Google+ Authentic Parenting: Who Is In Control Of Your Life?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Who Is In Control Of Your Life?

As you might know, I am a SAHM, so technically, I don't work (for someone other then my family), but my husband does (for now). Lately, I've been wondering how much of our life is being controlled by the occupation of only one family member. An occupation he has out of nescessity and because right now, we are still searching how we can do it differently.

We chose the expat life to break free of a lot of the contraptions of standard living in Europe (and to discover the world). But have we broken free? Or have we just changed one set of limitaions for another?
Sure, there are a lot of benefits we have in choosing this life, and we probably reached a higher level of freedom, just by opening our eyes to the possibility of something else.
But are we free?

Not at all.

I think we might be even more controlled by work then we would be when we'd be living in Belgium (which would mean we would both work).
They control the schedule we live by during the day, and if my daughter and I are not awoken by my husband's alarm, we sure are by the morning bell, that rings three times, to make sure the workers get to the factory. Same scenario at lunchtime and again in the evening. Since my daughter falls asleep later and later every night, she is still pretty tired in the morning, so she generally sleeps until the second ringing. This causes my husband to arrive late at his job, so he gets complaints, even though half the time he's working lunches and stays in late.
And this happens seven days a week.

Our housing and what we do with it is company controlled, so is our furniture.
Our car and where we can drive it.
When we take our holidays, when we move, where we move, or how long we will be staying; sometimes we don't even know until we get a ticket in our hands.
Even our weekends and evenings are often planned by the company, because there's always some official dinner to attend, or some formal party to be at, and our abse

Since we are living in a compound, our only contacts are people working for the company. And there are things you do not say to your colleagues, things you automatically censor.

Of course there are ways around this, we could buy our ow furniture - but it makes more to move when the time comes. We could rent a house, but then there would be little left on his salary to live on. We could try and make friends outside the company, but that would mean an hour drive to get to them every time we want to see them and we only have a one and a half day weekend...

And there are so many little things...
I don't particularly appreciate the strict distinction between my husband as the breadwinner and me as the stay at home wife.
We moved here to have more time together and more time as a family, but we have very few of either. If we were to benefit from time as a couple, we would feel guilty abouot leaving the little one, and my husband would feel bad because he hardly gets to see her at all.

We are in no way free, and have indeed traded in a set of limitations for another.
I think it is rather difficult to work as an employee and be free, even if only one family member works, and the same goes with school. The entire family regroups around an opposed schedule until paralysis occurs and one cannot see his way out - nor think that they need one.
We intend to brake this paralysis, and find a way where we can be free, where we all can do things at our own pace, at our own schedule. Where we would work as we choose, when we choose, how we choose.

What about you? Are you in control of your life? Or are you being managed?



  1. When we moved up here my husband told me he wouldn't work for a corp. He now works for a guy (the company consists of 3 guys) I can't tell you how much happier we are. Sure he still wakes up to an alarm and for the most part has to be where ever his job is by like 8-8:30ish in the morning but compared to what he was like and what we were like when he worked at an actually corp. we're so much happier. And with this we have the option to just take off as the mood takes us because my hubs "boss" homeschools so he completely understands and does the same thing. So yes we do deal with-in a set of limitations so to speak but they are ones we have chosen to accept. So in the sense of "can we do what we want when we want?" The answer is yes.

    Also I would like to say that he ENJOYS what he does now. That brings a level of happiness to the house when he gets home that wasn't there when he was sweating away in the window factory. He's happy to go to work and help other people fix their houses. It makes him feel good, and he brings that happiness home to us. (Not that he would bring the anger of old jobs home but let's face it, you can tell when something is bothering your loved one, even when they try to hide it.)

  2. I think we're all constrained by 'life'. Even those who have opted out and live the 'good life'. If you are totally self sufficient you would be constrained by the chores that would make your crops grow and keep your livestock alive. If you started your own business, ie small hotel or something, you would still be constrained by the requirements of your clients or guests. Work, whether it is paid or unpaid requires a certain amount of responsibilities and it should be rewarding to keep those responsibilities well. Its an unrealistic dream to chase- a life without constraints; unless you're rich enough to take a very early retirement. But I think then, you'd get bored and find responsibilities and thus constraints, to entertain you. I guess the answer is to find constraints that you like and make you feel good! Good luck with that!!

  3. It's probably never good enough, and evolution has brought us to where we are, therefore we wanted to get out of the tough farm life. It's definitely not an option to go back to that, and needing to have loads of kids to work the fields and tend to all the animals, as there is enough of us already! We probably need to learn to go back to basics a little though, be happy with less, train our bodies a little again to feel less cold, heat, go local for food and social life, eat less, and just be happy that we can eat at all! Little things make one big one, and hopefully one day I too can get to working less, living more... I think the secret is in the mind, the way you look at your life... Enjoy every moment, working or playing, and it will probably all seem a lot less "heavy"... I'll practice! :-)


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