This morning, as my husband was getting ready for work, I sat in the floor painting my toenails and I said to my daughter, “We have a lot of work to do this week to get ready for our trip to Vegas and I’m going to need your help.”
She agreed to help and continued drawing on her dad’s IPad.
Then, for some reason unknown to me, I replied, “You know, when you’re an adult, you do not have to be a woman who stays home like I’ve chosen to. You can get a real job.”
A real job.
That literally came out of my own fucking mouth. A real job. All this time I’ve been focused on empowering women to be and do and think and say and live however they want, and to stand firm in their choices and here I am possibly considering the work of a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to somehow not be a real job.
What constitutes a real job anyway?
A schedule dictated by someone else?
Leaving the house?
Is that really it?
Okay, the money aspect is great. I do miss having a paycheck, but the rest, well, I know plenty of people with jobs that don’t provide any of that. Do they have real jobs?
Does a real job really mean that you leave home to go work for someone else so they can in turn spend more time with their families and taking vacations you can’t afford?
Does a real job mean waking up wishing you had a different life because you hate the daily grind of what you’re doing?
If this is the case, then the powers that be can keep the real jobs and I’ll keep my fake job at home, where I can create as I please, hug my kid any time the urge hits, and I can live a schedule as I see fit.
That all said, I can do this because my husband works, but even he has a job that when he started, many wouldn’t have considered a real job. He’s a tattoo artist and he makes a damn good living doing what he loves. He also sets a schedule for himself that suits our family, and he can travel as he wishes.
But he has a real job, if you ask the right people.
I think what bothered me is that all of that judgment came from my own mouth. Do I really not consider what I do to be a real job?
In a way, I really don’t and to be honest,I’m happy to say that. If I considered what I do to be a job, then maybe I’d be feeling some negativity about it. I’d end up being like those parents who call their kids assholes and count down the minutes until they can get away from their kids.
I get it.
I’m just not that person.
Yes, I enjoy getting some time away from parenting once in a while, but I genuinely love being with my daughter. She’s a wonderful person. I loved being with my sons as well. My kids are three of the coolest, kindest, and most interesting people I know.
Being with my kids hasn’t been job to me though.
With my daughter, when we followed a strict homeschool schedule and curriculum, THAT seemed like a job. I hated it. She hated it. Like conventional schooling, it wasn’t very effective for learning, and I only saw her hurrying through her work to move on to what she really wanted to do, which was draw or create.
Now we Unschool.
Once we switched to Unschooling, the job part fell away and the best thing was watching her learn MORE, rather than just doing the work to get it finished.
Do I have a real job?
Depends on who you ask.
Do I want a real job?
I’d like to do something I love that provides an income, while enabling me to continue to be with my daughter as I am now. Perhaps some would call that a pipe dream, but it’s what I’m working toward.
In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy what I’m doing right now and I’m going to soak up all the hugs and love I can while I can.
Children grow up.
Real life passes on a breeze and no amount of money can ever give us back the time we lose with our kids. Whether you have a job outside the home or not, it’s important to keep this fact in mind.