The life I made. by Sharon K.

This week’s guest blogger is Sharon, a wife of 15 years & mother of 1 daughter.  She works in the medical industry, is involved in several charities and sits on the board of her daughters school.  Financially, her family started close to  rock bottom and are now sitting very comfortably in mid-upper class.  She knows that money doesn’t buy happiness but believes it certainly helps. 

I am writing this, not as a response to the previous guest blog but as a look into the life of a parent who chose to make the opposite sacrifice. 

We had a plan, a very specific plan that involved finishing school, finding careers, buying our dream house and finally bringing a child into our family. We were careful but not careful enough. Still, I cried tears of joy when my doctor gave us the results. I have always wanted to be a mom so even if the news came 10 years too early we were thrilled. 

An amendment to the plan was made.  My husband, who already had 1 degree, would postpone his graduate studies and find work.  I would finish school after the baby arrived.  This was easier said than done.  When our daughter was born, she was perfect in every way and the last thing I wanted to do was leave her with someone that wasn’t me all day while I selfishly pursued higher education.  I made another amendment to the plan. 

One morning at our local playgroup, my daughter having just turned 2, something happened.  I watched as my little girl played happily with the other children and I became envious.  I saw the brand name clothes the other kids were wearing.  I heard the stories the parents and nannies told back and forth about the family trips, the cost of sports for the older children, how great the private school in the next town was.  I wanted to be one of those parents, who could give my kids all of those opportunities.  All of a sudden I didn’t feel so selfish anymore.

My husband was on a career path he enjoyed but the paycheck was not enough to cover school, daycare & all the bills. We gave up our 3 bedroom condo rental and moved into a 1 bedroom basement apartment. I returned to school and my old part-time job. We left our child with a caregiver for 10+ hours a day. We were living paycheck to paycheck, my husband was picking up overtime shifts and our daughter was growing up at the speed of light.  I graduated and immediately took a low level position within my field. The pay was awful, the hours were long but when I looked at my daughter who was handling this all with grace and independence, I felt okay.  She wasn’t being neglected, she wasn’t missing out.  What little time we did have together was amazing and was that much more special. 

Fast forward 10 years. Our daughter is an intelligent, bright, confident young lady. My husband and I are both in careers that make us happy, have flexible hours and lots of time off with our daughter.  Four years after graduation, we purchased our dream home.  We travel twice a year as a family, our savings are on track to cover her entire university education and for the past 3 years, she has been attending that private school. 

Do I regret missing out on big chunks of her early life?  Of course I do.  Then I look at the family we are today and see that the sacrifices we had to make were completely worth it.  In 10 years, my daughter isn’t going to look back on her childhood with memories that her mom wasn’t around much when she was 3.  She is going to remember the amazing times we had as a family, the trips we took, the opportunities she had.


4 thoughts on “The life I made. by Sharon K.

  1. I keep up with Jenn’s blog daily, and love reading every article but usually think to myself afterwards. But this time I couldn’t resist responding. Sharon thank you so much for posting this. The last guest blog made me feel like uhm well brutal because I’m pursuing a career in an industry that is super competitive and requires me to work insane hours, and for free at times but someday I will get there and be happy where I am. I only see my little boy (who’s 20 months) from 6pm-8pm each night at most. And the odd night I continue to teach dance (another passion of mine) and I dont see him at all on those days. I often feel selfish and feel like I demand much more out of my future husband than any other mother does- and luckily he’s always happy to be a proactive father and support my dreams. Our little man spends 10 hrs a day at daycare (which he loves) he’s much further advanced than any other 20 month old I know and I know its because I force him to be so indepedant. You not only put this all into perfect words but reminded me why I’m so “selfish” right now. It will pay off.

  2. I am happy to have inspired you to tell your story. I enjoy reading about the choices we make for our families and the struggles or sacrifices we all overcome to achieve what it is WE want for our family. Everyone has an opinion and everyone will make the best choice for THEIR family. This is what makes all of us good parents though, we analyze OUR individual situation and do what works best for our family situation. I don’t think any one which way is right or wrong, but I think as long as you make your own decisions and don’t do things to please the outside world you will make the best decision for you and your family. Being able to hold your head up high and be confident in your decision is the most important thing though, be proud of the decisions you have made and what it will do for your family, whether it is now or in the future. I don’t think any of us are being selfish if it has long term positive benefits for the whole family, it is just the steps we need to take to get to that perfect family status. I respect each of your decisions as I do our own family decision as I am sure it is best for your families as it is for mine. Have a great day!

  3. I really enjoyed reading that article. I however am unable to go back to school or go to work due to the fact i have 7 children (all under 7) and financially it is not visable for us to do that. I do however dream of going back to school because i do have a career for myself that i wanted to do. At times i have felt Very selfish for even having a dream like that because it takes me outside the home and away from the kids. After reading this in away made me feel better that when the day comes that i can pursue my own dreams of a career path, that everything will probably be okay, they may miss me at home a little but gain alot more opportunities in the long run. So thank you very much for that! 🙂

  4. Thank you for this Sharon.
    There are many days (especially now as my last Mat. Leave is coming to an end) that I worry that the life we have chosen is not the best for our kids. Both my husband and I work F/T, and we do so in order to provide the things we can to our children. Some days I question.. do I go down to P/T or not working and sacrafice those family vacations ad clothes, etc. But reading your article reassures me that we are doing what is right for OUR family.. not to say it’s right for everyone, but it works for us 🙂

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