Just needing to vent a little. Yesterday I made a post on my facebook about how upset I am that our district has approved full day kindergarten. This does not affect my son, but it does my daughter. So a friend of mine commented on it and we had this little converation in the comments under my post. I had said something along the lines of how we're robbing our kids of their childhood, forcing them to do too much too fast and before we know it they will have to be out in the "real world" and so we need to let them be kids now. So okay, some people are going to agree with me, and others disagree and that's fine. The problem occured when my uncle said that if both kids were in school then I could experience the "real world."
And I was like "Oh no he didn't!" Since when does raising kids exclude people from the real world? Just because I don't have a 9-5 or whatever does NOT mean that I don't know what it's like in the world. I've had jobs before, I had my first real job at 14. And I also could (and did) make the arguement that having kids is a job within itself, which it is. A job with no monetary compensation, no sick days, and I work 12-14 hours a day, and then when I'm "off duty" (kids are in bed) I'm still on call. They might get sick in the middle of the night, or have a nightmare, or have an accident and I need to be there. You parents can appreciate that. Just because I don't have a regular job does not mean I don't work.
I kind of brushed it off and said something like "Lol, I have 2 kids, it doesn't get more 'real' than that". Then he responds again saying that unless you're independently wealthy the real world includes work. At which point I launched into my little speech I just wrote in the previous paragraph. I also included a vague overview of what my life has been like for the past 6 years as a reminder. Which would be why his comments really stung. Because he's family. Because he KNOWS what I've gone through recently, how hard and shitty things have been. And he still said that. I called my father (my uncle I'm talking about is his brother) in tears today over what he said.
My uncle made it sound like I've lived this sugar coated life and I have no idea how hard things are. And that is just not true. Now I know that other people out there have had it way harder than I, but I have still gone through a lot of shit that no one should ever have to deal with. I was proud of myself for handling it as well as I did. Because what I really wanted to say was "Hey Uncle, why don't you put down the beer and then you TOO can experience the 'real world'". I also wanted to say "Oh, I don't know what it's like? Okay, well I have gotten shut off notices from the electric company because my kids' dad decided his paychecks would be better spent at the liquor store instead of on bills. Is THAT real enough for you? Or how about the time he spent 135 days in jail and I visited him twice a week, wrote letters every day, and applied everywhere I could to try and make some money while he was gone only to have no one hire me, is THAT real enough for you? The list can go on Uncle if you don't think I've qualified for the real world yet." And the list does indeed go on. I have a whole arsenal of things that I think qualify as real life and not this portrait like life he seems to think I have even though he knows most of the stuff I have already said.
Anyway so that's why I'm so upset. I tried so hard not to let it bother me, but it does. I called my dad after he had written the first comment and he said he would talk to my uncle about it. He totally got why I was upset about it. And so did my mom once I told her. I went on with my day, took the kids to the park, had dinner at my mom's. I came home, but my daughter to bed, played Scrabble Soup again with my son, then hopped on the computer only to see the 2nd comment. And I got upset all over again. Obviously my dad hasn't talked to him yet, but that's okay. I'm a big girl, I don't need my parents to do battle for me anymore even though I know they will. Because they're my parents, and as I said, they have the toughest "real world" job of them all.