Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Risky business

Let me start out by saying that this post has NOTHING to do with the presidential debates.  I haven't watched either of them, and I don't plan to watch the last one.  I voted last week, so I'm done with politics for the year.  Let me also say that this isn't a post about stay-at-home-moms versus working-moms.  Women are hard enough on each other as it is, and I am not going to perpetuate that tired discussion.

Now, on to the post...

I was surfing the 'net the other day, and I came across an interesting discussion on a board about whether or not it was just careless to be a stay-at-home-mom in this day and age.  The poster said that she felt like women who chose to stay home, as opposed to women who were thrust into the position, were taking a risk and not planning for a possible future reality of not being able to stay home anymore.  The phrase that really struck me was being "dependent" on a spouse.

I get the point: I truly do.  We can't predict the future, so we never know what exactly is going to happen in our marriages or our lives in general.  A spouse could leave or die, and then, according to most people, the stay-at-home-mom is screwed.  The premise there is that all stay-at-home-moms are financially dependent on their spouses or partners, and that's just not true.  But my main issue is that we are ALL dependent on someone in our lives no matter what our careers may be.  An attorney needs his clients to pay.  A doctor is dependent on his patients and insurance companies.  A clerk in a store has to have customers coming in to buy things.  A mechanic relies on customers who need things fixed, as does a plumber or an electrician.  A farmer has to constantly worry about the weather: talk about unpredictable!  If I were still teaching, I would be dependent on my students in order to qualify for any kind of raise: I would be under the thumbs of pre-teens and teens to up my financial worth.  Frightening, no?

No, I don't think that choosing to be a stay-at-home-mom makes me more dependent than anyone else on the planet.   It doesn't mean I'm tempting fate or not being true to myself.  I'm also not ignoring the future and all the uncertainty that comes with it: I'm as financially and mentally prepared as I can be for whatever fate decides to throw my way.  I'm living my life the way I want to live it in this moment.  I can't do any more than that because all we have is now, so I'm going to enjoy my now for as long as I have it.

"I wanted a perfect ending.  Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end.  Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." --Gilda Radner

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