It happened again. After all these years, after all of the conversations, the comment was made and it hit me hard. Took the wind out of me, the words "Dad goes to work". Dismissing my contributions, struck me right in the heart.
This comment was made by my 15 yrs. old daughter in the middle of a weekend when I was able to provide fun experiences that were new to us, and on track to add funds to the till. "Dad goes to work". She followed with the words "Oh, I'm kidding! Just kidding. You know what I mean, he has an office. And, well, and..." Yes. Yes, I know.
Rob does provide financially for the whole family. Without his income we would be in deep doo doo. I know. I am thankful everyday for how hard my husband works. He has never made me feel uncomfortable with my financial contribution. But my child, my daughter, who is old enough to know better and who I have been having conversations with for years about the parts we play in this family, shot me down.
I am her first guide. I want to be a woman she looks up to, and with this comment, I felt dismissed, I felt low, I felt ridiculous.
My husband, Rob, sat on the couch, shaking his head saying, "You're not getting help from me to get out of this one." I replied like I have in years past when my kids complain about helping with housework, I mentioned the clean clothes that she gets to wear, the food cooked, the blah blah blah. "I know, I know" she says.
She didn't want to upset me and she didn't intend to hurt my feelings with her comment. This is true. But her comment fed into my guilt about not bringing home the money like my husband does - realizing that his job does not make him happy in the least, and how I wish I could generate his scale of income so he could quit - all of that, all of those thoughts swirl inside me and I feel like crap.
"Dad goes to work". Yes he does. And I do too.
My work is not in a proper office, I work from home. My office is the dining room table, a picture window, the smell of dirty dishes in the sink and my laptop. I don't have a salary, I work on commission. If I'm going to get paid I have to look for work that will pay me. Every. Single. Day. And I do this while taking care of my family, the house, our pets. CFO, CEO, chauffeur and cook (not my strong suit, but I'm getting better at it!). My husband and I decided on this arrangement for our family.
It just breaks my heart that at age 15 my daughter doesn't think I work. After the years of explaining what I do, (and she reaps the benefits of what I do!) that she still doesn't get it. How am I missing the mark here? Have you had this experience? What did you do? How did you handle it?
*To read more Tuesday Truth:
~ "It's Getting Hot In Here"
~ "Talked Myself Into It"