16.1.11

Bring It On

What I'm about to say will piss off any number of people.  But this is my rant.  If you don't like it, too bad.  'Cause it's the way I feel.

I am no longer a full-time mother.  And I hate hate hate that.  My new job demands over 50 hours a week.  Including the 2 1/2 that I put in today.  Today!  A Sunday!  The Sabbath!  So much for keeping all Ten of the Commandments.

My paid job is a full-time office position.  The entire family eats breakfast together before Mr. Gaelic and I carpool to our respective offices and Deirdre drives Maeve and herself to school.  We eat supper together every possible night.  Mostly five of seven, since Deirdre and Maeve both babysit and Deirdre has a boyfriend.

But there is no way that I can in good conscience call myself a full-time mother.  Other women, upon hearing me call myself that in the past, would say that they work as a whatever at such-and-such a place.  Then they'd tack on that they were full-time mothers as well.  Hell no you're not!

Can you be a full-time surgeon and a full-time high school principal at the same time?  No.  Then what makes you think you can be a full-time whatever and a full-time mother at the same time?  You can't.  Because you're not there for your kids full time.  When they need you.  When they come home from school upset and claim that nothing is bothering them, until three hours later when they've finally decided to tell you what's wrong.

I miss my kids terribly.  I was an awesome full-time mother.  It was my calling in life.  We chose for me to stay home with them and our finances suffered for the first few years after the transition.  Only in the last three years had we fully recovered financially from going down to one bread-winning salary. 

Mr. Gaelic has heard this rant before.  He understands that he's not a full-time father.  He understands that no parent who works at any job other than parenting can claim to be a full-time parent.  That goes for parents who work from home, too.  How does Junior feel when you say to him, "Mommy can't play with you right now because I've got to take this call and finish this report"?

I was fortunate to be able to be a full-time mother for 14 years.  I experienced my youngest's infancy and my eldest's graduation.  I also realize that taking a paying job is something I do for my children.  I am providing Finola with the opportunity to attend the best possible college for her.  I will continue in the paid workforce if Deirdre and Maeve want to attend prestigious private universities as well.  What I do I do for them.

I just wish there were some way to provide the best for them while providing the best for me and Mr. Gaelic.  We miss our former lifestyle of a home-cooked supper on the table at 6:30 every night, no lines at the grocery store or dry cleaner, and being able to do absolutely nothing on Saturdays and Sundays.

I want to be a full-time mom again.

9 comments:

  1. I understand as well, especially now that our youngest is out and on her own, Looking forward to her visits home each week to do her laundry is just plain bizarre!

    As to the Sunday hours at work; Title 100 of the US Labor Code required that we advise prospective employees at time of hire that they may be required to work weekends and holidays. If we didn't they could refuse to do so and we, as salaried management personnel, had no recourse but to fill in for them. This was a Civil Service entity of the US Government so that may have played a hand but it may be worth bearing in mind.

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  2. Each person's life is very dependent upon choices we make.
    Of course, as we "grow up" our choices seem to veer away from selfish wants and get geared toward what is best for the family!
    Though it hurts.....YOU ARE DOING what is best for the whole family.
    Welcome to the world of adulthood!

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  3. I completely totally understand how you feel. That happened to me as well and I had no choice as I was the sole provider. But it's sad and makes you feel badly. However, I hope you can see more positive than negative, my friend.

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  4. I like that you acknowledge that there is more than a 'some people's opinion' difference between full and part time. And I know a whole LOT of part-time parents that are way better than a lot of fulltime ones. Giving a child your time is only helpful if what you say and do in that time is helpful.

    I am, however, highly skeptical of the 'best university' as being very germane to success or happiness in life. Studies show that grads from the highest ranked schools make more money, but then those schools have the pick of students, so many of these people would have done well from either talent or connections anyway. I think the quality of the student matters way more than the quality of the school. People who have confidence and who love what they do and who 'play well with others' will usually be quite successful. It seems to me that most highly successful people had good, supportive parents. A few had appalling parents or none, but these outliers (often in the arts), though super-successful sometimes, usually seem WAY less happy, just more driven.

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  5. I get it.. and I'm sorry that you had to make such a choice. I wish the economy was such that mother's still had a choice.. but, mostly, they don't. Kids profit the most, of course, with a stay at home mom, but the whole family, and the community profit, as well! I wish you well, and a lottery win or something!
    hugs,
    Jean

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  6. Oh lord, buyers' remorse has set in. You'll be ok but you have to give it time. I feel for you.
    On another half way related thing you reminded me of, is the "full time" bit. Full time means 100%, right. Yet for the past years, SOMEBODY thought up (for instance), "yes, I give 110%...." and on and on. What the hell? A person can become 200% fatter than they were, etc, but they canNOT give more than 100% of anything. If they could, that meant they were holding back and lying about it. Drives me inSANE.
    XOXOXO

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