My mother worked in a chocolate store as a teenager then became a stay at home mother to us kids, still today my father financially supports her. Her mother has never worked and was a stay home mum also. My fathers mother was a single mother who worked part time while my father and his siblings were younger; she still works today. My husbands mother was a single mother who stayed home with her kids and today her partner supports her financially.
I began working when I was 15 years and completed a traineeship in retail while I completed school. I always knew I wanted to get married and have kids young but had never even been on a date. I was too nerdy for any male to be interested in me. I was very bright, loved studying and really wanted to go to University. I always just assumed that somewhere along the line I would get married and then become a stay home mother.
I applied for a rural scholarship as I was still single and decided to travel through rural Australia. However a year after applying I got asked out on an actual date by a friend of a friend. One thing led to another and he proposed one night. After getting engaged it was like my hormones went into overdrive and all I could think of was having a baby. I knew I had to complete 2 years working full time with the scholarship and didn’t want my two years to be messed up by me not being able to devote my full attention to my new career because of thinking about babies 24/7 so I decided it would be better to have the bub while I finished studying so I would be able to concentrate on my career. Hubby agreed and so we made a bub.
When we went rural we decided hubby would stay home with bub for at least 6 months while we settled into our new environment. 6 months turned into a year though as he found it difficult to find work. I was exhausted from work and the first child was growing so fast I once again kept thinking about babies and fell pregnant. I worked the whole pregnancy and then right before I went on leave my husband got work so I ended up having leave at half pay and stayed off for 7 months.
When it was time for me to return to work we decided we should both work to save for a house deposit. However the childcare fees basically took an entire wage and then we had the expense of running two cars as we both did shiftwork and one car just wasn’t practical. I ended up run down and exhausted, had to see a counsellor and ended up moving to a different town, downgrading to one car and hubby once again stayed home- so I could finish my rural contract.
I just assumed that after I finished the contract I would just stay home and hubby would work full time however I have now completed the contract a few months ago and am still working. I have dropped back two shifts so I see my boys more but the fact is I am the one with the degree and earn more money. I remember feeling very angry with my husband recently for not going to university when he was single so he could provide well for us now but then I recall I didn’t marry him for money. He never had any money back then and I always said money didn’t matter as I was so self sufficient.
So I am the main bread winner and my husband works part time to contribute as I have decided that we need to do what is best for our family in the long term. I remember when I was pregnant and at uni this night that I was really hungry and asked my fiance for a meal from hungry jacks and he told me I had to choose between a burger or fries as we didn’t have much money left (I was unable to work due to pregnancy complications so he supported me solely at the time)… and it’s remembering things like that which keeps me going at work, even though I suffer guilt for not staying home with my children. I love my children more than anything else on this earth but also see the necessity in providing well for them. We are neither rich nor poor and am still saving for the house deposit.. but we will get there eventually.
I just wish that all mothers working or not could put their differences aside and support each other; motherhood would then be a much happier place. I have heard stay home mums complain that mothers who work do so just to afford extra luxuries they don’t need and think that we own too many shoes etc (not the case with me). And I have heard working mothers complain that mothers who stay home are lazy and just don’t want to work and must be happy sitting around while their partners give them a free ride.
I am aware that both sides of motherhood (work/non working) are equally demanding and come with their own sacrifices and challenges. I think that all mothers should be able to respect what the other does and stop being so judgemental. We all have different circumstances and need to do what’s best for our own family. And as long as all mothers are doing the best for their families and happy with that then everyone else should be happy for them also.
So it’s time to stop making snide remarks if a mother doesn’t bring a homemade cake to a gathering because she’s just worked 5 nights in a row and struggled to get up, prepare the kids and drag them out and stay awake for the outing… And theres no need for the working mother to whisper about that lazy so and so who’s poor working husband is minding the kids for a day while she goes and has her hair or nails done. We all work hard and all need a break. It is up to each of us to get the balance right in our own lives; and so I propose a toast- cheers to a long and successful life of prosperity and unity in celebrating the diversity of motherhood!
Posted by preggiegoddess01, 5th May 2013