“This should be your time”

A kind commenter told me this (I can’t find the exact quote right now): I’m sorry you have to work, even from home. this should be your time with your children.

Let me tell you…. There are days when I miss the simplicity of getting up and not having to juggle work projects with taking care of children and endless household chores.

Theoretically, yeah, I’d probably say that all mothers should live peacefully, free from all financial constraints until their children are at least in their teens. However, as we all know, there is a big difference between should, can, and is.

  • I feel more financially secure working. After several periods of extreme financial duress and my inability to do anything about it as I virtually cut myself off from all paid employment options, I know that the stress of juggling work and home is nothing compared to the anguish of having no income for extended periods of time.
  • My self-esteem is higher as I make my own money. I have always said that this is a misleading term: when you are married, all money goes into the family pool. Theoretically, who earns the money shouldn’t make any difference. “Just” mothers shouldn’t feel in any way inferior. But this is another instance of should vs is – as we live in the money economy, those who generate value but not money are often invisible. In a marriage, one of the spouses being responsible for 100% of the income often leads to an imbalance – and misuse – of power.
  • Getting into the workforce is tough after an extended break. I had been out of paid employment for a decade, and finding paid work involved scrambling for ground-level, low-paying jobs, plus losing much of the advantages my degree and clinical training would have given me otherwise. For a woman who had been out of employment for two decades or more, the process would doubtless be more difficult.

I don’t work full-time, nor is it my goal. But I am doing something I can easily upscale as my children grow older and I am able to put in more hours.

Always looking for balance, I certainly wish I had more of “my time” but thankful for the opportunities that have allowed me to swim rather than sink.

Author: Anna

An Orthodox Jewish wife and mother enjoying a simple life with her family and chickens, somewhere in the hills, in Israel.

6 thoughts on ““This should be your time””

  1. May your children rise up and call you blessed!! One day at least. My daughter has a similar situation, only she is divorced, working full time from home now…though next year things could return to as before I suppose. She has to juggle her kids now schooling online as of this week. There is no other way to do things. Her Ex, has way too much say in things, esp. considering he is a pedophile. This state protects them hugely. When I hear of other places coming for them, it surely will be a hard thing here I think. But I hope for the day things are easier for my daughter…and for all women. You are to be commended for finding work that fits in with schooling your children. You have a huge load on your shoulders. The unfortunate part of your generation is that most men seem to be basically huge babies. Ill prepared for supporting a family. Sorry for my opinion…but I know how it has been for my daughters and their friends. And too, when we have HaShem to help us when we have nothing more to give, somehow things will work out. Be sure to take some time for yourself now and then. Once the children can read and write, they will be ok by the time adulthood comes. So many ways nowadays to learn things. Fortunately.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your perspective, Elizabeth. Yes, though it’s a generalization, many men these days have no clue what it really means to take responsibility for a family.

      Like

  2. Also historically, it has never been true that wives/mothers lived completely free from financial concerns. That has always been something that existed in the domain of the noble born and upper class.

    Traditionally women helped contribute to their families’ bottom line in tangible, quantifiable ways. Modern wealth and technological advancements ushered in this time where women of common birth have the option and opportunity to focus solely on the home. I am thankful for that given the current state of things, but the elevation of this to the status of more holy and more moral is a new phenomena.

    Liked by 1 person

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