Posts Tagged ‘working moms’

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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