Before you read this letter, let me be clear about my angle. Our family has been blessed with resources that most do not have. Our kids are clothed, sheltered, and cared for beyond their basic needs. We are fortunate to have two working cars, take annual vacations, and have (semi) regular date nights. I am so grateful that I do no have to work if I don’t want to and can spend my days taking care of my kids and cooking healthy meals. I know many families can only dream of giving their kids a nice Christmas or taking them to the beach. I can see how some people may misinterpret the meaning of the letter I’ve written, but please know I thank God everyday for my blessings. But as with everything in this life, no family is perfect.
If you haven’t noticed lately, I’m getting a little run down. The weight of raising three kids and being “house manager” is starting to take a toll on my health and me. Yes, I am extremely grateful that I did not have to go back to work after the birth of our third child, but most days I still find myself drowning. I don’t mind cooking dinner every night and taking care of our kids, but when I’m standing on ladders changing light bulbs at 9pm while you’re away I feel like I need a little more help.
While there are many perks to having good income, sometimes I wonder if it’s worth the stress. I wonder if it’s worth the 65+ hours a week you spend away from us. And when I say us, I mean our kids and this life that we dreamed of when we met twelve years ago. According to you, 65+ hours is not that much, but when you’re raising three kids away from family, it sure feels like a lot. I get that many moms raise more kids than I do, but are we really comparing apples to apples? Is it fair to compare ourselves to our parents and the generations before us?
Whenever we talk lately about our life I get a lot of push back about your reasons for choosing this career path. I don’t feel like my voice is heard when I tell you I’m not happy. I kind of feel like this is a one-way street with no U-turns.
I’m tired of hearing, “My hard earned money” every time you read my credit card statement. And let’s be honest; do you really need to read my credit card statements every month like I’m on trial? I understand that I don’t make my own money, but could you just give me a budget instead?
I’m tired of hearing, “This is the job” every time you take work calls on our family vacations.
I’m tired of hearing “I couldn’t get away from this meeting” every time you walk in after I’ve already put the kids down for bed.
I’m tired of hearing “When you’re driving around tomorrow, can you do _____?” or “I don’t have time to go to the bank because my day is packed with meetings.”
I’m tired of hearing, “I have a big day at work tomorrow” when the baby is crying at night and I am the only other adult in the house.
No, I don’t want to hire more babysitters. I don’t want to ask the lady from church if she can watch my kids. I want YOU to help with bedtime and getting ready for school. I want YOU to change the light bulbs and help me rearrange the basement closet. I want YOU to sit out on the patio and have a cup of coffee with me and dream about the rest of our lives together. I want YOU to go shopping with me at Lowe’s for light bulbs and batteries and whatever else people buy there.
So, do you think next time you’re offered a “great opportunity,” we could talk about a new plan? One that is more of a 9 to 5 kind of gig that doesn’t involve traveling and late meetings? One that doesn’t keep you awake on Saturday night because you’re stressed about your crazy week ahead? I think I could handle going back to work if we had a better family unit. I could also handle giving up some luxuries that we have now if it means we get to see YOU more. I could handle having a smaller car if it means I don’t have to answer the question “When is daddy coming home?”
Please don’t misunderstand me; I am incredibly grateful for your ambition and work ethic. I know you work hard because you want to give us a good life. You want to save up for our kids’ college fund and retirement. You mean so well and I know you get a lot of satisfaction out of the work you do. It’s in your blood to push yourself to the limit for others. But hear me when I say that I want more of you and less of your money. We can live with less. Because living with less may actually be MORE. There are no guarantees in life and I want to look back and say we put love first.