Thursday, August 8, 2013

I don't want to "work"

I don't want to "work". There, I said it. I don't understand the concept of a "career" or the idea that one's work "defines them". I don't want a career, a job, an internship, a position...none of it. Why not? Because I see no reward in it for myself. Anything that takes me away from my child, my husband, or our family just isn't important to me. It seems like a waste of my time and energy. My family, especially my son, needs all of my efforts. He deserves all of my attention, ambition, and time. A career would only mean spending less time with him. It would mean allowing someone else to care for my child the majority of the day. It would mean that often, despite my best efforts, most of my time and energy would be devoted to something other than him. My energy would be spent benefiting someone else. Which isn't to say that helping others and devoting some time to others is a bad thing, because it most certainly is not. But I'm talking about the 40 plus hour work weeks, the late evening meetings, the inevitability that work will be brought into the home, all for the sake of a corporate overlord. No thank you.

When you ask people to define themselves, most adults respond with their job description first. "I'm a doctor" " I'm a teacher" "I'm a writer". Which is great that there are people in the world compelled to do those things and feel defined by their services to society. But I don't think I could ever define myself by these terms. I am my husband's partner and my son's mother. Those are my "jobs" and my career goals center around those jobs.

Unfortunately, society severely undervalues both of these jobs. I cannot make a salary being a supportive partner or raising a thoughtful, intelligent, well-mannered son, even though I am expected to do both of these things. My question is, how does society expect me to raise a child, to the best of my ability, when I am only able to be around my son nights and weekends? If I choose to have a career, that is what I am giving my son...nights and weekends. The rest of the time, I must trust someone else to not only physically care for him, but to teach him love, kindness, honesty and a whole host of other values deemed important by society. And I absolutely do not trust anyone else, except my husband, to devote the time and energy necessary to teaching him these essentials. At least not to the degree and manner in which I believe he should learn. No salary or career advancement is more important that making my son the best person he can be.

So I don't want to work. Not because I'm lazy. Not because I don't need/want the money. Not because I have no set "career path" right now. I don't want to work because it takes me away from what I deem most important, my family. Others my criticize, judge, or mislabel my intentions, but that's ok. As long as I am able, I intend to work for my husband and my son.


***note: I realize not every mother or family has the options or opinions that I do. I am not judging anyone's choice to work, stay home, or any combination of the two. I am just speaking for myself and my circumstances.

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