“Mom, you’re silly. Moms don’t work.”
The list of questions I was asking myself grew long, and I was reeling by the time we got home. Even though I had chosen to stay at home with her, I worked diligently to teach her that women can do anything. They can accomplish anything they put their minds to. I prided myself on discussing how women are strong and they do so much.
Life has a funny way of messing with your plans.
But here’s a little secret: I didn’t believe myself for the longest time.
It wasn’t until we were given orders to a town where I had previously worked that I began working again. This is when I realized how incredibly tough it is being a stay-at-home mom. I always knew in the back of my head that being a mom was indeed tough, but I usually looked at my friends and would marvel at the amazing jobs they did while their husbands were deployed.
When I began working I was thrown into an arena where I could have adult conversations with (gasp) real adults! No one threw tantrums or fought over toys. I could work an entire shift without having to talk, discipline or explain something one hundred times. I could go to work and concentrate solely on my job. It was then that I realized how extremely difficult and simply amazing being a stay-at-home mother is.
I rarely realized how much my daughter was seeing of the “work” I was doing at home. Although, initially, I was flabbergasted at the thought of her not realizing that women worked outside the home, a huge part of my heart was proud that she saw all the work I did everyday.
Did you work before staying at home or do you work part-time or full-time now? How did that affect your perspective of the work choices moms make?
I’d love to hear your story! Share in the comments below.
Heather lives in Florida with her husband, two girls and two pups. She is a lover of most things in life, too many to name here without scaring you, but a few include working out, learning new recipes, Pinterest, organizing (yes, it’s true!), home decor and learning to lead a more minimal and purposeful life.
At the end of 2014, she was feeling unhappy, burnt out and discouraged but couldn’t pinpoint exactly what was making her feel that way. She started Just Becoming Me as a venture to better understand herself and what will lead her towards a more fulfilling life. Her motto is: “We only have one life, and I want to learn to live mine in a way that gets me excited to jump out of bed.”
Fun fact: Heather is a friend of mine in real life-not just in blog land. I lived near her when her husband was deployed for the first time and know as a fellow military spouse all the “work” Heather had to take on as a military wife and stay-at-home mom. She and I, along with our oldest children, had frequent playdates and shared a lot about being a mom and the different choices moms make to care for their children and themselves.
I am thrilled that Heather was willing to share here and she will be sharing more starting this Fall! Her perspective is one that many of you can relate to as being a stay-at-home mom can often feel like it was thrown at you and not really your choice. I think Heather has great insights and advice about balancing that feeling of wanting to balance work and home, and I am eager for her to share more as the months go on.
Thank you so much, Heather for being candid and so insightful about the work moms do each day!
For more stories of motherhood, subscribe to the Survival Guide newsletter to receive weekly updates of snippets of mom motivation and kids activities via email.
Join with me and other moms over on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Looking to connect with other Stay-at-Home Moms for support and connection? Join our private Facebook group.
Enjoy your time at home!
Melissa Matters says
This was so interesting to read her perspective. I thought about going back to work part time before I had my second, but I'm glad I didn't. I do want my kids to realize there is all different types of work that moms do. Even though I love being with my kids it is hard work.
It is hard work. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be home with them-even if some days are really challenging. Your children are getting such a blessing with having you there!
Thanks for sharing this. I was a teacher before I had children (5 of them) and have often thought about going back to work. Just yesterday my daughter (4)told me that I was the cleaner (I had told her that I would play with her as soon as we had tidied her room) and what that made me realise is that maybe my focus is too much on cleaning. I love that you connected all those activities to educational experiences as it reassured me that what I do with her is really giving her skills for life what a blessing for that to be my job!! This was one of the most encouraging blogs I've ever read. Thankyou again!!!
Rachel, I am thrilled that this post connected with you! Heather's thoughts are such a great reminder of how important our presence really is in the daily moments with our children. I am so glad she shared it with us. Your family is blessed to have you!
Wesley McCray says
Heather sounds like an amazing mother and an amazing woman!
Wes, you would know better than any of us! 😉 You are a blessed guy.
Meg Herriot says
I kind of see both sides of the coin as I work part-time. (Which means I sometimes feel judgement from both sides). As I have matured more as a parent, I recognize less judgement, see both sides (I know it has been a relief for me sometimes to go back to work and adult conversation after being vomited on and cleaning up all sorts of substances and I work as a veterinarian, so that still happens at work sometimes). I do recognize that 12 hours alone with a little one can be exhausting. I enjoy my time with my son and try to make it as educational as possible, but also a place where he can be himself. Someone at daycare told me my son would be better off at daycare full-time because he dances to the beat of his own drum and he should be engaging with the group more. I told my husband, "he's only two and I am happy he is a non-conformist". I think that letting kids be individual and grow at their own rate and be independent is important too. I would love to stay at home full-time with my son, but I think for right now, what our family is doing is working for our situation and I think that's the best any of us can ask for.
I just love your thoughts on your son's unique personality traits! Yes, we should be supporting our children in their uniqueness and not requiring them to do what everyone else is doing if what they are doing is positive and helpful. Sounds like your situation is very ideal for your family. I am so glad you shared. I think balance can be found by many moms with part time work so that they are still at home a lot of the time with their little ones. Take care, Meg!
Moderate Mum says
I worked full time before having my son. I was home for a year before going to work one day a week. I consider myself a SAHM because he's my day job 🙂 I think I'd love it if he thought 'Mum's don't work' I'd like to believe that was a sign of how engaged with him I was.
SO true! I love that they know I choose this-I choose them-as my main mission. It's so rewarding!