Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Second-Hand Life

My shop (AKA my garage)
Sometimes friends give me a hard time because I post all the fun things I do with my boys, and living in San Diego with so much available, I can see how it might get tiring hearing about the beach and the zoo and the perfect weather all the time.  And of course, my perfect, beautiful boys....  I was accused recently by someone who had known me less than a week and had heard second-hand about something I had written on my adoption blog (you can the story here in the post below this one), that I had a "poor me attitude".  So, it is with some caution that I write this.  But please know that for every picture I post of myself with my two boys doing something fun, there is a picture like the one at the right here of the work that I do later that night after they have gone to bed.  The life we have here does come at a sacrifice, and I choose to make that sacrifice because I choose to stay at home with my kids and spend that precious time with them.  I do reupholstery and sewing work so we can make ends meet in this overpriced community we live in.  Don't feel sorry for me, and don't roll your eyes because you think I want you to feel sorry for me.  We love life by the beach.  We love the perfect 75 degree weather year round.  We love the fresh air, the produce, the culture, the sunshine, the active lifestyle and the amazing friends that this little spot of paradise brings into our lives every day.  I don't post these pictures all the time because I want to make the sacrifice--it is worth it to me.  I don't want a full-time job where I will miss out on this precious bonding time I have with these boys.  I waited too long for them to let someone else raise them.  I want them to remember a beautiful childhood with their mom.  I want them to remember how we swam, boogie boarded, biked, explored and laughed our way through some very happy days.  We don't have a lot of new things.  We get hand-me-downs and I thrift store shop, and mostly, we do without a lot of the things other people have.  Our newest car is a 2005.  I am often tired from the physical labor of wrestling a sofa into some new fabric.  I am tired from rising at 6 a.m. (because heaven forbid these boys sleep in!) and caring for them for ten to twelve hours until my husband gets home, and then staying up six more hours to finish a project.  I have an amazing husband who steps in as often as he can, and I don't know what I would do without that.  I am tired, but I am very happy.  Someday, my kids will move on and I won't see them nearly as much, and I will sleep then. And maybe I'll buy a brand new wardrobe and finally treat myself to a spa day, luxuries we don't have right now.  I'm not whining about it.  I'm just stating a fact.

Please know that I do not criticize women who choose to work and have a nanny or some other arrangement, and I am well aware that there are many moms that would love to stay at home, but they don't have a choice at all.  My friend taught me years ago that the true meaning of feminism, which often gets a bad rap, is having the freedom to choose--and one of those choices is whether to work outside the home or to say home with my children.  I make special care not to judge my fellow mothers who choose differently than I did. They have their reasons and it's none of my business.  I do work at a paying job.  It's not a very fun or creative or fulfilling one, but I can do it on my own time and I can earn the extra money we need to make it each month so it suits its purpose right now.  And for that, I am grateful.  So, if you find yourself jealous of my charmed life here in the land of eternal sunshine, just remember you probably wouldn't be as jealous of the hours I spend ripping out thousands of staples!  And I'm sure you aren't jealous of the cars we drive or the clothes we wear.  That said, I wouldn't do it if it wasn't absolutely worth it.

However, should you want to write us in to your will, don't think I wouldn't accept....


  1. I love that saying, "The days are long but the years are short." Children, if properly raised, don't care about things they care about time. We thought our kids might grow up and remember their childhoods as chaotic with a few brilliant moments sprinkled in here and there. But they remember it as brilliant with a few days of chaos now and then. We are so thankful to have raised our family in San Diego. Life is good, especially by the sea.

  2. What a beautiful post, Susan. I was wondering how you've been doing so I stopped by your blog, so happy to hear you're all well!