To the Stay-At Home Mom: You’re Doing A Good Job
Once upon a time, just a few shorts months ago, I was a SAHM who worked very part-time and freelanced from home. My days were consumed with cooking, chores, play dates, park trips, and cleaning. My biggest complaint was feeling as if my brain was going to die from lack of use, and feeling as if I were a maid. My biggest perk was all of the time spent with my daughter, and enjoying play dates.
Now I am gone from the house 60 hours a week, and here’s what I have to say to the SAH moms of the present and future:
You’re doing a good job mommy.
To the dads that are supporting you? You’re doing a great job dad, and here are some reasons why you should support your “staying-at-home” mommy.
*Note, I know dads stay home too, but I’m not a dad, so I can’t speak for the menfolk.
Being a SAHM means divorcing yourself to some extent from the woman you used to be.
You probably once sat in an office. You may have stood in front of a classroom. You had a role to play. You brought home a check, and you had time to yourself. A manicure? Yes, please.
As a SAHM, you’ve put off most of your goals for the sake of raising your kids, which is damn unselfish mommy. And in many ways, you’ve segregated yourself from society.
As a SAHM, working people and men rarely had much to say to me. To them, I had an easy life. It can’t be work, right? I mean, how hard can one kid be?
As a SAHM, I had kind of lost some of my luster. I was a domesticated trinket, a dish unwashed, a “live laugh love” placard, a blender, a maid, and an antiquated subject of society.
But being a SAHM means always being on the stage. You don’t get to go to the office in a bad mood and hunker down in a chair, scowling at a computer. One bad mood remark with a kid, one scowl, can make your kid a grumpy mess, and guess what, there are no lunch breaks.
I know you think that stay-at-home moms are eating chocolate and gossiping on the phone or on Facebook all day, but most aren’t.
Sure, some are, but most mommies are wiping snot off their sleeves, navigating a child to the potty, washing dishes, listening to some horrific cartoon voice at high-volumes, and trying to not go on a drinking binge.
In one day, a stay-at home mom can: fiend off a war, fix a bloody knee, make dinner, fix a stopped-up toilet, wash crayon from the walls, attempt to discipline an undiscipline-able toddler, wash snot out of kid’s hair, try to pee, vacuum, do laundry, pack a lunch, go to Target, and take a shower. That’s one day for a SAHM.
They don’t get to go to Starbucks, most likely, and they are no lunch meetings, unless of course that involves the Disney Princesses, Dora and Diego, or Batman.
For many SAHM’s and their husbands or partners, budgeting and living frugally are a way of life. While there are a few who have pretty cushy lives, there are many who skip date nights, vacations, mommy & me classes and more because staying home means less income, but more mommy.
I felt in many ways, like such a pivotal part of my daughter’s life when I was at home that I don’t feel as a working mommy. I felt like it was the two of us against the world, and while my brain had lost a bit of its shimmer, I had so much energy and devotion to focus on the one person that owns my heart.
For the dads or women supporting a SAHM, know that what you’re doing is great. You’re giving your kid/s a chance to form a bond with the person who brought them into the world. You’re giving your kid a stable life, and a comfortable one. Your SAHM is doing a job: it may not be one that requires punching in or negotiating raises, but it’s one that will impact your child/children’s lives forever.
Don’t ever doubt that waking up in the morning and committing to being a good mother is not a job. Actually, it’s not a job, but a commitment and privilege.
It’s a commitment to putting that child or those children ahead of herself.
Stay-at home mommy, you’re doing a good job.
Are you a working mommy? Read this.
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