Most parents today don't have the luxury of staying at home to raise the kids. We're living in a double-income society, where both parents have to work to pay for rent, bills and childcare. And I want to ask: Is there a better way? Are we doing it all wrong?
Notes from a New Mom: I am seriously questioning whether living in a tent in Alaska -- i.e., moving to a different state and getting rid of all of my comforts -- would somehow make life better. At this point, I've got a daughter who's being taken care of by someone else all day, I feel guilty to be at work ... and yet, what are my choices? I certainly don't want to give up my career, but there seems to be no balance between the job and home. Isn't there something wrong with the fact that another person is raising my kid? Isn't it crazy that I am paying someone more than half my paycheck to be with my little girl all day? Don't you feel torn and tired of struggling to (barely) make ends meet? And for what? Where is the payoff?
They are doing it differently in other countries. My girlfriend who lives in the Netherlands works part-time, has health insurance from her part-time gig and seems to still take at least two vacations a year. She and her husband live modestly, but they are happy -- and one of them gets to be at home at least part of the week. We, on the other hand, seem to be working our a$ off, and are still barely able to put any money in savings for the future! And as for a vacation ... HA! What a joke!
I know many of you might get angry and tell me I should stay home, I should try to live on less, I should blah blah blah -- but that isn't really my point. My point is, all of us are struggling to make ends meet. Many of us don't see our kids and are making sacrifices -- whether they be giving up our career to be with our kids, living in a place or area we don't like or doing a job that isn't our dream. Most of us, in some capacity, are wondering if there is a better way.
What if we just all lived in a commune, ate from a garden, homeschooled our kids and ran around naked all day? No, not the last part ... but is there a better way? Aren't you frustrated with the struggle?