When I married my second husband, I had been single mom for 8 years. My children were 18, 14 and 12. We had been together for 3 years. He had 2 children ages 15 and 6 at the time. Even before the wedding people were asking us if and when we were going to have more kids, I was like REALLY? Why would we? We have 5! They said but you do not have any together. UMM, SO???? No matter the situation you find people trying to tell you how you should run your life. Many give in to that.
My point is, Everyone says you, (me and all the rest,) made these choices. And that is true, however no matter how much you plan, you have very little control once things get rolling. If you have to keep your job eventually they demand a bit more than you were doing then a bit more, almost like they are trying to make it harder so you will go away! Or, you get a kid who is a cryer. My mom said I was the easiest baby. I never cried, but my brother born after me never quit. She said he never slept more than 10 min at a time for 6 months and he cried pretty much non stop when awake. She swore if he had come first she would have never had another kid. I have a friend who’s child has cystic fibrosis, he adds an entirely different challange than most of us ever encounter. My cousin has 2 of 3 of her children with MD. Both are now in wheel chairs permanently. She just sent the oldest off to college. She worked and even went back to school. Her husband works, farms both his own land and his mom’s and has a job. He is also a Shriner.
So, yes we make the choices, but sometimes things make the more than we bargained for, and we deal with them, as you are and contrary to all the naysayers, we do make sacrifices.
We as mothers go without haircuts or new clothes or we drive cars that should have been retired. We have houses that are never quite all the way put together, we have laundry piles that NEVER EVER END, not to mention dishes and messes. We feed ourselves, our kids and our husbands quick easy and sometimes unhealthy foods rather than well planned meals. We make do.
People seem to be missing the point. Society judges us whichever choices we make. Choose full time mothering and you are marginalized (oh you are JUST a mom?). Choose not to be a mother and you are demonized, (what is wrong with you, motherhood is a woman’s purpose). Choose to do both and you are passed by for promotions, jobs and even invitations that would have been issued if you did not have kids. I was actually told once, after taking over my bosses job when he walked out and applying for it permanently, that I was being passed by for a man who was hired outside the company and had no experience because, “well, you have kids and are single and we feel that will interfere with your ability to put the job first.” This after 5 years with the company without a single call in. To add insult to injury they expected me to train this guy they hired. As I was at that time doing the single mom thing, I did not, could not quit right away…but I did within 3 months.
And sometimes, the babies come whether you planned it or not. I KNOW, I had 3 birth control babies…2 of them using 2 different birth controls at the same time. Do not even get me started on those options. I am pro choice. I considered and rejected the abortion option. I get so much crap about being pro choice, I can just imagine if I had chosen to abort that first baby, I was unmarried and in my first year of college. Instead, I chose to get married and keep the baby. I am not sorry, but have to agree things like maternity leave without losing out on your job, readily available and affordable child care and society and businesses determining that a mother can not devote herself to a job would all have made it easier. Instead, we kill ourselves trying to prove we are good moms and good employees or dependable contractors or whatever it is we do. I had my child, married his dad, and went to school full time and worked part time. People critisized me because I put him in daycare that first month he was born. IF instead we choose to stay home, and then try to enter the workforce 18 years later, Good Luck…no work history you are not getting hired, no matter if you have a degree or not. You just can not make society happy…so you do what you can to make your kids and spouse and self happy and tell the rest to MYOB.