Growing up I had a stay-at-home Mom and a Dad who worked two jobs. Mom ran a tight ship with 3 kids and was always busy organising things, entertaining us and extended family and cooking (food was and is a big part of my life). Dad worked a hectic day job as a sales rep for a liquor company. His second job, although linked to his passion for music, also involved the hard slog of being a musician/entertainer at night time and on weekends. Working a full day job and then going to entertain people at night. Weekends, there was no downtime for him as most of the events he provided entertainment for were scheduled over weekends. I remember him popping “Alerts” and “Regmakers”. All to keep him alert and awake in order to meet the demands of two jobs.
When I was younger, I didn’t really envy their jobs. As a young woman, the big thing was about your career and how to get ahead. Being a stay-at-home Mom wasn’t even deemed an option. You had to find a job and build a career – so I didn’t envy being a home-maker at the time. I liked elements of my Dad’s job. Although I think it was his unique creativity that he took to the job which fascinated me more. It didn’t matter what he did, there was always a sense of creative flair to it. From making point-of-sale pricing stars to creative display stands for merchandising purposes. He even built his own display stands from scratch to ensure his products got the best opportunity to attract attention. But, he worked flipping hard. They both did.
As I got older, I was more appreciative and perhaps slightly envious of Mom’s ability to have been a fulltime stay-at-home Mom. Having witnessed how much of a fulltime career that was, I knew that if I ever had kids, I could not keep down two jobs with any kind of excellence in either one. I always said that if I ever had kids, I would only do that if I could also stay at home fulltime. This would of course involve winning the lottery or marrying “well” lol. The kids have not happened so I guess by default, I didn’t need to test my skills at being a stay-at-home Mom. But it’s the one thing I did envy.
As for Dad. I loved the creativity he brought to his job and how he made sure that what he produced was the best that he could produce – to the point of winning incentives and overseas trips. But I didn’t envy how hard he had to work. Which is kind of the sacrifice that had to be made in order for one parent to be the stay-at-home parent. Which I guess is a decision each and every couple has to make with regard to the “hows” of raising their kids. I know some people manage to have both – but personally, I would want to devote the same amount of time my Mother devoted to each of us growing up.