“What a Waste!”

I was with some of my friends and in the course of the conversation , somebody mentioned a friend of ours who suddenly had to stop working. Here’s how the conversation went:

Friend1: Is she working right now?
Me: No. She’s staying home with her 3 year old. (she has another daughter who’s in school)
Friend2: She said she enroled her 3 year old at the daycare center and her daughter didn’t like it there.
Friend1: Really? What a waste!
Me: Well, that’s fine as it’s a temporary thing. (They were going to move so it wouldn’t make sense. But she didn’t want to divulge details)
Friend2: Yes, it’s fine by her. It’s her choice.
Friend1: Such a shame because she’s a nurse.
But Friend1 kept on saying that it’s such a shame that this friend of hers is staying at home and not working. She kept saying that it’s such a waste. I was deeply affected by this because hello! Number one, I am not working either. So does that make me a waste too? Does she feel that I am wasting my time staying at home with my kids? Doesn’t she understand that there are sacrifices parents do for their children? That it’s a temporary thing and one day she’s going back to work again? I was reeling from shock because I did not expect that this friend of ours had the audacity to say those things in front of me. I was the only SAHM present and I was too dumbfounded to say anything. I let it slide but told my husband about it that night.
Me: Babe, did you know that Friend1 thought that it’s such a shame that our friend is staying at home with her kids right now? She kept saying “what a waste” as if that’s a forever thing.
TheFisherman: Well, sometimes other people do not see beyond the here and now.

That was food for thought. And I had to agree. There are people who thinks that just because I’m a SAHM I have all the time in the world. The reactions usually is of :
a) envy – wow, how lucky you are! you get to stay at home all day and shop and do lots of fun things!
b) disgust – well, can’t you work part time? your kids are tweens now, they can handle themselves.
c) demeaning – oh really? I guess not all of us wants a career and earn money
I do not know how to reply every time because it’s none of their business. I do not feel the need to explain myself and enumerating all the reasons and stating all the pros and cons. Nor do I feel like going through the financial report of our household. But there are times when I am so tempted to step up to my soapbox and really tell them everything. But that’s a waste of my time and energy. 

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Published in: on February 18, 2008 at 10:26 am  Comments (12)  

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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Would trade to being a SAHM especially now that I am homeschooling. I guess I was just fortunate to have the best of both worlds, have the children with me while I work. Sooner or later, these will change but I am glad I am able to spend time with them while they are young. Kahit nakakapagod.

    Dont mind them, sayang ang energy mo.

  2. Hi Mary. I understand how you feel. I’m also a SAHM and I feel bad when people seem to connote staying at home as a waste of degree.

    Try not to let it bother you too much. As long as you know the valuable things you do at home and for your family, nothing can take that away from you.

  3. sometimes people can be so insensitive of our feelings, can’t they? you know what Mary, you did the right thing by not stooping down their level…a waste of energy and time!

  4. Hi Julie,
    Thanks. Kaya nga I didn’t say anything even though I badly wanted to wring her neck. LOL
    You’re very fortunate that you have the best of both worlds. How blessed you are. 😉

  5. Rach,
    I can totally relate. They think just because we have a degree that our brains/minds have gone to waste. They do not realize all the work involved in raising kids and staying home. They think we have it easy. How wrong they are!
    I try not to let it bother me that much.

  6. Thanks Belle! I think I handled it okay, if I may say so myself. It left a bad taste in my mouth though and I told FH about it too. Oh well, to each his own.

  7. Hi Greymom,

    It really irks me when people think we are wasting our time when we choose to be with our children instead of pursuing a career. Yes, we did give up that money we should have been making during these years. But I have no regrets that I spent my time watching my little girl grow into an assertive little person.

    Yes, we may not have that “play money” to buy designer purses and luxury cars to parade around when we go out but so what? That’s why I stay clear of people who have narrow minds.

  8. Hear hear Tina! Very well said! 😉

  9. I’m an SAHM, too. Here where I live (southeastern USA), being an SAHM is the most coveted title ever. In fact, people frown when they find out you have kids AND work. Funny, but every mom in this planet dreams of being an SAHM no matter how they say it or what they say. Especially here in the USA where two-income families are the norm. So to be an SAHM is every mom’s dream. Don’t you agree?

  10. Hi Chloe,
    To stay at home with the kids and not miss a single moment where they develop into such awesome human beings is something I look forward to every day. Sure there are times when you just want to wring their necks but in the end, they’re worth all the sacrifice.

  11. Your friend obviously have different priorities and values in life–money is important to her, not raising kids. Sad, because that’s exactly why there is so much crime and troubles in the world now. Parents are just not spending enough time with their kids.

    I understand how you feel. I get the same reaction from people when they find out what I do. But let’s stick it out, being SAHM is hard (if they only know that it’s the most tiring job) but it’s the most fulfilling too! They’re the ones missing out really.

  12. Hi IA,
    I agree, different people have different priorities. It’s sad how othe people aren’t as open minded about these things. We are raising wholesome, good human beings and that’s a challenging and honorable thing.
    Thanks for echoing my sentiments too. 😉


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