To Work, Or Not To Work; That Is The Question!

My grandmother was always there for me no matter what. I realized many years later, that a lot of people did not have the luxury of having a grandmother like mine, including my own children. My mother always had to work and rarely had time to visit with her grandchildren, something that’s always saddened her.

I bring all this to your attention because I read a post the other day from a young, newly married lady who was finding criticism against her want to be home with her future children rather than working full time and allowing a stranger to raise them. It dawned on me how much the world has changed and how women are looked down upon for wanting to be home with their children rather than work.

I’m so very fortunate to have been in both positions with my children. There were times when I was able to be home with them, and then there were times when childcare was the only option. I know for a fact that my children appreciated me being there more than being in childcare. I also know that my own daughter is one of the many women who choose to work, but sincerely appreciates that her children’s grandparents are around to care for them rather than them going into a childcare situation.

I’m not saying that childcare is a bad thing. There are many daycare centers where children thrive and parents appreciate the love that the caregivers share with their children. In fact, during the time I did have to work, I was fortunate enough to find a daycare provider who loved my children and still does. What I am saying is how much of a shame it is that people have to criticize other people’s life decisions.

If you want to be a stay-at-home mom, that’s amazing! If you want to be a working mom, that’s amazing too! There are some moms who have no choice other than to work. Being an amazing mom has nothing to do with whether you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home mom. Being an amazing mom is just being present for your children.

It seems that more and more, people find the need to judge others on their life’s decisions; whether it be parenting, education or merely being human!

It’s such an incredible shame that people cannot be supportive of others. As long as their decisions aren’t hurting anyone, nobody else has a right to put someone down or try to make them feel bad for how they wish to parent their children.

The one thing we should all be grateful for are the choices we have. I firmly believe in the concept of free will. If a couple have decided that one of them (mom or dad) should stay home with their future children, then it’s nobody else’s business. Parenting is between the parents, not the entire world.

Additionally, stay-at-home parents actually work harder and longer hours than going to work at a job. They don’t get paid time off, they often have nobody else to care for the children if they are sick and they wear numerous hats including, but not limited to:

  • Teacher
  • Nurse
  • Cook
  • Housekeeper
  • Toy monitor
  • Referee
  • And the list goes on…..

I sincerely pray that someday, people will learn to be more supportive of each other. I pray that we can consciously lift each other up instead of bringing each other down. And, I pray that no matter what, we can learn to love one another, which is how it should be.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Ladies and Gentlemen!

 

Do you understand the definition of these two words? What is a lady? What is a gentleman?

The origin of these terms have changed greatly over the centuries, yet one still remains the same. The word/term “Lady”, in today’s use, is essentially a woman who is “refined, polite and well-spoken” regardless of her social stature.

The same generally goes for the word/term “Gentleman”, which is considered a man who is “a civilized, educated, sensitive, or well-mannered man”.

So, why do I bring this up? Well, it seems that these terms and definitions have more recently been lost in our society. Many of the Generation Xer’s and Millennial’s have no idea what the true meaning of being a lady or gentleman mean or most certainly, how to behave as one.

It’s true that these days the terms often merely describe gender. A lady is simply a woman and a gentleman just a man. Believe me friends; I’ve known many a woman or man who is neither lady nor gentleman. I’m also very sad to say there have been times when I have acted less of a lady myself.

So, let’s break this down, shall we?

        Gentlemen: I recently came across a very helpful website focusing on what it means to be a gentleman, called Real Men, Real Style. It’s run by a former Marine Captain with an MBA, wife and four children, Antonio Centeno. The Gentleman’s Gazette interviewed Mr. Centeno who essentially believes, and I’m paraphrasing, that a gentleman’s appearance sincerely matters.

Think about this for a minute. Why would you believe that a gentleman’s appearance matters so much? Here’s my thoughts; I believe quite simply that when you look good you feel good, therefore you will also be treating other people as good as you feel. This thought goes for ladies as well.

So, what about the ladies?

        Ladies: There is also a website directed at being a lady called, The Elegant Woman owned and operated by Eunice Leong. Mrs. Leong has no specific, special training that I was able to research, but always felt as if she was meant to be and help other women be elegant ladies. I believe she’s doing an amazing job!

          There are many websites and books in print that will help describe how to be a lady or a gentleman in these modern times. I wish more people, especially young people, would take the time to learn the simple art of making other people feel comfortable. In truth, that is all a gentleman or lady is; someone who has the decency and respect for themselves and others in order to purposely provide a comfortable environment.

So, here’s my own thoughts on being a lady or a gentleman regardless of which gender you identify with:

  1. Always be polite.
  2. If you like something someone is wearing or how they’ve styled their hair, etc., be sincere with your compliments.
  3. Be kind to others in spite of their indifference, obtrusiveness, irreverence, hostility, etc. Sometimes people act out in derision due to pain or fear. Being kind will usually help the offending party to relax in your presence and feel relieved or even grateful.
  4. Be modest. Remember the old saying, “Why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free”? Well, that saying is very true. It also shows others how you respect yourself.
  5. Address strangers formally. Those who bite back with, “Don’t call me sir/ma’am” are merely showing their own lack of self-worth and rebelliousness toward authority.
  6. Do not presume that the opposite sex (or even same sex) appreciates forwardness on your part when trying to strike up a friendship/relationship. Always be respectful.
  7. Don’t interrupt.
  8. Say sorry, excuse me, please and thank you.
  9. Be truthful, but not offensive.
  10. Be courteous.
  11. Be punctual.
  12. When in a public or group setting (especially around children) curb the cursing.

I could go on and on, but I assume you get the picture. All of the above are some of the finer points of being a Lady or a Gentleman.

Believe it or not, I actually attended Charm School as a young teenager, but I also learned most of the above references from none other than my parents and grandparents; oh, and Dear Abby of course!

Do I always follow my own advice? Well, I do my best, but I am not perfect. There have been times in my life where I’ve forgotten myself and acted a fool, which only hurt me more than others.

Parents and grandparents; please do all you can to teach your children how to be ladies and gentlemen. It’s never old fashioned to be courteous and it will help your children go so much farther in life.