Failure is a means to spur us on to create something better. Something more successful. When I realized my marriage failed to provide me with what I needed to be a happy, whole person, I spent a lot of time thinking (much of it in bed) trying to determine what I could have / should have done differently.
I knew I should have kept a career. I knew I should have controlled my financial future. The problem is, when your first baby is born, common sense seems to be replaced with a mind-numbing need to nurture. Going back to work and leaving my baby with a stranger felt like it would have killed me. I had an obsessive compulsion to take care of my children when they were too vulnerable to care for themselves. It wasn’t until both my boys reached double digits that I began to relax and let non-family into temporary caregiver roles.
With two babies at home, my self-esteem nosedived. I wasn’t working and getting paid for my efforts, no one to tell me I’d done a good job. No confirmation in dollar value. Wrongly, I didn’t feel I had the right to spend the money my husband earned on myself.
I started several jobs at different times but my children’s needs made it difficult to maintain and grow a career beyond part-time employment. I tried a babysitter for a short time but my youngest was not treated well, so I removed them. We didn’t live in a large city where there were multiple choices for jobs or affordable daycare. I even tried bringing them to work; I had to quit a job I loved.
Hindsight affords me the luxury to determine what I would have done differently. After many tears of anger, frustration, and sadness, I realized, I would make the exact same choice again. I will always do what is best for my children. As much as part of me longed for a financially viable career and time away from the house, children deserve to be nurtured and loved on a full-time basis by their parents.
Then I realized that perhaps parents ought to look at a stay-at-home situation from an entirely different perspective.
What if we ran a home like we run our businesses? There are several benefits to this method.
- Accountability for time
- Specific work hours
- Proof of equality
- Payment for services rendered
- Attaches a recognizable value to work completed
- Relationship issues will become apparent quickly
- Financial Independence
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?
The more I think about this, the more I believe it is a perfect way to scrub the sticky floor clean. It will offer women, and a growing number of men, a sense of pride and autonomy in a relationship, while doing what’s best for their children. Women will never have full equality in the workforce until we are able to model equality at home.