14 March, 2008

Giving up Control

Supporting your husband's career is not a new idea. In fact, throughout history, we have been observed how the women stay in the home, raise the children, support their husband and find contentment in that role. Present times, we have seen a change in this behaviour and most women who stay home are married to rich men which allows them the luxury of not having to work.

The women's movement fought for equal rights and women in the workforce, which I believe was a good goal, but it did lead us down a path of a 2 parent work force and a stigma around those women who actually stay home for the raising of their children.

I grew up with no notion of marrying for money, but that I would get my own job and make money on my own to support myself. This was not my upbringing, but just something I figured I would do. I am smart, determined and can do anything, so why would I not gravitate towards making it work on my own? Those who know me, would chuckle at how well I found that elusive career, grant it took me a while to find gainful employment that paid more than the bills, but I found it and was good at what I did.

Children came along and life intervened. After my second child was born, the universe granted my wish to stay home. It tore me up to work while my first born spent almost as much time with the hired help... albeit my sister. I actually sat down one day and calculated the hours he spent with me versus her. I had 5 more hours of time with him than she did.

The days when the sun was out and the air warm, just killed me. I wanted to pack a lunch, the bike and blanket so we could go to the park and play all day. But the phone would ring as another problem arose and I was quickly solving the crisis du jour.

So the Universe took over and made it so that I could stay home with my boys once V was born. I admit I was so relieved to be the primary nurturer. I did all those fun things I wanted to do. It took me about one year to release the stress of the "job" and realize that on Sunday afternoons, I didn't have to get that pit in my stomach that Monday would arrive. I settled into being a stay at home mommy. I loved it and still do.

Now the darnedest thing happened today. For the first time ever, I realized that I have put all my faith, trust and livelihood into one man's abilities... my hubbie. in the process of his job crisis and job search and finally a job offer, it never dawned on me how this affected me. Today it hit me, as we are still waiting, 2 weeks later, for an offer letter and start date. At this point, neither of us are working and there is no income coming in. I am allowing my husband to dictate the location and amount of money we will live on, but supporting his career. Instantly the brick wall hit my face as I realized I have no control of this situation. What if my hubbie isn't that good or has some serious faults that are not worked out? What if this high level position is not for him and he isn't all that? Holy Shit! The pressure started to mount on my head as I heard the voices... "You're the one with the Master's Degree and management experience, why aren't you getting the job?" Inferred by my in-laws.

Visions of the 50's woman came to mind. All of these very capable women, who due to their gender where banned to the home. They did it, trust their husbands, why couldn't I? This is the challenge I now see ahead of me. Trust my hubbie, cheer him on and pray for the best. Once we are settled, I will find my own gainful employment and add to the common good. I just need to be patient. AT least I have this option to do what I want, the 50's woman was challenged much more than I am for those bra burning girls I say... Thank You!

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