I am finding lately that we are a minority. I don't mean our ethnicity, I just mean our lifestyle choices. It is a fact I have always known, but have come head to head with quite frequently recently.
First of all we are Christian. A lot of our friends are not. Some are but do not practice. Other are even atheist or something close to it. Some are just in a limbo of sorts. We love them no matter how different our beliefs are.
Next, we are choosing to live a traditional lifestyle where I stay home and raise the kids, take care of the home and even home school. This is the area we meet the most debate in. I have truly felt a lack of respect as an individual as of late. In fact, one person went so far as to say, "You're just a stay at home mom." Others believe I have a schedule I can just drop whenever they need me to help them. Some wonder if I do anything all day. "Man, I wish I could just stay home all day and play." Yes, cause that is exactly what I do.
I came from somewhere, you know. I went to college and became a teacher. I taught for several years before taking what was my college job as an aerial acrobat and turning it into a career change. I got into stunts and performing live at Disney as Jane in the Tarzan Rocks show. I loved what I did. I got to work on some film and tv and travel a bit. I even got paid a good amount of money! It was my job before and after having kids and I could still do it today if I wanted, but my choice right now is to raise my kids. I have written some children's books that were once published, though not anymore, and have completed a novel. That life is a has-been life. A life I was proud of, but it is not me now. Now my husband and I defend ourselves to everyone. And I mean everyone. I am just now getting back to writing thanks to my blog. It has sparked me a little, but in order to fit it into my schedule, I have had to cut out working out for a while. Otherwise there is not time for school, planning and children. It is scheduled in.
It is my desire that anyone who questions the lifestyle of a stay at home mom or dad or a home school parent, at the very least, observes them for a while. Take a few steps in their shoes before you assume they are playing coloring and finger painting all day and are around to be at everyone else's disposal. Understand that it takes strength and endurance like I never knew even as an acrobat. It takes patience and kindness while being able to discipline and manage. I quite literally manage our household!
We take hits on a regular basis for living a little more frugally than most people we know. We have been doing this for a few years and are seeing the reward now. When I tell someone I shop at several stores so I can keep my groceries down they tell me they don't have time. That must mean I have lots of it right? No, it is just my choice to make THAT part of my JOB. We also choose not to eat out. That is why I cook EVERY night and make sure we have left overs. I plan our meals with schedules in mind. Remember that schedule I mentioned? Yes. I have a schedule. It probably doesn't look like yours but that doesn't make it easy. We also drive frugally. We combine trips and when we leave the house we route exactly where we are going so we do not have to do any unnecessary driving. I am a deal seeker. We choose to live like this so later in our lives we can do as we please.
I was somebody pretty cool. I loved telling people what I used to do. So why now, does it feel like something I need to defend when the outcome of what I am doing will be so much greater than anything I ever did in my past? Why is going against our culture for our family so difficult for others to accept? Are we hurting anyone?
I just thought I'd ask.