Ana: I have 3 kids and you don’t have any. I am lucky!
McCartney: So! I have more money and that is how you win in Life.
Ana: Oh. I still want the kids…
I glanced over just to confirm they were playing the iPad version of The Game of Life. You know, the board game where you would have a blue or pink car, collect a spouse, possibly have a set of twins, and make your way through bills, college, and all the way to retirement. Does it bring back any childhood memories? Now, the iPad has taken all of the thinking out of it, my kids LOVE to play it with their precious minutes of electronic time.
“Hmmm,” my mind thinks. On one hand, I get it, it’s a game. I loved playing it as a kid, and I won’t take it away from them. It’s a different way to pretend, and utility bills are so much more fun to pay with play money. Why not?
On the OTHER HAND, what kind of stinking message does it send? Money is more important than kids? It’s better to have money at the end of life so you can win? (I am not saying anything bad about saving for retirement or medical bills or blah blah. I am talking about the overall message: money vs happiness.)
Call me a loser then. Go ahead, it really won’t bother me. If I am going to lose at life because of my rented house, ten-year old van, mailman husband, crazy kids who are so good at driving me nuts, and jobs that I love, then so be it. I wouldn’t trade this life for anything, not even for a rocking body, beach house with a pool boy, and new car.
The happiness that I feel, and the life that we have is more important than having the most money so we can win The Game of Life. I know that when Scott and I work the most, meaning, that is when we have the most money, our family suffers. We spend our time at home with the kids doing chores, and running errands. Generally, our errands consist of buying things to make the chores easier. Instead of being at the park, we are walking up and down the aisles at Target buying things to make our lives easier. The more money we have, the more we spend in order to be able to keep making more money. It’s a terrible cycle and it does not feel good. Yes, by both of us working full-time, we might technically be WINNING at life, but honestly, I feel like a LOSER.
I am learning very quickly that I would rather work less, so when I am home with my kids, I am present with them. I would rather work less so I have time to clean and do the chores of life, so when our family is together we are in the moment, enjoying each other. Instead of mentally figuring out how to accomplish all of the things on the never-ending to do list.
I am learning very quickly that I am a person in need of balance. I need to have a job so I feel like I am contributing to our family’s hopes, dreams, and goals. I need time to exercise, read, write, and photograph. Most of all, I need time to be with my kids. I need to play with them, read with them, and listen to them. I need to have time to ENJOY being their MOM, instead of just a crazy lady who is keeping them alive. The piece I need to figure out is to how to accomplish all of those things each week without feeling over stretched and tired.
I am comforted knowing that the message of the childhood board game didn’t stick with me, and it won’t stick with them. The time I spend with them, as long as it is quality time, will send the bigger message on how to actually win in life.
PS Come back on Thursday, November 15, to sign up for my first giveaway! I have joined in with some amazing mom bloggers to promote an EXTREMELY FUNNY and HONEST Christmas book!