As today is my 15th wedding anniversary, I thought I would write a column in regards to my wife, and her earliest career choice. In fact, it is the job that she has stayed in the longest so far. When my wife and I planned our engagement, we talked about the things that we thought were important to us. We discussed religion, morality, family, our future, and raising our children. We decided from the start that she would stay home and raise our children like we both believed a mother should, just like our mothers did.
I remember when my wife first told her friends what her intentions were. A few were supportive, but most couldn’t fathom it, as they all loved their jobs, or so they said. Other women would ask my wife what she did for a living, and she would always reply gleefully, “I’m a stay at home mom.” Some of the looks she got from this response were not at all understanding or kind.
For what seemed like forever, this was the norm, and was the way that most families were structured, save for the broken ones. I am not saying that I think all women should be barefoot and pregnant, as I am sure that this is what some will accuse me of, nor do I presume to tell women how to live their lives. But I do want to stand up and say that I think society is taking a wrong turn.
What is a grand and noble profession has been taken by a handful of feminists and belittled, and my wife and I, indeed, many whom we speak to, resent this. They have labeled us as ‘sexist’ all who dare to speak up and state that we believe that the mother should raise her young. The left cries out for all to be tolerant, but when God forbid someone disagrees with them, then tolerance is thrown out the window, and labels are used. What a double standard.
One would get the impression that our youth today are lost. You can find them everywhere, wandering aimlessly it would seem through life. Today’s youth lack a basic ingredient that cannot be replaced with Prozac, and it is known as nurturing. Children today are woken, dressed, rushed to daycare, then to school, sometimes back to daycare, and finally home. I get tired just typing all of that. In all of that time, from waking up, to getting back home, the typical child probably spent all of 30 minutes with a parent, and that was a harried 30 minutes, hardly quality time.
Before you condemn me as being ignorant, and totally unaware how important two incomes are in this day and age, let me clarify something. I just quit my part time job, as it was getting to be too hard. I held it for nine years, on top of my full time job. My wife stayed at home for 12 years and raised our five children. Through that time, we went through financial hardships unlike any we dreamt of, our house is in need of some major upgrades, and now as things get easier, we will do them. For 12 years, I have driven fixer-uppers, I have gone without a vacation, I have clothed my children and let my wardrobe slide.
What’s my point? My point is that most of my friends have beautiful homes, nice cars, usually more than one, fine furniture, and their children have the best of everything. Well, almost. I will agree that none of this is probably any of my business, and to each their own. My point is, though, that we are cheating our children. We are giving them all we can materialistically, but don’t teach them what is truly important.
We went without willingly. It is known as a sacrifice. We gave up all we could have accumulated to raise our children. My wife gladly gave up her occupation to take one that has been demeaned by those unwilling to make the sacrifice for their own children.
We are doing something drastically wrong when we go through the whole day without teaching our children the important things such as charity, forgiveness, patience, understanding, compassion, love, kindness, and the list goes on.
Once in a while though, it all comes full circle, when one of my wife’s friends comes up to us and says, “I wish I had stayed home for my children.” That statement reassures our convictions and sacrifice, but it saddens me, too. It’s too bad that so many women fall for the lie, and put more worth on a job.
My wife is my hero. Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart.