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.
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.
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.
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.
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.