Friday, April 13, 2012

A Little Commentary on being a Stay At Home Mom

The debate over Stay At Home Moms still rages. We as a society may never agree to disagree on the topic. We women even fight among ourselves about working or staying at home. The current political climate and resulting comments from Hilary Rosen have sparked arguments anew. Since I am new to my SAHM identity I find the conversations and opinions of others rather interesting. I can say that often people who support working mothers seem to be misguided that it is much easier to leave your child in daycare all day and work. These are oftentimes people who are not parents and have never had to face leaving their child with someone else. They also seem to see women who stay at home as quitters who are happy to have "an excuse" to take the "easy way out" of the work force. The same seems to be true of those who support SAHMs, they also seem misguided in thinking that SAHMs spend their days playing, watching TV, reading books, shopping, and cooking gourmet meals for the family. To this I have one response: since my son was born I was read one book (it was on parenting) and I read it the first month he was born and my husband was home on paternity leave. I have cooked 2 meals in which I had friends over to eat...and I planned meals that didn't require much of me or my husband was home to watch the baby. Some days I don't get a shower, because my son doesn't take a nap, until my husband gets home from work...and when my husband was on business trips I showered late at night sacrificing sleep or put his bouncy chair in the bathroom and had to listen to him cry while I speedily washed the required areas. I don't get naps and when I shop I do so with a plan, with coupons (that I sacrifice sleep to cut), a budget, and during a sale. I also have to shop quickly because my son has very little tolerance for shopping and still eats every few hours. I do play, but this is play with a baby and while fun for him leaves me feeling unfulfilled.

Before my son arrived I wanted to stay home with my son because I knew that it was the best thing for him. No one that I pay is going to love my son as much as I do and unless they are family they are not going to teach him the morals and values that my husband and I want him to learn. Now that my son has arrived and I proudly wear the badge of Mommy, I have different outlook. It is the best thing for my son that I am home, he is safe with me, he is breastfed, he is loved all day long and given my full attention. I love him so much that I cannot leave him with someone who does not love him too. That being said, I have days when I miss teaching.  When I was valued in society as an educator and managed 160 teenagers a day. I miss the pay check and the gratification it gave me to know I had contributed to the household income. Mostly I miss adult conversation...In short being a SAHM is the hardest job I have ever had. I don't get paid in paychecks but I am rewarded when I am there to see my son accomplish milestones like giggling, rolling over, crawling, and walking. I get to see it first!    

I do not however judge a woman who returns to work after her child is born. Being a SAHM is not for every woman just as being a working mom is not for every woman. We make the decision that is best for us and best for our families- bottom line. Why can't we be supportive, respectful, and loving of one another?  

Some Articles to Ponder on the Comments made by Hilary Rosen

Why We Still Have the Stay-At-Home- Mom Debate by Ann Brenoff

Hilary Rosen's War on Ann Romney and Stay-At-Home- Moms by Peter Bella

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