Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Driving While Impaired

Being that I am now in the “outside-of-the-home” workforce, I’ve been enjoying my morning drives into work. The silence, without the company of my five-year-old sing-songing, and my teen’s angst driven responses, is like manna from heaven. I can actually complete a thought without feeling as if I’m about to have an aneurysm. I forgot how pleasant commute time can be, until yesterday. I made the mistake of turning on the radio and it seems that when my husband cleaned out the car (a gift better than roses in my book), he accidentally changed my usual station to one of the “talk radio” stations. I froze in the driver’s seat; not a good thing to do on an interstate.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger was on the air, and while I had heard of her, I had thankfully never listened to her. A lady had called in and was lamenting going back into the workforce and how it would affect her children. Dr. Laura’s response went to places that someone with doctor before their name should know better than to go. I tell you, I nearly wreaked the mini-van. The tongue lashing that dear ole Doc gave the lady was so out of the realm of reality that I thought for a moment Jersey Shore had come to radio. The gist of the tirade was, according to Dr. Laura, that moms want too much and because of that our children suffer. We would rather throw money at our children and buy them things than be responsible, and be parents. We find our work more fulfilling than raising our children, we’re selfish and we’re trading motherhood for the material world. Well dang. I tuned out, and I think the caller hung up. Here I was in my second week of work and I already had enough guilt to fill a Cathedral. I was worried about the long daycare hours for my son, not being there for my teen, and then Dr. Laura turned the screw one turn tighter.

I can’t answer for others and I won’t pit the stay-at-home-moms against the work-outside-the-home-moms. There are pitfalls to both and neither is easy. I do know I didn’t go back to work for pedicures and martini lunches, just like I didn’t stay home to eat bon-bons and watch daytime TV. There was a part of me that wondered if Dr. Laura could go shopping on my budget with coupons and keep running in the black. The vision of her pumping gas and keeping the mileage down to stay within budget had me laughing. She wouldn’t understand. Her world is too far removed from the reality of a million households. The things I want to buy my kids? Well, braces, glasses, jeans, medical appointments (even with a co-pay they add up), shoes, and, oh yeah, food. Yeppers, I’m really throwing a lot of material things at my kids.

I do agree with Dr. Laura in one respect; I DO want too much. I want my children healthy. I want them to grow up knowing that while I’d rather be with them, there were other things I had to do FOR them. I want them to know that I will always try to be responsible and take care of them, because I love them beyond all reason.  I want them to understand team work and that we all have to sometimes give up something in order to get what we need, and that having what you need is a blessing. If that’s wanting too much, I stand guilty as charged. I don’t think I’ll be taking anymore rides with Dr. Laura. I like my morning drives too much, and she’s just too dangerous for me and the other drivers around me.  

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