Honestly, I remember the friends of mine who have lost a baby (myself included), tried to get pregnant and failed, or tried for a long time before getting pregnant, or are unable to have children when I have a rough day at home with my children. These women want a life with kids, and sometimes I am not sure I can take another day.
No one thinks staying home is easy, especially those of us who do it. Not that working outside of the home is easy either, but the ‘me time’ is built into the situation. When I worked, the commute was heaven. It was my time to cool down from my crazy day dealing with children in my preschool classes before I got home to my husband. I would listen to music, or drive in complete silence depending on my mood. It was ‘my’ time and a little traffic jam was just another added amount of time that I got to myself.
Now, ‘my time’ is my family. That is what I signed up for when my husband and I decided to start a family. I just decided that is how I am going to view it. I asked for this, I wanted it, I got it, and I am not going to wish it away! Motherhood is a calling.
I made the choice to have children and need to accept all that that gift requires me to sacrifice. I decided to put another life ahead of mine in the line of priority.
What DO stay-at-home moms do all day?
You provide this world the promise that your children will be productive citizens. You make sure they are prepared to enter school, social situations, and the world with the skills required to give more than they take.
Yes, it is a heavy burden. It does not earn gold stars, bonuses, promotions, degrees. It requires you to recognize your own value.
Reassure yourself that what you do every day contributes to not only your family, but the greater good.
Some days I wish I could get more ‘thank yous’ from my children and husband. If you volunteered at a food shelter and complained about not getting a ‘thank you’ after you placed mashed potatoes on each person’s plate, you would feel pretty petty. Why is it that we SAHMs worry about not getting enough payback from this job of taking care of children, a spouse, and a home?
How you know you matter
Just yesterday, my husband said to me, “Weren’t you going to get your hair done? When are you going to do that?” I told him, “I am not sure when I can schedule it. It would have to be a Saturday when you are home.” He replied, “That’s fine. Just be sure you come back.”
Wait. What? Yep, he implied that I may have too nice of a time on my own away from him and our children that I could choose to just not show up at home ever again. (He was joking. I would never consider this…well, maybe only in the midst of teething wake-up calls through the night, and major temper tantrums, but other than those two times, never!!) Now, if I was not paying attention I may have missed a major gold-star-receiving moment! He told me he needs me, and that he values the time I give him and our family. Now THAT is recognition. That is better than a pay increase or a promotion. I can keep his comment to fuel my value for a long time.
Feed yourself with value and soak up the moments that reward you instead of not recognizing them. Pay it forward. You are on the greenest pasture; no need to look over to the other side of the fence. You have got what many want. What a gift! You do plenty every day.
What are the tough challenges that make you wonder if staying home is worth it?
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Enjoy your time at home!
Thank you for this post. I desperately needed it today. I have two very active boys! A 7 year old and a 4 year old. They are my sweethearts and will argue if you say otherwise , but mom sure gets tired sometimes. Trying to beat the SAHM guilt is hard. People criticize and say that you are lazy. Or “how can you put all that pressure on your husband by not getting job!” That’s the one that hurts the most. Acting like I’m a bad wife by staying home with my children. I am where my husband wants me. At home. I’m where I want to be. At home. And guess what, I do work at home! I teach piano lessons at a Christian school one day a week where my son attends, and I play for chorus there as well. I’m able to take my little one wi H me. and I also teach piano one day a week here at home. And I bake cakes. A lot of us Stay at home moms work really hard to help out in ways where we are still able to be home with our children. To me, the rewards of being at home with my babies from day one on up are so much greater than having a career. That’s time I can never get back, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. ❤️
Because you are at home your husband will be going to office peacefully. I would love the option where I can go to work with no care in the world. You are giving that opportunity to your husband
I just wanted to thank you for this; I can’t even begin to tell you how much I needed that! I am a stay at home mom to my 17 month old daughter, and have been since the day she was born. She is the absolute love of my life and I am so very blessed. I won’t lie though, having worked full time from the age of 17 until I had Anya at age 32, staying home was (and sometimes still is) a huge transition. I get lonely sometimes and yes, I do often feel unappreciated. When my boyfriend comes home from work, there is absolutely NOTHING that he HAS to do; I have taken care of it all. I have already cooked dinner for, and fed Anya, fed and walked the dog, done all the dishes and the laundry, packed his lunch for the next day, made dinner for him and have it ready and waiting (not to mention the other 100 things that come up during the day that I take care of!). Then I take Anya upstairs to give her a bath, and also so he can eat in peace and not have her climbing all over him. Then iI read to her and finally, I put her in bed. I do it all, every day. And let me add that I’m not complaining, I’m truly not. I love taking care of my family and running the household. The way I see it is that since I am able to stay home and be with my child each and every day (which I consider to be a gift) while my boyfriend works and pays for everything for our family, then I SHOULD take care of everything at home and with Anya, and I SHOULD make sure that when he gets home he doesn’t have to do anything except relax. I know that makes me old fashioned and probably seems like a slap in the face of feminism, but that is how I feel… And I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I have lived in several different states (alone), earned a college degree and had a lucrative career before I had my daughter, so trust me when I say, I don’t “need” a man and I don’t do all I do because I feel like I “have” to, it was my choice. Sorry, I went off on a tangent there for a minute! Anyway, that being said, it would be nice if occasionally I would hear “thank you” because I cooked a great dinner, or because I stuck his favorite candy bar in the lunch I packed for him. Just a little acknowledgement that shows me he notices all that I do for our family… And specifically, all I do for him! Or, (and I would probably have a stroke if this actually happened), if once in a while, he would volunteer to give her a bath, or feed her dinner, just to give me a few minutes to myself. That never happens! It just feels to me like he thinks that because he works and I stay home, that I have it so much easier than he does and that I couldn’t possibly need a break or time to my self because I have had it all day! Oh boy, I’m sorry I rambled on like that, but I don’t have anyone close to me that is a stay at home mom, and therefore understands where I’m coming from. Anyway, I really appreciated that article and I feel a lot better after reading it. It made me think… He may never say “thank you “, but he does show his appreciation in other ways. I need to stop wanting to hear what I think he should say, and accept his way. For example, not too long ago, there was a knock at my door and when I answered it, it was the UPS man with a package addressed to my boyfriend. I called him to tell him it had arrived and he told me to open it for him. When I did, I saw it was the boots I wanted so badly for this winter! I hadn’t even told him about them, he just went on my Amazon wish list, saw them on ther, and ordered them for me! So, I guess i can assume that he was thinking of something nice to do for me, which resulted in him looking up my list in the first place 😉
I think we do get “thank yous” like you said-in subtle ways. I too wish I heard it more, but then when someone does say it, I feel like a million dollars! We do a lot, and we often have to find the satisfaction within ourselves. I hope you can find it and remember all that you really are doing all day. 🙂
I am grateful to be a stay at home mom but definitely have my days when I feel unappreciated. Thank you for your post!
Nicole, it is the same for me. We have to cultivate that inner peace about it and recognize that we really are contributing so much to our families. I appreciate you stopping by. Your blog is wonderful! I was looking around there just before posting this. I found some new link-ups through you and I am wishing you the best as well!! Thank YOU for stopping by and sharing.