Sunday, October 29, 2006

What brings happiness?

I am a big Oprah fan. I was watching an episode today that I had recorded on my PVR (Canadian TIVO). It was one of the travel shows. Oprah went and visited an AMISH family. It was interesting to hear them talk about the AMISH way of life. The husband and wife, I don't remember their names, both described themselves as 100% content. Their way of life focuses on family and eschews material possessions.

I cannot imagine changing my life to be like theirs. I like electricity and my washing machine. They do use some technology, but they say that they like to choose the technology. They have an ideal life, based on life in the 17th century. I did agree though with the idea that a life spent in pursuit of material possessions is not fufilling. We are so screwed up in that we allow ourselves to be led into the belief that spending our money will make us happy. Of course, our economy would be in big trouble if we all stopped buying the endless crap.

I don't know why we value money instead of family. I know that having a parent staying at home is often not a choice for most people. We work like we do because we need to pay the rent. I am lucky right now that we were able to have a life where I can be a stay-at-home mom and we are still quite comfortable.

Nothing in life is more important than our families and yet we don't value mothering. It is something that is so important, yet we don't give any training in it.

It has taken me a long time to adjust to life without a career. We are trained to live in a pace that does not mesh with a happy home life. For a long time I felt lost without deadlines and project completions. How could I have value without producing something that others could purchase?

I need to get a poster on the wall that I look at each day that reminds me of the things that value. I have two happy kids. A husband that loves me. It is hard to stay focused on the things that matter. It is harder sometimes to figure out what are the things that matter.

Well, time to go nurse my youngest.


Anonymous said...

It's funny. Ten-fifteen years ago I was adament that if I ever had kids, (and at the time it was a big 'if'), I didn't want to be a stay-at-home mom. Ever. I think it was due to my fear of being 'trapped'. What if there was a divorce or my spouse died and I was left seriously struggling financially? Plus s/he with the earned money often seemed to have all the power in the house.

Anyways, my views changed over time, and by the time I met my husband I knew I would want to stay home with any kids if at all possible. I am currently a stay-at-home mom and happy to be one; I think it also means that I have a lot of faith in the man I chose and in our relationship. And, like you, I know that we're lucky we can afford it right now, because as it turns out, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now.

Nice post.

Not on Fire said...

Thanks, I really struggled with giving up my "career" identity, but it has been a good thing.