What is with the judgement of stay-at-home moms? Not just today, but even within the last decade or so. It seems as though people have a view point that staying home and raising children is a copout for women to just sit home and do nothing.
Being a SAHM is far from relaxing. I have a strong feeling that if people knew what it was really like, they would be praising women because they would soon realize that there is no way they could ever handle it.
Being A Stay At Home Mom
I was a SAHM to four boys under the age of four. Of course, they aged, but I continued on staying home with them for 10 years and then only went back to work part-time. The big reason behind it was that unless I was a CEO somewhere, I would have never been able to afford daycare.
It is also due to the fact that all my boys were born very prematurely. I was concerned about their overall health and exposure to illness. On top of that, one of my boys has special needs, and he, as well as my other boys, needed their mom.
My Life As A SAHM
Motherhood is far from glamorous; I don't care what the influencers on social media try to portray. Real-life, intentional motherhood is hard. If we talked more about that versus trying to pretend we are perfect to sell stuff, maybe people would get it. Don't get me wrong, moms can and should hustle. We are multi-taskers like that. It's because we are moms, you become excellent at juggling 50 things in one hand, bouncing 3 balls with the other, and riding a unicycle all at the same time when you're a mom.
The duties of a stay-at-home are never-ending. They don't get to go home from work and pop a cold one. They are always at work. Sometimes they take a small leave of absence, but it is soon realized that they are needed back home ASAP. Not that fathers can't handle a bit of it. Some fathers stay home; just not as much as mothers. We have an instinct and bond regarding our children that is unlike any force of nature.
As a SAHM my days included:
- Nursing wounds/sickness
- Keeping Tiny Humans Alive
- Grocery Shopping
- Driving children to school and activities
- And so much more
What People Think SAHMs Do
I have received my fair share of comments on staying home with my boys. One of my favorites is, "I would die of boredom staying home all day." Boredom, is that what we're calling going non-stop these days?
So, let's break this down really quickly. First, moms do not nap when their kids do. That is when they get stuff done that is harder to do with kids around. Laundry for example. I love my boys, but their idea of helping me with laundry just took me 2 hours longer to get it done. Bill paying. I am bad at math as it is, when I hear, "Mama" repeated a million times in the background, it's impossible. Dishes. Yes, I have a dishwasher, but I did not want my boys stabbing themselves accidentally trying to put silverware away, and not everything goes in the dishwasher.
The side hustle. I am separating this from the rest because this is something that is gaining so much popularity and momentum with moms. Moms can stay home and still make money. I did my own thing with my own abilities, other moms' influence, or writing blogs. Some moms choose MLM marketing or something of that nature. Since the pandemic, more companies are allowing moms to do their jobs from home; that is a huge bonus, too. Again though, easier to get done without my sweet babies around.
Ok, that list could go on and on. The bottom line, most things are easier to do without kids. However, those boys make my world go around. They give me a sense of purpose. I love doing things for them and not for one second do I regret being home with them. My heart swells just thinking about it.
The relationship built between my boys and I while I was home with them has made them into the tweens/teens they are today. It has made me into the mother I am today as well.
The Final Judgment
The judgment of SAHPs in general needs to stop, in my opinion. If you look at all the complaining that took place during the pandemic and lockdown, most of it was not coming from moms who usually stayed home. I already knew what it was like. I knew what 24/7 with kids was and everything that went along with it. Those who didn't get it found a new appreciation for those who did.
I thought for sure that this would end the constant judgment. It did, for a minute. Here we sit 2 years later, though, and it's back-slapping us in the face. It of course comes from childless adults too, in which case I can't and won't respond because again, they don't have kids; it is not their place. Most of the judgment I see comes from other mothers. It's either degrading, or an expectation set so high it's insurmountable.
We need an even playing field. I don't sit here telling brain surgeons how to operate or what they should be doing differently; they are experts at it. Stop the judgment of mothers who stay home. It's our [non-paying ridiculously hard] job. We are experts at it.