Thursday, April 12, 2012

Our choice.


My blood is boiling this morning. Last night during an interview on CNN a democratic adviser attacked Ann Romney as not understand women's problems because "she has never worked a day in her life." It takes a great deal to offend me and this does. If raising 5 boys, serving in church and community, and battling breast cancer AND multiple sclerosis is not work, I don't know what is?!?

All this hullabaloo made me reflect on the choice I made to be a mother and the choices Ken and I made for me to be able to stay home with our kids. I always knew I wanted to be a mother and raise a family. Much of this had to do with the example of my own parents.

My mom and dad are fantastic! My mother especially was a powerful example of someone making many sacrifices for her family. I didn't really know it at the time, but financially it was tight at our house. For my parents it was a priority for my mom to be home with the kids. Now having 4 children myself, I understand how difficult that is. In fact, I have called my mother many times to apologize for things I'm sure I did as a kid and now I am experiencing those same things with my kids. Through my parents priorities, I could tell that family was the most important thing.

When Ken and I were first married the plan was for him to continue with his schooling, to get the advanced degrees, etc. that it would take to allow him to be a college piano professor. After being married a few years and many conversations about the family we wanted to have, we came to realize that our original plan would be very challenging. It would require me to work outside the home for many years to support him through school. It took Ken almost a year to make the decision to get his master's in information systems instead. We hoped through that path, we wouldn't have to put off having our family longer than necessary and that he would be able to get a job that would support our family. I know this was a great sacrifice for him to make. He chose to put off his dreams primarily for me to have the opportunity to stay home and raise our future children. Just one of the MANY reasons I love him.

Staying home with 4 children is difficult, but extremely rewarding. To be honest, sometimes I am jealous of Ken for getting to work adults everyday. I admit I have shed many a tear that almost every job I do is quickly undone. There is always another diaper to change, meal to make, more dishes to do, more dirty laundry, more crumbs on the floor, and ALWAYS messes to clean up. (Will I ever be able to look out the back door without the dirty hand smudges?) Luckily the awesome parts of kissing "owies", trips to the park, reading stories, snuggling when they don't feel good, and the joy of watching our children be happy and succeed far outweighs the other stuff.

Yeah, it's work. Being a mother is hard. It is a constant balancing act. But it is so worth it! It is the most important thing I could EVER do. I am always trying to improve and I have a long way to go in being a great mom. But this I do know, despite my many failings, I am the best one to love and care for my children. I am lucky that Ken agrees and supports me in my job as I support him in his. Families are eternal and the job of teaching, caring for, and loving my family is one I am incredibly blessed to have.

8 comments:

Rebecca said...

Amen! I feel so blessed to be at home with our children and would never trade it to work outside the home, but I DO work. And I work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No sick days, no vacation time. Well, fine, sometimes I do get a vacation!

xoxo --c. said...

OK Carli -- that little news item this a.m. made me mad too. LOVED your snappy response!! You and Ken are RITE on. (Loved your bit abt our family too) oxoxoxox

xoxo --c. said...

OK Carli -- that little news item this a.m. made me mad too. LOVED your snappy response!! You and Ken are RITE on. (Loved your bit abt our family too) oxoxoxox

Erica said...

Well said. Tears came to my eyes as I read. Being a mom is hard- I have to continually remember the benefits too. Everyone keeps saying- One day we will miss the smears on the back window. I think I am learning this- finally.

Unknown said...

Like Erica, your post brought tears to my eyes. When I worked all I thought about was how much I wanted to stay home and raise my kids vs. paying a stranger to do my job. Now I've been home for nearly 4 years and I man it's tough being home! Some days I want to run right back to work as it seems easier than the responsibility of raising 5 children. However, when it comes right down to it, I can not walk away from my children. Not for any job, any amount of money. I am their mother and I want to be there for all the firsts, to greet them after school, to play outside with our animals, etc...
Thank you for your post! It is a reminder for me that what I do is very important!

Becky said...

Again, well said! I think it's a great blessing to me and to my kids to see so many very skilled women - like you, choosing to use their talents to bless their families. Can't think of any job that uses more talents than mothering! We're very blessed to have husbands who recognize that.

Malinda said...

Yeah Carli! You are such a wonderful mom and a great example! Thanks for posting such inspiring things and keep up the good work! One of these days those peoples' kids will be going to therapy trying to figure out why their parents are so psycho while your kids are ruling the world :)

Corinne said...

There are definitely some huge sacrifices we make, like the adult time thing. I've been thinking this week that before I had five kids I couldn't even fathom the amount of work it would be some days. And especially a woman whose husband is gone a lot, like Ann Romney, would have to shoulder an extra amount of that. I realized in 11 years of parenting I have never, not even once, had a sick day. When I think of tough, talented, and self-sacrificing, I think of Mom.