I have been down emotionally the last few days. Nothing has went poorly to trigger it. It has just happened. In fact, things are going pretty well. The girls are playing together nicely and taking naps. I have almost finished cleaning out the kitchen and it has opened it up. I have gotten to do a whole hour of yoga both days. Despite it all, I can’t shake being bummed out. Maybe, it’s the whole thyroid thing rearing its ugly head again. Who knows?
Taking note of what I have accomplished is a strategy I learned on a mother’s writing forum. It’s helpful when you hold the same merit to all tasks. Yesterday, I was able to get done all but what I really wanted to be doing. Today, I don’t want to do anything at all. Even writing this is hard. Then, I read this article on being forced to work outside of the home after giving birth. While I’m still sulking, I can feel blessed that I haven’t had to return to a regular job since motherhood.
It makes me terribly sad that mothers have to put their principles aside and be forced to leave their kids to earn a living. I think it says something about our society and so much about the current state of economy and family. I know our mothers and their mothers fought for a woman’s right to have a career outside of the home. It was a victory well deserved as I think that having that option is really important. I recently wrote a blog post taking my hat off to working mothers – those that work to make it work. I feel horribly for those who have to do it at the regret of not being able to stay home with their children.
Since making the choice to give up many things that others would deem necessary for life, John and I have been able to make our lives whole without them. It was a necessity in order for me to be able to stay at home with our girls for us to adjust our standard of living. It helped immensely to already have a desire to get back to the basics – to find the purity in meaningful work and not compromising our dreams and beliefs to make a buck.
Those who have followed me here already know we live a very modest lifestyle. No frills – at all. For us, it was a small change to be able to be the ones raising our girls. Not only has it allowed us that, but it has also allowed for us to grow mentally, physically, and spiritually. In a way, we’ve dropped out from that constant mode of earn more, get more, as a means of status or a way to experience leisure. It gives a false hope to people, and I believe it makes one feel let down by life more often than they should. The rat race places less emphasis in life on the things that truly matter and more on what one is able to accomplish in the workplace and the lifestyle they are able to fund. It negates true culture – identity.
No, I may not be able to afford to take my girls to Disneyland, or provide them with their own entertainment system in their room. I can be there for them when they are hurting, and celebrate with them when they are happy. I can help them plant seeds in the garden and feed them wholesome homecooked meals. We may not have cell phones, but our “see you later”‘s are much more meaningful. John and I can’t buy ourselves new clothes. We have come to find joy in buying things that though not new, still have much value.
I can’t complain about our mode of living. It is more than what folks would call being “poor”. It is so much about choice. It is so much about health for our children and ourselves. It isn’t sacrifice. It is letting go of the things that don’t matter in the long run and embracing the things that do. Yet, those who may find themselves in our same position unwillingly, might be very unhappy because they don’t have the life they see depicted in magazines and on television where the dollar is the almighty and the only accepted means to happiness. I’d be willing to give up much more in order to continue the way we are – John making his life through art and music, and I being home with the girls, living with them now and dreaming of what’s to come. I don’t want to imagine another world for us. I won’t.