The Stay at Home Mom Chronicles: Part One

The Stay at Home Mom Chronicles: Part OneTHE LONE STAY AT HOME MOM

Sunday at church our pastor was talking about one of our members who had a baby shower at the church this past weekend. The woman stood up and talked about how blessed she was and all the nice things they received. I smiled and thought back to my baby shower from the church and remembered the outpouring of wonderful gifts and cards we received. Our church truly has good people in it.
As I was looking around the sanctuary at all the families I realized something, though. I am the only stay at home mom in our church. Every other Mom that goes there has a full-time job away from the home. Don't get me wrong, I love our church and everyone there has always been kind. But it makes more sense that I've sometimes felt like I'm having to defend my choice to stay at home with the kids. And maybe "defend" isn't the right word...I'm not sure what is. But I do know that I have been asked MANY times, "What are you doing? Just staying at home with the kids?" JUST? I don't mean to get into semantics...but that "just" is the thing that bothers me.
I don't want this to seem like an anti-church post because it's not. This is not the only place I've heard that "just." People in general usually seem to view my staying at home as laziness or that I feel like I'm better than working - neither of which are the case. At a family event last year, a very extended family member grilled me on what I'd been doing with myself these past couple years:

Family Member (FM): So you got married a couple years ago, I remember that!
Me: Yes, and we have two kids now.
FM: Yeah. So did you ever finish school?
Me: Well I went to Such & Such University* for awhile and then after Zeke was born I went to Blah Blah College online for awhile but got busy and didn't finish - maybe someday. I do some writing now though!
FM: Oh. Well do you work?
Me: No, I'm a stay at home mom. We just started homeschooling this past year!
FM: OH. *awkward silence* Well that's...interesting.

Yeah. The rest of the conversation was pretty much like that! I feel WE feel that for our family this is what's best and I always try to let people know that. I'm not anti-working moms or anything like that. I think that whatever works for you and your family is great - as long as you're all happy and functioning well, then that's what matters. I guess it just irks me that other people don't feel that way or that I feel like I have to defend myself. I've found a TON of women online (and a few in real life) that feel the same or similar to what I do about staying home. I also have friends who have work at home jobs, friends who volunteer and friends that work part-time and/or full time jobs.
I have more to say on this subject so I'm going to make this a series of sorts. Look for the next post within the next day or two. I'll end up with this though: Don't ever let anyone make you feel like you have to stick up for yourself because you stay at home with your kids. (Or whatever it is you have to do for your family.)

*My colleges did have names I just didn't feel like revealing everything about myself. :)

(Be sure to check back soon for Part Two - "What Exactly DO You Do?")

6 comments :

  1. Ugh, I am so there! I can't speak from a homeschooling perspective, at least not yet, but with stay-at-home parenting I always get people asking if I'm going back to work. Then I feel like I do have to defend myself. I think we're just always on the defense because we feel like if someone chooses a path different from ours we feel like they're saying we're wrong. For me at least, that's the case. I even had one person playfully chastise me when I said I hadn't gone back to work, like "Carol!" I feel like I'm best serving Jonah at home, that's what matters. (:

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  2. Girl, I feel your pain. I am battered with the whole "sahm speech" as well. Just because I stay at home doesn't mean I am lazy, just like you go to work doesn't mean you hate spending time with your kids, and you love money more.

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  4. It's not really the church thing for me where I get that awkward silence....it is everywhere else, because I have an outgoing personality and am a young mom, people just don't seem to know what to do when they find out that I am a stay at home mom, with one on the way....Great Series, can't wait to see where it takes you...I would love for you to check out my blog at www.iamcurlylocks.blogspot.com

    Peace and Love,
    Najeema Iman, I AM Curly Locks

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  5. Thanks for the great comments all! I appreciate them - good to know I'm not alone. :)

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  6. I totally TOTALLY feel you on this one. I too am a stay at home mom and a writer and somehow I always feel like I'm apologizing by saying "I'm at home with my kids." And that "just" is the worst. But it's the most important job. And most of the days I'm exhausted, but I do love my kiddos!

    Thanks for sharing!

    http://spinning-threads.blogspot.com

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