Coming In Second

She’s in 5th grade. He’s in 3rd. Mom began with homeschooling. Then she put kids in public ed so she could finish her degree. Now she’s working full-time and coming home around 6:30 to 7:00pm every night.

I asked the kids how school was one day, and then I said, “Would you rather be at home or at school?” My girls, hands down, would rather be at home. This 3rd grade boy said, “Well, when I’m at home, I’m alone, so I guess I’d rather be at school.”

I saw an ad for a job position where they wanted someone to run the receptionist position AND care full-time for an infant (presumably the owner’s new baby). I thought that owner doesn’t have a clue how time-consuming a newborn baby is. And, if there was a choice between helping customers and taking care of baby, you know owner would want the customers helped first because, of course, baby could wait.

I’m not against women having college degrees or careers or jobs. I am against mom’s putting kids second to such things for whatever laundry list of reasons she comes up with.

I can remember my first born’s birth like it was at 5:05am just this morning. She reminds me often she will drive in a few years, and in just over five years, she will graduate from high school. I have 5 1/2 years left to care for her and nurture her and instill into her the values and integrity and skills she will need when she faces this big, hard world on her own. I would hate to hear her say one day, “I wish I’d been at school or somewhere else, because I was alone at home.”

I can’t get these days back. They are passing like lightening. Once they’re gone; they’re gone. My kids will be influenced by something and someone, somewhere. I want that to happen in our home, by their own family, as much as possible.

6 thoughts on “Coming In Second

  1. While its not a mechanical law, generally speaking, you’re going to get what you aim for. Want to focus on career at the expense of your duties as a mother? You’re likely to raise through the ranks, and have kids that go off the deep end. In later years, you’ll wonder what to do with yourself, now that the work is over, and the kids are alienated from you……. Or in jail………. Or in some twisted alternate lifestyle or philosophy…….. Or dead……… Etc.

  2. Russ, i love to talk with kids. they are so honest (most of the time). kids want their mommy’s and daddy’s.

    when i tell my girls i could have a career and we’d have more money, but they wouldn’t have me except at bedtime and weekends (when they’re not at their dad’s), they never think twice. they think it’s sad kids grow up w/out their mom’s so involved in their lives.

    i remember when i did work full-time b4 kids, and parents would get the call that their kid is sick and needs to be picked up … then they would call the other parent, and they’d argue over whose job needed them more and who “had” to pick up the sick kid from school. i knew i did not want that for my kids someday.

    this week i’ve had one kid home sick two days … i’ve had another home one day w/a trip to doc + xrays (all’s well) … but if i were working, do you think they would gladly give me three full days off work? stress stress stress

    then the kids know that mommy has other obligations, and they feel bad that they’re taking mommy away from work b/c work wants her, too.

    not all working mom’s are like this. some take care of their kids and work, too.

    and there are times in life when we all have to make choices – kids don’t get to be THE most important thing all the time (much to their chagrin).

    but when you’re working on your career while raising kids, something’s got to give. almost always, it’s the kids. breaks.my.heart.

  3. well, that’s in a perfect world…where mom can stay home to be with the kids. my brother and sisters were latch-key kids. mom held a job to provide for the family cos dad was too irresponsible. we get it and i think we didn’t turn out too badly 🙂 more importantly, mom took time to spend quality time with each one of us, even if it is into the wee morning or night hours. she was just there.

  4. Sing – your mom is not one of the mom’s i’m referring to here. your mom made significant sacrifices for you and your siblings. what mom’s are often doing in the states is sacrificing children for their careers. your mom provided for you. many moms here provide for their careers at the expense of their children.

    i do not think it’s wrong for a mom to work. i know many moms who work but don’t let their work/career come before their kids. our time with our children is fleeting. we only have them for a short period of time in our lives … but that time in their lives is foundational and fundamental to who they are and who they become. i would hate for my girls to think my career is more important than they are and that caring for them is not important enough for me to make choices and sacrifices to do so.

  5. Some may argue that both parents (assuming that the household has two parents present and still together) have to sacrifice and work in order to provide a decent life for their kids. I wonder if it has something to do with how much in want our society has become.

  6. Chitownie – yes, both parents are still present and still together. from the outside looking in, the marriage is sound.

    there is so much stuff more i could give my kids if i worked in a career job. but i couldn’t be here for them.

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