Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Men and Women: Finding the Balance in the Home

So I'm an avid "TODAY SHOW" viewer. That's is how I start every morning. I get up, my remote under my pillow and CLICK turn on the TV. I'm the type of person who wants to know whats going on in my country and around the world. To me its important to be well informed. We talk about the current events in our house, we incorporate our morning talk with our girls with whats happening. A lot of people tell me our girls are very intelligent and mature for their age, well that's probably why...cause we, Marty and I, make sure our girls know current events and the impact they have on the world. So they have a new segment, where Maria Shriver is "investigating" how the role shift in the home is affecting us as families in America. It is called "A WOMAN'S NATION".

I grew up with a WOMAN: my mom, who probably didn't HAVE to work, but did. She is that woman that would not accept the title "HOUSE WIFE". She was a career woman ALL of her life. She started working at the age of 14. One because she wanted to help out her family. My grandparents were immigrants. When they came to the U.S. my mother was about 3 yrs old. My aunt and uncle are much older. They were a poor farming family. What prompted my mom to work at the age of 14, I don't know. She and her best friends just wanted to earn money, I suppose. They tried their hand at picking crops at a local ranch. She said that by noon, they wanted out! They hitched a ride back to town and her best friends dad, a prominent man in our city at that time got upset that they were back home and not working. They were scolded like little pups with their tails between their legs, well that's how my mom tells the story. In two shakes of a lambs tail, that man acquired my mother and her best friend a job as secretaries. That's how my mothers career started. She stayed with that job for a very long time, I know at least until she married my dad. I came along then my brothers, but I do not know what my mom did or if she worked during those times. I do remember being young and seeing my mother come home from work. She always smelled good, that was because she worked at retail stores. My mom was a fashionista, so she surrounded herself with cloths all the time. Not a week went by where my mom didn't come home with brand new cloths for my brothers and I. Its one of the perks in working in retail..I should know, I worked in retail when I was a teen too! When I was in Middle school, my mother had a stint working in the Hospital. However my mother wears her heart on her sleeve. Gee, I wonder where I get it from? She said she couldn't go into another room of a dying old person and basically tell them "Before you die we need to make sure your bills are paid here." So she quit! Not long after she landed herself a job with the school district and there she has been for nearly 20 years.

It is my mothers belief that a woman NEEDS TO WORK. That woman shouldn't settle into domestic duties. She is one of those "I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR!" type people. If she has an opinion she will tell you her opinion, even if you don't want to hear it. My mother expected me to get some POWER HOUSE degree and have some kind of GREAT career. Well at least become a teacher. To her EVERY DEGREE leads to a teaching job. I don't know I guess its this area...either become a teacher, a nurse or a doctor.

Certainly I didn't expect to be a house wife either. Honestly...I was studying to become an elementary teacher. However I knew I wanted a family soon and I wanted to start young. For that I needed a man!!! hahahaha. I was going to college, I was studying to be a teacher. Someone told me "Before you continue become a substitute and make sure you like this career. Its not for everyone." That person must have seen something in me to tell me that. Certainly I took that advice and I'm glad I did. I DIDN'T LIKE THE TEACHING JOB! I hated it. I had two years under my belt of college and now I didn't know what I was going to do with my life. 2 yrs later, I married my husband, then came Bekah and a military life. So I never did finish my degree.

So the topics just to catch up Do you think that its fair across the board when it comes to duties between men and women at home and at work? Like childcare, chores, cooking and stuff like that. Do you think a WOMAN has to work or do you think that she should have a choice?

Most of the women I know...are housewives like me. I certainly didn't choose to be a stay at home mom. When Rebekah was born, there were a lot of reports of day cares not taking care of babies, babies dying, babies having horrible infections from unchanged diapers and those horrific video tapes of babysitters physically abusing babies and toddlers. If you know Marty then you know he is just a tad over protective of his babies. He doesn't trust easy and when he saw that, he said to me "YOU ARE STAYING HOME AND TAKING CARE OF REBEKAH!" It wasn't something that we talked about, he just decided...he just didn't think ANYONE could take care of our kids better than us. I mean certainly I did work here and there. Mostly I volunteered with the Army Family Readiness Groups. However from the get go, it was set that I am to be a mother who raises the kids. I took care of all the household chores. Marty really didn't have to lift a finger, but he did help. He would cook, did the dishes and other things.

I knew families where the woman DID have a career or a job or whatever you want to call it. Some had to; some wanted to. That was the army..the army provided us a more comfortable life style. We are NOT in the army anymore and yes money has been tight. Marty and I have talked about me going back to work. He will tell me "I think you need to find a job" and Ill say "Yes, I know, Ive already put in some applications." Then something happens. One of the girls get sick. If you didn't know I have an asthmatic and a migraine sufferer. Things get forgotten by the girls and yes, even by Marty. Marty then freaks out and he says "Priscilla, you can find a job if you want to but you don't have to" its his way of saying "STAY AT HOME WE NEED YOU!" LOL. See we don't have the luxury my mom had when she was raising my brothers and I. She had her mom to help. My grandma didn't work, she took care of us when my parents were'nt at home. My grandparents picked us up after school. We were never home alone. If we were sick my mom didn't have to worry, grandma would care for us. My mother in law had the same luxury. My husbands granny (on both sides) took care of him and his brother. Yes I call it a luxury. I don't have that. My mom works, my MIL works too. My kids get sick mom gets called, I pick them up. Rebekahs migraines can last a WEEK! Shoot if I had a job the boss would have called me and said "Mrs. Resendez forget about coming back to work" Then there is the dreaded after school time? I mean my elementary school kids have the option of staying in the after school program, but my near teen daughter! Heck just the other day my BIL was here visiting us and we were talking about this very thing. If no one was here at home, who KNOWS what would be going on. I mean I know my daughter...but her friends my take advantage that there is nobody at home and try to come here with their boyfriends...I don't want that and certainly Marty's eyes popped out wide at the idea of that happening. Again he reaffirmed that it is a good idea that I'm at home!

So in the end...Are you a stay at home mom? Do you want to become one? Is it possible or does your husband not 'LET YOU'. Yes I did say that. I say that cause I know several women where the husband will not LET the woman stay at home with the kids. One of those couples...are divorced now, because of that issue. She wanted to raise the kids, not someone else, he said NO GO TO WORK! Now they are divorced. I understand that there are times or certain situations where you NEED two incomes, but if you can do with one, then I think its ok for the woman to raise the kids instead, I mean if that's what she wants. I think there should be some kind of a compromise there. If you want to stay at home, also understand that the lifestyle you are living right now is no longer going to be there with one income. Also understand that your household chores tend to double. Its not only household stuff, but errands. People start to expect that because you are not working you have a lot of time. Normally its true, but honestly, like take me for example, I have to take care of things for 5 other people. My girls are very active girls..cheering, choir, football, so they need school things and activity stuff all the time. I'm running up and down all day long most days. I take them to the doctor, when they get sick. Cook lunch for my husband when he comes home for lunch, and so much more!

So let me know...I know its a long blog...but its very good to talk about it. How is your family dynamics? Moms...what do you expect for you girls if you have daughters. What do you expect from the girls you son marries? For me..I want my girls to get degrees. I want them to have something just in case they need to bring in an income for their families when they start their families. I mean I will certainly be there to help them. If they have careers, Ill be here to take care of my grandchildren. If they want to be SAHM...I want them to be SAHM. However, I want them to have that degree cause like our times right will help them bring in more income if they need it.

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