Saturday, 17 January 2015

Choices ~ one size rarely fits all!

Every so often something comes up in the media or a conversation that leaves a burning desire in me to write. Recently a simple, harmless, off hand comment made putting the following words to paper feel like a necessity. What follows is written completely from my perspective, it is how I feel about the choice I have made for myself and my family, and how grateful I feel at having the freedom to make that choice. 

the two reasons why  I do what I do  is just perfect for me

I knew very early on that if I were lucky enough to have a family of my own, the choice to opt out of paid employment and be a stay at home parent was not going to be a difficult one to make. For my part it was a very carefully considered choice and one I had made long before my children had even come along. Fortunately I would meet and marry a man who shared the same philosophy as I did; who also felt it was important that in the dream he had for his family that one parent would choose to stay at home full time, when children came along. Brilliant, it always helps the family dynamic when Mum and Dad, in our case, are on the same page.

Of course when our twins did come along, it was an easy decision to make that the parent who stayed at home would be me. It is what I always wanted to do and I had the boobs to feed them; some people aspire to be doctors, lawyers, politicians and the like. Not me; my dream was to raise a family, that was what stirred my soul, what I could see myself doing when I closed my eyes and thought about my future.

We would later find out how easy this decision would make family life for us, we have never had to deal with conflicting schedules on weekdays, weekends or at holiday time and in all honesty it made the logistics of fitting school pick ups, drop offs, bus schedules and any after school activities into our lives a breeze. It also made having quality family time together on the weekends easy too. And I got to be the one to capture every milestone and be there for every scrapped knee. Sure money was tighter with one of us opting out of paid employment but that was a sacrifice we were willing to make, to enjoy the lifestyle we wanted for our family.

In hindsight, when my husband was struck down with a serious illness in 2014, already being at home also made the transition into being his full time carer for the duration of his illness a much easier and relatively stress free transition. As I didn't have to take my employment into consideration nor worry about the impact my families situation would have on anyone other than us. As I doubt that many people are fortunate enough to have employers of the calibre of the company my husband works for and the people he works with. That is a story of grace for another time.

It's been argued that raising children is not a career and as a parent I would agree, it's raising the next generation. Therefore being a stay at home parent is a job I take very seriously and one I am passionate about. It is not something I ever imagined myself doing part time, as it is far to precious to me to not want to invest all I can into it.

As it would turn out I would have to invest my time into full time work in the fashion retail industry for 23 years before my dream job came along, I would be 38 before being blessed with children. There was no way I was going to allow anyone else to do this job for me when the opportunity to do what I loved finally came. Honestly, who would hand over a promotion like that after waiting so long to receive it?

I am incredibly grateful to the women who’s shoulders I stand on today, who went before me and fought for my right to have the choices that I have, and like every person I know, my choice to work at the job I love makes me a better me…and that’s why I do it. It’s not for the money that’s for sure, nor; contrary to popular belief is it because a stay at home parent is lazy or otherwise unemployable.

I chose this job because it is something I love; that I believe in, find value and great satisfaction in, and I do not know of anything any more important that I could be doing with my time or for my family. The same reasons that we all do what we do. 

I choose to be a stay at home parent not only because I think it suits my children's needs the best, but also because it is what makes me the happiest. Some people find solace, that little bit of me time that helps them maintain their sanity by working outside the home, I find it working in and from the home. The same results brought about by different choices...and when that choice brings peace and balance to your family and lifestyle, then no matter what anybody else thinks, it is the right choice for you and your family.

It has been my choice, that doesn't mean I think it should be everybody's. I have friends and family where both parents work full time and or part time outside the home and are also raising beautiful children. This is simply my choice and my husbands for our family. One that sit's well with us and that we will maintain for as long as it is possible to do so.

Will my stay at home parent position become redundant one day? If I do my job right, absolutely, and I will be only too pleased to move into other employment when it does. That doesn't mean now that the children are a little older; that I won’t take on other projects in the mean time, when I can work them around my family, within school hours. As a Reiki practitioner, master/teacher, I work from home when I can, as I am able to take appointments to suit my family schedule. But my main job will always come first.

I know how fortunate I am to have this choice and I know that there are many people that would like to be doing what I do, yet as a sole parent or the primary provider that choice isn't as easy for them to make. My hope for the near future is that  it will be easier for all parents to make the choice to stay at home to raise their children if it is what their heart desires. And to do so without fear or judgement.


2 comments:

  1. Great post. Being a mother and now a grandmother is the most extraordinary wonder.

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    1. Thank you; I agree completely :)

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