Wednesday, July 12, 2006

GMA - moms make it work

Just been going through the website of good morning America and stumbled over a show that they did on the new mommy wars: working moms vs. stay at home moms - and it shocked me!
There are many women out there who don't have the choice and really need to work, and others who can afford the luxury of staying at home.
But why the heck do we fight about it? We mothers, after all - shouldn't we stick together, one way or the other?

I remembered when I was a young mom and stayed at home the first two years. I loved it and had a great time. When my husband was receiving his educational training and money was short, it was not a big discussion: I went to work part time to ensure that money wasn't so tight anymore.
Part of me enjoyed the working but part of me was also longing for my litlte girl, who was now staying in daycare 2/3 of the day. I felt guilty for not being at home and guilty for not being able to give 100% on the job. And so three years later, I went back to being a stay at home mom "only" - but at least finished my highshool degree in the mornings while my daughter was at school as well!

Now as a divorcée, I don't really have a choice but going to work or at least make sure to get an educational training that will enable me to get more money for what I do in the end.
But I had a choice in what to get educated in and choose a schooling that would allow me to have the same vacations as my daughter and to be home over the weekends.
Interesting enough: when I applied for a student loan, they told me that I could go and work for what I need extra besides the spousal support I am getting since my daughter was now be old enough to stay at home alone in the afternoons.

Yeah, right, I let me 13year old stay home alone, as if!

Looking at her and seeing how much she has improved in school over the last year made me realize that she does indeed need me at home. Just knowing that I am there whenever she needs me, has installed a confidence in her that seemed temporarily lost after my ex moved out. Shortly after his move, her grades dropped, she gained 15 pounds, she became agressive and also cried a lot, was feeling unmotivated most of the time and it just made me sad to look at her and see, what this whole divorce did to her.

If I look at her now, remembering all the afternoons we spend talking, crying and my being there for her, I can honestly say that my staying home at least in the afternoons has done her good. She got into band class and acting class, she's doing great at school and is getting super grades, she talked openly to her dad about how this divorce made her feel and that she sometimes hates him and now they have a better relationship than before, she spends time with friends, is active in church, gosh - she's just a great kid and the fact that she came through this divorce the way she did, well, I partly blame it on my staying home. ;)

And being able to go to school part time, getting good grades again, learning new things and being with people who also want to learn something new, has installed a whole new confidence in myself as well. I now realize that I can cope as a mother as well as a woman out in the work force - before that, I thought that I would probably always stay at home and tend to my families needs, lol.
So I think I can say this little family gets the best of everything: mom is staying home in the afternoons and gets an education in the mornings and feels good about herself and confident, daughter gets her education in the mornings and has mom available in the afternoons if needed but also a good rolemodel in what a woman can achieve if she sets her heart on it!
Somtimes we may just sit in our rooms and read a book or are on the computer, but then one of us walks to the other and says "how about some "phase 10" and some cookies?" or "hey, wanna go for a walk?" or we talk about really important issues, like when she came up to me one afternoon, sat on my bed and told me that her former best friend was now having a 19year old boyfriend and already had sex with him and was smoking behind the school building!
You can not imagine how glad I was to have been home when my daughter had the urge to talk about these things...

Finally, I can only state what I said in the beginning: it's a choice every woman has to make for herself! But it would be best if we women helped each other in making this important decision instead of judging each other and making our lives miserable!

Have a great one and remember to hug your loved ones - Claudia

will I end up like Bridget Jones - before Mr. Darcy?

I have to admit that watching "Bridget Jones's Diary" sometimes leaves me feeling a wee bit sad.
I once thought that I had found my "Mr. Darcy" and now look at me - 34, divorced, back on the market with no education and a teenager at my side. This was so not how I pictured out my life would be when I got married many, many years ago. I thought this one was a keeper, that we'd grow old together...

And looking at the "market" doesn't really install much confidence. Well, that's unless you got no standards whatsoever and don't mind a guy who hits you or the kids, is a ladies man, drinks & smokes, cheats & lies, is unemployed - or worst: all those combined in one person! Yikes!

I know, not all men are like that but hey, those that are not are either already in a steady relationship or gay! Boohoooo... At least most of those awesome guys are! Or they are way out of my league or live in a different country..., now what's a girl to do?

Right now I am focusing on finding me again, finding out what I wanted and still want - before I got so lost in married life and being the wife/homemaker/mom was all I could think about.

But will Mr. Right find me while I am busy finding myself?

A new blog in town...

Hi there and a good day to you all! I'm Claudia, recently divorced, living seperated for over 2 1/2 years now and am mother to a teenage daughter. I am a native German gal and have lived in Hamburg, Germany most of my life.
Right now I am getting my degree as a nursery teacher and enjoy school - well, that's more summer break right now that I enjoy though... ;)
I already have a blog in German, but sometimes my mind wants to write in English as well and since doing both in that one blog would utterly confuse the readers, lol, I have opend this one now!
I invite gals with the same experience (divorce, raising kids in their own, short to little money, getting back to school, getting their life back and all that jazz) to comment on my posts and also write to me with their thoughts and experiences. From what I know, we can only learn and benefit from each other!
Well, that's it for now but there is more to come...