To Work, or Not to Work

Now that I am a single mother I have to think about all kinds of things I never thought of before. The foremost in my mind is money. I can’t help but feel bad about the fact that I let Jordo shoulder that burden alone. I’ll be honest, I read his journals, and money was one of the main themes in them. It was a huge source of stress even though he told me on a daily basis “it’s alright babe, God will take care of us.” He always did but that didn’t alleviate the feeling of panic as bills rolled in and our bank account dwindled.

So now here I sit wondering if it’s worth it to get a job and bring in a little extra cash. I’m not in dire straights, but I could get there very easily if I stop paying attention. Here’s the thing, would I even be bringing in more money? I’d have to find childcare for the kiddo, which would cost money. I don’t want to get into some huge career which would take me away from him for hours and hours a day so should I even put in the effort?

I’m beginning to feel lazy and worthless on top of being tired from being a mom all day. It’s a very strange dichotomy. On one hand I know I work hard all day long and the rest I get when Jack naps or is in bed for the night is well deserved. On the other hand there’s regular society looking at me staying home all day/going to the park/hanging out with other mom friends which is then interpreted as lazy or easy or not really work at all, since I don’t get paid for it. So I have this feeling of uselessness, and a feeling of accomplishment all at the same time.

The feeling of uselessness is new. When Jordo was alive I was home taking of the house and son for him. It was ok because he was out contributing to society and bringing home a paycheck. Now what who do I do it for? For Jack? For myself? I have this thought constantly in my head that I need to be doing something. I need to have a job that’s “real” so when people ask me what I do I can tell them, I’m a barista, I’m a librarian, I write and actually get paid for it.

When I tell people I’m a stay at home mom they look at me blankly, glance quickly at my left hand and upon seeing it bare the blank look quickly turns to confusion before they say “oh, well that’s nice” or something along those lines.

Why does it matter so much what we do for a living? Why isn’t what we do for other people more important? Or what we do for our families, no matter what sort of family we have? Why is our occupation the end all and be all of who we are? Maybe people should talk more about who they are rather than what they do.


3 responses to “To Work, or Not to Work

  1. I love this post! It is so true that our society places too much value on what we “do” for a living, how much money we make, etc. And in the end, it really isn’t all that important. And those people looking down on you for being a stay at home mom are ridiculous! It is the most important job in the world- to raise and care for another human being. It’s hard,it’s tiring, frustrating and we get little, if no, acknowledgement for a job well done. Staci- you are a wonderful and beautiful sister, friend, mother and human being that God created for a purpose.

  2. I work all the time like a crazy person – and yet, your job intimidates the heck out of me! Not only is the job challenging and very important, but also you need to be more socially proactive on top of it while you’ll already exhausted. And it’s 24/7. I look up to you for what you do, Staci – it’s pretty hardcore!

  3. I stumbled upon here after seeing that you wrote about the ESC game experience (via Cassie on FB):)

    I completely agree with the pressure our society places on having a job. I think many stay-at-home parents face the same pressure. I know I do. Your situation in life is unique right now, and I can only imagine the challenges you face on a daily basis. I think of you often and remember to pray that you’ll have what you need in life.

    Just remember that in 3 or 4 years the little man will be in school, and you’ll have a lot more time to pursue your dreams or a job then. I fully admire and appreciate you for being yourself and doing what you think is best for your son.

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