Monday, March 21, 2011

Nothing To Prove

Have you ever noticed how defensive some stay-at-home mothers can be when the subject of "work" comes up? There are fewer and fewer of us out there, I am discovering, but those of us who are left often feel the need to let everyone know just how hard we work.

Questions such as "What do you do for work?" are elaborately answered, highlighting mundane details: "Yeah, I work, but no one pays me! I cook three meals a day at least, clean bathrooms and kitchens, make beds, wash and fold laundry, nanny, teach, pay bills, walk the dog, drive my kids around, volunteer at school and church, and get myself dressed too! I never get a day off and I work nights too! Do you even realize how valuable I actually am? My husband couldn't afford me if he had to pay me..."

You rarely hear "I don't have an outside job. I get to stay home and take care of my kids and my husband and my house (and, let's be honest, sneak in some things I want to do too.)"

I admit, I used to be sensitive on this subject as well. Even now, I sometimes feel the need to remind everyone just what my job entails. But this picture of a stay-at-home-mom is not an accurate one. It shows only one side.

We fail to mention that, for most of us, this is the choice we most wanted and made. We get to spend the day with the young people who mean most to us. We don't tell you that once in a while, we have absolutely no plans for the day but are going to just make brownies, read stories, build monsters with Legos, and perhaps watch a movie.

We fail to mention that if we so choose, we can sometimes stay in our jammies until mid-morning or even afternoon. Yes, we have to talk to kids all day, but we also don't have to prepare for or present meetings with clients which require real brain power. It takes just about all the brain power we have to make wise decisions as to how to raise our precious kids.

We have to constantly grocery shop and prepare meals (if your kids are even close to as hungry as mine seem to always be), but we also get to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch and no one has to know! We can (sometimes) take a shower in the middle of the day, and, if we are very lucky, even sneak in a nap when the chaos is on pause for long enough! (Ok, maybe that last one only applies if you have 2 or fewer kids...)

When I hear moms talk about how hard they work, I sympathise; I do. I have even been known to join in and commiserate. But I also hear it and make a mental note not to do the same. I haven't always felt this way, but I don't feel like I have anything to prove anymore. My kids are proof that I work. I may, at times, feel under appreciated, but I also, at times, feel like I don't work hard enough either and I'm flying under the radar, trying to go about my days undetected lest someone discover me and force me to get to work. We all make our choices. Stick with yours, make it work, and be proud of it!


  1. You go girl.....I love reading about your thought process and it is so fun to see and read about your perspectives of life and family. (Currently I feel like a stay at home dad.....except with no children)

  2. Grandma Kathy says: It's great to hear you are enjoying the life you chose! Your boys are more blessed than they may ever know to have you home leading and nurturing them as they grow.



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