my nature to do so.   Do not shake your head in disgust at me because you happen to over hear a bill collector call me.  Eventually it will get paid. 

I have lived my life with friends, family and plenty of love to go around.  Yours has been lived with bosses and co-workers.  Between the two of us, who has had the more fulfilling life?

The upside to my story, because I have been unable to work and provide for my future retirement, I may have to live with one of my children.  At least I know that the home I will be living in will be filled with Love.  Instead of your future, a cold sterile hospital/retirement room waiting for visitors that forget to show up.


Footnote

This is not meant for anyone to take personally.  I do not look down on you for working, you do what you must.  Some of you have no choice but to work, you and your children have become quite fond of eating and having a roof over your heads.  This is truly meant for those who want to look down upon me, for the choices I have made in life.

I am not looking for praise from the choices I have made, this was the hand that was I dealt and with it, I made my choice.

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Comments 33 comments

Dusty Snoke profile image

Dusty Snoke 5 years ago from Chattanooga, TN

absolutely wonderful article. I understand having to live with the choices you have made and although, to others, they appear to be bad decisions, they have their hidden diamonds. My choice was to work. As you said in the article, I have grown attached to food.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

LOL - Yep food is something we all kind of need! What a very nice comment! I was hoping that I didn't offend those who did work. Whether they have to or not, it's all a choice we make.

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City

Not a single one of us can say with any certainty what our lives would have been like now were we to change any one small detail of the past. The only thing I find fair to ask myself is: "Have I done the best I could with what I knew at the time?" If the answer if yes, then I am at peace with it; if others are not, that is really on them.

Thanks for sharing with us.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Absolutely!! I have tried to do the best with what I have had, that is all anyone can ask of themselves.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 5 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

Thank you sweetsusieg, everything you said was mark on. As you stated, it is not easy for some people to understand when just the basics are a struggle. Those who stand by and love their family may suffer mentally and financially, but i think they do better in the karma run. Doing the right thing always tops being right.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Lilly!! So glad you stopped by! I know I haven't given much to read lately.

I know that when I lay my head down at night to sleep I can rest easily because I believe I have done my absolute best for the day. I try to treat others as I'd like to be treated, I try not to be judgmental... I hate having people Judge me.

Thanks for stopping by!


Mr. Smith profile image

Mr. Smith 5 years ago from California

At 50 and with grandchildren now, it seems like the same story happening again. We (my wife especially, who stayed home to work) pray we can do it even better to "pay it forward" to our kids and our grandkids. She's been much better than I, so far.


nicnac profile image

nicnac 5 years ago from Ireland

You're right of course! It's up to everyone to make their on=wn choices and stick with them, and not worry about what the people to their left or right are doing.

Lovely piece!


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Mr Smith - I too have Grandchildren - living at home with me. This makes it a bit difficult to see a clear path. I'm at a time in my life when there are still a few good working years left, yet I am unable to do so because I baby sit. These are years I cherish, because I get to know those babies and I hope they will have good memories of me. I am helping to teach my daughter how to be a good mother. (She is doing a wonderful job) Her frustrations with life are much lower than a lot of other young mothers. I hope that I am showing in some small way what life really is. Rather than the greedy grasp of the Almighty dollar.

nicnac - Thank you. It's difficult for some to understand my choices, and that's ok too. Just as long as I'm not condemned for them, I'm good with that.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Sweetsusieg: Bravo dear sister. No person has the right to put down another, unless they themselves are "Perfect". I'm with you Susie.

Brother Dave.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

I have always liked 2 particular phrases... "Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones".... AND the BEST for last... "He who is without sin cast the first stone." That and the golden rule has been my life's mantra....

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!!


MtShastaWriter 5 years ago

Great article. I could have written pieces of it myself.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

I take it your life has gone similar to mine?


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

A wonderful article Sweetsusieg, and reading between the lines I am guessing you have experienced some criticism from the people around you as a result of choosing to be a 'Stay at Home Mum'. My Mum stayed at home with us as children, only working the Summer Season in the evenings singing in my Father's Cabaret Shows along with many other acts he booked. I would not have wanted it any other way. We had fresh vegetables in our home cooked meals, could play in our own garden instead of being stuck at childminders or in nursery schools and we spent many happy summer days on the beaches building sand castles and playing with Mum. I could go on, the list is endless, but all I can say is having a stay at home Mum is truly a privilege and others should never criticise you for having been one.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Yes Misty, I have been criticized over the years and still from time to time I to this day still am. I am helping with my Grandkids now as opposed to working. The bills keep coming and I can't always pay what is owed... Yep, if I had a job maybe the collections would stop, but the trade? I'm not sure if I could handle the bad things that I hear about on the news...

I feel very privileged to be able to be a stay at home Mom!!

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


Aris Budianto profile image

Aris Budianto 5 years ago from Lying along the equator Country

Not easy to be a good parent for children today but you do it well, great hub.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Keep up with the writing Sweetsusieg, and this could make a considerable difference to your income in time. I am sure you will do well as you are a very interesting writer.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Aris Budianto - THANKS!!! I appreciate that. It makes a Mom feel good to be recognized for 'just being there'..

Misty - You are GREAT!! I love the comments you leave, they are so encouraging too!

Thank you both!!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

Hi Sweetsusieg,

You are an absolute star - how I wish there were many more people like you in our world today. Not only would the world be happier, but their would be loads more happy kids out there! Things that are materialistic can never replace the hug of a Mum!!! Unfortunately I don't have kids so have spent most of my life 'out there' working. But the job you do is a a hundred times more difficult than mine and a thousand times more important. Bright Blessings to you and yours.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Seeker7 - You are gonna swell my head with all of your kind words!! I remember 1 time I wasn't home when my kids got there, I was in the car behind the bus... My daughter cried and cried because she thought I'd forgotten to come home. It took me an hour to console her, I could only imagine if I had gotten a job and wasn't there!!

Yes, the job has been hard but I have to say it's been very rewarding. When I hear my kids using my words to their friends (or kids) I know I made an impact somewhere along the line.

Thanks for stopping by!!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

Dear susie - how sad that some misguided souls have the temerity to criticize you. Don't spend one more moment of your life being stressed by such drivel. Anyone who gets to know you through both your writing and your actions can easily see the honest, caring person that you are.

And your avatar, your name, sweetsusie, and your sweet, caring smile says it all. You really are truly sweet! God bless.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

drbj - you are so kind! I try not to worry about what others say, sometimes it's hard when things pop up that I feel need explaining.

I've tried to be a "B-Word" (geez, can't even say it!) even had friends try to give me lessons... To me it's just not worth the hassle of hurting someone... even if they've hurt me first.

Someday if I ever make it to Florida (again), maybe we can have coffee!! You can do my interview!! Well, I hope I'll still be alive when you do it!! LOLOL

Thank you so much for stopping by and giving me those very nice comments!


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 5 years ago from Bishop, Ca

I must admit that I am shocked that people still sit in judgement over issues such as this, Susie. You speak such true words, I thank you!


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Yes, it is still going on. It truly only happens when some calamity befalls me and those that condemn become aware of it. Then I am reminded that I should 'live within my means' or 'why don't you get a job' or 'you know if you worked this wouldn't happen'. I am now a 'stay at home Grandma' trying to help my kids out. Daycare is not only expensive, in my early years as a parent (with only 2 kids) I had a bad experience with daycare. Something that I would not want to happen to my Grand kids.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

No thanks are necessary, susie, it's my pleasure to stop by and I hope I am alive when you get to Florida. If not, then you can interview me! :)


Bel Marshall profile image

Bel Marshall 5 years ago from Michigan

What a wonderful article. I know those other children you speak of all too well. Many found shelter in my home over the years.

I don't feel that working mothers are less than stay at home mothers but often many who work behave as if those of us who stay home do nothing more than eat bons bons and watch soaps. I am not even sure what a bon bon is...LOL!


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

LOL - I have to agree with you! I once was asked if I ate Bon-bons... I had to ask what a bon-bon was.

We stay at home Mom's are a dying breed. It frightens me to see the next generation of kids, their parents may remember the stay at home mom, but they won't have a clue what one is.

I used to admire the working Mom and her busy schedule, until the children came knocking at my door. Then Ijust felt sad for all concerned.

Thank you for stopping by and commenting!! Hats off to you!


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago

Hi, Susie! I really like your dedication to your family. I had a stay at home mom, and I'm really grateful for that. In her case, she became ill when I was 12, and her illness lead me, already unruly, to have a less than careful attitude about life. I imagine I would have found a tremendous amount of trouble had she not been able to stay at home and question my every move (there were times I wished she WOULD go to work ;->). I think a lot about having children, and if I can't be a full-time mother, I don't want the job. I really wouldn't trust anyone else rearing my children. I think you make some great points in this hub.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Yes, there were also times when the unruly ones said "You know Mom if you want to go get a job, I'd be glad to babysit" (this when they were older) ... "Uhuh, Yep That is not gonna happen"... After 1 phone call from a child (I went away for a couple of hours) saying that the neighbor was going to call the police because a brother had duct taped a sister and shoved her behind the fridge.. Nope, just cannot see me getting those phone calls on a daily basis.

Being a Mom is the greatest, some day when you're ready I hope that you choose it. Because you know how difficult it is already, you are already beginning preparations of being a good parent.

Thank you for stopping by and commenting.


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 5 years ago

LOL! Sorry, the duct tape thing is so funny. I don't know if I can even legally say some of the things my brothers and I pulled. My poor dad thought he was getting a sweet little princess when he finally got a daughter, and I was way worse than the boys. The oldest and I were the ringleaders, and he would call me a "knuckle-head," and regularly tell me I had no sense--which was true. But they would protect me in anything which made me even more brazen. I'm told the reason I have all this energy is in preparation for children as out of control as I was. Also probably true.

I love that despite the sacrifices you made, and the difficulty you had in getting them to adulthood you refer to being a mom as the "greatest." That's really great, and hearing that is part of the reason I do what I do for a living.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

LOL, some of the things my kids did I cannot put down... They would probably arrest me just for General Purposes... Or at the very least smack me for being a 'breeder'...

As big of a pain in the butt my kids are, I wouldn't change a thing.


lilbirdispeaks profile image

lilbirdispeaks 5 years ago

All great stay at home mothers unite!!!


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

YAY!! Go us!!! LOL, thanks for stopping by!

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