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Friday, January 28, 2005

I was way off

What was I thinking? I ended a post yesterday with a comment about how a paycheck would be great. I'm not taking that statement back because I doubt many at-home moms would disagree. But I ended with a sense that it's all about money.

If it were really all about money, most of us would already be working with the kids in daycare. I was reading an article in the Wisconsin newspaper called the Appleton Post-Crescent called "Getting back to work: After years of diapers, stay-at-home moms return to workplace."

The article just reminded me something very important: for many women, going back to work "is less about economic necessity and more about finding an individual identity or realizing a dream."

Yes! That's it. How could that have escaped me, even long enough to write and publish that comment? It got me thinking about a post a couple of weeks ago, when Scolding Friend told me to get a life.

I guess so much of the time money makes us feel important. If someone pays us to do something, then it's worthy. If we do it because we want to (ie: writing this blog), then it is somehow not as worthy, even if it gives us a warm and fuzzy feeling. Warm and fuzzy is all good, but somehow it just doesn't have that same validity as a bump in the checking account balance.

It's like when I was in college and struggling with a food obsession. At the end of the day, I would look back and decide if it was a good day/good person or a bad day/bad person based on what went into my mouth. I think this is sort of the same thing. Only money is directly related to self worth, not food.

  • Money = good
  • No money = bad
  • Warm fuzzy feeling = sort of good
  • No money, no fuzzy feeling = really bad

And that last item is where so many women are stuck. Many of the super amazing moms I know liked their jobs and their careers. They would like have those things again, just not full time. If you can figure out this trifecta--a way to get that warm fuzzy feeling, get some money, and get to be home with your kids--you'll be (to quote Dr. Seuss) the "winning-est winner of all." But, hey, if you only can manage two out of three, then you're be all right "98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed."

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