This is what I woke up to this lovely morning on my day off: some blogger somewhere basically said she looks down on stay-at-home moms because anyone can get married and have a child, and women should also get showers for promotions and taking trips around the world. Of course there are a million posts right now responding to her article, (as Matt Walsh pointed out, making her richer by the minute because of all the traffic going to her page). Even Fox news picked up the story! So I couldn’t resist also putting my two cents in.
To tell the truth, I am somewhat surprised that her post got SO much attention. This type of attitude is actually pretty common among single working women, although maybe not always spoken out loud or written down. To be completely honest, I had the same exact attitude before I got married, so I know that she is simply writing this out of ignorance (although she would disagree). Now that I’m a working mommy, I know the truth, of course.
To be a stay-at-home mom is difficult, brave, and daunting. When you get a promotion or take a trip around the world you’ve accomplished what a lot of stay-at-home moms only dream about: fulfilling their OWN desires and having the funds to do so. As some savvy commenters wisely pointed out, staying at home is a risk: you have to rely on your husband for income, you automatically cut your family’s income in half, and you really don’t get a break.
We are not in a position right now for me to stay at home, but we are working and strategizing towards that position. While I still wish to stay at home, it is purely out of the instinctual knowledge that it is better for my husband and child. When I did stay at home full-time during my maternity leave, I was depressed and saw no end to the tunnel because it was so emotionally draining! I returned to work and felt a bit more like myself again. That’s the thing about staying at home: you completely lose your SELF. Your focus shifts outside: I need to change the baby. I need to entertain the baby. I need to pump/feed the baby. My husband will probably want to come home to a clean house. I need to cook something for him to eat when he gets there. I need to show compassion for his difficult day at work. It all gets even more difficult because since you stayed home, even though you worked really hard as well, no such compassion will be allotted to you. In addition, you are constantly tormented by thoughts of being a bad wife/mother because you are not holding your baby 24/7 or being the sweetest self to your spouse when he gets home from work (because you are exhausted after a day of laundry, dusting, cleaning, putting things away, holding your child, cooking…).
Right now my mother-in-law is watching our child (bless her heart). I come home eager to hold him because I’ve missed him. There is normally already some sort of food for me to eat, since my husband gets home two hours earlier so either he will get some or MIL will cook. The house is typically spotless because she is nice and knows I’d like to come home to a clean house. And everyone is compassionate because I get back so late from work. Is my job stressful? Sure it is. But it is a desk job where I get to think creatively AND analytically, solve problems, and get patted on the back for doing so efficiently. Oh, and I also get a lovely paycheck twice a month that allows us plenty of wiggle room to pay off debt, take a vacation, or shop for new clothes. Stay-at-home moms do not typically get such luxury.
So there. Hats off to all the moms staying at home. The author of the blog does not know what she is talking about, but her point of view isn’t actually that shocking because from the early age our media creates this alluring image of a self-sufficient woman. That’s what I wanted to be growing up, although my instincts said otherwise, and I worked REALLY hard fighting against them until I started attending Mars Hill church and heard some sermons on women’s roles. That was the first time I heard that what I am feeling deep down inside is actually normal, structured that way by our Creator. I am positive that a lot of stay-at-home mommies today, in addition to the challenges of staying at home listed above, also are experiencing an identity crisis and feel torn between being what society calls a “successful” career woman and dedicating her life to her children. I want to emphasize that you were created to be able to endure the never-ending boring daunting routines of the home. Your husband was created to make it in the business world. Although it is emotionally easier right now to work full-time, I feel a little displaced. When I come home I don’t feel like I’m in charge. It is not fully MINE.
I do not believe what the blogger is saying is correct. But I do not believe it’s right to be bashing the blogger for saying what the media has been brainwashing us to think for at least a generation.