Sunday, June 21, 2009

Not your typical Father's Day post

From what some people have written and commented, it seems that my life comes off as perfect, and even more so that my husband must just be the greatest and most wonderful guy. But let's face it - he's human.

So for a different kind of Father's Day post, I thought I'd put my husband in the right light by telling you all the negative things you never suspected much less knew about him.

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For starters, he forces me to get up early every morning. Me and all the kids have to be dressed and presentable enough to leave the house by no later than 8 am. He tells me what to wear (and what not to wear). The style he dictates can best be described as "business casual", although on Fridays (go figure) he lets me wear whatever I want.

Since he is into the alarm business, and we have surveillance cameras for safety, he uses those to check on me via the internet throughout the day, making sure I don't have too much "idle time". He is pretty much okay with me taking one 15 minute break every 4 hours, and about 30 minutes for meals. I am not allowed to talk on the phone with friends and relatives unless all my work is done, which never happens, so I have to call them without "getting caught". I am not supposed to use the computer recreationally during the day.

He doesn't like having the kids around much, and often forces me to leave them to be watched by people who I don't know all that well (although they did come with good references). Some days, they are only home for breakfast, dinner, and bedtime. I have to come up with the money to pay the babysitter, and also paying half the bills. It can be so stressful. Worse yet, he has told me that anytime he doens't like the way I act or do things, if I don't obey exactly as I am told, or if I don't get all my work done, he can just leave me and find somebody better.

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Anyone who even knows my husband remotely, knows that NONE OF THE ABOVE IS TRUE, and I hope you read down this far to figure out I was just joking. I especially hope my husband's mom did!


I wrote the above to illustrate the life of today's "liberated women" who have a career rather than staying home to raise children. If all the above statements were true about my husband, everyone would think he was a total jerk. Yet if I had a job that brought with it all the things I mentioned, that would be considered normal by our society.

These women are the ones who must get up early day in, day out, even when they don't feel like it. They are the ones who are told what to wear, and the ones who are watched on CCTV (think anyone in retail, banks, etc). They are told when to eat and when to have a bathroom break. They are forced to pay to surrender their kids to near strangers, and to be raised by government schools. At the end of the day, they have hardly seen their children. Working women are expected to shoulder the burden of the family finances, and all too often are also left with all household-related chores.

For all that, they make hardly any profit by the time they pay for taxes and work-related expenses, and by not having the time to shop for bargains and save in other ways such as cooking from scratch, gardening, etc.

Anytime they mess up, or the boss doesn't like them, or the economy takes a hit, they can be let go without second thought. Those dear co-workers that they traded for raising children will not even remember their names any more in a few years. Their life's work and fulfillment is wrapped up in something that has no eternal value whatsoever.

I am not talking about women who are forced to work due to circumstances outside of their control, such as being left by their husband, or a husband who forces them to work. Nor am I talking about moms who find enjoyable employment from home, or ladies who cannot have children and want some "outside" interaction.

I am talking about women who of their own free will decide to pursue a career rather than motherhood because they find it "liberating" and "fulfilling". Who pop birth control pills like candy, even though it turns them into a walking, talking hormonal zombie just because they dread the thought of being "tied down" with a baby. Sadly, these women have been deceived by our society to think that they are free when they are really just obeying somebody else, in addition to missing out on the countless blissful moments that children bring.

In an attempt to stamp out "sexism", women are expected to act, dress, and perform like - men. If that isn't extremely sexist, I don't know what is. I don't want to be a man any more than I want my husband to be a woman. It is not a question who is "better" or has it "easier". Men and women are different (fundamental, I know), and each have certain strengths to suit the work that God created them to do. My washing machine and my dishwasher are both great at washing, but if I decided to liberate the washer by putting dishes in it instead of laundry, it wouldn't be pretty or functional. The same is true for the roles of men and women.

And just to set the record straight, yes, I do think that my husband is great and wonderful. He is the most generous, friendly, and loving person I have ever met, and a fantastic Dad. Because of his hard work in providing for our family, I am free to raise the children and have fun with them. Is he perfect - no. But he is the next closest thing to it as far as I'm concerned. And I am one happy, blessed, and liberated woman!


33 comments:

  1. I am a 21 year old woman currently at university preparing for a career in medicine. I will be almost 34 years old by the end of my training and will therefore likely never have a huge brood of children. If I ever have kids at all I'll be a working mom - a full-time physician in addition to a full-time mother.

    I look forward to a fulfilling, purpose-filled life, during which I make a real difference and lend my hands to building a better world. I can't wait, it's going to be awesome.

    You are entitled to your opinion, like anyone else, but it is also my opinion that your views are uninformed and inaccurate. I'm glad you find your lifestyle personally enjoyable, but it is neither the only way nor the most ideal way - just one way of many.

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  2. Oh my gosh, this has got to be my favorite post ever! Thank you for telling it like it is!!!!
    Lots of hugs,
    Caroline

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  3. Very good. I first was believing it thinking, well that is good he doesnt want her wasting time on the phone etc...... then I knew it was some kind of joke. Happy Fathers Day Pastor Anderson!!!
    Jessica

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  4. I LOVE it! I totally agree with you. I am saddened that there are many who don't.

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  5. Great post! You had me believing it! I was thinking, "Wow, now that's some structure!" Isn't it wonderful when you realize just how free and liberated we really are when we stay home with our families. Think about when we get sick or just don't feel well. We, as stay at home wives and mothers can lie down and rest for a few minutes as needed. If we did that on a job we would get fired immediately.

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  6. Kell said it much better (and much nicer) than I could have. Good for you if you think you (and only those who do exactly as you would) are doing it right. I happen to think that, once again, you've missed the mark.

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  7. I was never more miserable...more UNequally treated...more off balance with my life then when I did the corporate America thing for 10 years...I bought into the lie that I could make a difference and 'leave my mark' OUTSIDE the home...talk about one of THE biggest shams every perpetrated toward women...now I'm home and have truly 'come home'...for I have more freedom...more equality within my marriage...and a more fulfilling and purposeful life making a REAL difference in this world and leaving my OWN mark then I ever did buying into the lie that feminism sets women free...despite all the so called 'equality' these feminists love to shoot their mouths off about...they have sadly missed the boat in the long run...for it is the feminists who have squashed all of what is left of our god given femininity and who we are as women right out of us...sorry ladies...but men and women ARE equal in their purpose, but different in how to express that purpose...and thank goodness for that!...for it is the blending of our two distinct sexes that makes for the true bonding that so many of these feminists crave but can't figure out why they're so unhappy...believe me, I know...I used to BE a feminist!...I know of one woman who is blindly convinced that men and women are completely equal in every aspect, right down to our physical strength...look around ladies...if we were really equal in every aspect...women would not be getting raped since the beginning of time...we would be able to physically get those men off of us...but we ARE different, right down to our god given physical makeup...we are not meant to be angrogynous...we are meant to be men AND women...distinct in everyway...with our purpose being equal in making a REAL differnce in this world...real men want real women...and real women want real men...it's time for women to start acting like women instead of selling ourselves short to an illsion that doesn't exist except within the minds of feminists out there who think they know what's best for all women.

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  8. Since you don't know what it is to be a working mother, perhaps you should refrain from speculating.

    Nurse Bee

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  9. I am 23 years old, and happily married.

    I am childfree, and intend to stay that way. I don't 'pop pills like candy', because hormonal BC messes with my body - but there are OTHER ways of preventing pregnancy - including having my tubes tied when I'm deemed 'old enough' to decide what I want to do with my body.

    I went to college and have a full-time career - as does my husband. We SHARE our burden of the house. We each pay half the bills. We each do half the house work.

    He has his own hobbies, I have mine.

    I respect your opinion and find it great that you want to be a good mother and wife - that works for you.

    But really, I wish you'd see that some of us really ARE happy working and not having children. There are other walks of life, and just because we don't follow yours it doesn't mean we are unhappy or unfulfilled.

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  10. I look forward to a fulfilling, purpose-filled life, during which I make a real difference and lend my hands to building a better world, by raising children who will have eternal value, who will not be raised by the world or by strangers, or its misconceptions in thinking that you shouldn't do something unless it feels good, that you're only smart if you have a degree, or you only have value if you're rich, or "working", that choices are made with no consequences, or that the definition of a full time mother, is just using your spare time.

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  11. This was very clever. Although personally I suppose I could be described as one of those 'liberated' career women, this made me step back and think. I love your blog, even though I'm pretty much your polar opposite as an atheist college student.

    I admire the way you're bringing up 5 beautiful children with strong morals and a stable family background. I also admire how much time you and your husband (quite rightly) invest in your children, homeschooling them, playing games, no sticking them in front of the TV and feeding them junk food. It's refreshing to know that there are still some families who care about their children, rather than letting them run feral in the streets.
    I look forward to having my own children someday, and raising them at least half as well as you have raised yours.

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  12. Zsuzsanna,
    Great post! I totally agree.

    And BTW, that's a BEAUTIFUL table you got there!

    Blessings,
    Christy

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  13. you crack me up...seriously, dear heart, I am happy you take so much pleasure in your chosen profession.

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  14. What planet do you live on????

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  15. This post is great! At first I almost believed you about your husband... I was thinking "wow, he's controlling!!" and started to feel sorry for you, but then I saw that it was all just a joke. :D That was clever!

    You're so right, even a wife like you that has five kids to take care of, has it better than a woman that has a full-time stressful career. Those women may make a small difference in the world, but you're making a huge difference in the lives of your 5 children. You get paid less and don't get a picture-perfect house and pretty cars, but those things are void of eternal value anyway. I think it's good for us to stop and think of the Judgement Seat of Christ for a minute, and realize that those women who fulfill their Biblical roles of caring for the home and raising godly children will have more rewards to look forward to than those women who spent their lives trying to be "liberated" by some career.

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  16. I love your post. I taught school for many years before I got married, and had twins. God gave me twins so I wouldn't return to work. I had planned on teaching and having a family like the other women in the school, because that is what I thought was expected of me. I am much happier at home caring for my family, and I no longer care what they expect me to do.

    I think more pastors need to teach what is wrong with women working outside the home, but then they would be preaching against those that work in their schools, so I doubt they will do it.

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  17. Very well said. I wish young women like Kell and Victoria had a more open mind. I too was fooled into thinking I could have a demanding career and be a full time mom. Hahahaha. NOT EASY. NOT POSSIBLE. Need to sacrifice a lot, and usually those sacrifices take the form of lowering the quality of your mothering, not your work. It's easy, for example, to buy into "cry it out" methods when you need to go to work the next morning and a parenting book recommended by a friend is telling you that it's ok and that your 5 month old needs to learn to self-soothe! Hahaha. I'm glad I've opened my eyes and am now trying to make changes in my life (have started already).

    To me, suggesting that EVERYONE must homeshool and have n kids is extreme, but I definitely think that women need to take their mothering role MUCH more seriously. Congratulations for telling it like it is.

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  18. True Freedom...to be the woman I was created to be.
    I was quick to learn that just because I can do it, doesn't mean that I should do it. Families suffer when women wrap their arms around their careers and not their husbands and children.
    Praise God for men who will devote themselves to their families by covering income needs with faithfulness to one and in some cases two jobs to enable their wives to nurture, train and be available to their children instead of deferring their responsibilities.
    I appreciate your voice for True Feminism.

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  19. LOL! You had me going about your husband. I totally freaked!

    As Dr. Laura says in her book, "The proper feeding and care of marriage", It's okay for women if they want to have a career, but do it AFTER their kids go to school. Leave AFTER they leave for school each day and come home BEFORE your kids come home. Don't throw your kids in daycare for someone else to raise. AND take care your regular household duties. Of course when my kids are of school age, I'm not gonna go have a career. But Dr. Laura has a point. Feminists also hate that book she wrote. I love it. :)

    I feel sorry for that lady who commented on your site who said she is only 23 and doesn't ever want kids. That she just wants to be a career woman. Let's wait 15-20 years and see how she feels. Most women who buy into the feminist propoganda, are so regretful once they realize it's too late for them and their biological clock is ticking. I know too many women who are so regretful and it's so sad. :(

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  20. "I feel sorry for that lady who commented on your site who said she is only 23 and doesn't ever want kids. That she just wants to be a career woman. Let's wait 15-20 years and see how she feels. Most women who buy into the feminist propoganda, are so regretful once they realize it's too late for them and their biological clock is ticking. I know too many women who are so regretful and it's so sad. :("

    I'm glad you know me so well. You're welcome to have your opinions, to feel the way you do, and to want to raise a family if you so chose to. That's your right, and I would never tell you you are wrong.

    But to assume I want the same thing as you is rather arrogant.

    Just as you have the right to choose what you want to do, so do I. You, and many others here, seem to have a passion for being homemakers and mothers - and that's great! Go do what makes you happy.

    I, and many other working women, have other passions. I'm waiting until I'm 25 to have the Essure procedure done, (for because of people like you, who for some reason seem to think that everyone wants the same as you, won't let me have it done until I'm 25) because children will change the plans I have for my life.

    All of my life I've devoted to what I'm doing - and I do a great job at it. You think it's so awful to make a 'difference' in the world for some reason - its' not. Even if it's a small difference, I'm making one. I have a deep passion for what I do and I would never give it up just to raise children that I don't want in the first place!

    You can call me selfish, a slave, or whatever else you'd like to - but the fact remains that I am HAPPY. My husband is HAPPY. We have a wonderful life together! I'm 23, finished college, bought a house, and I have a wonderful, rewarding career. At 23!

    My husband and I share our burdens happily and we live each day to the fullest.

    I'm fortunate that I'm able to have the things I do, the vehicles we drive, that we can pick up and go swimming with dolphins at a moments notice - and all of that without having to drag children along or hire a baby sitter.

    I don't understand why you people can't see that someone can be perfectly happy in a way that you might not. What works for one person might not work for another.

    No one needs to feel sorry for me, I'm doing what makes me happy - which is the same thing you're doing!

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  21. What makes us happy changes from day to day or year to year. It's not about doing what makes us happy it is more about what is best for our children and the future of our world. Take a look at the times of stay-at-home moms versus now. The way the kids acted, the way they treated their elders, the respect they had for their parents. It was a different time, sure, but now kids are being raised by daycare and public school. If you hold certain beliefs and your daycare teachers hold a different belief, the kids will pick up theirs because they spend more time with them. At school, what are the teachers telling your kids is okay?

    I work, but I also work at home. My kids are being watched, taught, and brought up by me. I had my kids, I will raise them. It is not fair for me to bring a child into the world and say, "okay now that you are here, I have more important things to do, see you at 5" and off mom goes with a peck on the cheek and a pat on the head. Why have kids if you don't want to raise them, spend time with them and be around them? Give them to someone who cannot have a child who desperately wants a child to raise.

    For the women who do not have children, do not want children and only want a career, that is a choice you have. I don't think that is a wrong idea or choice, but it is a choice. If you want children, be prepared to take care of them. If you want a career, have one that you can also take care of your kids, be with your kids or give up the career once you have kids. Choose the most important thing to you, your kids and the future of the world, or YOURSELF!

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  22. "I'm fortunate that...we can pick up and go swimming with dolphins at a moments notice - and all of that without having to drag children along or hire a baby sitter."

    I KNOW! Obnoxious little hindrances those bugger children are! (/end sarcasm).

    "You can call me selfish"...
    Hey, you're the one that made that statement above...is that all life's about? Being able to pack up at a moment's notice and swim with dolphin's? I've been swimming with dolphins and sea lions too. It's not that thrilling, really. Not six months, a year, 2 years later. Not as thrilling as the life growing inside me right now. I'm 8 months pregnant right now and more blessed and fulfilled by this tiny baby I've never met than any of the fun adventurous things I did before.

    Is that really all life's about? Just "doing what make's you happy"? Why is everything about being "happy"? Why is everything about "you"?

    Surely there's more to life than that.

    I can't wait to meet my son next month. I'd rather make a "quality" difference in the life of just one person - my own flesh and blood, the child I carried within me for 9 months and nurtured with my own strength - than "quantity" in the lives of total strangers.

    And no, I'm not a SAHM. Hubby and I weren't planning to have children for a while as I also am pursuing a medical degree...but God had different plans. Now we're quite happily rearranging our life to include our child, including scaling back my schooling. It doesn't all have to be about me. I have discovered a new joy in the idea of being a mother that I never imagined before.

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  23. The person who is perfectly happy being childless so they don't have to worry about finding a sitter, or giving very much of themselves to another living human being etc, I just wonder about the future. I am not sure about siblings or family, but it is lonely when you get older and you have no children and no family to take care of you or to be there for you, or to learn from you.

    What is the point when you live for yourself and have no legacy to pass on. I guess strangers will get those fancy cars when you die and your "things" will be lined up around your grave shedding tears for the years of joy that you brought them? Or maybe friends will be sad for awhile but they have other friends to hang around with. Someone will come replace you at your job and of course your husband will remarry and replace you. Your pets wont even know you are gone if someone feeds them. But children would remember you, remember the lessons you taught them, remember the time you spent with them, holding them, drying their tears. To me life without children might be "fun" in a selfish way (I can do what I want when I want) but life with children is way more fun now and in the long run!

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  24. Anon Working Mom (from above)June 25, 2009 at 5:34 PM

    Victoria, let me start by saying that I do respect your choices, and also that on some levels, your choice of NOT having children is more "honest" and realistic than the choice of having a full time career AND children. I don't mean to antagonize and I write from a position of respect. The fact that you are happy with your choices NOW doesn't mean a thing. No matter how much you think you've achieved already, you still haven't lived your life. At 35, I don't think I have lived mine either :), but I have been through more. I have had (and do have) many of the things you mention like a good career, a high income, and exciting vacations. I'm happy I've had those things when the time was right. Yet I have never done anything more FUN in my life than raising my children. It's important to realize that the word I'm using is not "fullfilling" and not "meaningful", it is FUN. I can assure you that for someone who knows how fun kids are (i.e. all mothers) your swimming with dolphins example actually sounds quite silly. Yes, your preferences are different. We all are different. But so have been the preferences of oh so many women that later regretted their decisions. Frankly, to claim that at 23 you already have everything figured out about your whole life is also arrogant! It's great that you are such a great achiever and you sound like a very smart woman, but being smart is sometimes not the same as being wise. Be wise and don't close doors. Keep your options open.

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  25. Why does everyone assume you can't live a happy, fulfilled life without children?

    My siblings all have children. My husband's siblings have multiple children. My family is HUGE. I am not missing out.

    It's very arrogant to assume that ever human on the planet wants to leave a legacy.

    Do I have everything planned out to the last detail? No.

    I also love the comment that when I die my husband will remarry and forget me. Do all of you believe the same thing about yours? Do you really believe your family will forget all about you, just because you don't have children?

    No, I don't want people standing around at my funeral weeping my loss. I don't want to leave behind motherless children.

    I don't want to be an irresponsible parent; and I don't want to be a parent who regrets their children. (And yes, I know many - my own mother being one of them!) I will not be another divorce statistic (be realistic, nearly all divorces involve children in one way or another).

    I'm referred to as selfish and arrogant a lot - but I find myself to the most honest here. I'm willing to evaluate my life and realize that I do not want a child, and would not be a good environment for one. It is possible to be beneficial to society without having children.

    Are women who can't have children any less women because of it? Are women who adopt children in lieu of having their own failing at being a woman?

    To the commenter Jochebed, swimming with dolphins may not be your cup of tea - but it IS mine. It was a dream I had ever since I first saw a dolphin in a photo - and while it may not have been that thrilling to you? It was one of the most amazing pieces of my life. Because it matters so deeply to me and not you doesn't make it any less special. Because we have different tastes, different dreams - we would all feel differently about the same experience.

    I'm really amazed at how many times I've been told to 'open your mind', yet no one can understand that sometimes having children just isn't someone else's cup of tea. I mean, in the reality of it, what does it matter to any of YOU if someone else chooses not to have children? It does not infringe upon your ability to have children (multiple if you want, knock yourself out!), it doesn't change how you feel about your children or yourself.

    So I'm madly in love with my husband, and he with I - and we don't want any children. It's possible to have long lasting, happy lives without them - many people do!

    Or would it be better if I just go ahead and pop them out, hate them, ignore them, and let them grow up into horrible examples of citizens? I honestly believe that not every woman is cut out to be a mother, and if some women would really think about that; we'd have much less problems in the world.

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  26. Thank you for the lively discussion from both sides. I wish I had time to respond myself in more detail, but it is already so late tonight.

    There were a couple of comments I did want to address.

    Megan, I am glad you found this post interesting in spite of the fact that your life is so different from mine. Believe it or not, I used to be the most liberal, left-wing agnostic until I was 21. I was pretty much exactly opposite of everything I believe and value now. Basically, your typical unbelieving college student. The change occurred after I became a Christian and started basing my beliefs on the Bible rather than what I "felt" was right or wrong. Without God's help and blessing I would not be able to live such a wonderful life.

    Victoria,

    and everyone else that may have felt that they were personally attacked by this post, my point was not to put anyone down for their choices, but rather to get them to look at life in a different light. As in, how liberated is somebody that has a boss telling them what to do, and who has to go to work day in, day out. I wasn't discussing whether it was right or wrong for women to seek outside employment, I was saying "why would anybody want to"?

    Of course, the Bible does say that younger women should "marry, bear children, guide the house". Certainly, it is anybody's choice not to believe the Bible, but it doesn't change the fact that women were created for a different role that our society has intended for them. Aside from the question of right or wrong, true fulfillment and happiness can only be found within God's will, whether or not you are a Christian.

    I understand that not all people are childless out of selfishness. Plus, we all act selfish at times. It is both true and unfortunate that many marriages break up after children enter the picture. Being a parent can bring out the best and the worst in people. But the child was not the one who caused the marital problems, he/she just brought them to the surface.

    Trying to explain the joys of parenthood to a childless person is impossible. It's like trying to explain colors to a blind person. It is not like siblings or nieces and nephews. If you do in fact remain childless, you will miss out on the greatest blessing that life has to offer. Nothing even compares to it remotely. Life experience and the Bible confirm that what I say is true. No matter how happy you are now, it would be nothing compared to the moment when you hold your baby in your arms for the first time.

    Please reconsider having any permanent procedures done. You are too young not to keep your options open.

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  27. I agree with a couple of the statements made here. The first is that you don't know what you really want when you are young. I married very young (at 23) and realize now that many of the plans/goals/desires I had at that age are entirely opposite of what I want now, at the age of 49. So I would never advise anyone to make a permanent decision based on how you feel when you are young and immature.

    Secondly, I do believe that if you are selfish, and acknowledge that fact, you should NOT have children. Motherhood requires a great deal of sacrifice, and if you realize you are "all about me" you will have a miserable existence if you have children demanding your time and money.

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  28. Your Father's Day Post is BRILLANT!! Glad to see Steven has such an intelligent partner. May God bless your family.
    I truly hope Steven is exonerated, and the Border Patrol/Police are found in violation of God given and amended rights!

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  29. My wife and I have decided to switch traditional roles. Nobody forced us to and we didn't force each other. She works all day and I stay home with the kids and do the housework and cooking and such. I also do have a job which I do from home. Do you gave any thoughts on that?

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  30. I respect the women who are mothers who work - and given today's economy, I think you should ease up on them because there may come a time when you might have to join them.

    Many mothers work outside of the home because they cannot afford to lose the second income. I'm not talking about 'pretty cars and big houses', but food, medications, and utility bills.

    I've been taking the pill periodically for 20 years to correct health problems. I have tried the alternatives and the alternatives didn't work for me - so I have been on a low-dose pill. Medication is never to be described as 'candy'.

    I'm a 37 year old woman. I have not been married. So.... do you think that I am less valuable in the sight of God because I'm not married with children at this stage in my life? I certainly don't think so.

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  31. You make a good, and valid point. But, I will say, working is not all that bad. Sometimes we get that job we can't wait to get up for in the morning. I have had quite a few jobs in my life. I have some of the best memories because of my previous and present jobs. I have met amazing people, that I am still friends with. At a previous job I had, I had the privilege to work with my best friend, and that was a blast! I loved coming to work! I still like working! I don't mind getting up in the morning, or coming home late. I get to laugh, share jokes, and stories with the amazing people all day. Whether it be my co-workers or my customers. People are interesting creatures indeed, and I love working with the public. Learning everything I can about people. I've cheered people up who were having a bad day. They never forget it, and neither do I. I always try to make people laugh. I am a very social person and sympathetic person. Work satisfies my need to intermingle with folks. So to me getting up early, getting dressed up, etc. is worth it. But, that's me.

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  32. So you think it's ok if women work if their husbands have left them? What kind of work do you think a women with no work experience or skills can get? Women who leave themselves open to not being qualified in ANYTHING are the ones who end up on the poverty line when their husbands leave.

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Your KINDLY WORDED, constructive comments are welcome, whether or not they express a differing opinion. All others will be deleted without second thought.