Is staying at home with your children, instead of working outside the home, really a job? This was the topic of discussion on The Today Show with Al, Willie and Tamron. A blogger mom wrote a blog post recently that is causing quite a stir of emotions among the stay at home mommy community. In her post, she stated that “Being a stay-at-home mother to your own kids is not a “job,” no matter how difficult it is or how hard we work. Period. Getting to do nothing but raise a person you opted to bring into the world is a privilege, and calling it anything else is ignorant and condescending.”
In addition to this, she also calls it a “hobby” and compares staying at home raising children to a “heroine addiction, but with more Thirty-One bags”. I don’t know about you but my hobby is reading, not raising my children, and thankfully I don’t know how it feels to be addicted to heroine but I’m sure it’s nothing like being a mother. As you can imagine, this struck a cord with me. As a mother to six children, three of which are not in school just yet, I stay at home and consider my “job” to be very hard and rewarding.
It’s hard for me to hear anyone belittling my job, but it is especially hard to hear another mother doing this. Being a mother is a very rewarding, depressing, exhausting, terrifying, and fun JOB. Notice, I did not include stay-at-home before the word mother, that’s because, I consider being a mom a job, whether you stay at home to do it or you are pulling a double shift when you get home from your job outside of the home. I would like to think that any mom out there could relate to the feelings that I have and understand when I need to vent or exclaim good news, as well as be there when I need a shoulder to cry on. Sadly though, I feel like sometimes moms are in the middle of a battle that we don’t even realize we are in. We have to constantly be on the look out, for we know that other mothers are scrutinizing our every move and “critiquing” us. Whatever happened to one for all and all for one? I don’t like the fact that I feel the need to defend my choice of work but nonetheless, here I am – defending my belief that raising my children is my job.
A job is defined as a paid position of regular employment. Although, moms don’t get monetary compensation, we do get compensated. We are compensated when our children meet a milestone, say “I love you”, bring home a good grade, make the team, laugh, smile, and our biggest compensation might just come when our children grow up and become good parents themselves. Being a mom is, and will forever be, my regular gig. Even when my children are grown, it will still be my job to be their mom. Call me ignorant and condescending if you must but I am proud of my job.
So, my message for all of you moms out there is this: You are not alone and what you are doing matters. When your little one takes a late nap and is up at midnight ready to play, I’m up with you. When you wake up in the morning from a restless night of sleep, I probably did too. When someone asks you “what do you do all day?” I can feel the sting of your exhausted tears. When you’re asked if it bothers you, that you’re not making your “own” money, I’ll be there to defend you. When another mom tells you that you are ignorant and condescending because you call being a mom a job, I know exactly how you feel, and for those moms who do the judging…it’s okay, I know you are tired and doing the best you can, too. This world has enough critics and not enough cheerleaders. I’m going to make a stand for change and call all moms to unite. Let’s start building each other up and stop tearing each other down.