Let me tell ya… I struggled with accepting this title FOREVER. It seems that in this two-income society we call home, being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) is frowned upon by most of the population.
I remember filing our taxes this year. A little background story on this… 2012 was the first year since I started working at 15 years-old, that I didn’t earn a single paycheck and I was previously going to school for Nursing until I decided I wanted to be home with my kids, not buried in books and needles.
So the tax man asked if I had any W-2’s, which, no, no I did not, then he asked if I had any school forms, yet again another no, followed by an
“I’m disappointed in you.”
SAY WHAT?! The tax guy whom I see once a year (okay, usually twice because we always forget something in his office), is disappointed in ME. Is disappointed in the fact that I based my decisions on my beliefs, and what was best for our family. Is disappointed in the fact that instead of educating myself, I’m educating my children. I remember leaving his office lost in bewilderment, flustered, and straight-up on fire and boiling mad. It brought back so many raw emotions that I had just gotten over. Had I not bit my tongue and teethered my emotions, I would have slapped him out of pure anger and hurt.
I have never had a “career”, just jobs, here and there, some paid great, some not so much. But when I had my first child, everything changed. I was a SAHM for the first 6 months until the outside pressure from inputs of people, whom I shouldn’t have let under my skin, got to me. Not to mention I got stir crazy, because while all my friends were partying and doing the college life, here I was loving on the sweetest little boy ever, usually alone. For those of you who don’t have kids, once you do all your “friends” start dropping like dead flies. While this didn’t really bug me, I was used to being alone, picked on, and stabbed in the back. What did bug me, was going back to work and school! My husband and I played “catch the baby”. I would see him awake maybe 30 minutes of my day, if I was lucky. He worked mornings, I worked nights, and had school most mornings. Most of our time together during these years together where spent sleeping. Needless to say our relationship struggled. And boy, was that rough!
Then came baby number 2. I was on bed rest starting at 28 weeks. And it was AMAZING! It was great to spend that time with my family and stop missing out on all the excitement that comes with watching your son grow right before your very eyes! Several months after number 2 was born, it was time to hit the deck and get back to work and I got accepted into the part-time nursing program. And I dreaded it! Which would have meant that if I wasn’t working, or at school, or studying, or at clinicals, I would have been sleeping my life away. After much deliberation and pondering, I finally gave it up to God and let him lead my heart, which brought me to where I am today. He laid this calling on my heart, which butted against everything I knew, the way I was raised, and social norms of our society. With the support of my husband, kids, and savior, it made no sense for our family for me to go back to work. Sure we had to cut back, had some set backs, and had to spend our money wiser, but it was the best decision I ever made.
But for months I battled with the stigma of being a SAHM. I always dreamed of being a SAHM when it was my time to have kids, but why was it so hard to accept the title? Why was it so frowned upon? Why did people give me the sideways “I’m-sorry-for-you look“? I had the opportunity that I always wanted! But the world felt like it was beating me down. I felt like everyone I told pitied me, because I had no “career.” They would tell me things like, “You need to better yourself and go back to school.” “You need to make your own money.” “What happens if he leaves you?” “You should have your own banking account.” “What about the future of your kids?” “When are you going back to work?” “What do you mean maybe never?” I couldn’t understand why my biggest blessing was socially unacceptable? It took me months to become comfortable around those people who belittled our decision. I struggled with the fact that I brought no money to the table. For months, I didn’t buy clothes, shoes, or anything just for me, as I fought against spending “his” money. Thankfully, my husband has been a huge support through this process and has never once given me the inclination that my job as a SAHM was below him or worthless or meaningless or downplayed my role. He has never undervalued our decision. Instead he has done nothing but uplift me when words of those around me pierce through my heart and he reminds me that what I am doing is the most important job given to me and is not to be taken lightly. How did I get so lucky?
I am a stay-at-home-mom by choice.
I am proud of the house we built for our family.
I am loved by 2 tiny humans and 1 strong man.
I am important to my home.
My job is not a small task.
My role is not miniscule.
My family needs me, all of me.
*With all this being said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a working mom. This is just what was right for us.*