Hey you Stay-At-Home-Mommas, you "jobless" women, sacrificers of nothing!
I know you've heard it
Hey you Stay-At-Home-Momma, I know you've heard those words...
I know you've winced when someone (a well mannered friend, regardless!) has regurgitated the "Oh, she's JUST a stay-at-home-Mom" phrase when introducing or referring to you. Those words leaving a chalky bitter taste in your own mouth. "Just?" As if disqualifying you from being an actual functioning, productive human being in life. Surely their casual minimization is just a misunderstanding of your occupation!
You know who they are as soon as they open their mouths. But often, they don't even have to - it's not what's actually said. They concoct their judgments without any actual experience themselves. You know, the ones who threw their own babies in daycare straight out of the womb. That lady at the dental office, asking what your occupation is while you're trying to finish filling out the paperwork. She's standing there smacking hard on her stale spearmint gum, breathing thick against your face, she's looked you up and down, and smirks when you tell her you're a stay-at-home-Mom.
"She doesn't work, she doesn't have a job!" I know you've shook your head in disregard when you've heard that line slide slick off the lips of those same judgmental twigs. "Of coooourse she has time," my own Mother-in-law once protested when I was reluctantly asked by my husband if I had time to research his conceal and carry license laws. Could I roll my eyes any harder back into my head at my Mother-in-law's lovely insertion, I probably would have lost them deep into the abyss that lies behind them... because clearly I have no brains back there, as I've no real "job."
I know you've been beaten to death with the "but what do you dooooo all day?"'s, too. As if we lay about a disassembled house drinking cheap box wine (straight from the box, of course!) and fried bologna sandwiches all day. Because, you know, our babies are pretty self-sufficient straight from birth and can completely take care of themselves! Such naivety of those who even inquire about what our daily activities consist of.
I know your sacrifices
Hey you Stay-At-Home-Momma, I know you've sacrificed a whole lot...
Oh believe me, I do know! And I know that THEY don't understand. But I do! I know you've given up your sleep, your privacy, your body (I'm talking especially to you, you admirable breast feeders!), your even slightly entitled selfishness, your every fleeting moment of alone-time. Your job, your career! The one, you know, that you had BEFORE you became an irreversibly blessed stay-at-home-Mom.
I know some of you Mommas had jobs, careers, that you simply could not return to given the care and time you wanted to spend with your babies. The night-shift-ers; the store managers pulling 60 something hour weeks; the "on-call"-ers; the lawyers; the police officers; the corporate office-ers; all the Mommas that felt they just wouldn't have had the TIME to be the Mother they wanted to be if they returned to work. So you didn't! *Gasp*! What a concept!!!
I know other Mommas couldn't even think to hand that beautiful baby over to daycare after birth... wasn't any way you were giving up your earned right as a Mother and stay-at-home-Mom for anything - not that nice fluffy salary or the good benefits that came with it! Nor the hard earned recognition and promotions you'd worked your way up to the past 5- or 12- or 20-something years you'd been at that job. I totally understand that sacrifice, I do!
Just because we Stay-At-Home-Mommas don't go physically clock-in somewhere (and we certainly never clock out!) doesn't make our JOB any less than yours. Does not mean we don't have a job, a career, a meaningful place in life - our lives. And we all, as a collective women, should understand that there's not much difference in us Stay-At-Home-Mommas and us working Mommas. We just chose different career paths!
Let them eat their cake
Hey you Stay-At-Home-Momma, let them eat their cake, you've got your own, too...
Just because you don't have a personal income, or a regular income, from a 9-5 job, doesn't make you any less, Stay-At-Home-Momma. It doesn't make you or me less productive, or responsible, or important in all that we do. We still have our own cake to eat, you see. Our pockets may be a little less full, but our hearts are over-flowing with love; our hands are forever holding and guiding; and all our actions are a direct impression on our children. Twenty-four-seven. We are raising our children, every moment of the day. Can't you see how beautiful your cake is, the one you're building each and every day?
Don't you see it, we've got our cake, too! Maybe we don't have that new silver Gucci purse that our career driven girlfriend (a Mother, herself) has dangling flaunty between her fingers every time you see her. Maybe we didn't just re-paint (and re-decorate just for the hell of it, too) our living rooms and bathrooms last Fall to match the newest color palate found in some swanky magazine. But we've got tile floors scattered with dusty cheddar cracker crumbs that never seem to disappear no matter how many times each day we sweep them away. And we've got a collage of "selfie's" with our babies and our children's daily art slathered proudly across our (accidentally crayoned, of course!) walls. That's our cake, Stay-At-Home-Momma, eat it up!
It's both messy and blissful, priceless and bittersweet. It's comforting and annoying. It's all you've ever imagined your crazy Motherhood would be, and everything you swore would never be. It's not going to be this way, forever, sweet Stay-At-Home-Momma. One day the cake will be gone - the walls and doorknobs won't be sticky for no explainable reason anymore; the refrigerator won't be stocked with animal character yogurt tubes and whole fat milk and turkey hot dogs anymore; and those toys won't be scattered across your floor all. day. long. So eat that cake, Momma, feast on it!
I'll hold your hand
Hey you Stay-At-Home-Momma, let me comfort you, relate to you, and hold your hand...
I'm not here to judge you. I'm not like them. I won't belittle you, berate you, or degrade you for that defining life decision you made when you left your other job to be a stay-at-home-Mom. That unequivocal moment you decided that a stay-at-home-Mom was your destined calling. That shit should be celebrated, who are we kidding? I'm so proud of your commitment to your children, you Stay-At-Home-Mommas!
I don't care that your pony-tail has crusty, dried banana-laden strands in it, or that your mascara is not from yesterday, or the day before - but remnants from Sunday's big get together with the in-law's (where you wanted to look put together!). I don't care if you have 4 kids at home, or just one. I don't care if you left a blue collar job or a corporate job. I don't care where you came from or where you grew up or if you vote left or right. I'll still sit beside you and hold your hand and let you know that I understand you and your sacrifices.
And I know some of you Mommas, you just weren't cut out to be stay-at-home-Mom's. It just isn't in you, or you didn't want it. Maybe you just don't want to be "stuck" in it, in the stay-at-home-Mom occupation, to save yourself your sanity. So you can't go making assumptions about our stay-at-home-Mom decidedness, you shouldn't be out harpooning us with your hateful words, throwing your judgments out like they're factual findings, bad-mouthing, side-glancing distasteful smirks on your face at us.
And I know still other of you Mommas, you felt you had to return to work shortly after giving birth, because you just had to work a paying job to financially provide. It is a hard, deep, and endless struggle between making ends meet, being there for your children, and financially providing for your children. Don't get me wrong, Momma, I'm not sitting over here raking in my Husband's paycheck like it's a fat wad of surplus cash each week. Oh, no! Once I left my career, we consciously made that choice (WE, both my husband and I, together!) that we were going to be living on far less than we had both earned and lived off of the previous 5 years before having any children to take care of. But we did it, and we made it!
So let me hold your hand, Stay-At-Home-Momma, when those critics come slithering down your path. Let me hold your hand and comfort you and acknowledge your hard work and sacrifices. I'll hold your hand and sit beside you on that park bench, let them cast their eyes down, we'll pay no mind. Because I know and I understand, sweet Stay-At-Home-Momma, your worth and your strength and your daily commitment to those beautiful children running around right here in front of us on this playground.