The other day I was with a friend of mine who is a stay-at-home mom. We came across one of her long lost high school friends and once the high pitched SQUEEEEEE “It’s been so long” statements subsided the inevitable question popped up, “So what do you do nowadays?” A question almost synonymous with “What’s your name?”
That’s when I realize we have a problem … well, a couple of problems.
Problem 1: We’ve become so obsessed with work that it’s replaced our identity to the point that “What do you do?” basically means “Who are you?” in today’s culture.
Problem 2: This one became apparent when I saw my friend kinda shift around and say semi-shamefacedly “I’m just staying at home with the kids.” To which her friend responded with, “Man, well that must be tough with how lonely it is and everything!”
This made me wonder, “Does being a stay-at-home mom have to be hard/unpleasant in order for it to be counted as a worthy replacement for an outside job?” It’s almost like my friend felt obligated to talk about the hardships just so that people would see it as a “real” job. Now, for the record, I love my friend dearly and I’d say this IS NOT an isolated incident—more like a cultural epidemic. I know many stay-at-home mothers as well as moms who work outside the home have faced guilt no matter what their choice … it’s a lose-lose for moms in America and … that’s total crap.
Moms—WHAT YOU DO TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR KIDS DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A CHORE TO COUNT AS A JOB!!!
If you love being a stay-at-home mom, why in the WORLD would you do anything else? Especially if you’re able to afford it, stay home! Now staying home with the kids is going to have its hard days, just like any job, but you can still love it and it can be rewarding, just like any job. Love the life and the job you’ve been given! Rock the sweats, eat the crusts of the pizza your kids left behind and spend your days reading Cat in the Hat and memorizing the alphabet. There’s no shame in that. Playing with your little ones is amazing. There is shame in leaving the house just to prove to society that you’re capable of doing a “job” they deem worthy.
If you have kids and you have a job that you’re passionate about, AWESOME!!! DO THAT!!! Teach your kids to be passionate about something and go after it! If you’re at a job you don’t love just so that you can provide for your kids, you should be proud of that, too. There’s nothing more selfless than doing something you hate to help someone you love.
The bottom line is this, mamas. If you want to be home with your kids and you get to be home with your kids, it’s a blessing– you’ve won the flippin’ lottery, don’t let culture shame you into thinking it has to be hard for you to count as a woman. If you want to be working to provide for your family in that way and you get to be working at a job you love, it’s a blessing. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your choices. Culture sucks. Moms don’t.