A few months before I was able to quit my job, but after Andrew and I had started talking about that being the goal, I saw a long-time-friend-of-the-family who has 3 kids a bit younger than me… We talked about my hopes and L&R and what I was working on and all the reasons I needed to leave my day job.
And to all of this talk of career and goals, she replied, “And, of course, now is really the time you need to take care of your home, and take care of your husband and take care of your marriage.”
I am sure she would never deliberately be rude to me, nor do I think she was judging me ….. but the way she said this sounds like her choice of staying home with her kids and not working outside the home for 20+ years is the only “right” way to live and something I “should” be doing if I wanted my marriage to work.
Even though my marriage is awesome (waaaay better than some). Even though (aside from the day job) I was perfectly happy. My husband is proud of me and wants to support my work.
I’ve talked about this before – I don’t have it all together.
But neither do I regret my choices.
Choosing to live on one small income while Andrew went to school. Choosing to move to one of the most expensive cities in the country. Choosing to buy a house that needs a lot of work. Choosing to continue to work the day job until we could save a little bit of money.
And, now, choosing to NOT work the day job even though the choice drastically reduced our income. Now, I’m sure, we have friends who think we’re being crazy because now we don’t have money for vacations, or landscaping for the backyard or a new iPhone. While I sit at home all day and read history books or build little websites.
It doesn’t matter what you are choosing to do – someone else will be choosing the exact opposite for incredibly valid reasons.*
Having me working from home is not something Andrew and I feel we are supposed to do because of gender roles. Nor is it something we are doing to impress anyone. We are the first to admit that having me not work a full-time day job is the biggest luxury that we are choosing despite not having any extra cash.
So … Try not to make hasty judgements or unrealistic expectations because you will never know what someone else is dealing with….. And remember to “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”.
*Caveat: Of course, there are always those heinous and destructive decisions that are never a good idea, but let’s all agree that’s not what we’re talking about here and that even the people who make those decisions THINK they have valid reasons.