My jaw dropped from her text. I couldn’t believe my mom would try for the umpteenth time to coerce me to move back home with my family and return to work full-time. Only this time she really hit a nerve. She wondered why I don’t have long-term goals and what a 40-year-old out of the work force for a decade will gain. First off, I’ve never made a plan to wait to work when the kids are in college. Okay, just kidding they’ll be teens when I’m 40. Second, how can a former full-time stay-at-home-mom to four kids have such harsh words? Third, I’ve got plenty of goals. I’m most upset at the fact that she doesn’t see the actual value I place in staying home in these
early important years with her grand babies.
It boils down to my maternal instinct to be there for this important time of their lives. They’re only young, vulnerable, and passing major developments in these early years once and that means so much more to me than being able to have a home in my name or to be able to afford a vacation or this weird concept of saving money. Living from one paycheck to one paycheck, we do, however, plan for a second income when the kids are older like as early as (pre-) school age. Gym Hottie said it right when he said we need to live poor for three to four years to then live more comfortably the rest of our lives.
I honestly think my mom thinks my college degree will expire and that my field will banish me if I don’t join their workforce within an allotted time frame. I also honestly think she just wants the best for me still. As an immigrant, she places high value on living “the American Dream:” a home, two cars, two kids, and khaki pants for all. In my journey as a parent, I place value differently. Success isn’t artificial but ethereal. Success is measured in helping my toddler work out his emotional meltdown with a time-in. Success is measured in celebrating extra money one month to enjoy a meal not cooked by me. It’s also measured in doing what’s right for us and respecting two-income families, who solely wish they could be at home. It’s the little things that really matter right now and I have huge goals for life and they’re not even mine.
What does success mean for you? Have you reached it?
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