One of my favorite Rush songs is Working Man – the line “seems to me I could live my life a lot better than I think I am – that’s why they call me the working man” seems to epitomize how we all feel about work at times. And in all honesty certain career choices like promotions (or not taking promotions), going into management, changing fields, or even quitting jobs do come with some tough more or less choices. We have certainly been facing these decisions as a family this year in deciding to take the step for my husband to stay at home with our little one. Still, as a grown adult and parent I really don’t connect with the song now as much as I thought I would… I mean, I think I am living my life a lot better than I thought I would… at least it feels that way sometimes. :)
Before I had my first child I was a career woman... who am I kidding - I still am sort of. But having kids has certainly mellowed my need to climb the ladder at this very instant. I'm enjoying the relaxed nature of a specialized job that is both challenging and simplistic at the same time. But I also knew I wouldn't fair well at home and eventually found peace with being a working mom.
Then along came baby number two and the insanity of two working parents really sunk in hard. The economy was (ok still is) bad and we were both just happy to have jobs, but money was still a stressor even with us both working. Money was an issue no matter which way we went – loose half an income or pay for help. It wasn’t like one was better than the other, it was just an option we hadn’t really considered before… well, I really hadn’t considered because I knew I wouldn’t last at home.
My husband on the other hand – is amazing at it. He gets an amazing amount of work done and food on the table and house organized… he certainly makes it look easy. Yes, I can now say after a few months of worrying about the “money” it is no longer of any concern to me at all whatsoever. This is now a simple less for more choice for me. Yes we make way less money and some days this is tough to remember, but the quality of our life is just so much richer. It is nice and I thank him for that!
I still struggle with being the working parent and strange backwards roles at times. I feel guilty for getting a daily break from parenthood or getting to eat my lunch in peace. But I try to feel good about setting an example for my daughters and still make our family time quality. I’m not sure what future choices we will both be making about our careers but for right now this seems like a great new routine. Well worth the big hit to the income and I’m now just so grateful we made the decision to try this path.