I used to dream of being a teacher. Having summers off with my future children. Planning all these fun activities and being the best mom ever.
Then I grew up, saw how underpaid teachers were, and went into a different field, dental hygiene. It gave me flexibility for my hours and allowed me to be home half the week and work three days. Then, I hurt my back. Oh…and found out I was pregnant around the same time.
Fast forward two years, and I’m officially a stay at home mom. The weeks are pretty much all the same, with trips to school (three different ones for my two older boys), doctors appointments, play dates, and trips to Target (my happy place).
It can be very draining. And very unrewarding. There are days when I’m extremely lonely and down. I miss working and bringing in money to contribute to our income. I even asked a lot of my friends who had stayed home or stay home how they felt and got mixed reviews.
“I love being home. I love being able to be there for my kids no matter what.”
“I can’t wait to go back to work when the kids are in school. I’m tired of being home and not being around grown ups.”
“It’s hard work, but I can’t imagine missing the faces my kids make when I wake them up from school or from a nap.”
From the moms and dads who work full time:
“I never feel like I can catch up. At night, it’s dinner, homework, bedtime. No chance to interact with my kids on a fun level.”
“I hate having to drop off my sick child with a sitter. I wish I was home to take care of them more, but i have no choice. I have to work.”
“I miss my kids the moment I walk out the door. I’m grateful my wife can be there for them, but I wish I could stay home with them once in a while.”
While some people thrive on working outside the house, others can work from home, and some of us stay home to raise our children, it seems there is no full, happy medium.
Parenting isn’t easy.
- We all question if we are doing enough.
- We all worry if our kids have enough.
- We all worry if our kids are happy enough.
- We all worry if we ARE enough.
It’s taken me until recently to realize how much I help our family by being home. My youngest was in the hospital for a full week. I never left his side and didn’t worry about not reporting to work and not getting paid. I was where I needed to be FOR my family. And my amazing husband who works more than 60 hours a week, BECAUSE of that job, we have insurance that allowed for my son to get the care he needed without bankrupting our family.
Society has changed with the way they view families and what SHOULD be done and what can actually BE done. It’s not possible for a single-parent to stay home and raise a child. It’s not possible for a parent to work if childcare costs more than college tuition. It’s not possible for a parent to be in three places at once. Yet, we have to do it or we choose to do it.
No matter what we choose to do, how our families call their every day norm, what we do matters.
Everyone’s roles are important we’ve got this, mommas and poppas.