Lucky

 

The bagger chit-chatted with my youngest. “What’s your name? . . . Oh, that’s beautiful! . . . Do you have any brothers or sisters? . . . One of each, huh? Are they in school? . . . And, so, I bet you go to daycare maybe? Some days?”

 

At this point, G. looked a little puzzled. I’m not actually sure that she knows the word “daycare”, truth be told. My older kids certainly know what daycare is, but G. might not grasp the concept yet.

 

I just smiled, “She actually stays with me all day.” And left it at that.

 

“Oh,” the bagger said. And the cashier piped up, “She’s lucky.”

 

Nods all around.

 

I smiled again. “So am I.”

 

We finished the transaction, talking about other little things, like the fact that all five of us in that small register space had been born within a week of one another. Five Geminis!

 

When I was done, I started to push the cart away and the young woman who had assisted the bagger followed me.

 

Thank you,” she said.

 

“For what?”

 

“For knowing that you’re lucky.”

 

Turns out that she, though she seemed almost impossibly young to 36-year-old me, had a one-year-old baby girl. And she’s doing everything she can, in every way she knows how, to take care of that little one.

 

I’ve griped before about the phrase, “oh, you’re so LUCKY you get to stay home.” I still don’t really like it. Mostly, I don’t like that it too often comes from women who simply have different priorities or choices from me. Sure, hanging in your jammies and playing “this little piggy” might sound like the charmed life, but too many of these women in my life aren’t as delighted at the idea of having a super-strict budget and never drinking Starbucks.

 

There are trade-offs, my friends.

 

But sometimes, it’s a little more clear to me.

 

And, so, I asked her. “Do you have a picture of your baby girl? Maybe on your phone? I’d love to see her.”

 

I oohed and ahhed appropriately, then said my goodbyes. And I’ve had a chance to think about it, since.

 

I am lucky.

 

But I’m not lucky because I “get” to stay home.

 

No, I’m lucky because I have that option. I’m lucky because my husband and I are on the same page when it comes to priorities. I’m lucky because I have people in my life who view what I do as something valuable.

 

I’m lucky.

 

And thankful.

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9 comments to Lucky

  • Jennie

    I’m not lucky. It was a conscientious choice made by both me and my husband. I am blessed, that’s for sure, but not so lucky.

    My days are hard, long and I get no monetary compensation for being screamed at, cried at, thrown up on, woken up at ungodly hours, and argued with.

    The most blessed part of my day is when my kids come running up to me yelling MOMMY because I’m the most important person in their world at that moment. That usually makes up for the everything else.

  • I can’t even count how many people lately have been telling me that my 4 year old should be in daycare at least twice a week so he can learn to socialize before he starts pre-K in the fall. I’m seething just thinking about it. My 4 year old is confident, trusting, secure and eager to learn. I know that I am exactly what my child needs right now…he needs to be told a million times a day that I love him, and hugged frequently. School, socializing, etc can wait a few months! I am blessed to be at home with him, to see him grow up.

  • Amanda

    I’ve heard it quite often too. Yes I do feel lucky but like you there are things we give up to make it happen. We haven’t had cable in 5 years, we only have one car, don’t go out much and do a lot of home cooking. However, as frustrated and burnt out as I may get between homeschooling a 5 year old and chasing a 16 month old when I leave the house alone for an hour and come back to mommy! Mommy! We missed you. It makes it totally worth it.

  • I’m so totally blessed to be in this position as well. & you know what… I take it for granted all too often. Where I live it’s so common that moms stay at home with their kids. In fact, it’s so rare that people expect you to stay home. But I am so thankful I can! I need to remember this through all the sleepless nights ;).

  • Lori

    I completely agree. I love that I get to stay home and definitely feel lucky and blessed. its a choice that my husband and I both feel is important to us. I may not have the latest and greatest, but I do have the greatest kids. Last weekend with a sick baby who didn’t want to sleep at all, I did not feel lucky, but I can’t imagine leaving my kids to go to work. Now if I could figure out how to stop them from growing, cause that’s happening way too fast.

  • Renata

    I consider myself “lucky” too… I love being able to “get” to live both worlds. I work part time, from 7:30 to 1:30 pm, and in the mornings my kids go to school. They are only 2 and 3, but here in Brazil it is pretty common to have kids in school when maternity leave is over (women have 4 to 6 months to be with their babies, plus 30 days of vacation). I get some rest for my mind at work, and I am eager to get home and spend the day with them from 2pm on. I don’t have a choice, I have to work, but I can’t imagine working all day long and seeing my kids only at night. it must be really hard!

  • Laraba

    We too make many choices that allow me to stay home mostly full time (I do work one day a week and a sitter comes to our home while I work.) However, I am aware that for all that we say NO to some thing (like cable, and smartphones, and fancy vacations) there are indeed many moms who really don’t have a choice but to work full time. They are single moms or their husbands are unemployed or their husbands have a very low income or their is major debt etc, etc. I don’t like the word “lucky” but yes, I am SO VERY blessed to be home with my darlings. I’m reading a book right now called Hold On To Your Kids by Neufeld and Mate, which talks about how many children in our culture are not attached well to their parents but are meeting relatinal needs almost exclusively through peer friendships. The authors are clear that working parents can have deep bonds to their kids, but it seems clear to me that me being home makes it EASIER to stay close to the children. And I am very grateful. I remember when I was working full time (before we had kids) that our evenings were often busy just with paying bills, grocery shopping, cleaning, and so on. I am able to get many of those things done during the day and that helps family life a great deal in that we can spend more time just hanging out with one another. Yes, I am blessed.

  • “I’m lucky because my husband and I are on the same page when it comes to priorities. I’m lucky because I have people in my life who view what I do as something valuable.” <——— THIS.

  • Maria Charlton

    I am lucky because my husband and I both believe the most important thing is for me to be there for our two sons, one is 10 years and one is (eeeekkk)soon to be 4 and starting school in September, I was one of these women who believed after the birth of my first son that I should go back to work until I realised that I was no longer the most important person in my life – yes before being a mother and often since I am selfish and grumpy but I hadn’t anticipated the power my son held over me, that of love, I hated feeling ripped in two whenever I left him with his grandmother to go to work. It has taken sacrifices to decide that we can manage on one income but in hindsight these aren’t sacrifices, these are blessings, a second car is not necessary to my life, nor is the extra income ever worth more then being at home with my babies even on the days when I am wearing a shirt covered in sick…… It took a leap of faith both physically and spiritually but I am soooo very lucky :-)

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