The Luxurious Stay-At-Home-Mom

As a Stay-at-Home-Mother (SAHM) I often find myself faced with various questions regarding my choice to make Mothering my only full-time job. Any woman who chooses to have children will inevitably face the issue of whether to stay at home with them, work full-time and put them in some form of daycare, or try to work out some manner of part-time work as well as staying at home. It’s a difficult and delicate struggle, individual to every woman and every family.

Although I believe that God has entrusted me with amazing children and I believe that I have been called to make raising them my first and foremost priority, at the same time I believe that it is up to each couple to determine what is best for them. It is not my place to judge any parent for the choices they make in child-rearing; be it potty training, discipline, schooling or working outside the home.

Unfortunately despite my efforts to live and let live, I am periodically subjected to the insensitive commentary of working Mom’s, forcing me to defend my personal choice. One such instance occured just the other day when I was at the store shopping with my 5 year old daughter. The lady asked me about whether G was in kindergarten yet and in the course of regular conversation the topic of me staying home came to light. The woman said “Wow, you are SO fortunate…I wish I had the luxury of staying home….” See?? Now that’s my problem, I’m sure you heard it too, the inference that I am sitting around all day basking in the glow of Stay-at-Home-Mommyhood; lounging on the patio all day with a fruity drink and servants fanning me with palm branches while my children raise themselves.

The truth is that my luxurious choice comes at a price; not working outside the home means that I am not bringing in a second income, which drastically alters our family lifestyle. I don’t want you to misunderstand me, God has more than provided everything our family could need and more, but staying home with the children has definitely meant a pay cut! Fortunately the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.

The discussion with the store clerk, although disturbing, was in no way unique. I have been subjected to any number of comments referring to the perceived luxury of being a SAHM. Let me share some of my favourites with you…

  • “Must be nice! I CAN’T go on all the school trips because I have to work…”
  • “Yeah I would LOVE to stay home with the kids, but I have a mortgage and can’t afford to have it ALL!”
  • “Wow, you’re SO LUCKY that you GET to stay home and not work.”
  • “Boy, I’d love to NOT work, but you know…”

The truth is, both sides think they have it rough. I am not going to lie, I love that I can “go to work” in my pyjamas and not wear make up, I love that I can chat with friends on the phone while I watch the kids play outside, I certainly couldn’t do either if I was working outside the home. However, there are several drawbacks that come along with the choice to Mother-Full-Time.  For example, I don’t get a break from my children throughout the average day; which means I have company while I eat a meal, drink a cup of coffee, go to the bathroom, talk on the phone and every other little task that I attend to throughout the day. I have to be constantly “On”, I can’t let my mind wander while the kids are in the pool or while the little ones are even chewing their food! I am constantly aware that every word out of my mouth is being monitored (whether they appear to be paying attention or NOT), every grown up conversation I have on the phone, in the store or with the neighbour is peppered with interruptions from little voices wanting to have a snack or do a craft or play a game. Or voices that simply want to be heard for a minute and need me to drop what I am doing to watch them complete whatever feat they have been working on.

And don’t even get me started on what I teach my children on a daily basis; there is no daycare provider or ECE teaching my kids to count and tie their shoes, play nicely or share, helping them colour and paste pom poms on construction paper. I am the one who teaches them how to pump their legs on the swing and chew grapes properly so they don’t choke. I spend time daily pouring information into them about character and answering the million questions about the world around them. I believe that they are better for it, regardless of the fact that I may not always know the answer to every question.

My beef here is not with the fact that I am a SAHM or the fact that I have to do all these things, I LOVE my job, and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world (most days). My irritation comes from people who have made a different career choice, belittling me or insinuating that somehow I have taken the easy way out.

I dare say that Full-Time Mothering is anything but the easy way out, in fact I think that the next time someone gives me a hard time, I will just invite them to sell their big house and cottage and come live where I do, anyone can learn to sacrifice the finer things in life to spend time with the finest people in life and I’d be more than happy to share my secrets!  Now, where did I put those bon bons??

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Nancy on December 5, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Thank You for writing this Blog!
    I am having on of those days where I found myself envious of friends who were kid free today. I’m a SAHM my choice but often find myself bored & fustrated with the daily routine.
    I also reply on social media sites for adult converstation but not all of them are good for me. However, I am greatful I stumbled about this site!
    I need to be reminded often that being a mom is the most important job in the world!

    Reply

    • Posted by Lola on December 7, 2010 at 2:46 pm

      Thank you so much for the positive feedback, I am so glad that you stumbled onto my blog also! Please come back anytime…I do just want to let you know that I have moved my blog to a different page, and there is some new stuff that isn’t on this page as I posted since moving to the new url.
      Please, the next time you want to check out my page, go to http://www.PeanutButterSmudges.wordpress.com.
      Thanks!!

      Reply

  2. I should say that I admire stay at home moms. I’ts definitely good for the family. It’s heart warming when moms give up work to be a full time mom. There might be pros and cons of the choice you make by staying home but looking at the big picture parents strive hard to make a good living to be able to provide for the family. But if you can afford staying at home and be a full time mom its definitely a blessing.
    However, staying at home isn’t a hindrance to earning as well. Many of us know that. There are a lot of opportunities that moms can chose from for them to earn. And the internet is one of it. Making a living online is not that hard if you just put your heart into it…hard work is always the key to every success.
    Stay at home moms can easily become bored with the routine of looking after children and often long for adult conversation. This is where social media sites can help – on sites like Squidoo, for example, you can create new friendships and also earn money online. The really exciting thing is that you can explore your own creativity and have fun while you earn.

    Reply

    • Posted by Lola on August 16, 2010 at 1:38 pm

      Thanks for the perspective and the info, I actually used to work from home writing/editing for a website, and it was good for a while. However I quickly found that working from home can end up taking up too much time and pulling my focus from the children. It gets easy to plop them in front of the tv while you work and end up raising them “around my busy work schedule”. Hopefully other Mom’s do a better job of managing that I was able to. Thanks for stopping by to check out Peanut Butter Smudges!

      Reply

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