Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Work vs. Family: A Wifey Wednesday Post
I enjoy following Shelia at ...to Love, Honor and Vacuum Every Wednesday she posts a Wifey Wednesday entry and asks for input. Today is the first day I have chosen to respond here.
Today's topic really hit home with me. Not because I live with the type of marriage she describes, but because NOT living that way is the basis for our entire life.
You see my father almost worked himself to death. I can't remember a time in my childhood when he wasn't working. He missed out on choir concerts, flag corps competitions, 4-H activities, and just about everything else. While my mother drank and "did the things she did" my father worked. While I learned to manage a household like a full grown woman, my father worked. While I suffered the blows both physically and mentally, my father worked. I would love to imagine that he didn't know, but the truth was he did. I do have good memories of times with my father. He's not a monster, he just did things the way he thought he should.
When my father became ill a few years ago the company that he worked for, that he sacrificed his family for, fired him. He lost his pension, his health insurance, my parent's home, and most of their possessions.
This is the reason Keith and I live the way we do. We live in a 80's model singlewide (until the time comes to remodel and move into the farmhouse), we drive used vehicles, I shop for clothes at thrift shops and on e-Bay, I grow my own food, cut coupons, and cost cut every way I can. Everything we own is paid for. All of these things we do so that my husband does not spend his entire life working and missing out on his family. (and so that I can stay at home with our son) Do I sometimes wish I had the material possessions that others around me do? Yes I do, but then I take a long hard look at my life. I wouldn't trade it for any other.
I understand that not everyone can live as we do and some men have to work long hours that take them away from their families even if they do not want to. For us though, we have made the conscious decision to live a lifestyle that is focused more on family and less on material things. We are striving to "get back to the basics."