“You’re a teacher, wow, that’s great you help kids.” “Wow, you’re a nurse. That’s nice, you help people.” “You’re a lawyer. That must be a tough job.” “You’re a what? A stay-at-home mom?” Silence.
Wait for it, wait for it…”are you okay with that?”
It’s been really interesting to hear people’s responses to my decision to become a stay-at-home mom. While the majority have been positive, there are many who feel the need to continually ask me if I’m alright with the situation. They look at me with sympathetic eyes, like someone died or something. They feel the need to tell me that being a stay-at-home mom is a whole new world (cue the music, minus Alladin, mind you). Well, yes, Sherlock, it is a whole new world, but having a child does that to you whether you stay at home or not. I am constantly asked if I miss work. I constantly say I miss the people, but not necessarily the work. It was time for a change and there is a time for everything, simply put.
Every time one of these conversations happens I think to myself, would you say these kinds of things to me if I was a doctor? You and I both know the answer. Sometimes I feel like I get scrutinized more for staying at home then if I went to work and put my kids in day care all day. It’s kinda sad that we’ve come to that in the wonderful U-S-of-A.
While many have had their share of criticism, one person said something to me that’s really stuck with me. Someone recently told me they admire me for my decision and for what I’m doing. Admire me? I get spit up on and peed on constantly, and if I’m lucky I get to stick my hand in poop once or twice a week. I spend a lot of time reading board books, playing with dolls, and finding kid-friendly activities. I usually have to cut phone conversations short because someone starts to scream for attention. Sometimes going out means going to WalMart for diapers. In between I’ll clean something or put some clothes away. Glamorous, I know. I guess I never thought of all of that as something to be admired. Tiring, yes. Admirable, no. But, from the outside looking in, maybe it is. I have to say that during all my “working” years, no one ever told me they admired me for the job I did. Maybe, that’s why it came as such a shock!
So, this “new world” is one that never sleeps. It’s one that can be thankless at times, but hopefully rewarding in the long run. So, maybe there is something there to be admired. Who knew?