It is not easy working and raising a family. It is not easy staying home and raising a family. What frustrates me is that for women, whatever decision one makes with regard to working and raising a family, people will criticize no matter what.
The leaves have already changed their colours and the trees are almost bare. The air is getting cooler. My toddler is turning another year older.
It’s also NaBloPoMo time! Each year for the past few years, I have participated in National Blog Posting Month. Each day in the month of November, I write a post. It’s been quite the challenge. Blogging every day (and writing *quality* posts every day) is not an easy feat.
I hope you’ll join me and try to post every day for the month of November. If you do, please let me know and I’ll add you to my NaBloPoMo blog roll and follow your daily posts.
Today’s question: What frustrates you?
Recently, we had some guests over and one woman’s husband commented on how he enjoyed the apple crumble I made. I said it was no big deal. Apple crumble is probably one of the easiest and quickest treats to whip up. We have all the apples from our farm, and then the rest is a combination of oats, flour, butter, organic cane sugar, and cinnamon. One husband innocently remarked, “It must be nice to have fresh, wholesome, natural food all the time.” His wife quickly retorted, “Well, I don’t have time for that. I’m a working mother. There’s no time to do those things.”
Wow. I politely held my breath, but the comment did bother me. I work too. I have recently (as of last month) taken some time off teaching, but I still have side jobs that I’m working on. I have a steady flow of freelance writing jobs that occupy a good number of hours of my day, I have to help on our farm, I have my toddler to care for (we play, spend time learning the alphabet, numbers, play outside, and we do science experiments), and a whole slew of other things that fill my day. Though I am on a break from my actual teaching job at the moment, I have other income generating jobs that fill my day. This said, my family still needs to eat and I still need to cook for them.
What frustrates me is that if a woman chooses to have a career that leaves her at work all day and only available for her children for a few hours in the evening and on weekends, people sometimes criticize her for not putting her family first or for being neglectful or not family oriented.
That doesn’t make sense. She is putting her family first by contributing to the family income. To say that a woman who has a career isn’t a good mother because she “doesn’t spend time with her kids” is unfair. At the same time, a woman who chooses to take a few years off work while her children are in their formative years and not in school yet, some look down on her decision and think she’s wasting her knowledge and education. Better yet, some even say that she’s lazy and doesn’t want to work.
I really respect any woman who can stay home and raise her children. I’ve been fortunate to be able to do a combination of both. I want, love, and need to work. For the obvious reason of having money, I need to work. I also need to work because I find it extremely difficult to be at home with my child all the time. Don’t get me wrong. I love being a mother and I love spending time with my daughter. It’s just that there’s no down time when you’re at home with a young child. To be completely honest, I think it’s harder being at home all day. There are no coffee or lunch breaks. There is no social interaction with adults like one has at the office.
Whatever works for your family is the right decision for you. That’s my two cents.