It was the lady who worked at the post office. I was picking up 4 days worth of mail, and because I'm a blogger that includes a lot of packages of things for me to review and/or consider mentioning. I apologized for the pile-up, throwing in a comment about how it's hard to make it during office hours with my husband away for basic training and a baby to take care of. I didn't mention the blossoming freelance career or the fact that someone close to me was in the process of a literal mental breakdown. I mean, this is the post office lady and a 5-minute conversation, you know?
“Oh, but you're so lucky to stay home with him.”
I honestly don't even remember what I stammered, because I was so mad. I just excused myself like a Good Introvert and Said Nothing Because I Couldn't Say Anything Nice.
But what I thought was…
No, I'm not “lucky.” My husband and I actually work really, really hard to set up our lives this way.
What I thought was…
Oh!! I'm LUCKY that I haven't seen my husband in 3 months because he's been across the country training for a career to provide for our family??
What I thought was…
I don't really feel “lucky” to stay up until 2 am writing articles at $15 a pop just to make ends meet as we start our family.
Blessed? Yes. Immeasurably blessed with the opportunities to make this work.
But it's not “luck.” It's hard, hard work each and every day to keep this all running.
Because it's important to us to be the ones teaching our kids.
It's more important to us to have that time with the than it is to go on vacations and buy top-dollar clothes and have a brand new vehicle.
It's not luck. It's intention.
And what that looks like practically is:
- Living in a 1 bedroom apartment until our first child was 2 years old.
- Eating rice and beans for extended periods of time.
- Humbled trips to the food bank when unexpected car repairs came up and the budget didn't quite work.
- Never, ever getting credit cards because we KNOW it would send us on a downward spiral.
- Now living in a 107 year-old house because it's what we can afford without going into debt.
- Staying up until 2AM working on our business to prepare a future for our family.
I know we're not alone in this. I know that even you mamas who don't freelance or run a business alongside raising your family work hard. Just the day-to-day laundry and dishes and food are enough work to constitute a full time job.
I know that.
And that's why I can't stand when women tell other women that they're lucky to do this.
Especially older women – because they should know better.
It's not luck. It's hard work.
But it's GLORIOUS work – so – keep on keepin' on, mama.