I recently spent
way too much time reading a few articles on “What not to say to a Stay at home Mom” and “What not to say to a working mom”. They ranged from not mentioning that stay at home mom’s aren’t “working” moms to working moms not asking “what will you do with your education.” One side saying they do more work in the home than they ever did working before kids, as they run kids from one activity to another, plan meals, do laundry, attend playdates, bathe, feed, teach and care for their bambinos 24/7. While the “other side” claims they do all that PLUS work! The arguments gave me a headache. I was angry with the article claiming that by staying home with the kids you teach children that education is not important for a mom. (I won’t go into my HUGE rant right now about how my college education is being put to use every day, and that this choice to stay home is not a wrong choice just because I am not making money in my degree field… that can be for another blog). I was put off by the claim that because a woman chooses to work it means she loves her child less… I’m sure they are working AND loving their child, one does not negate the other. However, the thing that really irked me (and even challenged me some) was the true competition seems to be who is busiest. Is our worth really based on who does more? If you decide to sit on the couch while your husband sits in a chair and watch the kids do meaningless dances and magic shows, and cartwheels all night instead of running a child to dance, tee ball, soccer, and worship practice does that make you less of a parent?
It seems to be that SAHMs want to keep a running tally of all they did in a day. Made breakfast- check, bathed, dressed, and dolled up the kids- Check. Then ran 12 errands, going to 3 playdates for each child’s age group, met with the leader of the free world at noon, ran home to get the kids to sleep so that a gourmet meal could be cooked and homemade treats were made for teeball practice- Check, Check, check, and check check. While working moms scream their list of getting everyone on the bus in time to run through starbucks because well, caffeine is needed when you never sleep because you have to do all the shopping, cooking, cleaning, running around AFTER putting in an 8 hour day.
Its all about the to do lists. Never truly about the kids. We validate ourselves by our to-do lists. And how many check marks are there.
I’m not buying into it. I stay home for this…
I have 4 kids. Each gets one class. The baby has a baby class, the 3 year old has a class with her age group, the 6 year old does dance, the big boy has basketball… one class. I don’t run them from one to another to another filling our days with stuff. We do playdates (ONE). We go to church, we homeschool, we do activities and field trips… but not all at once. And my decision to stay home is because I want this time with THEM… not in the car, not watching them play sport after sport, not going going going. I enjoy sitting on the bed for an hour listening to them each take turns reading. I enjoy doing nothing and watching them play. Our tv isn’t on, our computer isn’t open, we just play. And if our evening get fuller with activities, it’s okay because we had all day to spend together. I don’t stay at home because I hate my degree… I choose to spend this time I have with them… with them. And what I choose is just that… what I chose. It was not a choice made to make a point to working moms, or to make a political statement, or to judge someone else’s choice… it was because I wanted to choose them. Those 4 gorgeous babies up there! I want to teach them, raise them, challenge them… not make them busybodies so I could keep up.
Being busy is not our goal. It’s not how we determine if we are doing it right. staying busy does not keep your status quo up. The total items on your to do list does not make you a better person… what you choose to do with the days we’re given does. I choose to live life with them. They will be gone soon, and my list will get longer just because that’s life… But while we can, we’re going to sit back and soak them in.