I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, but I have to admit it’s not an easy topic for me to discuss. I am a stay at home mom (SAHM) and my daughter just turned 14 (yes, 14). While I can certainly go back to work at any time I choose, I think that decision should only be made by my husband and myself, not by anyone else. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “So are you EVER going back to work? What did you get an MBA for, to stay home, you can make a lot of money. What do you DO all day?”. If I had a nickel for every time I have heard that, I would probably never need to go back to work. Here’s a quote that I have seen many times all over the internet, and it pretty much sums it all up for me:
I would never criticize women who work outside of the home, some of my closest friends have careers they love and made the choice to be working moms. And I fully support them. I also understand that many of them have to work if they are single mothers or if they have to contribute to the financial needs of the family. Then there are the women who do not see themselves as SAHMs and do not have the “patience” (as I’ve heard some say), and would much rather work outside the home and have a nanny raise their children, even when they don’t need to work. And last but not least, the women who truly value and enjoy their careers, and do not want to give up what they love doing to be at home raising their kids. My point here is not to single anyone out, we should all be able to do as we please with our lives. However, I also do not appreciate when people act as if being a SAHM is a bad choice, or a lazy choice…it’s a personal choice.
When our daughter was born, I had a fantastic job, probably the best one I ever had, and we seriously considered if I was going back to work after my 3 month maternity leave. For many personal reasons, my husband and I made the decision that I would stay home and raise her, a decision that I have never regretted and fully enjoyed for 14 years. And no, not because I am lazy, or didn’t want to go to work every day and leave her at daycare (although I surely did not miss those pantyhose every morning). Simply because I very much enjoy being a mother and I did not want to miss out on any of our daughter’s milestones, especially since time goes by so quickly and I would never get those moments back. Of course I was blessed that we could afford to have this option, but at that point in time, as good as my job was, I simply was not passionate enough about my career to miss out on enjoying my daughter every single day. And I also realized, that no matter how good I was at my job (I was very good) or how much my boss loved me (she really loved me), whatever your job is, you are expendable. You are a number. You can be replaced, and you will be replaced, eventually.
Now that my daughter is a teen and is much more independent, I have been seriously thinking of entering the work force again, at least on a part-time basis. But I even find this decision a tough one, because who will be home with her during all the school breaks, holidays, teacher appreciation days, early dismissal (sometimes they seem to be out of school more than they are in), take her to doctor/dentist appointments, etc. Am I really ready to miss her swim meets, school plays, and any other important event that may come up? I’m not sure yet.
So yes…I am JUST a mother. Not only do I shape and mold my beautiful, smart, loving daughter to grow up to be a kind, responsible, hard-working, functional and respectable adult with morals and manners (which seem to be disappearing in today’s youth), but I also manage and maintain everything in our household, so that it runs smoothly, while caring for our daughter who relies on me for just about everything. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. My heart melts whenever my daughter tells me that she feels so blessed to have the best mother in the world and that she would be lost without me.
Yes…I LOVE being JUST a mom…at least for now!
Are you a SAHM (or dad)? Do you enjoy staying at home raising your kids or would you rather work outside your home? I would love to hear.