What is a career? In American society today it is something that consumes the majority of a person’s active, productive time. Whether we admit it or not, it is probably at the top of our priority list. If you sat down and really thought about it, you’d probably be very surprised at how much time and energy you give to your career or job. On the days you work, how much of your time and energy is left for quality, productive, meaningful, enjoyable time with your family? If you’re like most people your job is demanding and draining. Not to mention the big chunk of time it takes from each day.
What is wrong with childrearing being a career? Are we such an “advanced” society that a career or job is more important than our children? Why is it said that a college degree is wasted if you’re not going to use it and just stay at home? Aren’t your children worth all the knowledge, culture, and skills that you’ve acquired through a college education? What’s wrong with dedicating 100% of your college education to raising your children, and not what’s left over after you’ve worked a long, hard day? And what is the connotation of “stay at home?” Chances are that when you decided to have children you both were working. If the mother or father goes back to work after a child is born why don’t they say, “A stay at work parent?” Is the phrase “stay at home” meant to diminish or devalue the importance of a parent being committed more to their child(ren) and home than to a career or job? “Stay” is something you say to your dog. It sounds like a meaningless, mindless, boring task. Do you just “stay” at your workplace?
Most adults think they have to work harder and harder at their career/job, do more, learn more, and put in more hours. Why don’t they have this same enthusiasm, zeal, and sense of importance for their families and children? Most people say they have this commitment because they want more for their children. Is this the real reason? What is more important? Having an expensive house, car, and material things, or spending time with your children, enjoying them and doing all the very essential parenting tasks? What is truly important and what do you really have to have? Do you have to have a 150,000-dollar home or will a 100,000-dollar home suffice? Is the time, energy, and commitment that you are taking from your children worth giving them material things that anybody with money could buy them? A child has only one mother and father. Any person with money can buy them an expensive house, expensive clothes, expensive cars, or all kinds of material things. Being mom or dad is an incredible, incomparable privilege that money can’t buy. Furthermore, being a parent who can provide all those things does not, in and of itself, make you a good parent. You can’t just dole out love, values, trust, involvement, role modeling, nurturing, like you do money or material things. So when a parent strives to give those material things, is it really such a big deal? Did you really do something important? Is it really worth it?
When you’re retired and all is said and done would you rather be able to say that you had a great career or that you raised great children? Which are you investing most of your time into? You get out what you put in. If you’re burned out at the end of the workday, what are your kids getting? And if over the years your kids have been getting the left overs, then what have you really given them?