I’m a stay at home mom and I found that this sacred and elusive job does not get the credit it deserves. I’ve been at home for over nine years now and it’s hard for most people to see the accomplishment in that. Being a parent is the best job in the whole world, but it is a job that doesn’t make you any money. I felt guilty about that for a long time (which drives my husband nuts). I was surrounded by family and friends that not intentionally made me feel like I was doing something wrong. I sat and had drinks or dinners, listening to their stories about work and how stressed they were, and tired. They worked all day, went home to take care of kids and do housework. They said that I wouldn’t understand, that I was lucky and could just stay home all day and…what? Do nothing? Is that what they wanted to say? Some probably, yes, but they are wrong. Just because I don’t bring home a paycheck doesn’t mean I don’t work. I work very hard for my family every day and to think that I haven’t sacrificed things is a gross understatement, one such thing is my identity.
I used to love going out and having drinks with friends. Believe it or not I was once quite a social butterfly, but over the course of the years of me staying home I lost that. Now whenever I think about being social my stomach ties up in knots and I have a panic attack. I’m not a therapist, but I do know some of the reasons I’m like this. One reason is the fact that I do spend so much time alone now. During the school months I spend the majority of my day by myself doing what needs to be done. Sure I have the computer and phone but it doesn’t take the place of interacting with real people. For a time a volunteered, and I even joined a gym, but for some reason I fell in a rut. I didn’t know how to talk to people anymore. I felt judged and I was so afraid I would say something stupid, so I isolated myself and it’s been hard to pull myself out of this pit I fell in. That’s one of the main reasons I wanted to write my book. I wanted people to know that I was still here even though I had felt like I had disappeared. Things are getting better though. I have friends at my daughter’s karate and I’ve met some pretty cool people by promoting my book. My husband is my rock and without him I think I would have lost it a long time ago. He is the only person in my life who has never judged me and accepts, no, encourages the lifestyle we have chosen. I’m not back to the way I was but I’m working on it.
I feel like I’ve gotten off track with my mental breakdown, so let’s get back to the main topic here shall we? Through all this rambling my real point I wanted to make was that I’m proud to be a stay at home mom. I’m proud of the fact that I’ve helped raise a beautiful daughter on my values and not someone else’s. She learns things from me, not a babysitter or daycare and it’s her parent that she always knows will be there when she needs them. Please all you working parents don’t get angry with me because I am in no way criticizing how you raise your families. I just don’t want to be criticized anymore either. I want to be accepted for who I’ve chosen to be and not what everyone else thinks I should be doing. Our jobs are all the same whether we get paid or not. Our job is to provide and take care of our families. We all have different ways of doing this and as long as we are doing right it shouldn’t matter how it gets done.
I am I working mom and I’ve learned that I don’t need to get paid to feel justified. My worth to my family is priceless and I wouldn’t change a thing.