THE DILEMMA

tree and clouds

The phone call was promising. The description and pay intriguing. The hours a bit tricky. I explained to her my situation. My need for flexible hours the weeks the children were with me. She told me she would return my call. I waited all day for an answer but wait is all I had done. The phone call never came. At least not today.

I often wonder how they do it. How working single parents manage to find employment around their children's schedules. How they deal with days off such as holidays and summer vacation. It is difficult, to say the least, as the employment must pay more than the cost of child care. Thus the dilemma.

A job where one can work from home is ideal but not easy to come by. Challenges are present in every opportunity as we try to balance work and family - all the while keeping family at the forefront. Although this job did not work out for me, I have no doubt another one - a better one - will soon make it my way.

The question of a reliable babysitter came up. I have been the children's babysitter and caregiver for their entire lives. I have never once relied on outside help from strangers as trust issues were the reason. I hope I will not have to rely on strangers caring for my children. It is the reason I became a stay-at-home mother in the first place. But circumstances changed and I now find myself unable to stay home with them full time.

The job of a stay-at-home mom or dad is one which is very demanding and which presents many challenges as it combines aspects of work from many fields. The hours are infinite as we are always on call. Vacation and sick days are unheard of. The pay is in the form of hugs and kisses and the occasional thank you. Yet, it is not a job easily translatable onto a resume as it is not viewed as a 'real' job. The truth is it is more real than any job out there as it impacts the lives of many for years to come.

Time is the most precious commodity we are given and the greatest gift we can give anyone. Children might forget the toys we get them throughout the years, but they will never forget the time we took to sit with them, to play with them, or simply to eat a meal together with them as evidenced by the smile I saw on my son's face tonight as I sat to eat with him. His sister had long since finished her dinner and was getting ready for bed. Sage took a bit longer and I took the opportunity to join him.

The job opportunity today did not work out for a reason. I believe there is a reason for everything and there is no need to rush anything. When something is right, we know it. Sacrifices are necessary to a certain degree but not at the expense of never seeing your family. With time, a lost job may be replaced but a lost family can never be replaced.