2/21/13

on being the breadwinner

this is one of those post that Ive debated on writing. Is it too personal? Will I come off sounding ungrateful? If my in-real life friends read it would they take it the wrong way? But then when I saw Becky's link up go live on Monday, I started thinking about what I would write.
You see last year I didnt participate because I honestly couldnt think of anything that I could share that would help empower, motivate, or just relate to other women. I post about the normal everyday mom/wife/woman stuff on a regular basis. But what made me different, or better yet, what made me relate-able.

And then I read a few of the link ups. And it really hit me. All these women, they are sharing the topics that empower them. Topics that they are frightened about. Topics that they wouldnt normally put on display for the whole world to see. And even if I didnt relate on the exact same situation, I at least immediately felt empowered by how they embraced each of their own obstacles. So back to the drawing board I went. I racked my brain for topics that I would normally be too intimated to share. And then it hit me. A topic that I normally dont discuss with others, let alone go full in depth about on paper. But this is who I am

i am
a
friend
wife
mother
blogger
designer
and
THE breadwinner
of our family

Ill start by saying I grew up in a "traditional" home. I say that vaguely because I am honestly not here to put down anyone who didnt, nor who isnt, brought up this way. But for me, it was understood that my dad worked and my mother stayed home. Mom would dress us, feed us, clean us, discipline us, and just overall take care of us on a daily basis. Dad, on the other hand, would leave the house by 5:30am to drive an hour to work, spend all day earning his salary, and then would sometimes make it home for dinner with us around 6:30pm. Was I close to my father? Of course! I was Daddy's lil girl, and still am. But my father not only worked his ass off every day (excuse the french), but he instilled  hard-working morals unto me. 
daddy's little girl

I always just assumed that when I one day had a family, the dynamics would be the same. Except, I knew that I wanted to have a career myself. This, as you can see, caused some contradictions in what I wanted. My sister, she knew what she wanted. She was going to be a stay-at-home mom. Yes, she went to school for nursing, and even got a job at the local hospital upon graduation. But we all knew that the job was merely a placeholder until she got married and had kids (of which happened merely a year after said job). I, on the other hand, studied, hardly ever went out, worked a full time job, plus an internship, all while getting my bachelors in Graphic Design, and started my career, just 3 months after graduation.
graduation 2008 with my parents
I felt successful. I was proud of myself. More than that, my FATHER was proud of me. I had saved money from my high-school job to be able to move out on my own (well with hubs) the summer before college. I rarely asked my parents to borrow money. I was self-sufficient to say the least. And I prided myself on that. I was responsible. I was established. I was, in-fact, a career woman.

Our First Apartment - 2004
Now, let me get back on track a minute and make it clear that I would never marry for money. Nor marry someone solely based on success. They are all admirable details, but the heart wants what the heart wants. And for my heart, it wanted Matt. He's smart, handsome, funny, a great father and husband, but since day one, he has always lacked motivation. He's the type that would rather enjoy every minute of life opposed to worry about all the tiny details. Lets just say, hes completely opposite of me when it comes to that. He dropped out of high school when he was a sophmore and got his highschool diploma before his expected graduation date. But instead of going off to college (which he now regrets), he decided to work for for his uncle laying tile. Now, it sounds bad when I write it like that, but let me make it clear that he wasnt just some "tile-setter." His father (before passing away) had established a very well known business with high-class clients. The jobs they worked on werent just your everyday kitchen tile jobs. They worked in mansions, installing marble ceilings, among the numerous remodeling projects that these millionaires had. And he was making very good money doing it.

However, he was also coming home unhappy everyday because he hated his job. And then with the economy being in the position it is, people stopped spending money on remodeling. And work got real slow. So slow, that hubs decided to try and find work in another field, hell a completely different industry. Which meant he had to start from the bottom. Something we both had talked about and agreed that it would be best for not only him, but for us. Only problem was, starting at the bottom meant a major cut in pay.

We decided it was worth it. We I had saved enough and was making decent money myself, so we could survive until he worked his way up the ladder. I had always felt like I was the breadwinner anyways since hes horrible at saving money. But now, it would be official. Our family would be depending on me to live. 
Pregnant with Matthew 2012
Then we got married, bought a house, had a baby, and here we are now. Im still the bread-winner. Now I have another person depending on me. I wont lie, it scares the hell out of me sometimes. I mean honestly, anything could happen. Hell, since we decided to make this decision my career has gone from being bought out, changed departments, bought out again, and it truly is hard to believe that my job isnt indispensable.

I love my job. I love what I do on a daily basis. But I would be lying  if I said I never thought about being a stay at home mom. It was hard enough going back to work after my maternity leave. And again, Ive always wanted a career. But I just never thought I would be put in a situation where I didnt have the option of staying home. 

I love that my husband comes home from work happy now. I love that he loves what he does. Im grateful that we both have jobs that can contribute to a great life for our son. And I am so glad that I have my sister to watch Matthew while we are both at work. But i do envy those that have the option of being a working-mom or stay-at-home-mom. I dont know, even if I had the option, if I would ever take it. But I would still like to be given the option.

Christmas 2012
Being the bread-winner of a family is alot of stress and takes a very strong and hard-working person. All of which I endure on a daily basis. When bills come around, its me who figures out when and how to pay them. When something happens to one of our cars, its me who decides if we have enough money to fix them. When its dinner time, its me who decides if were staying home or going out, and trust me, i DONT cook, so I would much rather go out. I hate that I get labeled as cheap sometimes by friends and family, but i honestly dont believe Im being cheap. In actuality its me being mindful of our finances and budget.

I know one day the choices we've made will pay off and the stress of being the bread-winner wont over come me. Maybe one day I will have the option of staying home with the kid(s), and I just might take that opportunity. But until then, if I seemed a little stressed out, you may now understand a little bit more whats going on in my little head.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post, Lisa! Hubby & I are hoping to start a family soon, and there is just no realistic way for me to be a stay-at-home mom coming out of the gate. It's nice to hear from other working moms who are making it work (pun intended) for them!

    ReplyDelete

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