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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thoughts on Being a Stay at Home Mama

I had a pretty interesting life growing up. Or rather, it was not your average American upbringing. I traveled a lot, and saw different cultures and ways of life. In all that flux, one thing stayed constant: my mother was at home with us, or waiting for us when we got back from school.

Having my mother around all day was probably the most comforting thing of my childhood. I learned everything she had to teach. She had interesting hobbies and projects she did from home. A lot of who I am today is because she taught me so much, all while simply taking care of the home.

While I understand that some mothers feel the need to bring in a tangible income, I feel the most fulfilled being with my baby and doing all the annoying tasks and chores it takes to keep a calm home life. 

When I was younger, I told my friends and family I wanted to stay home (or rather, when the time came, I did not want to pursue a career outside of the home), and on occasion I faced some harsh judgement ("When the time comes and you need a job, you can't put "baking" on your resume," or "Women who stay home are just looking for an excuse to be lazy and paint their nails all day.")

In response I always said, "What's wrong with wanting to be the CEO of my home. I'd rather give my all to my family than some company or person I have no relation to."

It's no longer the 1950's, where women were expected to get married and raise their kids. Nowadays you are judged for even thinking that is something you would consider doing. I want to understand why women are so harsh on each other? That's the question of the ages, and I doubt this post will find the answer. Moving on...

Staying home (especially with a baby!) is a lot of work. You don't get to start at 9 a.m. and walk out of that office by 5 p.m. It's all day, everyday. I've talked to some women who say that is the exact reason they got jobs. They wanted to get away from home and the constant nagging of laundry, dishes, kids, and cooking.

A lot of women will proclaim that they are so "lucky" to be "able" to stay home. And by that they mean, their husbands are financially secure enough for them to not bring in a second income. And while this may be true to some, I just don't buy it. I am not lucky to be able to stay home, I want and expect less so I can. No, I don't want to buy a home in some chic suburb and drive around in a BMW at 25. That kind of frosting comes in time, the key is patience.  So no, my husband does not make beaucoup bucks. I just don't have a "way of life" I want to maintain, aside from the basic needs, like food, shelter and my iphone (hah! I kid.)

All I'm saying is, being a stay at home mom is a job that needs to be applauded, not frowned upon. And those of you who are doing it, please do not walk around in life as though you are a burden on the shoulders of your partners, because honestly, you make their lives that much easier with all the worthwhile things you do.  

Marriage is a partnership, and I feel like I am keeping my promise by raising kids and taking care of the little things, the soulful things that a dollar amount cannot be placed upon. I could say Jesus, God, Caesar or your mom told me it was my job, but I'm not going to because I told myself it was my job and that's why I do it with the biggest smile in the world.

The End

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