Ok, I HAVE to reply here to a post in the Huffington Post. I decided to reply here because I’m long-winded and couldn’t make the response fit in their space lol.
I’m a stay at home mom at the age of 44 and I can see her points. The problems I see here are manyfold.
First, lets look at the financial part of this. Yes, she gave up a cushy job making a bunch of money. To her, this is a huge issue and I, personally, think this is a MAJOR problem with American society in general. We complain how much everything costs but we don’t stop to see that the blame is our own. We are greedy. We DEMAND our salaries be so high that the companies have no choice but to make the product prices sky high. That six digit income has to come from somewhere.
Now, I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to be ambitious but to complain because ones spouses six digit income isn’t enough is preposterous. Lower your demands sweetheart. Some of us only see six digits if you add the numbers AFTER the period and we have college degrees, work two jobs (not me, of course, but you understand) yet still barely make our minimum requirements.
I get you, I really do. But to complain about your children not seeing the hard work you did as being a job is your fault. My boys understand that this SAHM thing is hard. They see just how hard I work EVERY DAY. I don’t get weekends off or even a full nights sleep unless I’m sick. YOU were at fault for your children not understanding the sacrifice you gave to be their mother full time. I bet most of their friends were jealous because their mom actually cared enough to be with them instead of worrying about work or not being around because of overtime. My sons’ friends are always saying they wish their moms had time to be with them instead of having to work the aforementioned two jobs.
You got “sucked into” a crapload of volunteer work? Is no not in your vocabulary? I am positive you used it on your children… why not those who “dragged” you into those situations? Heaven forbid you actually use your self confidence to assert yourself and stick to your boundaries!
You worried more because you gave yourself nothing else to focus on. Your children weren’t the only things in your life, I’m sure, or you wouldn’t have had so much time to volunteer…. You worried more about the things that mattered but you carried that worry to a new level because you were bored, not because you were a stay at home mom.
Tell me one bad thing about a more “traditional” marriage? You cleaned house and cared for the things like the bills, the cooking, the laundry, the schoolwork… Do you realise the worry you took from your husband, the stress that he didn’t feel at work because he knew you were at home, holding down the fort? You have a marriage that’s lasted through the entire time you had children. That’s more than most people can say. You stayed together because you were of the same accord. Had he not wanted you to stay at home, I’m sure he’d have said something to you.
It’s sad that you think you lost your burning ambitions but I think you’ve managed to keep them, you just redirected them. Part of the reason you were a “helicopter” mom is because of that ambition. You were fiercely involved in the lives of your children and I bet they are the most awesome young people in your life. They will remember this when you’re old and grey, trust me.
When my mother moved out of my fathers home, I was 16 and had recently begun my own family. She took with her my younger brother who was 13. For years she struggled through with her new role as provider AND mother. She went back to work full time when my brother was 15 and still works full time, 27 years later. She never worked, before or during our childhood. Her first job EVER was when she turned 35 years old. You’re young. Don’t discount your potential!
You can learn new things while the kids are young and in elementary school. Then when the kids are older, you wouldn’t feel “obsolete”. What were you doing while the kiddos were in school? I homeschool my youngest yet I still have time to read, learn new things and do new things. Did you know that you could take college courses online? Teach yourself to sew, knit, craft. Heck, sit down and write a book and publish it! I bet you’d make an awesome author, just from reading this piece. Don’t discount yourself like our mothers and grandmothers did. Well, yours I suppose did. Mine raised ten kids, alone and then went into the Navy. She even went on a bicycle tour of Europe when in her late 70s! Try telling me she was worthless lol.
Too many women consider themselves used up, outdated, done in when their kids leave home but I say BULLPUCKY! Your life, the best years of your life, after children, is ahead of you. Grab life by the horns and enjoy the ride!