Scott knows his worth to our family. Currently, his job is our main income, provides us with health insurance, and is the current contributor to our retirement. He, in return, knows that he is important to our family and acts that way. His job currently keeps him away from the family about 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. The kids miss him, but any time they whine, he tells them, “I have to work so we can have our house, clothes, food, gas, and so you can do fun things with Mommy this summer.” Because he knows his importance to our family, he acts important, and we treat him as an important person. He knows his value and so do the kids and I.
Throughout the past few years, I feel like I have lost piece of myself and my worth. When we moved to Nebraska, I was tired. Tired of running like a mad-woman getting the kids here and there. Tired of being in charge of the kids alone every Saturday, while trying to get the house cleaned, all of errands done, and laundry caught up. Just tired of running an unsuccessful household where no one was happy. I know people reading this think, millions of families do it everyday, yes they do. However, remember, we have a special needs child, we had just moved 1600 miles, had a severe accident, and there were many other factors. I was going to stay home for a year, to help the kids adjust, to settle the house, to find a routine, to figure out our new life. Of course, one year has turned into two….
Anyway, lately, I feel completely lost at home. No one listens to me, the kids fight, talk back… Of course there are consequences and discipline, but the cycle continues and I feel even more lost in my head. I could be talking at dinner, and if someone in the family has something more important to say, they start talking. More and more, I have stopped talking. Why bother?? It is a terrible feeling: to feel like you don’t matter, but what is even worse is that I am the one who sent the family this message.
True, I might not bring a paycheck (today). I might not have the job that makes us the most money (ever). However, my presence in this world is important. I do stuff and I do it everyday. I might not be saving orphans in Asia or Mexico (yet), but I matter. I feed my family nutritious food. I teach my kids right from wrong and how to manage their money. I give them opportunities to think for themselves and suffer the consequences if they make the ‘wrong’ choice. I give my kids time to read and enjoy books everyday, and it is up to them whether they do with a smile or a frown. I drive the family to work, play, and anywhere they need to be. I budget, save, make trips possible, when it should be impossible on a one income budget. I coupon, look for deals, and sell things we don’t need any more. I clean our house, when I hate to do it and am teaching my kids how to do it too. I exercise for my body, to keep it healthy; even when I am tired, I exercise. I schedule play dates, social activities, and keep our schedule free so we can just be. I know the dates of school functions, and make sure we do enough at school to be involved parents, without being over-bearing. I try to keep our family balanced, and I am not doing it perfectly all of the time (or even most of the time), but I do matter.
While my worth is not tied up in our retirement or income at the moment, my existence is important for our family. Yes, my husband has said it the past, but it is time that I treat myself like I matter. Maybe just maybe, once I realize my worth, the rest of the family will too. If they don’t, there’s nothing I can do about that. The kids might always favor Scott, and I am sure it will always hurt. However, when they look in their memories, they will have to remember that I was there cheering loudly for them at the ballgame or taking them to the birthday party, because who else would have done those things?
I can’t control how others view me, or treat me, I can control how I view and treat myself. I am important, I have dreams, goals, I am a stay at home mom.