I just read a post today by Matt Walsh about how under-appreciated us “Stay at Home Moms” are. It’s true, I often feel like I have to throw in a “just” when I tell people I’m a SAHM. You know, they’re like, “What do you do?” And I’m like, “I’m just staying at home with Luca right now.” Notice how I also feel like I have to reassure them that it’s temporary by adding “right now” even though “now” may be about 18 years. Like Matt said in his post, it’s not easy to feel like a lesser member of society.
So, right about now would be when I could jump on my soap box and preach about how I’m incredibly important because I’m dedicating my time to raising a future productive member of society, etc. However, I am not going to do that. If you want to read about that, click on the link above. Or if you want to read about how staying at home can really suck, read my own post on the subject by clicking here.
My blog is all about “finding balance.” Yes, very ethereal and enlightening… blah blah shmah. I’m not writing this to be all “above it all,” just to be clear, but I am writing this post to give balance to the topic.
Here it is: I love being a Stay at Home Mom.
Do I love it ALL of the time? Of course not. In general, though, I really love it. Let me give you an example of why staying home rocks.
We just got home from a vacation to Hawaii. My 11 month-old is having a really hard time adjusting back to California time which is THREE (stinkin’) HOURS ahead of Hawaii time. If I was working, this would be a major problem. But I’m not. In fact, I’ve had the luxury of just going with it. He’s gradually getting back on schedule but I don’t have to force it, there’s no pressure.
So what am I doing in this situation? I’m staying-up with him while eating yummy snacks and reading teen fiction novels. He just plays all around until he’s tired and then I rock him to sleep. It’s awesome.
Now, if I was all freaked-out about him being in the wrong time-zone (like I was at first, admittedly) then being a mom would suck. I would be panicking and stressing about how to get him back on schedule. But the reality is, I don’t have to do that. I can just let him gradually get back on track. It’s not an emergency (As Dr. Laura Markham would say).
I think sometimes I get so defensive about my status as Stay at Home Mom that I feel like I have to prove to everyone that what I do is REALLY hard. I insist that it’s not as easy as they imagine… that I’m not just “hanging-out” all day… and that my kid is really difficult to manage… that I can never seem to get everything done. Are you seeing the problem with this at all? It’s like I’m demanding that people see that my life sucks.
So here’s the truth… It is hard sometimes. But when I take a step back, I realize that often, it’s my expectations that are making the job hard. If I forget that, I start resenting my kid because he’s making my life so difficult. In reality, my kid can be difficult to manage sometimes but most of the time he’s perfectly content. It’s my own whirling around and stressing-out that causes me to get frustrated.
I really want to be appreciated. God knows my kid isn’t going to give me any accolades (at least not any time soon). Being a mom is hard because it requires dying to self. You just can’t really compare going to work and being a stay at home mom. They’re both hard in different ways. I’m not going to sit here and argue over which is harder or which is more important. Instead, I’m going to be honest and say: just like everyone else who has to serve others (whether it be in the home or not), every once in a while it’s nice to have my hard work acknowledged.
From now on, I’m not going to let my desire to be appreciated turn into this self-induced bitterness about my lot in life. I’ve chosen to be a stay at home mom. I want to be home with my son. I enjoy him. He makes me laugh. Sometimes I choose to ignore housework so that I can just relish in him.
It’s hard when I’m tired and I can’t go to bed because my son is still up. It’s hard when I look around and the house is a disaster and I can hardly muster the energy to clean (or cook dinner, etc). It’s hard when I haven’t had an adult conversation all day. Yes, all of that is true. But it’s easy when I remember my priorities.
In this season of my life, the house will not be spotless, I will not be crafting handmade greeting cards, I will not look like I just stepped-out of Vogue/Women’s Health/Cosmo… It’s just not gonna happen. My priority is to spend quality time caring for, nurturing and playing with my son. That’s numero-uno. And you know what? I love it.
- Stay At Home Moms vs. Working Moms – Why do we need a scoreboard? (toddhagopian.wordpress.com)
- When Being a Stay-at-Home Mom Sucks
- Things I Don’t Do