Every now and then we need a sign that says “Perspective Required” so that we can approach a certain situation forewarned!
A conversation today with my youngest went like this:
Her: Mommy, when I find someone to marry, I can get my own iPad and my own iPhone!
Me: You don’t need to be married to get those things. You need to go to school, work hard, get a good job that pays you your own money and then you can buy your own things.
To give you a little background to this, I have banned iPhones and iPads during the week until Friday afternoon. Two reasons for this:
- They are becoming obsessed with it and I want them to go outside and play in the sunshine instead of watching some woman in Sweden DIYing her glitter make-up!
- I don’t want them using up too much of our monthly internet allowance and then it runs out when I need it for my blog. (I never said it was all altruistic!) ?
Let’s get back to the big picture here … How this conversation with my four-year-old daughter made ME feel?
Terrified because it appears that the example I am setting for my daughter as a Stay At Home Mom who blogs is that you can only have nice things if your husband buys them for you.
Worthless because she thinks I need my husband to give me the nice things I have because I don’t work.
Determined to make sure that she knows that it’s not up to anyone else to give you the things you want. It’s up to you to work hard to get them for yourself.
Blessed that I do have a husband who works hard and gives us the nice things we have. He also greatly respects the role I play for our family. I just hope that my girls will recognise this one day when they grow up.
Frustrated because I don’t contribute financially to be able to buy the nice things for him sometimes. Having to tell him WHY I need the money is hard and it feels like it’s him buying himself something.
Guilty because the impression she has is so skewed and she only sees the obvious in front of her … daddy works, he brings in the money, he pays for the nice things. Mommy stays home. She doesn’t work. Daddy gives her the nice things.
Is That The Reality? Is She Right?
The reality is that our scenario is by far unique. The situation as she sees it is normal. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. It used to be ‘the norm’, but less so in modern society when more and more people are either forced to both work. That, or they are given the choice and now there is a ‘new’ stigma attached to being a *whisper* Stay-At-Home-Mom! Whilst I am a mommy blogger, and I do make some money, sometimes, it’s hardly enough to make a dent, and it is certainly not a steady or reliable income.
Nevertheless, I want more for them. I’ve even written about this before. Sadly, not much has changed since then, but in turn, fortunately not much has changed since then. It’s a matter of perspective, and fortunately as an adult I have the luxury of that perspective, something a four year-old doesn’t. Yet, but she will. One day.
The reality is that a small part of me is ashamed. Ashamed that I don’t contribute meaningfully financially. Ashamed that by even thinking that thought, I know I myself am devaluing my own contribution to our family. No one else, just me.
To put it in perspective:
I am proud that I am there for all of them all the time, even if we, as a family, have to make sacrifices for that privilege. Sacrifices they don’t even know about, and don’t need to know about.
Even if they don’t know how lucky they are, we’re just doing what’s best for us.
I just need to remember that, as in most situations in life, a little perspective is required.