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Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Weekly Challenge to you!

I've often thought of forming a second blog to "rant" about issues that strike home with me.  I was going to do this under the cover of anonymity lest I offend anyone.  Last night I must have "grown a pair" because I've decided to do my thinking here, amongst my friends and visitors.  I can't promise I'll keep up with this, but I will try. 
I'm going to issue a weekly challenge to all my visitors!  This week my challenge centers around motherhood.  It's focus: how we treat other mothers. 
I have been fortunate enough (through blessings and scrimping) to be able to stay home with my children.  This is something I have wanted to do since college.  When I would share this goal, I always had a number of people ask me why I was even getting a college education if I "just" wanted to stay home.  As if furthering your education could ever be a bad thing!  (By the way, in typical Rene fashion I would tell them that I was there trying to "land" an educated husband!  Ha ha ha!)
When I became pregnant with Grace, my husband and I sat down and looked at our finances.  We calculated for two children instead of one because, God willing, we knew we would have another baby within three years (turned out to be within 22 months but that's another story, lol!).  After child care for the day and some evenings (I was coaching at the time), I was working for less than $300 a week.  So I "retired" from teaching and became a full time mom. 
Here is where the rant begins (sorry it took so long to get to it).  Most people were overwhelmingly positive and supportive.  When criticism came, it was subtle and it came from other mothers. 
The hardest job in the world is to be a good mother.
The second hardest is to feel like you're a good mother. 
I would never assume staying at home is right for everyone.  And I hope to God I would never criticize another mother for working outside the home.  We must all do what is right for us financially,  socially, emotionally, and all the other -ally words (ha!).  Staying home is not "right" for everyone just as working is not "right" for everyone.  I challenge everyone to respect that fact and appreciate the differences among all the mothers of the world!  Since we are all doing the hardest job ever, isn't it time we just supported each other instead of tearing each other down in an attempt to make ourselves feel better? 
That is my challenge to you this week.  Support, love and encourage...we all need it!


Unknown said...

I stayed home with my kids. I did do craft shows, sold Avon, painted and wallpapered, but it was when the kids were in school. It's really hard to stay home financially, but I am so glad I stayed home with them! I honestly thinks it's easier for a Mom to go to work because, taking care of kiddo's 24/7 is a hard job, if you do it right :O) I do regret not having a career backup, because eventually they leave the nest, and you are alone, so it's great that you have that when you need it... I know with 3 kids, that paying a sitter, buying work clothes, gas, food, and all the in between, it would have cost me to work...I know people think when you stay home with your children, they think it's peaches n cream, well, I'm here to tell you it is NOT! It seems there was always someone wanting me to do this or that because they think that you have all kinds of time...Mom said if you want something does ask a busy person because then it will get never, ever let anyone make you feel any less. I know from years of experience, I worked my tail off at home :O) It's our choice in life to live it the way we feel we need to do for ourselves and our family as it is everyone else. I know my kids didn't have everything under the son, but they had what they needed, and they are respectful, and hard working. In saying this, they don't expect to have everything and appreciate what they work for and what they do have. So be proud of yourself, you are doing a good thing, and in the long run, your kids will respect you, and love you! I know my daughter has to work and would love to be home with her son, but she has no choice at this time. It's hard on the kids when they are here and there at this day care or someone's home and then they quit and they go somewhere else, and I feel sorry for them because they learn from whomever is keeping them, good or bad. I guess I'll shut up now....Be happy! Don't let anyone bring you down!! Hugs! Leah Ann

Unknown said...

Well, looking over my post, I misspelled words, but I hope you can understand it...jeez been up all night and can't think straight :O) or type!!!

Rene said...

No worries Leah Ann! I'm so glad you are able to look back on your "rearing" time with happiness! ;D
I believe we all should do what is best for us (if we can financially) 'cuz, as I always say, "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" :D
I have several friends who would be absolutely miserable staying home and I am so glad they trusted their instincts and chose to work. They are much much much better moms because of it! I would have been the exact stressed about getting everything done and doing it just perfectly!

Michelle said...

Hi Rene

Well said!!
There is so much judgement and criticism out there it is unbelievable. As you say being a Mum is hard enough and feeling like a good one is even harder. I vowed to stay at home with my children as well, but when the opportunity came up to work in the admin dept of my boy's school three days a week (during school hours) I just couldn't pass it up.

Michelle :o)

Rene said...

I totally understand Michelle! I have a long-term subbing gig at Izzy's preschool...I get to work when she's in school so I don't have to worry about a sitter and it has been such a blessing! It's nice to feel like something other than "mommy" for a few hours every other day! ;D

Karen said...

Honey you rant all you want I'm with all the way here.. I stay home with my children - but I have done the working thing too.
I know both sides.. I miss the feeling like "Karen" for a few hours a day and not "just Mum" but I do love knowing that I'm the one bringing them up and being there for them. Financially it works out even for us now - and I think we'd actually be a little worse off now if I went back to work.
And in any case, my poor health takes away my choice right now. (Which is frustrating.)
But I agree with you totally, it's all about choice (and no some Mums don't even have that luxury.) And we should all be supportive of one another, because hey, we already do have the toughest but sweetest job in the world.xx

Regina said...

René!!! I know the differences between my country and yours. When I married my husband didn´t want me working and I was all my life a stay home mom. My kids thanks me because of this. I was with them every single minute they need me and this made the difference in their lives.
Actually almost all moms here work outside home but still have some of them that prefer to stay at home and take care of their children, at least when they are younger. My daughter made this choice. She has two kids : Maria Eduarda with almost 5 years old and Jair that has 2 . She´s a teacher and she wants to go back to work next year but... she´ll be working when her kids are at school.
I think it´s much more difficult to be a stay home mom than to work outside. We do everything at home: we are mom, driver, secretary, we wash and iron the clothes, etc...etc...
AS YOU SOW, SO YOU SHALL REAP!! This is the answer for all you do!! You´ll know when your sweetie girls grown up.
Have a marvellous week!!
(Hope you can understand my english LOL)
Lot of hugs

Julie P said...

Hang in there Rene, From what I've seen you are a wonderful mum! I think it is a blessing to have two healthy children and be able to make the choice to 'go to work' as a stay at home mum(one of the most difficult but rewarding jobs in the world) I'm with you support, encourage and love whatever your choice may be
Hugs Julie P

Unknown said...

Hey rene love your post!!!! I wish we could go back to the days when mothers had to stay home!!!!I work at the drivers licence bureau and let me tell you the kids that are coming in now don;t know how to answer questions such as their address, height, or even if they have medical issues, they have to call home and ask their parents. It's now a different world out there. I know that some of us have to work but parenting should come first and not left on its own!!!! I also stayed home when my kids were small. I think your doing a wonderful job and don't let anyone get you down!!!!!

Sandy said...

Hi Rene, My kids are all grown up now, all 5. I was a stay at home mum too and we decided that it would be better that way. They still did things when we could afford it and I enjoyed being able to help out at school etc. I also looked after two of my sister's children while she worked and then my grandchildren after my DIL went back to work after each one was around one year old. She hasn't said anything yet but number 3 is 9 months old and that means she may be going back to work in a couple of months time. She loves being at home with her kids but they need the money to pay the bills especially as the kids get older. It's a personal choice whether people stay at home or work. I never judge people's circumstances and as you say some people are better mothers for being in the workforce. You need to be who you are,

Rene said...

Thanks Sandy...I love that line "You need to be who you are!"
Rene :D

Christina C. said...

BRAVO.....Well said, my friend!!!!
I was a latch key kid growing up and I hated it....I promised myself never to do that to my children! I chose to stay home with my children and never regretted it.

Danielle Champagne said...

OMG! Rene... Had blog existed when I was raising my kids at home, I would certainly felt less ALONE in my world. I stayed home too, 27 years ago, and yes I got many criticism, even very harsh ones from other mothers. I could write a book on them... how it broke my heart. I had not made this choice to be a better mom, just to enjoy being a mom, and this was not at all noticed. the joy part of it I mean. one of the remarks that hit me, straight, was being told after 15 years at home, I was NOT WORTH ANYTHING, if I wanted to go back to work LOL... and the woman who told me that was in personnel department of a bank, and mom to my son's girlfriend. When menopause hit me, I decided I had done and given the best way I could, and decided I did not owe anything to anyone, and simply, went my way when I met such ignorant people. Yes... this is how I call mothers, woman, who judge without knowing. I don't want my happy life polluted with their nastiness. I know it is hard to convince oneself not to listen and pay attention to these comments... but this is the way towards peace of mind.
You have wonderful girls and you have a close relationship with them, value this, when the get older, they will remember...of that, I am certain. My boys are over 20 now and they do! I sayed home, I still am, and I never regretted it. never...ever.
Have a wonderful day Rene, hugs.

Sylvia said...

Hi Rene, i read your story and i am also a staying moter at home. When i was working i never had critism about mothers who didn't work.It is their live and their choice and other people must respect them. I had to quit my work for private reasons. Danielle already nows them. But it is a long story and because my grammar is not so good and somtimes i don't now how i must write some things the way so that you can understand what i mean. The biggest isue nowadays is that people don't respect each other anymore. They have already an opinion ready and don't know the reason why some people have to things they do. I hope you understand what i mean.
Take care,

Rene said...

I do understand and I agree! It makes me sad how much we judge people on just a snippet of what we know...until we walk a mile in their shoes, we do NOT have the big picture!
Rene :D

Mary J said...

Hi Rene! I don't have kids and don't intend to so can't put myself in your shoes.

My parents both worked very hard and we hardly saw them (I was a latchkey kid!) and I wished my mum had been around for us but hey circumstances meant we needed the money! Don't feel guilty about not doing paid work because you sure are working HARD!!!

What I do know is every one of my friends who do have kids are perpetually feeling guilty! What they can't do (unlike me in my job) is to have a time to switch off!

I hope you give yourself a break - and even a HUGE pat on the back!