I thought I was doing myself a favor,
by deciding not to go back to work full-time so I could be with my baby,
by opting to work freelance so I could attend all my kids’ events,
by starting a work-from-home business so I could fit a job around my family schedule,
by not chasing high salaries so I could teach my kids that passion for work is more important than pay for work,
by not prioritizing money so I could teach my kids happiness comes from togetherness and not things,
by putting work obligations after family so I could teach my kids that they are more important than some boss,
by not being a slave to the almighty dollar so when my kids were grown I wouldn’t wish I had spent more time with them.
But I wasn’t.
Some days I feel like I wasn’t doing myself or anyone in my family a favor.
Some days I realize that,
by deciding not to go back to work full-time I lowered my family’s standard of living which impacts health and education,
by opting to work freelance I felt the constant need and pressure to spend large amounts of time seeking the next gig,
by starting a work-from-home business I spend weeks and months working at something I no longer enjoy for no pay at all,
by not chasing high salaries I’ve boxed myself into a lifestyle and mindset of being broke that seems impossible to escape,
by not prioritizing money I have to spend large amounts of time chasing freebies and discounts on food, clothes and more,
by putting work obligations after family I teach my kids the fallacy of believing the universe will jump at their every whim,
by not being a slave to the almighty dollar I go through long periods of not having enough money to pay my bills.
When I look at other mothers with good-paying jobs that end when they leave the office, I envy them.
I know they don’t come home to domestic bliss.
They have whiny kids and complaining husbands and messy houses and missed appointments, too.
But when the bills come, they can pay them.
When dinner is done, they don’t have to get back to looking for work or finishing an assignment.
When they go on vacation, they don’t have to bring a laptop and can still collect a paycheck.
I’ve talked to some of them.
They say they feel bad when their kids complain that they’re not around enough.
They say they feel disappointed when they miss their kids’ games and performances.
They say they feel sad that their nanny gets to do crafts with the kids and the other moms get to go on the school field trips.
Sometimes they think they made the wrong choices.
But their kids are more independent than mine.
But they still get to see many of their kids’ big events in life.
But they don’t seem to hover and worry like I do over how their kids are feeling, what they’re eating, who they’re with.
Sometimes I think I made the wrong choices.
I guess neither of us will know until the kids are out of the house.
At least we have the choices to make, unlike some of our mothers and grandmothers.
Thank you to all the women who came before us and fought hard to give us those choices.
But did you have to give us so many?
I think it’s the choices that are killing us!