Sometime ago, a distant relative of mine came to visit me and while talking asked “didn’t you get bored when you stayed back home?” And before I could reply she said ” what a waste of talent”. She is not the only one to have judged me this way and it bothers me every time someone does this.
Few weeks ago kids and I were talking about our vacation this year as this is the last year Yaya will be able to take time off from school. Next two years she will be busy with grade 11 and 12 and then she thinks she wouldn’t be able to join us for the family holidays because she will be busy working part time and studying full time ! And as the kids are two years apart, when Yaya finishes grade 12, my son will finish grade 10 and he too won’t be able to take time off from school, this will repeat itself with baby when my son finishes high school. So technically we really won’t have any major family vacations the next 6 years. But there are still places that we are yet to visit. And that brought us to talk about how nice it would be, if we won the lottery and could buy round the world ticket for all of us !
Yaya asked me “Mom, if you won a great deal of money, what is the first thing you will do?”
And I replied ” I will quit my job and stay at home”
My kids didn’t ask me Why?( because they probably know their mother is the happiest when she is still in her pyjamas with a cup of Kusmi tea in one hand and a book in the other hand) But I did think of my relative who said what a waste of time it was when I stayed home to raise my children.
I felt I was judged with a yardstick that measured my success ( or lack of) with another person. It is true that some of my classmates are now world renowned and I could have been like them. But surely the only yardstick that ought to be used here is what makes me happy?
I am happy when I can read all the book I want to. I am happy when I can smell the bread being baked in the oven. I am happy when I don’t miss any of my children’s concerts. I am happy when I don’t have to think what should I wear today? And I really would be happy if I could learn Latin and read all the Latin texts. I would love to have chance to live among the Australian aboriginal people and learn about their lifestyle especially their traditional medicines..My list of things that I love to do are not the same as anyone else because I am me and I have my likes and dislikes.
At the end of the day, the lady who is at the helm of FB or the one at Pepsi and I are only eligible for the 6 feet of ground. So why is that my life is not as relevant as the others just because I don’t want to travel the same path as them? Why must my life be not worth just as much? Why was it considered a waste because I chose to do what I want to do?
Just for the record, I don’t really remember all that I did when my kids were little. It was all a blur. But I do know this, I was tired and exhausted most of the time, but not bored and certainly it wasn’t a waste of my talent.