Stay at home moms. Hmm, I wonder where this term came from. I think it’s supposed to refer to moms who are out of the work force, who are the main caregivers of their children, and whose primary job it is to manage their homes. I’ve been a “stay at home” mom since I jumped off the career track when my first child was born about 8 years ago.
For a brief time, I tried to be a “work at home” mom, but an inability to concentrate – or even finish a thought – got the better of me. As the years passed and the number of children increased, my
days were filled with trips to museums, nature centers, classes and children’s programs of all kinds, and just about every park and playground in the area. Our mini-van became more like a second home
as the demands of accommodating my growing children’s ever-changing interests became greater. I certainly stayed at home a lot less than when I was “working”.
At some point, I began helping with my husband’s business. Staying at home suddenly didn’t mean not working professionally, and the management part of managing my home became, well, unmanageable.
After zipping around town trying to carry out some business-related task with crying babies and active toddlers, I longed for the literal aspect of my supposed title. “DON’T YOU REALIZE I’M SUPPOSED TO BE STAYING AT HOME?” I wanted to shout to whoever might listen, or care.
Sometimes, no matter how we’re classified, we simply overdo it and understate it. “Working” moms still come home to their other duties downplaying the stresses that come with their dual – and sometimes conflicting roles; and “stay at home” moms undersell their abilities although they demonstrate a multitude of skills and never really leave their work. It’s a delicate balance of fulfilling our commitments to ourselves and others, but we should always try to give credit where credit is due.
There’s no way to know how life would have been for me had I stayed the professional path, but for all its successes and failures I’m doing what I can on the road Allah selected for me. No matter where
being a “stay at home” mom takes me, I’ll gladly accept the title.
Susan lives in Maryland and is a homeschooling mom of 4 growing munchkins.