Thursday, June 12, 2008

marry a doctor?

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.

2 comments:

  1. Melanie, I *totally* understand why you feel upset.

    Personally, I have nightmares that my children grow up to be "career" people that stick their kids in daycare 60 hours a week and only care about money... ugh.

    Seriously. I could *not* support that choice [I'm a daycare abuse survivor myself and only under the most dire circumstances do I think any child should be raised by strangers making minimum wage].

    I understand why you felt attacked. I will [hopefully not too unkindly] say that perhaps your DH should examine his feelings about being the provider - does he believe that this is a role ordained by God? [I do, and such is what the Bible teaches].

    One point of view that I will offer is that if your DH's current job is unable to provide what his family *needs*, then it should be he, and not you, who is looking in to a career change and finding a way to meet the financial needs of his family. Your children shouldn't be the ones to pay the price because his job has become a disappointing source of income, you know?

    You don't have to publish this at all Melanie, its mostly just for you and to validate your feelings - I TOTALLY agree with you 110%!!!

    {{{HUGS}}}
    Kelly

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  2. I can understand why you would feel hurt by your hubbies comment, but i don't imagine he really meant to belittle the invaluable work you do in the home.


    If you had continued to work outside the home, your cash flow might have been betrer, but would your children have been nutured so well, your husband too?

    I reckon that would have bought a while slew of other problems...like the fact that you might have earned more than him, that he might have been the one left holding the baby while your career advanced....he might have had to book time with you to see you etc...your children may well have felt somewhat abandoned that you were both working full time and that they had to be left in the care of strangers...there would have been no home schooling, so that opens up a variety of peer pressure iusues and of course, education issues.

    I do see this another way too though... because I want my own daughter to cut out a career for herself, I want her to be independant and financially stable on her own...and in a way, I am encouraging her in that because of what i've been through and because i don't want her to have to ' to scrape along financially'.

    But when she marries and has kids,the career might go out of the window and that would be just fine with me :-)

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