There is no way to soften my words, or to rethink how I feel. Don’t get me wrong; I am thankful for my paycheck, and the health insurance it provides, but I simply hate my job. Nothing is ever good enough, the money stinks and I feel about as productive as an ice salesman in the Arctic ( Yes, I am STILL on Frozen overload). So, why bring this up now?
I bring this up now because of a conversation that I recently had with my first husband about money. I am 49 years old, and have been a stay at home mother for almost 20 years. He had the nerve ( no, BALLS), to tell me that it is about time that I used my education for something. OK, Wow. Yes, great idea buddy, except that if you remember, it was OUR collective decision, that I would stay at home to care for OUR children.
His words hit me like a brick, and it was lucky that it was an email “conversation”, because only chains around my ankles might have kept me from going for his neck. My response, instead, was to remind him that the job market as such, is not looking for almost 50 year old stay at home moms in order to pay them high salaries. I reminded him that I stay in my low paying job because of the flexibility it affords to me, as well as the health insurance. I told him that SOMEONE needed to be here to raise the children. Slightly more eloquent and far more curt was my response, and as usual, when he is wrong, he did not reply. Instead, he changed the subject, like a punished child, looking for approval.
He is a very educated man, but so am I. He is afforded the income and respect that goes along with his title, and I am a SAHM, who, only by luck and determination, has been able to work from home for ten years. I don’t have to create the list of all that I do as a SAHM, to do so would be silly, because the list is endless, and you all know it well. I attend the school conferences, all of them alone. Few teachers have ever laid eyes on him, but when he does show up at some random event, he is afforded the same respect for the beautiful and respectful children we have raised. REALLY? He had little more to do with the respect that my children have for others, than any of the other people who pass through their lives.
For all the missed visitations, and the forgotten or missed events in their lives I remained there to pick up the pieces, and will continue to do so. Unfortunately, my perceived value to him, is not as the tireless mom who is unyielding in her goal to raise happy, productive, respectful citizens, I am still the person who isn’t using my education. I am the person whose home is messy, because I don’t have the housekeeper anymore. I am the person who had the nerve to ask him to take his son for a new pair of sneakers, because the budget is tight. ( This is what started the entire email exchange.) I am the person who filed for divorce, and “takes” all that money from him monthly. That child support, awarded by the Court, in his mind, is like a welfare system in the mind of a Conservative politician. It is license for me to not use my education.
Sorry Charlie, I see it differently. It is ONLY because I use my mind that you are able to live YOUR life as you see fit, and still have beautiful, respectful children to parade around, with pride, at your family events. They are how I chose to use my education.
Yes, I hate my job, and I will until I find another one. But I would not change a thing ( well, maybe, I would find a new job.)