A realization

Traveler and I had a “difference of opinion” back in January.  What I think it boiled down to was he felt that I was overwhelmed with all of the responsibilities I have on my plate – most of which I proudly placed in my life.  I was offended at his suggestion that I give something up.  My job was on that list.

So, let’s take a step back.  Since I have been schooling at home since SmartyPants started kindergarten, I have subscribed to a handful of homeschool Yahoo groups.  I have gleaned so much knowledge from these groups of mostly very seemingly devout Christian women.  I consider myself a Catholic even though I do have some major reservations about a few certain key stances “The Church” has on a whole.  It has always been hard for me to be around people who are openly comfortable with their faith.  I always felt that a person’s faith was private and that you didn’t discuss things like religion and politics with people who didn’t share your beliefs because it was asking for disagreements.  So I joined these Yahoo groups knowing that I was going to hear a lot of God and “having faith” and “following Him”.  I feel that the homeschool population at large (major generalization here) is significantly more right politically than myself.  I have gotten fairly good about glossing over the points where a person’s opinion based on faith and trying to absorb the wealth of knowledge the collective group has with regards to educating at home.  So anyway, last week a post caught my eye.  It was about a lady who’s husband was insisting that she give up homeschooling their kids and send them to public school.  Her heart was aching because she didn’t see how she was going to give up what she felt was an extremely important role in her family.  She also had many outside obligations that she enjoyed and didn’t want to give up those either.  The responses to her were very kind, but essentially said that she had to give up something and which obligations did she feel were more important? Homeschooling or her outside church obligations.

This got me to thinking about why I have been so stubborn in thinking I can do it all – well because dammit I want to be able to say I can do it all.  And can I?  In a word, yes.  Yes, I can.  But can I be well-rested, exercised, more patient than not, and still have a smidge of sanity?  Sometimes.  So do I want to give up schooling my kids at home? I adamantly say NO!

But my realization came when I realize how much I would love to give up my job, but at the same time it scares me to give it up.  It scares me for a couple of reasons.  I like knowing I’m financially contributing to our household.  T makes pretty good money and we could relatively easily live off of his income alone.  But I like the few extra bucks every month that I add to the pot.  It provides some extras that we all get to enjoy – the girls’ activities, my hobbies, T’s hobbies – these are important too.  But, my deeper reason for not wanting to give up my job is a total worst-case scenario, pessimistic outlook.  I’m actually scared to put it on paper.  My job is not something I can just jump in and out of.  I need to keep working to maintain my skills, even if I only work a few hours every day.  If I were to give it up, my biggest fear would be that something would happen to T and I would have to get a different job that wouldn’t be as flexible or conducive to the lifestyle I want to live.  I think it’s a Murphy’s Law kind of thing.  If I quit and solely depend on his income, then…  But if I keep working, then it won’t happen.  We will grow old and crotchedy together.

I know this is an unrealistic way of looking at the situation, but I’ve always considered myself a “pessimistic-optimist”.  I define this as preparing for the worst, because if it happens, then at least I’m prepared and if something better happens, then I will be thrilled with the outcome.  I must be a little superstitious too, because what semi-sane person willing does things “just in case”.  After becoming a parent I have had many of these thoughts.  What would I do without T if something happened to him?  What would I do if something horrible happened to one of the kids?  How would I cope?  Do I honestly believe my quitting my job would lead to my husband’s demise? No, but the feeling is real enough that I don’t want to tempt fate.

So, there, you have been introduced into my warped perception of life.


One response to this post.

  1. I do that sometimes. Usually, though, I go the other way, as in, “If I prepare for the possibility of something happening, then it will. Therefore I’m better off pretending it’s not a possibility at all, and then it will never happen.”

    Glad to know I’m not the only one imagining horrible things happening to my family!

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