To Work or Not to Work, that is the question

That’s not really the question; I just thought it was a catchy title.  Let’s see, it’s Monday, so the topic does need to be work related.  I mentioned in a post last week about being a stay at home mom for 26 years.  I was lucky enough to have a husband who could support us, but more than that, he wanted me to stay home.  Not all women who want to stay home with their kids have a supportive environment.  He didn’t make a lot of money, but it was more than the average.  If I had worked, we would have been able to have more and do more, but someone else might have seen my kids’ first steps or taught them their ABCs or kissed the scrapes on their knees.  There are some women who don’t need that, in fact they may need to get out, maybe they’re passionate about their work, or maybe they prefer being around adults instead their children or they might be in a position where they have no choice; they may not have a partner who can financially support them, or they may not have a partner at all, or they have a partner who wants them to work and bring in more money rather than be the one to raise their children.

I didn’t really mean to get into all that.  Each family has to do what’s right for them and it’s nice when both partners want the same thing, less tension that way.  And less tension means a happier family.  I will say that I feel children can get the short end of the stick in that they aren’t able to put in their two cents worth.  I take that back.  Kids have a way of letting you know how they feel about something; parents just don’t always hear it or they hear it, but don’t see what they can do about it.  Some hear it and do something about it.

When my twins were 3 years old, money was really tight.  I felt like I needed to be helping bring in some income.  I applied for and got a cashier position at the local Wal-Mart.  The plan was to work only evenings so that my husband could be with the kids.  A babysitter for 5 kids ages 3 to 11 would more than wipe out any minimum wages I could bring in.  I did the 3 days of training and each day my 3 yr. old son was very sad for me to go.  I worked 2 more days after training, but my little guy was having a harder and harder time with me leaving.  I know some would say that he’d get used to it, that he had to learn sometime that when mom leaves, she comes back, that I was only delaying teaching him life’s lessons.  Instead of forcing our son to develop at a pace faster than he was emotionally ready for, my husband went to his partner in business and said he needed a couple of hundred dollars more a month so that I didn’t have to work.  My husband could see and hear that our 3 year old was not ready to part with his mommy and he did something about it.  You might be asking if that 3 year old ever grew out of needing mommy.  Well, that’s a parenting topic and parenting is on Wednesdays.

Got cha!  Of course I’ll tell you.  He grew up to be a kid who graduated high school with 32 hours of college credit, then went off to college 10 hours away and graduated with a mechanical engineering degree in 3 ½ years and graduated with honors.  At the beginning of his senior year, he received a job offer to be a drilling engineer upon graduation.  Can you tell how proud I am of him?  He’s also the one I mentioned last Thursday who’s not cool living with his parents, but fine with his parents living with him.

I know, I know.  Today’s employment topic stretched into parenting and then education, but it circled back around to my son’s employment.  Isn’t that how life is?  It’s difficult to put everything into compartments without overflowing from one into another.  At least for me it is.  Everything is connected.

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Here’s a picture of that little 3 year old boy decorating his own birthday cake.  How could anyone with a heart deny his emotional needs?

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