Magens Bay --San Thomas

Monday, April 2, 2012

Kids, Career or both… The ultimate question

For decades, women always find ourselves asking that question. Some want to stay home and ditch their careers. Some want to stay home for their kids but can’t afford to. Some simply have the luxury to do so. And some want to have both. And Whichever category that we pick, there is always that 'guilt' feeling. Guilty for not being able to do our best for our kids. Guilty for not being able to do something for ourselves. Guilty for not able to do the best of both worlds. But, one thing we all have to agree on, we want the best for our kids.

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What is the definition of the best?  Let’s take a closer look on this topic …
Some want their kids to be the best they can be. Some want their kids to have the best they can have. Some want their kids to experience everything they have missed during their childhoods. Some want their kids to have everything they didn't have during their childhoods. Whatever those may be, we do share one thing in common … That is, we want our kids to be happy. –To me, there is nothing in the world that I would trade for as long as my kids are happy.

I am sure each of us have weighed all of the options out there to reach where we are today. And we know we have done all we can to make our choices. –We always have the options of revisiting our choices but if each time we ended up where we started. There is no point of feeling bad.  Ultimately, I feel that they are our decisions and knowing that there are no wrong or right decisions. We are simply doing our best in our situations. That to me is something worth being proud of.

I have my highest respect for the staying home moms and blessed their hearts and they always have my deepest admiration!  At the same time, I am accepting the fact that I am just not cut to be one because I know deep down in my heart I can't do it even though I tried to be one. 

Though, I chose NOT to stay home. I found ways to replenish what I missed. When my girls were young, we enrolled them into parent participant schools so we could be there for them when they first started their schools. When my younger one had the separation anxiety issues, I woke up at 4:00 am to start my job so I could be there for her when she needed me during the day.  I started early and went home early so I could be there when she needed me for her outside activities. –Yes, I ditched my desire to climb higher in the corporate ladder. In fact I stepped down. But, that was my choice.

Through their preschool years, on the nights before, I planned for what things they could be doing while I was at work. I wrote down schedules on what I have prepared for them to do. Ranging from story times thru books on tapes/CD to all kinds of art & crafts that I bought. Each day I came up with different themes. Some days were puzzle days, some days were stuff animals (could be 'bear' or 'panda' ) days. They were so excited.  Each day they were looking forward for what the theme might be so they could play and did all the crafts. Then they would wait for me to come home to show their creations.Together, we would hang them in the wall and admiring them for some times.

When they were at Elementary schools, my hubby took time from his works to pick them up and drop them home. It is true that we are lucky to have extra helping hands to care for them while they are at home. And I came home early to assist them with their homework. When they needed me to study with them either thru late nights or early mornings. Yes, I was there.

There was a time in my life where I too wanted to taste the flavor of being a stay home mom, however, I found instead of making my kids happy, I drove them crazy :-) In my case, having my own space have given me the sanity to be the best mom for my kids. Not being able to stay home didn’t stop me from doing all the things that I would have done if I were to stay home. Sure there will always be things that I couldn’t do with them.  Somehow, they didn’t not make it to the top of my list, led me to believe that they were not that important after all. Otherwise, I am sure that I would have found ways to do them for my kids. After all, whatever made them happy. I would be happy as well. As long as they are contented, I feel like I have accomplished my job as a mom whether not I am always there with them by staying home. 

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I am sure if we think outside the box, we could reach the ultimate satisfaction that we want either by being staying home moms or working moms or both. Sometimes the best ideas pop up when we want something so badly but we can’t have it. 

“Where there is a will, there is a way. If there is a chance in a million that you can do something, anything, to keep what you want from ending, do it. Pry the door open or, if need be, wedge your foot in that door and keep it open.” --Pauline Kael quotes (American Critic and Author, 1919-2001)

Until next stop,
Journey of Life

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