But I also grew up in modern America, and therefore I knew from a young age that being a mom, while self-sacrificing and all, was simply not enough. On one of those cutesy kindergarten surveys, I answered the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" with "Electrical engineer"!
If you know me, you know that this is crazy. I mean, I'm all for teaching five-year-olds that they should shoot for the stars and follow their dreams and whatnot, but at no point in time did I have any desire to sit hunched over lightbulbs and motherboards all day (uh, that's what electrical engineers do, right?). Not even when I was five.
But I said it because my dad was an electrical engineer. Even though I really wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, like my mother. Because I was shrewd enough to know that whatever my private desire, I needed to have a more acceptable public platform.
(Electrical engineer, my foot. I should have been a politician!)
And what's the difference between an engineer and a stay-at-home mom?
(Other than the fact that one of those things means nothing to me but "lightbulbs and motherboards.")
An engineer makes money. A stay-at-home mom doesn't make money.
Of course, if I were smart, I would remind myself that being a stay-at-home mom saves money, because we're not paying for daycare, we eat home-cooked meals instead of eating out all the time, and I have time to do our own cleaning. (Uh, theoretically. Don't tell that to my bathroom.) And if I were really spiritually in tune, I would also be at peace knowing that money isn't the most important thing in life, and I am investing my time in my family instead of in worldly goods.
But whenever I try to tell this to my brain, it responds back, Baloney! Money is the MOST IMPORTANT THING! Money is EVERYTHING! If I'm not rolling in cash at the end of every day, I am worth NOTHING! My entire value is measured in MONEY ALONE! MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY!!!
Take a deep breath, brain.
I guess I can be pretty messed up. But what else is new?