Tuesday, December 17, 2013

You Don't Work!

For years I have had to justify the importance of my life, mostly to myself, because the majority of society seems to think that because I do not hold a paying job outside of the home it means that I do not work.

I have internally struggled with this since my daughter has gone back to school.  It does not help that other people on numerous occasions have thought it alright to tell me as such.  Well this is where I justifty my time and then you can make the decision as to whether or not I "work".

Since the day my daughter was born I have been a single parent half of the year.  My husband flies away for work.  For her entire 15 years of life (minus 3 months) I have lived in a town without ANY family to support me or even watch her for an hour so I could just go grocery shopping in peace.  I have been jealous of so many of you over the years.

When my daughter was 4 years old,  we moved out of the area I grew up in to an entirely different province and while my hubby still continued to go to work out of town, I was left to be a single parent alone there without knowing ANYONE.

My daughter started school that fall, and I was the parent volunteering regularly in the classroom helping the kids learn their ABC's, I chaperoned during their field trips so that they didn't wander off, and I drove children home from school so they didn't have to walk in the cold.   I volunteer regularly at the school library, I prepared food at the annual track meets, and I have been the parent driver for the kids when we had to go out of town after school for their sports.  I have fed the kids at those sporting events when they didn't have enough food or money and their parents weren't around, never once asking for reimbursement and I have done all this for 11 years.  We now constantly have kids showing up at our door and helping themselves to food and drinks; knowing it is a safe place to be.

I started driving my daughter out of town twice a week for a couple of years just so she could play volleyball at a higher level. Unfortunately for the past two years my daughter has struggled with a medical condition that no doctor can seem to figure out what is going on and the doctors visits are non-stop and ongoing. Hence, she is no longer able to play competitively.

 I have started volunteering every winter for a local Christmas charity that delivers toys and food to families in need.   This year there are over 70 families. I am the Toy coordinator and have to make sure that each family gets presents, games, winter wear, toiletries, books, etc.  While this doesn't sound like much, it is now December 17th and I have not yet been able to start my Christmas shopping because of the time I have put in because of it. 

I have given my time to numerous town events like working long late night hours making volunteer
lanyards when Sport Center (TSN) and Kraft Canada shot live in our little town and then helped organize the volunteers and  set up the following day for the shoot.

I helped to set up and organize a fundraising
Gala for our local fire department,  and also photographed (alongside my husband) a fundraiser trail ride for Breast Cancer.  My daughter and I have also taken the time to run the cookie station at Christmas in the Park for the kids.

Oh....did I mention?  I have Multiple Sclerosis.   I've had it since my daughter was 11 months old.  By taking a little time for myself to workout I have managed to keep it under control.  However, I never know one day to the next what challenge I may have.  Like today for instance my right hand is numb which makes just regular jobs a little more difficult.  So while I do all of these things, I also don't have a housekeeper, a nanny or a gardener..... Wait...I have Green Drop. Ok cancel that  But.....

 I shovel the driveway, mow the lawn, scrub the toilets, clean the fridge, do the shopping, wash the windows, wash the floors, do the laundry, etc etc etc.  Mostly done while my hubby is away so we can spend quality time together when he is home.

Now while I may not be making a great wage or making any big business deals, please don't forget it is because of people like me that allow schools to run smoother in times of less funding. It is people like me that help feed those that have been forgotten.  It is people like me that are helping to protect and take care of your children.  And the next time you think to yourself, "She can do that.  She has all the time in the world.  She doesn't work"... Just remember, you don't actually have a clue what it is I do.


  1. I don't think it's fair for anyone to make assumptions about anyone's life. Nobody understands how another person spends their life or feels if they don't live it themselves. I work very hard at a highly taxing, non-physical job and some can't understand the exhaustion at the end of the day because I'm not "doing" anything. We each have our limits and we have to know what they are, but we can't impose our limits on other people. You don't need to justify squat :)

    1. I completely understand! My husband is in the same sort of role and I don't question his exhaustion. Nor do I judge the women who prefer to work than stay at home with their children and I also understand that some have absolutely no choice in the matter. I have friends in all roles. But for some reason people don't understand that I don't have all the time in the world. Your days are full no matter if you are getting paid or not. It's just if you choose to do it or not. I could sit on my butt if I chose to, but so could an employed person. Doesn't mean we do. Thanks for your comment! =)