34 answers

"Life Style Choices"

I have a very close friend that has an unusual life style --her hubby is a cartoonist that works from home, and she does some late night phone work for money on the side. My life is very different from this. My hubby works long hours, travels, etc. My friend used public funds to pay for her last pregnancy, I paid my midwife in cash. I'm 10 years old than this friend; yet, we share many things in common (similiar music, approaches towards unschooling our kids, etc.).......

Lately, though, I've been a bit bothered by something, and what it comes down to is her constant rephrase that it's about "life style choices." Her hubby does the night shift with their baby. My hubby is willing to do one feeding (if we can get baby to take a bottle of my milk), but my hubby needs to be on at work. He has a very stressful job, and is currently interviewing for two different Ex positions within his company. Her hubby works from home, and they can tag team parenting responsibility. I'm alone most of the time, though I do have aging parents (close to 80) willing to take the kids while I grocery shop, etc.

In any case, the other day I was showing this friend my new kitchen organizers. She said, "oh I have those." She seems to have EVERYTHING. And yesterday she mentioned a very expensive two video baby monitor she got from her parents for xmas. Last week she mentioned an expensive vacuum she received, and I know that her mom buys her kids all of their clothes.

I mentioned this to hubby last night and he said, "I could live their life style if someone else supported me financially, but I've been on my own financially for 20 years." This isn't to say my parents aren't generous with us. My mom likes to buy my kids one expensive outfit per season, and she also gives us money towards their college fund, etc. My parents are great, but it took me two years to come up with enough money to put organizers throughout my house!

So, my question is this: is it a real life style choice to have two parents at home all the time if someone else is supporting you financially? This same friend was given her house. There is a small mortgage on it, but still, her hubby's father gave it to them.

What is your take on this?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

THANK YOU JO! I'm not jealous of their laziness! They are lazy! I don't want their life! Hell no! I love my life. And I am proud that hubby and I are building a secure foundation for ourselves and our children! I find it hillarious that my hubby makes good money, yet, I'm frugal and my poor, on state aid friend isn't. I'm spoiled in my own ways, but she takes being spoiled to a new level, and she's poor! I couldn't believe it when I coudln't get her to coupon with me!

In any case, I would go nuts not busting my ass everyday and working as hard as I do. I need to be busy. Some people need to have lots of couch and TV time, and girls nights out, while others of us thrive on other things. While I love to curl up with a good book, my time is precious to me, and when I waste it, I like to waste it on things like mamapedia, where I can be alone with thoughts.

Featured Answers

Well, we all have lifestyle choices and then there are lifestyle options. Some people have more options than others. C'est la vie!

14 moms found this helpful

My take is that a year from now, you'll read this and see how jealous you are of them. And how tired and exhausted you are.

Not to say the jealousy isn't justified. We all know someone who can "one up" us on everything, whether they brag or not, and its highly annoying.

11 moms found this helpful

I think when people say lifestyle choices they are referring to giving something up to have a parent at home all the time. So I can see it being irritating for them to act like they have made sacrifices when it is everyone else footing the bill or making the sacrifice.

The jealous comments are interesting because I don't see jealousy. I just see irritation over someone acting like they have it so hard when they have pretty much the same as you. I mean sorry, but how could anyone be jealous of someone being lazy? That would mean that given a choice you would want to be lazy and most people that work wouldn't make that choice because they enjoy earning money and supporting themselves but maybe I am projecting.

9 moms found this helpful

More Answers

My take on this is that no good ever comes from comparing ourselves or our situations with others.

18 moms found this helpful

Its just different.

Ive come to believe that 90% of life is luck & timing. The other 10% boils down to hard work and inclination.

Luck
Timing
Hard work
Inclination

All get packaged together

Her husband is an artist. That can be feast or famine. It IS 100% lifestyle choice, because he could work 60 hours a week at a design firm. Or not work in art at all. Instead, he's arranged things to be as to work from home. No different than 3 writers... One who publishes novels, another who is a scriptwriter working million hour weeks for network TV, and a 3rd who is a nurse.

Is the novelist better or worse than the script writer or the nurse? Is the script writer? The nurse?

I don't think so, maybe some do.

Are the children of migrant workers, or junkies, or miners who never were given a cent better or worse than the children of middle class families, or wealthy families?

Are parents who share their wealth with their children and grand children better or worse than parents who have to be taken care of by their children or grand children?

There's actually HUNDREDS of choices your husband COULD have made to live the same lifestyle they do, with a little but of luck... ASIDE from
Coming from a family with money. He could have gone into a different field, married into money, chosen to live in a different country, etc.

But instead... He started off where he did, made the choices he made, and is where he's at.

We ALL are.

And are all in fairly different situations, even when we're in similar places.

"There will always be someone with more, and someone with less... So don't compare yourself with others, or risk always feeling less than or superior to."

&

Its usually a bad idea to judge your insides by anyone else's outsides, and vice versa.

15 moms found this helpful

Sorry J., but you sound a little jealous. Does it really matter what she calls it? What do you want from her? To acknowledge that they have the luxury of more flexibility because of the generosity of their parents? If you're happy with your life, why do you care about what she does and how she's able to do it? Would you rather be married to someone who can stand on his own two feet and support his family, or someone who works in an unconventional and creative field, a choice that perhaps comes with financial family support? Neither is better than the other. You have your life, she has hers. Let it go.

15 moms found this helpful

Well, we all have lifestyle choices and then there are lifestyle options. Some people have more options than others. C'est la vie!

14 moms found this helpful

His parents giving them a house is a wonderful thing, in my opinion. Look at the Amish. They do this as a matter of course. It won't work in the population at large, but it's great that they have this.

Now, if her parents are just giving them money for everything in the world, then that's different. The Bank of Mom and Dad should have ended after they got married. I'll bet that what is really happening is that they are in credit card debt land. That seems a lot more plausible than their parents buying them new vacuum cleaners and organizers, etc.

If parents continue to subsidize their adult kids, then they don't learn to work for what they NEED enough. They also don't learn to stand on their own two feet emotionally.

Now, you consider your friends to be lazy because they don't work enough. But one thing that their children will have, if they continue to stay at home with them, is a set of parents they see all the time. "The Cat's in the Cradle" song aptly describes a LOT of lifestyle "choices" of executives who work long hours and have stressful jobs. That's something you should consider.

In the end, you need to stop thinking about this and worrying about it. You have your life and they have theirs. Jealousy is often something we can't help, and obviously you've come to a forum where you can express your feelings without any repercussions. But unless she is expecting something from YOU, let it go. If you can't, perhaps you should pull back from the relationship.

D.

12 moms found this helpful

I think it's understandable that you feel the way you do, but I also think you should mind your own business. You feel resentful because you have worked hard for everything you have while your friend has it easier than you do for less work, as you perceive it to be. Parenting and keeping up a house, especially one in which people live in full time, is a hard job to do as long as they are taking it seriously. Like your husband said, if someone else provided for him financially, he could do it, but he hasn't had that choice. I think it is a choice if it's not that they CAN'T work, but that they are CHOOSING to stay at home with their kids. If their parents want to help them out financially, that's really none of your business. I think it is a choice. They chose to take help from their parents so that they could be parents to their kids together, rather than shoving them in daycares to be raised by strangers. I think the role of a parent is severely undermined these days. It's the most important job in the world. How a person is raised determines how a person turns out and treats those around them. Either way, it's really not your place to judge them or call them lazy. You have no idea why they are choosing to not spend more time away from home working. If you had someone helping you like that, who offered for you to stay home with your kids and your husband to spend more time with the kids, can you HONESTLY say you would decline? As long as the situation wasn't toxic and there were no strings attached to the help, I'm pretty sure you'd have a hard time declining. You ARE being jealous; and if not jealous, then judgmental, which is just as bad. I really think you should mind your own business and be happy with what you have and not get upset about what other people have. If she's really your friend, then be happy for her.

12 moms found this helpful

My take is that a year from now, you'll read this and see how jealous you are of them. And how tired and exhausted you are.

Not to say the jealousy isn't justified. We all know someone who can "one up" us on everything, whether they brag or not, and its highly annoying.

11 moms found this helpful

I don't have a take. Who cares?

Don't be jealous! Jealousy looks good on no one. Live your life, it's the only one you have.

11 moms found this helpful

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