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She Doesn't Have a Real Job

Updated on July 18, 2013

Motherhood

That's My Mom, She Doesn't Have a Job

One day, my son said "but mom doesn't work". I looked offended, as at that moment I was struggling to make dinner and play psychologist to my husband while he was complaining about work. He looked at our son and said "she does have a real job: she takes care of us. She does it without complaining or without getting paid." My son responded, "but didn't you just buy her a videogame?" I sighed, and continued on really wishing that I had a bottle of wine in the house to open up and relax to in a bubble bath. Every day mothers do not get the luxury of a bottle of wine and a candlelit bathtub filled with bubbles. We're lucky to get 5 minutes in the shower without calamity breaking out in the house or a few hours out with friends without finding out your husband and child ate salt and vinegar chips with pepperoncinis and Slim Jims for lunch because you weren't around to cook for them. (Yes, this is truth, this is what they eat on the rare occasion I leave the house with friends.)

I said previously that we are the under-appreciated unsung heroes of the household. We don't make the money in the family, but we're the ones who manage it and make the paycheck last a little longer than it probably should. We cut coupons, balance the bank account and make sure all the bills are paid, and at least in my house, my husband doesn't even realize the bills are paid until the alert gets emailed to him. One perk for him getting married was that I could access his accounts and remember to pay the bills he often forgot. They say women never forget; I suppose this is the perk the men benefit from that?

I don't mean to say that men are incompetent lazy fools. Quite the contrary, they put up with a lot at work only to come home and have to juggle tired wives and hyper children. What I mean to point out is that I cringe every time I hear "stay at home moms don't have real jobs". What makes our job less real than someone who goes to work? The answer is simple: vacation days, sick days, and pay. We don't ask for money, though I bet when you consider the services we offer and the hours we work, I bet we'd be richer than the average worker. We work hard nearly every second of the day and we don't even ask or receive a thank you. (I'm lucky, I at least get a thank you once a day from my husband for making sure everything is set.)

I hoped my son had learned his lesson, that saying what he said was a little hurtful. Then I heard a beautiful thing when someone asked him what his parents did. My son told his friend, "my dad is a computer fixer, and my mom has the most important job in the world: she takes care of me and Daddy." I smiled, hopeful that this one statement would be the one that changed people's ideas of being a stay at home mom. The dream was quickly dashed by his friend responding "that's not a real job." My son looked at him offended. "It's more real than any other job, because she makes sure everyone is happy, taken care of, and she doesn't get paid or anything. She does it because she's awesome." My son stormed off, leaving his friend confused. My son hugged me, and that was all the payment I needed that day.

The Perks of Staying Home

Previous, I discussed what a typical stay at home mom might do. Well, at least what this one does. Today in my other article, I discussed about what makes it not "a real job" and why it is. Now, I decided to point out the perks of staying home.

  1. Daycare is expensive. The bold writing really says it all: Daycare is expensive. This does deserve a lot of repeating, because it's really insane how much it costs. Around here, the cost of daycare can run upwards to $700 a week for the better of the facilities and $400 for the "lesser" facilities. I did the math for you: that's anywhere between $20,800 to $36,400 a year. Now think of how much most people make a year. In this household, that would probably mean my salary alone would solely go to childcare. If I'm going to pay that much anyways, why shouldn't stay home and not have to worry about how my child is doing and if he's being treated well.
  2. Spending time with your children. You work from 9-5, in typical situations. You pick up your child from their childcare and get home around 6 p.m. You immediately have to cook supper. Now you're at around 7 p.m. when you can spend time with your children. In my house, my son will be entering into the shower at 7, and by 7:30 he's out. Now, his bedtime would be around 9 so that would give me an hour and a half to talk to him or play before his bedtime. Children are only young for so long, and it goes by quick. By staying home, I can at least make the best of the little time we get to coddle them.
  3. Imagine all the energy you have! Obviously a joke, you still have no energy at the end of the day, but using bullets for the only 2 points I could come up with seemed a little pathetic on my part.

The point is, there are logical reasons to stay home and we shouldn't be judged or mocked for it. We work as hard as anyone with a job does, some will argue that we work harder than those. I don't think it's a competition, we're all moms and we're all doing the best we can. As long as our children have what they need and what they want within reason, there's no reason that we should feel like terrible people for our choice.

Your thoughts?

Do Stay at home moms have real jobs?

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