When you hear the phrase stay-at-home-mom what words or images come to mind?
If asked this question ten years ago my response would have been – lazy, entitled, a mooch who sits around all day watching TV or going out to lunch with other lazy, entitled women. HA. Boy were my preconceived notions off the mark.
Now that I have lived it and know the WORK and time that goes into caring for little people and a home I have a new respect for those who choose to stay home. Here are a few things a stay-at-home-mom might want you to know…
Being Home With Kids All Day Is Hard Work
Yes it is work and if you care to argue that point I will fight you on it. I’m not about to go into a spiel about how staying home makes me a gourmet chef, a nurse, a nanny, a CEO, and all that tripe because I think that point is highly exaggerated and takes away from those that are professionals in those respects.
I do take care of my kids all day, tend to their basic needs, play with them, teach them, discipline them, we have shopping, park days, and play dates, doctors appointments, etc. It is exhausting. It is time consuming. To top it all off, despite the fact that it is hard work, there is no paycheck to show for it and no weekends off.
Staying Home With Kids Can Be Emotionally Draining
There is a physical load and there is a mental load that comes with caring for young children. Multiple times in the day I find myself mentally and emotionally exhausted from dealing with the needs and demands of my kids. I don’t have much time or space for myself unless I make it. I think it’s important for others to know how much giving us a hand or a little break can make a difference, which brings me to my next point…
Stay-At-Home-Moms Can Feel Incredibly Isolated
We are home all day with limited to no adult conversations and activities. It can be very lonely and overwhelming to shoulder the burden of child care day in and day out, especially in my case where my family lives 8 hours away from me. It can be hard to see others working and making money, advancing in their careers, and having time for themselves, while you may feel stuck right where you are. This is why I believe it is so important to find other stay-at-home-moms to share your time with. No one should feel alone.
We Could Always Use A Little Appreciation
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I often feel undervalued and underappreciated. I know I work hard. My husband knows it. We could all use some words of affirmation, flowers just because, maybe a surprise weekend away. We could use a break. Many breaks in fact. We could use a thank you. So much goes on behind the scenes while our significant others are at work and we could all use a little appreciation.
We Still Exist Outside Our Children
We often lose our identity in the years of caring for children. We still have hopes, dreams, and plans for the future. Our children won’t be little forever. Someday that woman you met years ago is going to make a come back. Most of us will go on to have careers. We will not be home forever. In the midst of caring for little ones we still have our own wants and desires. We still exist.
I Chose This And Would Choose It Again
I chose to stay home with my kids. My husband and I both felt it was the best choice for our family, and really the only choice. With no family to help with child care I am the sole caretaker of them and it makes zero sense for me to work only to put that money into child care.
I may complain time and time again, and yes this is the hardest job I have ever done, but it is also the most rewarding. It is truly an investment into the future of my children. I am grateful to be home with them, to hear them say their first words, take their first steps, and to teach them and watch them grow every day. I am grateful to my partner for also working hard and respecting my choice to be home with our kids.
The next time you meet someone new and they tell you they are a stay-at-home-mom, I hope your response will be one of respect, and not judgement. And if there is a stay-at-home-mom in your life, be sure to show her a little appreciation – it will make her day.