You’re Just A Mom?

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:

Just a Mom...

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!

Photo Courtesy of RoseHill Design Studio

Photo Courtesy of RoseHill Design Studio

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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.

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98 thoughts on “You’re Just A Mom?

  1. This post says everything I’ve always wanted to say. My daughter is the same age as your daughter and my son is a year younger. People have been dropping hints for years. However they aren’t trying to find a job with me. They also aren’t married to me. So their opinions certainly do not matter. I feel when the time is right for me to go back to work then it will happen.

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  2. Great post! I think that most SAHMs have some of the same feelings as you do. Sometimes I think that we might think people are judging us even though they are not. I think moms that work probably feel the same way. My kids are grown now but I made a decision when they were young and took a job that pretty much allowed me to have the same hours and days off as they did ( one with the school district). I had to go back to school for a post graduate degree and I had to take a pay cut, but in the long run it was well worth it.

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  3. I’m not a mother yet. But I do get utterly bemused about the judgment that gets levelled at both SAHMs and working mothers. I just don’t understand why everyone feels so free to criticize about something that is, frankly, none of their business! As you rightly said, it’s a decision for YOU and your family! 🙂

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  4. Great post, thanks for sharing!! I took a few years off when my four were little, and haven’t regretted a minute of it. Sure, it’ll affect my pension, but who really cares about that, compared to the joy of watching my boys grow up!

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  5. I am a stay at home mom to a 2 1/2 year old and a 7 month old and I am not sure when I will go back to work. Maybe when they go to kindergarten or maybe never if we decide not to. It is really no one business. =-) I know I am certainly not sitting around doing nothing like some people suggest. =-) Just like your first quote there are so many things that a mom is everyday.

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  6. I’m not a mum and don’t plan to be for several years yet… but I wouldn’t judge anyone for their decisions! My mum was a working mum and she was incredible but I can understand the other point of view as well. However, having read your post, my only question would be (and it’s out of genuine interest, not trying to be snarky – do Americans use that word?!) – what will you do once your daughter grows up and leaves home? Would you think about going back to work then or would you be able to just “retire”? I think personally I would be very bored “retiring” so young unless I was a multi-millionaire! (note that I am not saying I would be bored being a SAHM as I imagine you have far too much to do to be bored!)

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    • This is a great comment, thanks! I plan to go back to work as soon as she can drive and I don’t have to pick her up and take her to her after school activities and such. I think by then I will definitely be more than ready to go back to the workforce but this time do something I actually will enjoy….LOL! But I am never bored though, I truly keep myself quite busy…

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  7. Nobody is “just” anything. There are people out there who work full-time and still manage to be parents. They take their kids to all the after-school activities, get them up in the morning and put them on the bus. I know them because I used to work with them. And that’s great that they can do it all. I applaud them. But, not everyone is them.

    We live in a society where people don’t want to believe that the 50s lifestyle is still relevant. For many, two incomes are needed and one parent staying at home to raise the kid just isn’t an option. Many just don’t understand the stay at home or even work at home life. How could we possibly repress back to the 50s where women stayed home to watch the kids and take care of the home while the husband worked everyday when so many women fought for our rights to be treated as equals.

    For that I say, it is because of them we now have CHOICE. We are not forced to stay home or looked down upon because women just didn’t work back then. Now we can make the choice.

    I do not consider myself a stay at home mom. I have been working from home for the last 7 years. Due in part to school and it was easier to schedule work. Due in part to moving to a terrible economy and a rural area. There’s a child involved now, but she’s in school all day.

    I have an MBA and get picked on quite a bit since I could be making a lot of money. So, I am “just” a writer.

    I’ll never be “just” anything. My life is just fine the way it is. As is yours.

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  8. I am ashamed to admit that I used to be one of those people who made the snide comments. I could not understand why anyone would want to be a SAHM. But when my older daughter brought home her handbook from her first day of 6th grade and it discussed the punishments for things like bringing drugs and weapons to school, I changed my mind. I gave my notice at work the very next day and two weeks later I was a WAHM.

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  9. I have done both, and I would much prefer to stay home. I applaud working moms and how they have to do everything that I do, but squeeze it all in during their non working hours. But I do envy all the adult interaction they get during the day!

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  10. I really love this! I have to admit it, that when someone asks me that question, I squirm on the inside and make up an excuse. It’s so rude!!! I will just refer them here next time it happens 🙂
    Sidenote: It’s so hard to find pantyhose nowadays! Why did they go out of style?

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  11. Honestly, no one said that line to me yet, that I am just a mom. I am a SAHM and I am enjoying it fully. Our son is still young and I’d rather be here at home and tend to his and my husband’s needs.

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  12. Love all these awesome quotes. I very much agree that being a mom is the best job in the world, though it is not that easy. I work from home & yet stay busy all through the day & I am prepared to it.

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  13. I have either been a stay at home mom, work at home mom or had a job I took the kids with me for over 17 years. I have been lucky to not get the just a mom things said or implied to me.

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  14. People suck! I was lucky enough to have stayed home for 13 months. I was heartbroken when I returned back to work and 2 years later still am. I live with guilt for not being home every day. I think it is fantastic that you are doing what you are doing.

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  15. I actually have a very good friend who lost her job while she was pregnant. Who is going to hire a pregnant women known that she is going to need time off fairly soon? So she didn’t bother looking for a job. When her baby was old enough for day care she started looking for a job. And looking. And looking. It took her just over a year to find that job and even though she loved being with her baby, she didn’t like being at home all the time. She has a MSW (master of science in social work) and really missed being out there and helping people. Her first daughter was in daycare after she was old enough and basically went to school year round. She feels because of that it is why shes an AP/gifted student now at such a young age.

    So it is ok to be someone who doesn’t want to stay home. It doesn’t make anyone a bad parent and I don’t think kids suffer if their parent works.

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    • I never said it was bad to work outside of the home, and I know many successful women who do. If you read the entire post, what I am saying is that it’s a personal and different choice for every family, and all choices should be respected. I know many SAHMs who are not doing a great job raising their kids, so it’s not about staying at home or not. Thanks for your comment.

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  16. I loved this article. I am a Stay at home mom with a 3 year old and a 1 year old. I blog and have an etsy shop…I STILL get the ” What do you do all day” question. UM…..I don’t sit down…that’s for sure!

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  17. That RoseHill Design Studio illustration in your post is just lovely – very cute! I think it’s very special to be able to stay at home and watch your child grow; strengthen relationships; and be there when they get home from school.

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  18. I was a SAHM for over 10 years. My ex was in the military. Being a SAHM was the best and hardest job I ever had. Don’t worry about what everyone else says. Do what is right for you and your family.

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  19. LOVE this!!! I am going to print these quotes and hang them up! 🙂 Being a Mom is by far the hardest job I have EVER had, but it’s the one that has brought me the most joy and hugs! 🙂 Saying hello from the Mom2Mom link party!
    Cathy

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  20. First, good for you for taking the time to stay at home and rise your daughter. It’s not for everyone, but for those who can and desire to, the job is made particularly difficult by the judgements of others. Being a SAHM is such an all encompassing job. I’m not sure why people assume you’re sitting around doing nothing all day. What really baffles me is the judgement that comes from moms who have made the choice to continue working.

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  21. I am a SAHM and it was not an easy transition for me. I loved working and achieving something outside of the home but once that little one came into our world I could never imagine giving her to someone else at just 6 weeks of age. It was not going to happen. We are lucky enough that my husband and I were able to make the choice. I decided to stay home and I try not to look back. I did feel a slight void so I have started three businesses out of our home. I look at it as if there is a will there is a way 🙂 Great comments on the subject. I hate when people judge others for positions they have never been in.

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  22. Wow How incredible work does a mom do! I myself have to credit a wonderful dad, my husband, for provide for the family while I stay at home and work on my dream, my own magazine (you can check that out here http://www.lafamiliadebroward.com (Spanish) Keep doing that amazing job, the best of all jobs in the world. BTW I have a 14 year old daughter too and staying with her and work is crazy but highly rewarded!

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  23. I stay at home with my two daughters. They are homeschooled half time. I’ve tried to make blogging into a job which I can accomplish at home. My husband doesn’t even appreciate what I do as a mom. He said to someone one day about my blogging, “She’s a stay-at-home mom. She has to do something to occupy her time.” We got to go on vacation several times last year – thanks to me. Yet, he shows no appreciation for any of my efforts. Our kids are intelligent, well-adjusted and well cared for and no one cares. In the workplace you are dispensable and I feel the same way here. No one would even notice I was gone.

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  24. I have done both and although I have found that staying at home can actually be more busy than working outside the home I prefer to be at home. People may disagree with that however if you think about it, at work you can take a coffee break and enjoy your drink while it is hot whereas at home that is a rarity with little ones around. Same goes for eating and just having some quiet here and there. I do appreciate all moms whether they stay at home or work and both jobs should be given the same recognition!

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