Thursday, November 15, 2007

And the coward comes out...

You can read her latest comment in the comments section of the previous post... then return here to read my response....

Well Katie, I'm thrilled that you finally had the nerve to come out. After the hateful posts on my deceased son's caringbridge site, the hateful comments here... the de-activation of his angel site. I'm glad you finally had the nerve to tell us who you are after all this time.

I think you make a lot of assumptions about me and my life. I think you take what I say, use it to feel sorry for your choices and turn it into a hateful attack because you aren't happy in your own life.... I'm sorry for that.

Have I once said my children can't go on field trips? Or that I can't pay for thier college? There's a lot you assume. In fact my oldest son's college (Harvard if he wants!) has been paid in full since the day he was born..... You ask me if I think my children are going to care about me being home or them being breastfed when they don't have the money for field trips or something...... actually at the end of the day I do. There have been times when my children't haven't gotten something they wanted, whether that be because of finances or because they simply havent' gotten it and when they are 30 I don't think that not getting a power wheels car when they are 4 is going to matter much. I think they will much better appreciate the values instilled in them by our lifestyle much as I don't regret that I never went to disneyland as a child but I remember having a MOM at home. And you ask about the older children wondering why we keep having kids when money is tight. I wish you could sit down and talk to my older children, you'd be amazed by what you would learn! In response to these 2 questions I have a one for you..... when, in your mind, did money become more important than life?

You say you want to give your child a "better" life. But what is that? I mean, what is the hard and fast definition of a better life? I don't think that answer is the same for everybody. To me, a better life is a life with the security of being cared for by your parents..... the feeling of crawling on moms lap whenever you need a hug. To me, a better life does not involve material extras. Having to wait until 6pm every night to tell your mom about your day does not sound to me like a "better" life. The old addage "you can't take it with you" rings in my mind. On my death bed I want my children to say to me "mom, thank you for being there" and not "mom, thanks for giving me $20 for my 3rd grade field trip".

Do I gloat that I have 6 healthy children? You bet! I am eternally greatful for them and am very proud of thier accomplishments. Those children have been to hell and back with losing their brother. They have held his lifeless body in their hands. They were yanked from school to a strange city, then yanked back in the blink of an eye and they adjusted better than you or I ever would have. When I look at my 6 children I feel pride that brings tears to my eyes.

There are people who read this blog, who I either know personally or who I have spent many years close with online that feel attacked by this blog now and then. The difference between you and them is that they don't hide. They have no problem saying to me "ya know Kat, you were out of line and here's why".... 99% of the time we both come to realize that it wasn't what I said that got them, it was their perception of it or their own personal demons being brought out by my words. I have an inkling it's probably the same for you.

You said in your comment that maybe with a part time job I could buy more and do a little less scrimping and saving. Apparently you missed my point entirely. Lets get this part out of the way...... my children have never gone without food. My chest freezer is currently filled with 1/2 a cow and an entire pig, and generally stays that way. As far as less scrimping and saving. Why would I trade using an entire dryer sheet for being home to see my smiling children come in the door after school? Why on earth would I trade having STUFF for being here and watching them grow? To me, that doesn't even make sense! If there ever came a time when my children were not getting what they needed you can bet your ass I'd be out there filling out a Mcapplication to flip a couple Mcburgers. But to leave my children just so I can have more material things...... in my opinion that's not only stupid, but neglectful. When I gave birth to my children I didn't say "oh, ok God... I'll do this parenting thing full time until the day comes when I feel I need satin bedsheets"

My husband and I made the decisions we made long ago based on both our upbringings. You seem to assume that we know nothing about life, so let me clue you in.

My husband grew up in a family where his mother was primarily home until he went to middle school. His dad, as a business owner traveled a lot and the boys didn't see him much. My husband remembers having the money to buy new things, but wishing he could see his dad. Then when his mom started working he'd come home to an empty house that felt so hollow....

My mom was on welfare most of my childhood. Until I was 12 to be exact. Up until that age I really had no idea that we were poor. We still got toys, at Christmas under the tree was filled so much for just my sister and it took hours to open gifts. Mom figured things out. She was always there when I had a scraped knee or needed help with something. Sometimes we would go out driving on the back country roads and get out to pick flowers or lay down and look at the clouds and figure out what the shapes looked like.
Then when I was 12 she decided to make life "better" for us. She moved us to a new city and started working 1, 2, sometimes 3 jobs. I was left to parent my siblings. In the morning for school I woke up at 5am to get my siblings ready and fed, take my then toddler brother to daycare, my sister to grade school........ usually walking in 10 minutes late for school myself. After school was more of the same. I picked them up, helped with homework...... bathed and fed them and then did my homework. I would cry often in the evenings just wishing there were someone there to help ME with MY homework. To help me with MY problems. I felt completely alone....... and essentially I was. My mom was out working to make us more financially secure but you know I never felt more deprived of what I needed or wanted. Sure we now had money for STUFF, but I needed a parent! Instead I turned to the bottle and spent my teenage years drunk. I got pregnant at 16 and vowed my child would not live the same life.

There have been times in my life where I have had to, or even chosen to work. In fact, a daycare provider saw my daughters first steps, she heard my daughters first word. A few years ago I worked at a portrait studio and one day I got a phone call at work by the guidance counselor at my daughters school. When I got there my daughter told me a story I had hoped I'd never hear....... my 8 year old looked me in the eye and said "mom.... I'm sad because you work now and when I get home from school you aren't there"

The fact of the matter is. Everyone has to sacrifice something and no one can do it all. I currently volunteer at an afterschool program at my kids' school and you know what? Most of those kids go there because it's a way for thier parents to get some free daycare after school. My kids light up when they see me walk into the building because it's time they get to spend with me, these other kids don't have that and it breaks my heart. I get to go on field trips with my kids........ they are so proud. Last year I went on a field trip with my sons class and a little boy said to me "Christian is lucky, my mom can never come because she has to work" Oh how those parents miss out! But what they don't see is that their children are missing out too. Kids are so proud to show thier parents off and to spend that time with them!

You are sadly mistaken to think that I'm hateful because other people who work and have more cash have something I don't. Quite the opposite actually, I feel bad for them because they don't have what I DO! I may not drive a fancy car and I may be paying for college until the day I die but I have this time with my children. I would not for a second trade anything I have for something material and I will gladly take the weeks of money being tight for the honor of being here with my children. As I've said many times, WE are failing our children. A lot of people mistake that saying for something it's not. A lot of people make it personal, it's not. A lot of people think when I say that I am condemning them as bad parents, I'm not. As a society...... the greater WE is failing our own. We put so much pressure on each other to keep up with the Jones' and we have such a skewed perception as to what is the standard when it comes to finances that we don't support each other. We don't allow each other the comfort in knowing that sacrificing extras so our children can have the security of a parent at home is ok, much as you have proven. And I'll say it again, sometimes both parents HAVE to work. I get that... I blogged about the welfare system and finances a month or so ago (maybe more lol time gets away from me)...... it's extremely difficult for even 2 working parents to make ends meet in this country, is that the fault of those parents? No WAY! It's OUR fault as a country, as a society, our government, our me me me me me money money money money mentality. Until things change in this country, which they might never..... children and parents will miss out on their fundamental rights and needs. It's a sad truth.

I feel very fortunate that my husband works hard and earns the money necessary to keep this household running and the bills paid. I realize how blessed I am and if that comes out as gloating then so be it. I am proud of him and HIS sacrifice to do what we feel is right by our children.

Before you think you know my story......... walk a mile in my shoes. Before you take what I say and let your own securities circle in your mind....... ask questions. I have yet to have a person who reads this board and thinks negatively continue to do so once their questions have been answered, it's always the ones who assume......... and assume incorrectly that have the issues.

I'm sorry you take what I say personally. I'm sorry that you have to try to convince yourself that "stuff" is valuable to you because of the sacrifice you make in working. It's a defense mechanism for sure and I'm sorry you have to rely on it. I hope that someday you can truly become secure in your decision, even IF that decision is to work and provide your children with stuff over your company.... if that's what is right in your mind then it is. But by doing the things you've done....... the nasty comments, the de-activaton of Alex's site..... I am assured that you aren't as comfortable in your own heart as I wish you could be. You are angry with me for 2 reasons I suspect...... your insecurity being one and jealousy being another. The things you said to me in your last comment....... I'm quite certain those are things you feel about yourself. It usually works that way.

Rest assured my kids do not miss out on anything that will scar them. They have xbox's, psp's, Nintendo ds's, Wii, a trampoline, a huge massive swingset/jungle gym......... they get to go to school dances, field trips, movies with their friends. They wear brand name clothes and have tv's with cable in their rooms (ack! I know!)........ They will go to college if that's what they choose. Whatever it is you think they do without, please let me know because to ask them, or me, they have too much stuff already!

You, Katie........ are a sad sad case to do the things you've done. Attempting to take away my children's memories of their brother by shutting down his site. Some of them are young enough that those words, the journal entries there are the only way they will get to know his life. You tried to take that away from them because of your own demons. Maybe some counseling would be in order. I hope you find the help that you need to ultimately be happy. I hope that someday you can "gloat" about your children and your life too. You are SO young, you have so much to learn in life. Don't try to have it all figured out so early, take each day as a lesson and learn from it.

Rest assured, I'm happy. I'm thrilled to be living the life I am. It aint always beautiful.......... but it's a beautiful ride.


Stephanie said...

Once again, Kat, BRAVO!!!!

I also am a stay at home mom. I'm not depriving my children of anything. The 14 month old wears Nike shoes, Levi jeans, Ralph Lauren shirts. The almost 16 year old, has a car, wears Hollister, American Eagle, and Aeropostale. She goes to concerts.

Do we go to movies? No, but it is much more comfortable sitting in the recliners watching a movie, than to sit in those chairs at a movie theatre with Lord knows what on them.

We even go out to eat at least twice a week. I know, the horror!!
The teen has an afterschool job. Not because we make her, but because she WANTED to!!!

I made the choice to be a stay at home mom. Why? Because I wanted to be there when my special needs child crawled for the first time. I wanted to be able to take him and pick him up at school. I want to be there for all of his therapy sessions and his doctor appointments.

We have cable on 3 televisions (one of which is a hi-def, LCD, wide screen), internet to 3 computers, a house phone, 3 cell phones. Am I depriving my kids? HELL NO

Angie said...

Holey Moley!! I havent stopped by here in a while. Lots of different opinions here. Interesting to read all of them. I think it is horrible what this "katie" person did to your site Kat. She has a point about a few things. But she definitely did not have the right to take something so significant away from you. My thoughts on the whole thing vary greatly. On one hand I wish I could stay home with my girls, but on the other, I know that they see mommy working hard to make sure they have what they need..

When my parents moved to EC my dad told my mother that she didnt have to work. But she wanted to work. And im glad she did. I had fun in daycare and in no way would I think she is a bad mother for putting my sister and I in daycare. She has a bachelors degree and so does my dad. I will always look up to her in that respect. She worked very hard and now she has a fantastic job with a huge pension and 401k and wont have to worry about retirement. Nor will my sister and I have to worry about taking care of her financially (which would have been a total possibility if she would have been a stay at home mom). So even though my mom was working all day..she was still there after school and made dinner and we had our family time just like any other family.

So this notion that "working mothers" are somewhat neglecting their true responsibilies as mother is a total load of crap in my book. I hope that someday I can have what my mother has, which isnt just money, but courage and a determination to make life better for her and her kids. Thank god for that!!