Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Can you have it all?

My cousin has had a very successful life as a Public Defender. She gave her heart and soul into it for over eight years. She is also a wonderful mother to three beautiful children. She gives as much as she can to everything in her life. Recently, she too has come to the conclusion that she too wants to take the summer off and be with her children. She is also feeling the pressure from "well-meaning" people, who question her choice.

This frustrates me to no end. There are many reasons why women have left the home to work. Some had dreams of becoming a Doctor, Lawyer, among others. It was done to give our kids a better life. It allowed us to send our kids to good schools and have bigger homes. I believe the "good intentions", backfired on us, our economy and where we stand in the world.

When I was growing up I was in daycare for a short time, but the rest of the time I spent with my grandparents, or as a latch key kid. I benefited greatly from the time with my grandparents, but the time I was alone, I got into all sorts of trouble. Most, I am sure my mother would be shocked to learn.

The cost of daycare has gotten to the point where it paralyzes the household. In our house, we were spending on average $1200 - 1800 a month on childcare. We tried to have family watch our girls for a short time, but they had to make their own living and could not do it forever. To make up for higher childcare costs, I had to work more and more. How does this make sense? You work your butt off so someone else can raise your children?

I hear all the time from mom's that they just couldn't be with their kids all day. That going to work is like a vacation to them. I understand that feeling, but how sad is that? I don't know if it is because we had to work so hard to have our children, but I want to spend my time with them. I think they are these amazing little people who have so much to give. They are not just little life-force suckers.

When I was working the housework suffered. We ate out a ton, to compensate for my late ours. This piled on the pounds and gave us a general unhealthy lifestyle. When both work parents work outside of the home, how do they feel at night. Do they feel relaxed? How much true quality time do they spend with the kids? If you figure that you get home by 6:00, dinner by 7:00, bedtime by 8:30. How much time did you have to enjoy these amazing beings you created?

This way of living never made sense to me, but I felt that I had to do it. Our society has been molded to one of the two income household. If you do it any other way, it is weird.

Let me ask you, can you really have it all? Can you have a successful career and a successful household? I am not talking about people who hire maids and nanny's. They are not the average Joe. I am talking about the people who struggle to keep a house, struggle to put meals on the table, struggle to keep up with all the activities (a topic I will talk more about). How does the average family handle a two income household?

Lets address activities. As parents who both work, we find ourselves trying to schedule "quality" time. We work our butts off to be able to pay for soccer, ballet, football, scouts, etc. We think these are the things that we need to provide to our kids for them to become successful. What it does do, is run the family ragged running from place to place. It adds to the stress of the household. Once again, we try to have it all.

Read here: http://money.cnn.com/2013/11/04/pf/child-care-costs/