I was nursing L in our bed earlier today, while DH & I were discussing whether we could pay the mortgage AND buy groceries for the rest of this month. I stroked L's head and jokingly said "Ok, little girl, you need to grow up and marry a doctor . . . maybe a dermatologist!"
DH looked at me and said "Why can't she be a dermatologist? Why does she have to marry one?" I replied "Well, she could -- but what about when she has kids?" His response? "Maybe she'll be a mom that puts her kids in daycare while she pursues her career." I just glared at him and he didn't understand at all why I was upset.
I felt like he punched me in the gut. It seemed like MY choice to stay home with our children (which I thought was OUR choice) wasn't important or valued. He went on to say that it wasn't fair if I expected her to make the same decisions I did, blah blah blah. To be honest, I stopped listening to him because I was hurt, angry and defensive. I felt attacked, even though I don't think he entirely intended it to be an attack.
I have been searching the job ads for months now, and applying for various positions. I have been offered a couple even -- but the pay doesn't come close to covering my child care costs and taxes. I am willing to give up homeschooling and put my youngest in child care to help the family financially -- but these past years of unemployment have put me back at the bottom of the heap employment-wise. I can't find jobs that pay me as much as I was making 14 years ago when I met DH! We made a choice together 7+ years ago, and it's hurting us now. I don't know how to turn it around, except to start again at the bottom, and hope I can work my way up to a decent wage by the time L starts kindergarten. And, I worry that the cost to my children would be too great.
I know my DH feels the pressure. His income has decreased dramatically the last couple years. I know part of him remembers the woman he met that was independent, educated and held a good-paying job -- and he wishes that I still had that good-paying job to pull us through this lean time.
I need to think and act outside of the box to help my family weather these tough times. I need to let go of insecurities and doubts and just forge ahead. I need to stretch beyond where I am in order to find more opportunities. As the Nike ad goes . . . I need to just DO IT! (Too bad it's easier to think and write about it instead of acting upon my intentions!)
ETA: This post doesn't imply that I think L *should* grow up and be a SAHM. I do believe she should do whatever she wants to do and I would fully support her decision to maintain a career and utilize child care for her kids (if she decides to have them.) I kinda hope she could afford a personal nanny if she goes that way -- but that's just me. DH's comments hurt me because I felt that he was attacking my decision to stay home and not bring in any income -- especially right now when we're STILL stressed about money. I wanted to make that clear in case someone didn't understand that this post is all about *me* and my feelings. It wasn't at all about our hopes & aspirations for my daughter.