I don’t have a choice, really?

Often I hear this statement and I just shake my head in disagreement.  We always have a choice, whether we like the options or not, that is besides the point, we as humans have the ability to choose how we live our lives.

There is one area of life that drives me crazy when I hear this statement made.  It is in reference to raising our children.

tiffani goff at home

Tabitha at 3 years old with her buddy Barbie going for a ride in her wagon

As a Catholic who believes in gay marriage and equal rights for all, I also believe that if you have a child, YOU should actually raise your own child.  Why is that women who have children seem concerned with who will care for their baby before he or she is even born?  Why isn’t it assumed they should care for their own newborn?  Why has our society made it weird or crazy to raise your own babies?  I hear excuses like:

  • We need the money.
  • I need to have adult conversation.
  • I would go stir crazy stuck in the house all day.
  • I want my children to see me as a strong independent woman capable of succeeding in her career.

 

tiffani goff at home

How could I leave this smile all day?

 

Believe me I don’t argue with them when I hear their silly excuses because I was once one of them.  And then I learned my lesson.

I took Tabitha with me everywhere I went for the first 6 months of her life.  She never left my arms unless my sister or hubby were holding her, but then our lives changed.  We moved to Southern California and I had to get a job.  We were desperately poor.  We lived in an apartment in Westside Costa Mesa, drove 2 old cars, didn’t have a savings account for emergencies, had a bunch of debt and all over furniture was handed down from our parents.  We even had an avocado green refrigerator his Mom gave us from the 70’s.  I mean, you know that killed me.

As we both succeeded in our jobs and our financial life stabilized we dreamed of having more financial freedom.  We didn’t think about me trying to stay at home with Tabitha, we focused on moving into a better neighborhood, buying a house some day, sending her to private school, getting newer cars, building our savings, getting better clothes and you know where I am going with this.

At some point we lost focus of what was really important, Family. When I first had to work my Mom watched Tabitha but at some point I didn’t NEED to work that much, nor did I need to enroll in law school when she was 3 years old, while still working full time.  I thought it was important to provide her with every opportunity in life, which required money, especially in Orange County.  I convinced myself she would be proud of her Mom being an attorney.  Guess what?  A 3 year old child could care less if her Mom is an attorney.

What she cares about is whether her Mom will take her to the park that day, will they go for a walk around the mall in her stroller, will she get her favorite sandwich for lunch, will they play ball in the backyard and who will win at Candyland.

Even though her grandmother was doing an amazing job caring for her, it still wasn’t me, her Mom.  At some point during my third year of law school I figured this out.  Working full time and becoming a lawyer wasn’t making anyone happy, especially Lou and Tabitha.  I came home that day and told Lou I wanted to work less and spend more time at home.  His response:  Thank God!  He wanted ultimately wanted to be the provider and have us be more of family not just people passing in the night, cohabiting in the same house.

So from that point on we made small changes in our future family plans up until the moment Tiara was born.  I had just graduated from law school, was waiting for my bar results and writing law motions from home for my Dad.  When we found I hadn’t passed the bar and Tiara wasn’t well, I knew I didn’t have a choice. 

I had to stay home and care for her and Tabitha.  In my mind, I had no choice.  Of course I could have left them both with a nanny and finished what I started, ” to become a lawyer”, but I didn’t.  I just couldn’t leave them again.

tiffani goff at home

And Trinity who has always had me home with her except when I am with Tiara in the hospital.

The reason I am telling you this is because I just wish someone else besides my Mom and Dr. Laura had told me what I was missing by not caring for Tabitha myself.  I wish someone would have told me sooner that I was making a mistake and giving up something I could never take back.

So if you struggle with this same issue, remember you do have a choice!

Have a wonderful day!

xoxo tiffani

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Comments

  1. 1

    says

    I totally did similar with Emma at first and went back to work when she wasn’t even 8 weeks old. I lost my position during my second pregnancy and seriously can’t express how happy I am I did now, because I got to indeed stay home with my girls and have this special time with them that I will also never get back. You aid it perfectly Tiffani! Hugs :) xoxo!
    Janine Huldie recently posted…We Just Love Them – Then I Became A Mother Book ReviewMy Profile

    • 2

      says

      I guess you are pretty grateful you lost your position during the second pregnancy even though you were probably really bummed at the time. Life has a way of working itself out when you pay attention to the signs given to you. xoxo

  2. 3

    Judy says

    For me I respect any decision a Mom makes whether it is to stay at home or go back to work. I was a working single Mom(my husband left when the kids were 5 and 9) and thankfully I made an excellent salalry that allowed my kids and I to remain in our home and I was able to send them both to college with no loans! And yes I have 2 great kids who are grown now and married! We are very close. Would I have liked to stay at home – maybe but since I was the major bread winner of the family even when my husband was with us I too had no choice but to work. SO every situation is different and no one should feel guilty about the decision they make. What is right for one person isn’t always right for another. Life requires us to make hard choices. Just my 10 cents worth!

    • 4

      says

      I don’t respect all Mom’s decisions, but I certainly respect yours! Your children are very lucky to have a Mother that was able to provide such a good life for them. I am sure it was really hard and there were times you didn’t want to be the bread winner but we have to do what is best for our children and in your case, it was for you to work full time. You did the right thing for your family, but not every does what is best for their family and those are the people I am speaking to. xoxo

      • 5

        Judy says

        True Tiffany but as I always told my kids its hard to say what you would do if you were walking in someone else’s shoes!! Therefore, I will offer advice and my opinion but will never criticize anyone for their decision

  3. 6

    says

    First, love that flower headband.:))) My roommate in law school continued to practice after the birth of her daughter. She finally quit when she noticed that her little girl was more excited to see the Nannie come in the morning than to see her mother coming home at the end of the day. I think we all need to analyze — what do we really need in life. More stuff? hug and love.
    jamie@southmainmuse recently posted…“I cut the dickens out of my finger,” said Jamie. My dad. And wounds.My Profile

  4. 7

    Lisa says

    We still struggled financially and still do but it makes little difference. we still love, laugh and live. Time is something you can’t get back and after losing my 25 year old son in a car accident, I am so thankful that I was there for picnics, ball games and even rainy day games with my kids:)

    • 8

      says

      I think you home is like mine. People are always coming and going and you are always there to greet them and make them a meal. We are the hub and we love it!

  5. 9

    sloan says

    You are so right. Isn’t it terrible when people get themselves into a million dollar home just to have a Newport Beach address and then have to call the bank to renegotiate the terms of their loans because they can’t afford it? Or the families who are maxed out on their credit cards because living in a fancy address was so important to them?

    And thank you for not being judgmental to working moms by choice; the women who are pediatricians and teachers to our children.

    • 10

      says

      I can’t judge other people’s decisions, but I tell people what I have learned so when it comes time to make a decision for themselves on this issue, they have heard both sides.

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