Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Fundraisers and stay-at-home mothers.

Where to start...

If I didn't have so many thoughts about myself to post I would a do a what I'm thankful for post. I am reserving the right to do one in the future. I just sent in my Lee's application for a Lead America conference. If everything goes right I am committing to come up with $5,254 to send him to study abroad in Europe for two weeks. That is very scary, especially since he was pre-accepted and sent an invitation.
I made a decision years ago to be a stay-at-home mom. Like most women I knew that this would have it's benefits and it's drawbacks. The major benefits have been that I was able to enjoy watching my children grow everyday. I breastfed without the hassle of a pump. I was one of the few parents in the nearly empty row of seats when the school had an award program in the middle of the day. Not once have I regretted the decision. Even now if I could do it over I would not change that. (There are plenty of things I would change though-that crazy perm in '93 for one)
Today though I am facing one of the drawbacks. Opportunities cost money. Financially things would have been less tight with another full time income. Over the years I have had several part time jobs. For seven years I ran an in home daycare. Now that is a job with a major burn out factor. I do work part time now and am very lucky to be able to commit most of my income to this project. While thinking about this problem tonight I have admitted to myself one thing that I would not have been brave enough to admit three years ago.
I have tried to never critcize a mother for making a different decision than I have. All families are the different, as are all people. I donated free childcare to two of my sisters so they could go to school and become working mothers. They made the right decisions for themselves and their families. I respect that. Even with this respect for working mothers it has only been in the last few years that I have broached the subject that I did not make my decision only because it was what I thought was best for my kids but also because of my inability to be a working mother.
On some dirty diaper changing afternoons I daydreamed about being at the office ready to pick my boys up. They would run out to meet me full of smiles. Making it look easy, I would balance everything beautifully. My pump would be in the car full of healthy breastmilk. Supper would be in the crockpot. Of course I could do it. I just chose not to.
It takes a special kind of person to balance a full time job and children. I know now that I am not one of those special people. I have had two different opportunities to play at working full time lately. Those two times have taught me that I do not have the energy to handle both a career and my family. Either my children or my job would have suffered, maybe both. That is humbling to think about.
Back to Lee's trip. The two of us are brainstorming about ways to raise part of the money. Any creative ideas?

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