Tuesday, November 01, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 1: Frustrated


NaBloPoMo 
2011
It's November! 

The leaves have already changed their colours and the trees are almost bare.  The air is getting cooler.  My toddler is turning another year older.

It's also NaBloPoMo time!  Each year for the past few years, I have participated in National Blog Posting Month.  Each day in the month of November, I write a post. It's been quite the challenge. Blogging every day (and writing *quality* posts every day) is not an easy feat. 

I hope you'll join me and try to post every day for the month of November. If you do, please let me know and I'll add you to my NaBloPoMo blog roll and follow your daily posts.

Today's question: What frustrates you?

Recently, we had some guests over and one woman's husband commented on how he enjoyed the apple crumble I made.  I said it was no big deal. Apple crumble is probably one of the easiest and quickest treats to whip up. We have all the apples from our farm, and then the rest is a combination of oats, flour, butter, organic cane sugar, and cinnamon. One husband innocently remarked, "It  must be nice to have fresh, wholesome, natural food all the time." His wife quickly retorted, "Well, I don't have time for that. I'm a working mother. There's no time to do those things."

Wow. I politely held my breath, but the comment did bother me. I work too. I have recently (as of last month) taken some time off teaching, but I still have side jobs that I'm working on. I have a steady flow of freelance writing jobs that occupy a good number of hours of my day, I have to help on our farm, I have my toddler to care for (we play, spend time learning the alphabet, numbers, play outside, and we do science experiments), and a whole slew of other things that fill my day.  Though I am on a break from my actual teaching job at the moment, I have other income generating jobs that fill my day. This said, my family still needs to eat and I still need to cook for them. 

What frustrates me is that if a woman chooses to have a career that leaves her at work all day and only available for her children for a few hours in the evening and on weekends, people sometimes criticize her for not putting her family first or for being neglectful or not family oriented.

That doesn't make sense. She is putting her family first by contributing to the family income. To say that a woman who has a career isn't a good mother because she "doesn't spend time with her kids" is unfair. At the same time, a woman who chooses to take a few years off work while her children are in their formative years and not in school yet, some look down on her decision and think she's wasting her knowledge and education. Better yet, some even say that she's lazy and doesn't want to work.

I really respect any woman who can stay home and raise her children. I've been fortunate to be able to do a combination of both. I want, love, and need to work. For the obvious reason of having money, I need to work. I also need to work because I find it extremely difficult to be at home with my child all the time. Don't get me wrong. I love being a mother and I love spending time with my daughter. It's just that there's no down time when you're at home with a young child. To be completely honest, I think it's harder being at home all day. There are no coffee or lunch breaks. There is no social interaction with adults like one has at the office.

It is not easy working and raising a family. It is not easy staying home and raising a family. What frustrates me is that for women, whatever decision one makes with regard to working and raising a family, people will criticize no matter what.

Whatever works for your family is the right decision for you. That's my two cents.

8 comments:

Dana McCauley said...

I think that no matter what choices you make, there will always be someone who has a negative opinion about your lifestyle. Sadly, we're in a 'no win' culture that way. Sadder still, it's so often woman versus woman -- why can't we stick up for each other more often?

Frau Guten Tag said...

Ok Im gonna "try" to blog each day, Im
Gonna try really hard hehehe

I couldnt agree more. I am a sahm & get criticized for being lazy & having wasted time & money on my college education. Anytime I mention how hard it is to never get a break & never have time to focus & concentrate on things people are criticizing me for that as well. I even get so called sahm moms criticizing me when they have maids & put their kids in day care or leave them with relatives frequently to run errands. I dont have those luxuries. I have to care for my toddler, clean my house, cook for my family, run ALL errands & grocery shop, etc. It can be truly exhausting at times.

Having said that I WANT to be a sahm, I think its best for my son. And while I occasionally envy the working mom I know its also hard, but in a different way than being a sahm.

Jackie said...

ahhh, too funny... same thing here. Everyone thinks it's ok if I volunteer as I am a SAHM and do nothing all day... what no one knows is that I actually work full time from home for 3 quilting companies... but it is so much easier to point blame... as my Minister says... it's all about your decisions... and we missed our date. My fault, i had it on my calendar and well I am not even going to make an excuse. Sorry.

C said...

Dana:
You are so right! No matter what choices one makes, someone will always have something negative to say. I also agree with you about the need for women to stick up for each other and help each other out. I don't know why some find the need to vie against each other. Life is hard enough as it is working, raising a family, dealing with all the chaos and craziness sometimes...and the last thing women need is to be sucker punched in the gut by other women.

Supporting each other is so important.

C said...

Frau:
:) Good luck with the NaBloPoMo if you do decide to do it. I'll check out your posts!!!

I hear you on everything you said.

I am finding taking a break from work right now to be really draining. I thought I'd have two or three months to rest and relax...spend quality time with my toddler, help out more with the farm since family situation has changed with MIL being in hospital.

At the same time, I feel that it is so important for me to spend this time with my child. Before we know it, she'll be in school and I won't ever be able to reclaim these first few years. Know what I mean?

C said...

Jackie:
You're a WAHM! :) It's true! You WORK at home! You are so busy! I think many people on the island don't realize what work at home moms do. They WORK.

The other day, someone said "Oh, so you just stay at home then? You take care of your child?" I was so shocked that I couldn't even respond. I nodded and said yes, when I really wanted to say "No, I do freelance work for different companies and write press releases, edit documents, etc, etc, etc." I guess the concept is still too new for some to grasp? They think that since you're not going to an office every day, you MUST be sitting at home watching TV and eating bonbons!

I really needed to take some time off teaching for a while. My family needed it. I needed it.

No win situation. As far as I'm concerned, people will say what they feel...even if it doesn't concern them or impact their lives in any way. I just wish it didn't bother me so much.

Calfkeeper said...

I totally agree with everyone; it IS a no win situation. No matter which road a mother chooses, or HAS, to go down, she gets criticized. It's frustrating. I remember days when I worked that I dreamed of staying at home and raising a family. Now there are times I dream of going back to work to get a break from my family. HAHA!

But to me raising my daughter is more rewarding and I know it's better for her.

Hmmm...C. I started blogging in the fall of '07 I believe, and did NaBloPoMo that November; so we met FOUR years ago. We have been through quite a bit in those years, no? :)

fancypansy said...

Eh. Parenting is hard. Being a working parent is hard no matter where you work, and being a SAHM has it's own challenges. Personal situations and temperaments and priorities have a big role in how "hard" or "easy" it is. If you (not you "C", you "random moms who always seem to be trying to prove how hard their life is compared to everyone else's") think you have it harder than everyone else, change something. If you think you have it easier, own the choices that made it so instead of getting offended when someone points it out. People say my life is easier because I have a nanny. I don't get offended and start going on about all the hard time consuming things that I still have to do, I say "Yup. I sure am glad I did that...being a full time working mom with 2 kids is so much more manageable with a nanny than it was before".

I don't know why motherhood is such a big "who has it harder" contest anyways? It is so silly. I think it is mostly more about priorities than anything else. After all, we all have 24 hour days, and no matter what we do...most of us fill all of those hours with things that we feel are necessary or important. You make time to cook. I don't very often (beyond the basics)...but I made time to train for a half marathon. The women that always ask me how I find time to exercise are often the same women that never miss an episode of Jersey Shore, Real Housewives or Dancing With the Stars. Who knows that the mom in the OP makes time for...but I bet it is something you don't.

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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