5.05.2010

INDEPENDENT WOMAN....THAT'S ME!

Hi guys! Do you mind if I take a moment to talk about a conversation I had with someone the other day? If you do, I promise to post pictures of my duvet that arrived the other day a Little bit later! But, for now I would like to get your opinions on this matter.

I was talking the other day to someone and my independence came up. Basically that person said that all they want for me someday is for me to have my independence back. This statement really struck a nerve with me only because I never thought I lost my independence to begin with! Their statement was based upon the fact that I'm a stay at home mom and because financially, my husband is the only one bringing in the "dough". When I made the decision to stay home, it was because I wanted to watch my son grow up. I wanted to be the one he came to for comfort. I didn't think twice about what I was giving up because in my opinion I had two options: go to work 5 days a week and only be able to give my son dinner and a bath before I had to put him down for bed and start the next day over, or be there with him. That was easy. I could always have a career, but I would never get that time back that I was losing with my son.

Being a stay at home mom has challenged me in ways that no type of job or schooling has. Actually, I think it has strengthened me in a way that nothing else could. I like to think of my choice to be a stay at home mom was leaving one job for another. The difference being one job I'd never get a pink slip from. One job that no matter how bad the economy is, I'll never be laid off or not needed as much (although sometimes I wish!). It takes a strong woman or man to stay home with children and maintain a household. Its funny that other women would look down upon or think less of another woman for making a decision like the one I did. Especially if its something that they've tried before and simply couldn't handle it.

Do I feel like I'm missing out on anything? Sometimes. I feel like I'm missing out on a lot of adult conversation mostly! I miss being able to have lunch with other women 5 days a week and talk about fashion.
Do I miss making my "own" money? Yes. But, if I had to work now, I would be covering childcare, gas, food, etc... We are in a place now when it comes to money that makes us think more about our spending. Do I get to go and buy that new pair of Donald Pliner boots that I once could? No, but I don't miss that too much either because my last pair is sitting in my Goodwill pile as I type!

Another concern f theirs is the "what if" factor. What if he (my husband) leaves me? Then I won't have anything to fall back on.No job, little money, and three kids. But, what if I get fired from a job? I won't have anything to fall back on either. The difference between the two is that there is a judge that would most likely grant me some type of support from him until I found a job. Whereas, if I was fired or let go from a job, I could or could not get help. And another thing about this is I don't sit around wondering weather or not my husband is going to leave me (who does that?). The same way I wouldn't go to work everyday wondering if I'm going to get laid off. Yes, things happen, but you can only deal with them when they happen.

What I'm getting at here is this: Those of you that plan or do stay home with your children, don't let what other people say discourage you. There are a lot of people that speak out of term or out of ignorance because either it didn't work for them, couldn't work for them, or it simply wasn't for them. And that's OK. But, if I would have had this conversation years ago, I would have been miserable. I would have felt like I was dependent and needy and worthless. I did actually, without anyone saying it. I think once you make a decision that is best for you and your family, anyone outside of your four walls don't matter. And what they say is irrelevant. What I like to say when I'm given advice or input that was not asked for is "I'm sorry you feel like that" and keep it moving!


Have any of you experienced anything similar? Do you have a story to share with me? Or you simply want to get something off your chest? Let me hear it!

I'll post pictures of my duvet as soon as I put the boys down for their nap;-)

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15 comments:

Mother of Vein of Galen Survivor said...

Well! Independence is defined in different ways. A stay home mom is the MOST important job a person can have! Where I live, there are more stay home dads, than moms. However, I think ALL people should attempt to have something to fall back on, in case LIFE take over..while we (humans) make plans. And it truly depends on where you are in life when you have children. If you have children at an early age, then they would need to be first and then a career! But if you are in your 30's perhaps..and you've work a bit and develop a career, then one can decide to take a break and stay home. I think that INVESTING in your children is the most important thing. And your right, staying home isn't for everyone! So it's a catch 22 either way you view it! But do I think one can have the best of both world, YES! You can work from home, or work part time or go to school part time. The choice is truly your (and your spouse)! And I'm quite sure the comment wasn't meant to tear down or put down, but nearly food for thought about the future!

L ~DIY Diva~ said...

Im glad I read this. I admire stay-at-home moms. The job you have is priceless and never-ending. I am a single working mother (yep typing this at work:) and wish i could spend more time with my son's day to daytime adventures. (one day i will, claiming it!)But i dont think stay-at-home mothers have any less independance than a married working mom, single mom, or single person without kids. Like you said, it's just that you took a different job offer.

Dayka (Life +Style) said...

I think all that matters is whether or not it's the right decision for you, and only you can answer that. If you feel like your decision was the right one, then it was, and it shouldn't have to be justified.

MzMannerz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MzMannerz said...

Sometimes you have to set your phaser to IGNORE. :)

I'm sure your friend meant well, however, in my opinion, statements like the one you received are disparaging the struggles of the women who went before us - the women who marched and fought so that we would have choices. What's the point of having choices if people are going to jump to conclusions and stereotypes when a woman exercises a choice different than theirs? I say this because the statement seems to say that because you are a stay at home mom, you are incapable of fending for yourself.

I don't know you, but I assume you chose for a husband a person you can trust, and that you are able bodied and intelligent enough to pick yourself up and dust yourself off should something unexpectedly compromise that trust. I'm assuming the best. I hope your friend wasn't assuming something less.

For what it's worth, I don't buy into the hype of leaving your career and not being able to go back and regroup. Perhaps you will have a more challenging journey if you had to go back to work, but that doesn't mean you won't have a more successful one. I tend to prickle and get really motivated when someone tells me the odds are against me.

In fact, the person who first told me I wouldn't succeed due to personal circumstances, ended up working as my subordinate. You can do anything you put your mind to, so why not spend this time with your children?

Last, I was once told that people in relationships should only take advice from other people in relationships. In other words, you need a person who has walked in your shoes to guide you. Certainly keep your contacts, keep your network, keep your friends: but for guidance, seek someone who has been in your shoes and come out shining on the other side. That is really the only mentor you can trust.

Do your thing, girl. :)

*stepping off soapbox.*

Cecelia---Sis---Mom said...

Very well said!! I have had a few people "very close" to me (as in family) down me staying at home. I worked for five years and then had Steven, then worked nights and Rob worked days so we wouldn't have to have a babysitter or daycare. The best decision for me and us was for me to stay at home. I don't regret a second of it. We have given up things, but what we have gained more than makes up for it.


I love being at home, love it!!! I just shake my head at people when they down SAHM's. It is tough on either side and I am happy with me.

Hugs,

Sissy

Erika @ BluLabel Bungalow said...

I think you handled that well. It's frustrating to me when people give their unsolicited opinions about something so personal.

I personally believe that you can never go wrong putting your children before your career. Since we've made the decision for me to work from home with the kids it has really enriched our family in all areas.

As for those who think they can't do it, I thought that way too for almost a year! I wasn't until I realigned my priorities and added a bit of self-sacrifice to the mix that I found my stride. The same goes for working towards a successful marriage. Just my two cents (since you did ask)! xo

Cherie said...

I follow your blog from time to time and from what I have gathered, you seem very level headed and happy! Sometimes people make comments based on their perceptions and experiences. I think that if you are happy with your choice then it shouldn't matter what others think. However, we are only human. If we feel that someones comments are based in judgement rather than love we can be hurt. When people give me unsolicted advice or make judgmental comments, I thank them for there point of view and I rarely defend mine. I find that this approach quickly changes the subject. And, I've come to realize that people are entitled to their own opinion. As long as you stay true to your truth, it is just that-someones opinion. BTW, I thought the duvet was nice.

Audra @ Filmography said...

I applaud you, this statement and your choice to be a stay-at-home mom. My husband and I are hoping to have children soon and it is our prayer that we are blessed for me to be able to stay home with our children. It angers me how we, as women, can be so narrow minded and judgemental toward each other. Some of the strongest women in the boardroom could not handle 1 day at home with thier kids and vise versa. However, many of us can successfully do both and thankfully have the freedom to CHOOSE the path that works best for us and our family. Working doesn't make you a bad mother any more than staying home makes you less independant woman. Ladies, let's respect each other and our life choices. Lakeitha, I'm giving you a standing ovation over the via the internet.

Katherine said...

I applaud your post !
This is my "mission statement" that I have posted on my Facebook profile.

"Some may look at my role as a stay at home mom with disdain and disrespect due to their own antiquated image of the job.
I am not Donna Reed or June Cleaver. I do not make casseroles or a prepare a myriad of recipes involving cream of mushroom soup. I don't seek pleasure in vacumming the house wearing blush pumps and a strand of pearls.....not that there's anything wrong with that.
Just because I stay home, act like like a lady (most of the time) and aspire to find the perfect shade of lipstick DOESN'T mean that I am not a feminist.
I am.
I believe that as women, we can choose our own paths...wherever they may lead, and if the path leads you through your own front door, where there is work to be done, and there are people there who appreciate it, depend on it and thrive from it, you do not owe anyone an explanation."

And when it comes to people being "concerned" about what on Earth you are going to do if your marriage falls apart...It makes me want to roll my eyes. I think I'll know if my marriage is in the crapper before they do, and I am not so incompetent that I won't be able to be on top of the situation and insure me and my children are taken care of. And when it comes to my "own" money. As far as I am concerned, my husband's money IS my money. I don't ask for any, I don't receive an allowance, as a SAHM, I am the Chief Consumer in my house. Besides, if my husband hired someone to do my job, he couldn't afford it..so I don't want anyone to try and tell me about "independance". Please.

Thanks for the Vent !! :)

Mrs. Chic said...

It's always sad when mothers judge other mothers decision to be a stay at home mom or a working mom, whatever decision you choose thats between you and your husband, not anyone else. I've always felt sad that I coudln't be a stay at home mom to my son, its just wasn't in the cards...I'm glad its working out for you

TowardstheHorizon said...

What an intelligent and mature outlook you have on life. I've been faced with similar situations and intially felt a little bad, but my husband loves me and we're committed to each other. Ironically, while this person attempted to put the same doubt in my mind, her husband ended up leaving her.

I'm thankful for the time I spent at home with my family. It was the best times ever and I'd gladly do it all over again.

Rachel @ La Bella Bungalow said...

What an awesome post LaKeitha! I found your blog on Emily A. Clark's and have just spent some time reading through your previous posts. Thanks for sharing this wisdom.

I'm currently working a full-time job that I am less than thrilled with. I think every day how much I would love to be home with my son and mentioned this to my the hubs yesterday. I really appreciate your perspective on this.

You have a great blog! I'll be following!

~Rachel~

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