Yes, Being a Stay-at-Home Mom is a ‘Real’ Job

Yes, Being a Stay-at-Home Mom is a ‘Real’ Job May 20, 2019

is a stay at home mom a real job

My son asked me the other day when’s the last time I’d had a “real” job.

He went on to clarify:  A job where, you know, you “worked.”

I’m a stay-at-home mom.

Staying home is a lot of work.

And it can be hard on a marriage. 

Taking care of a household and children zaps your energy, so you may have little left for your man.

Coming out of college, if someone had offered me a position with long hours, no vacation and no monetary compensation, I would’ve turned it down flat.

Although he doesn’t realize it, my son has never known a time when I haven’t worked.

I returned to work the minute I brought him home from the hospital.

Stay-at-home moms with older children don’t get maternity leave

No maternity leave for me. He already had an older brother and sister at home, so I went straight to work.

Here’s why:

I “work” because:

  1. I want his brothers and sisters and him to be well cared for.
  2. I want him to have someone to laugh with and to talk with and to dream with and to dance with.
  3. I want to listen to his stories about imaginary worlds and admire his Lego creations. And to remind him even though life can be icky at times, it’s also beautiful and meaningful.
  4. If he and his wife decide she’s going to make home her “work,” I want him to appreciate her and understand why she’s annoyed when his son asks her when’s the last time she had a real job.

Before having kids, I thought I could do it all.

Umm. .  then I had my first child. I started wondering if I ought to consider another profession.

So I decided to make home my work.

Whether working outside the home or in, all moms work. I don’t leave the house everyday, but I work.

I would’ve been fired for incompetence long ago if I had a traditional boss

I would’ve been let go long ago if I had a traditional job. I’ve had some mom fails. Like the time my son fell and broke his arm and I didn’t take him to the hospital until hours later because I didn’t think he was really hurt.

Or the time I accidentally locked his one-year old brother outside while I went in and had lunch.

My husband’s probably wanted to fire me as wife at times.

And many days, I’ve wanted to quit. Everyone has those moments, even when you do something you love.

I hope his question wasn’t precipitated by a perception that moms who choose to make home their work are less valuable or less important than people who work outside the home.

Staying at home with children is work. Hard work.

You don’t need an advanced degree to do it, but a lot of moms have one anyway.

I work just as hard as his dad does but in different ways.

Someone has to have a “real” job so we can eat and have some place to live.

Someone has to pay for piano lessons, braces, Wi-Fi, and Xbox Live.

And, I’m glad my husband does that.

I’m also glad my husband values the work I do. He appreciates my choice to stay home because it allows him to go to work to do what he does without worry or concern about our children.

After some consideration, I responded to my son’s question, “When’s the last time I had a “real” job?” Here’s what I said:

Son, being a mom full-time is a real job.  Probably one of the hardest ones I know. And I choose to be a professional mom because I love you.

Need skills to build intimacy?

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Also known as the Not So Excellent Wife, Sheila Qualls understands how tiring a tough marriage can be. 

She went from the brink of divorce to having a thriving marriage by translating timeless truths into practical skills. She’s helped women just like you turn their men into the husbands they want.

After 33 years of marriage, she’s a  coach  and a speaker whose passion is to equip women to break relationship-stifling habits and do marriage God’s way. And you don’t have to be a doormat to do it.

She and her husband Kendall live in Minnesota with their five children and their Black Lab, Largo.

In addition to coaching, Sheila is a member of the MOPS Speaker Network.  Her work has been featured on the MOPS Blog, The Upper Room, Grown and Flown, Scary Mommy, Beliefnet, Candidly Christian,, The Mighty and on various other sites on the Internet.

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