They say a picture speaks 1000 words and in this case I have to agree.
What makes me happiest? Time with my family. When we were fortunate enough to have two boys in our 20’s I was the happy mama who was able to stay home with them full time. I loved it. It was honestly all I had ever really wanted to do in my life. While some feminists would frown on my aspirations it was and still is one of the best things I have ever done.
Of course it isn’t for every one and it is a luxury that not all can do but for me it was my life. I had a husband who supported me and so our marriage was probably different than many marriages in the 80’s and 90’s. It was more of the type of marriage from days gone by with gender specific roles. I was “in charge” of the house and all that went with it and Chris was in charge of providing for our family. It worked. It worked really well.
When I look at roles today I realize that what we had in those years of raising the boys was truly not what everyone else experienced and certainly not what the norm is today. And you know what? That is okay. It is perfectly fine. It is how we can all be different and still the same. But for me it was my job.
I used to think that putting down “housewife” on forms was a little bit demeaning. It suggested I had no ambition, no goals and no drive. That is so far from the truth. I had lots of goals and drive – it just wasn’t in the paid work environment. I dare say I was as busy in those years as any other woman who was working a regular paid job.
Today I am choosing to not be in the work force and haven’t been for years. I worked when I needed to work, when the family needed me to work and when the job was right. From baby-sitting to doing all the administrative work in the family business to church secretary to church outreach and volunteer worker I did a lot during those years. But now my role has shifted to being the one who is available. Available to be there for my family and my extended family. Available to go help out when someone needs me. What a gift that is.
We just had a wonderful week in Florida with our immediate family. Time with my boys and their beloveds has become one of the things I look forward to the most. I like to think that they like to be with us as well and I think I am pretty spot on with that. We don’t get to see each other that much as one couple lives in New York City and one in Jacksonville, Florida but we make it a priority to spend quality time together. It’s what makes this mama happy.
Life is so short. I am reminded of that daily. I choose to spend my life spending as much time with these two guys (and Chris, of course), making memories and remembering past memories.
What makes you happiest? Is it family? Is it work? Is it something else? Tell me all about it in the comments section. All comments on the blog this month mean a 50 cent donation to the Dementia Society of America. You can read more about it by clicking here.
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This is so wonderful. My mom stayed home with us too, way back in the 60s. I think she did sacrifice some of her own wants to do that but I don’t think she regretted it.
I am sure there were sacrifices and no doubt she never let you know. I love how everyone is able to find their strengths –whether it is staying home with kids or finding the perfect job that allows fulfillment and growth—there is so much to be grateful for. Thanks for stopping by.
I completely agree with what you shared in this post! I, too, was able to stay at home with Marshall during his childhood, and that was my goal. And I also agree with where you are now…available to help others. Although I do keep the books at our shop, that doesn’t take much of my time, so I’m also available to help when others need me. We are so blessed, aren’t we? Love the pic of you with your sons!
We have a lot in common, Dianna, and I think it is wonderful that we were able to do what we loved the most. I count it as a huge blessing and am so grateful that I was able to do what my heart desired.
So glad to meet your boys, Beth Ann! Wonderful! Oh yeah, happy new year!
Thanks so much, Annette. They are my pride and joy. 🙂 Happy new year to you as well!
I love this! I had to work when we had our first son, but was able to stay home after we had our second son. I loved being a “stay at home mom”. I was able to run the boys wherever they needed, go to school parties and be there for them when they got home from school. But, I also worked at the family business, my husband has a good enough job that I was able to do this. Now that they are older they both own their own businesses. I worked for the older one for about 10 years and babysat their little girl, she is now in kindergarten, so I’m no longer needed as much. So now I work for the younger one and babysit their little boy. I know we are very blessed that both of our boy’s, along with their spouses and our grandchildren live within a 10 to 15 minute drive from us and I thank the Lord daily for that.
Thanks for sharing –I hesitated to post this post because sometimes people react weirdly to the whole stay at home mom thing but it was my life and what I loved being able to do. I was the one, like you, who was able to do the parties, be there when they got home from school, be the house where the kids came etc. and I loved it. I was able to do that and while that is not everyone’s idea of fulfillment it was mine. And I apparently did a good enough job because both of our boys are pretty darn wonderful. I love how you have supported your family all these years and now are helping out in your son’s business as well as continuing that great role of grandma. Thanks so much for sharing!
How wonderful you got to spend time with both of your boys this Christmas.I worked while raising my two kids and I loved my work. However I did feel guilty. I tried to spend as much time with them when I could and always planned fun and interesting things to do together. I have asked them about it now that they are adults and they both tell me I maybe didn’t spend quantity time with them but I did spend quality time with them and they didn’t feel deprived of a mom. Christmas with my son and his family this year was very special and certainly made me happy. Love the picture and the Happy Mama shirt!!
See –there is such a great balance that we can achieve as moms and even the “working” moms who make sacrifices for their kids can still do a fabulous job. I love that you had that conversation with your kids and I am sure they are right –you spent quality time and they did not lack for attention and love. Glad you were able to spend Christmas with your son and family –those are great moments that will now be wonderful memories to draw back on.
I could take this post, swap out a few details, and it would be my story. A story that I loved and continue to love. And yes, cheers to everyone who loves their life. Thanks Beth- good post to think about.
Thanks, Jena. I know that we all are able to love the life that we live and this is just an example of that. So many women feel that they have to fulfill certain roles in life and while I did not feel that pressure at all I am happy that I was able to do what i loved with no judgment and no one telling me to “do more”. Thank you for your comments. Be happy.
Being a full time Mom to my boys was the best job in the world. Now I am blessed to be able to spend my days with my grandson. Being a Gramma and spending time with my family make me happy!
Leann, I LOVE that you were a full time mom and now get the chance to be with your grandson. I think that has to be the best job in the world and you and your family are so close and making so many memories. It makes my heart truly happy when I see pictures of you all together . Thanks for sharing.
For most of our daughter’s growing up years, I had to work. I like to think I had a good balance but there was times I did not. Another wonderful blog with sweet pictures.
I am sure you had a good balance –like I said – I know that not everyone has the luxury that I had but I am truly grateful for it and for women like you who were able to balance it all at the same time!
Beth Ann, your T-shirt says it all! You know, not every woman *gets* to spend all that quality time with her kids, and you’re blessed (bet your family would agree they’re blessed you did, too!). My mom chose to stay home with us kids, and it was nice coming home to a listening, caring ear. And home-baked cookies! I worked mostly from home but part-time when Domer was little, and he got plenty of “mommy-time,” too. For some kids, that’s the difference in how they turn out, don’t you think?!
I feel very much the same way. I love to spend time with my immediate family and soak up every minute we are all together. It’s the best! Sometimes I miss being home and available for everyone. It definitely had its advantages.
I’ve never apologized either for staying home to raise my three. I’m glad that I could and it was worth all the financial sacrifices to do so.
Having my “kids” and now grandkids together with us makes me happy. As do writing and photography and connecting with friends.
I love the photo of you and “the boys.” And I love the message on your tee.
Being available is a noble and necessary calling.
Family – it’s what is important! I love, love, love your post. My life journey is similar to yours. I was blessed to be able to be a stay at home mom to our three children and I have never regretted one minute of it. It worked best for our family and like you, my happiest moments are spent with my family. (Just wait until you get grandchildren!!) <3