Just a Stay at Home Mom

We’ve all heard the story of the woman who is wasting her education being just a stay at home mom. I can’t tell you how offended I feel when people say I’m just a stay at home mom. I don’t understand the purpose of that word. Why do people feel the need to downgrade what I do? Yet even when I feel this way, I find myself slipping at calling someone just a stay at home mom. Being a stay at home mom is so much more difficult than people realize, but I already make noise about that particular subject too often. I want to examine where this word just comes from.

When people think of the word feminism, they likely think of women who want to be treated like men. There are many stereotypes of the woman with short hair who wants to work in manual labor or be in the army. What you don’t probably realize is that feminism is actually about choice. Once upon a time, women couldn’t get an education. Women couldn’t work outside the home. The only option for women was to stay home and take care of the children and the home. Feminism came about because some women wanted to do more. Emphasis on some.

Don’t get me wrong, I do want to work outside of my home one day. I also want to be the one to raise my children. I never want to look back and regret that I was working instead of watching and helping my children grow. Being a mother and wife is my first career. The majority of people change their occupation multiple times throughout their lives. This is just my first occupation–and the most important of them all.

Back to feminism. While there were women out fighting for the right to chose what they do with their lives, there were women in the background that were happy with staying at home. Not to say that they didn’t want a choice–it’s just that if they were given the choice, they would still chose to stay home. The purpose of feminism is having the choice.

In our society, young girls are brought up being told that they can be anything. You could be a doctor! You could be a lawyer! You could be The President! So what do you want to be? How often do you hear a little girl say “I want to be a mommy!”? Almost all little girls do, but they don’t see it as a career choice. They just assume that they’ll be a mommy and have a career. No one thinks of being a mother as a career. What other hobby do you do that takes your whole heart, requires your full attention 24 hours a day, and make you want to pull your hair out? If anything, it sounds like a job to me.

So please, try to make an effort to stop saying just a stay at home mom. Being a stay at home mom is so much more than sitting on the couch watching TV. As for those women who are “wasting their education” being a stay at home mom, did you ever stop to think that part of parenting is being educated so that you can educate your children? Also, having a degree means you’re more likely to make educated decisions about regarding your children–which I believe is a very important part of parenting. There is nothing just about being any kind of parent–especially a stay at home mom (or dad for that matter).

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18 thoughts on “Just a Stay at Home Mom

  1. Amen! I wish I COULD be a stay at home mom. Right now I have to settle for working part-time and having my baby cared for by individual babysitters instead of a daycare. I’m trying to get things worked out, though, so that I can at least be a work at home mom. I’d love if I was only away from Daniel to work from a coffee shop for a few hours while friends or family watched him, or even just in the other room while someone plays with him.

    • Most technically, I’m not a 100% stay at home mom. I go to school part-time. This semester I was able to do my classes online, but last semester and next I will be/was going to school on campus and having family (mostly my husband) watch Peanut while I was at school. I’m very happy that I was able to have someone watch her from my family instead of putting her in daycare. Not to say that daycare is evil, but I just don’t like the idea of her being in it so young. I hope that you’re able to work from home. I would love to work if I could do it without leaving Peanut.

  2. I agree! I was actually going to write something along the lines of that too because the other day I got a comment from my other blog about me wanting to home school Aurora. Basically the woman was making me sound like I was a bad influence being a stay at home mom, that Aurora will be heading down the road to being a nothing. I was SO offended. I think being a mom is SUCH an important job.

    • I hate it when people just make assumptions and don’t actually have facts! There are so many studies showing that home schooled children are quite often more educated than their public schooled counterparts. I hate people!

      • I just found your blog and I love it…thank you, you are spot on! When working full time before my Eli was born I had way more “me” time than I do now. I’m a full time mom, too, and although it’s the toughest 24-7 job in the world, it’s also the most rewarding. Wouldn’t trade it for the world!

        And as for homeschooling, both my hubby and I were home-schooled and we turned out pretty normal (ie no weird anti social tendencies, etc) haha! We both graduated with a BS, and he kept going and now has an MD and PhD…proof that homeschooling won’t stunt your child’s educational options!

        Hooray for “lactating girl”, mommy-hood, booby milk, poopy diapers, and moms who love their kids enough to set aside their own careers for a while to give their kids the love and guidance only a mom could.

  3. And here I thought a SAHM did nothing but watch soaps all day and eat bon bons. *hides the bon bons under the blanket*

    LOL – Just kidding!

    I’ve been a SAHM for a few years now, and I don’t regret it one bit! I’m technically also a full-time college student, thanks to my soon-to-expire GI Bill, but I digress…

    Personally, being a SAHM is stressful, it can entail quite a bit of manual labor with no breaks or backup crew, and lots of uhm, “creative problem-solving”… But it’s also been the most rewarding and fulfilling role I’ve ever had in my life; more so than “serving my country” like I did in a past life, or being overworked & underpaid at some suck job.

    …And people wonder why I am such an antisocial recluse with a sharp tongue…
    Hmm…
    Perhaps its because of all the ignorant people out there who say “SAHM” like its a bad thing! Ignorance and stupidity can be quite contagious; I like to keep my distance. LOL

  4. I completely agree with you. I am currently a stay-at-home mom and my son is a year old. I wasn’t able to stay at home with my oldest son but now I know I missed out on soo much! Looking back at the past year and seeing how happy my baby is…he wouldn’t be the same baby had he been in day care. I am going to start school in Jamuary and I am dreading the time I will lose. The thing is, my family, and my husbands family, all don’t agree with staying at home. They think its a dead end life and that working is part of being an adult. I suppose I have given into their feelings. Although some type of degree will make me fell better. I still may choose to stay at home after for awhile, At least until all kids are in school. But it is horrible how people truly don’t understand how challenging it can be to stay at home and how rewarding it really is!

    • My husband used to be so against me staying home, but now that he actually sees it and how happy it makes me feel, he’s better with it. I know for a fact that his parents would prefer me working though, but that’s their problem.

      I’m also going to school. I have one semester left until I have two associates degrees. Luckily I can do all of my school in the evening and my husband can watch Peanut. After my experience last summer, I’m only doing one class a day this semester. I thought it would be better to be away from her just twice a week for 6 hours, but it made pumping awful. Hopefully I’ll just have to pump while she’s eating when I get home this semester.

  5. Our room was spacious and very clean, the added bonus being hot water, as well as a/c and a TV. ( My husband truly appreciated the ESPN channel, which meant he didn’t miss out on any football coverage.)
    The food was fantastic and varied, we even had a cookery lesson in making masala dosas, which our daughters thoroughly enjoyed, as did oveall fabulous homestay here

  6. I have been a SAHM for 15 years now and I have never regretted it. I’ve heard all kinds of comments from people about how I’m wasting my college degree, and it makes me feel bad that people still buy into that. I totally agree with you that being an educated parent is better for your children. Fortunately my husband has always supported me, and he would be the first to tell you that being a SAHM is not an easy job.

  7. Today I saw my 3 1/2 month old son roll over for the first time. If I were at a 9-5 job, I would’ve missed it. I also have a 3-year old son, who I love to play with. Because I stay at home, I can take him on adventures throughout the week. Today we went to the library to check out books and play on the playground with friends. Yesterday we went to the park and watched some swans with their babies.

    I think it really helps to have support. My husband prefers me to stay at home with our boys and it’s something we agreed on before we got married. I also belong to a church that has many SAHMs and homeschool moms. It really helps to get together with other moms during the week. I recommend finding other like-minded moms if you’re not getting support from your friends and family. I started a Facebook group for my friends and their friends that stay home with their little ones (5 and under) and I plan field trips, parties and art days for all of us. I can’t think of many jobs that would be better than what I do all day everyday.

    Furthermore, for many people it’s a matter of finances. If you have lots of expenses (mortgage, utilities, car loans, school loans, etc.), even if your husband has a good job, you still may have to work. With our family it makes more financial sense for me to stay home. We rent our home, have limited basic cable and own both our cars outright. I don’t think I’d be able to get a job that pays enough (above and beyond childcare) to be worth missing time with my kids. So I prefer working from home. I tutor kids in math after school and I’m a Social Media Specialist (that sounds a lot more important than it really is) for an insurance agency. I only make about $125/week between the two of them, but it’s just enough to pay the bills. When the day comes that I need to work out of the house, I will do so. For now I love be a Stay at Home Mom. Those SAHM-haters are just jealous of us. They probably have great kids, but crappy jobs.

  8. Teachers, soldiers and sahm’s are all overworked, underappreciated, underpaid, and underrespected. All three jobs form the foundation of society. Thank goodness we take our jobs seriously! Thanks for your blog.

  9. I am a SAHM with a bachelor’s degree. I have to admit, some times I do feel a little less knowledgeable than I was when I was using my brain differently by working a “real” job. However, I would never go back to work, I love staying at home. To help myself feel smarter I re-learn something new a few times per week and post about it on my blog.

  10. I really needed to read that tonight! I just finished writing a post about mommies vs daycare and I went looking through wp’s tags to see if there were other moms out there who feel the way I feel. It’s so sad to think that there are actually educated people out there that view stay at home mothers as lazy bums with nothing better to do. It’s a shame. Thank you for your post!

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