Sitters Unlimited Stay At Home Mom
Feeling Respected As a Stay At Home Mom

Published By: Kelli Cole

Web Site URL:
Mom Staying At Home

Date Submitted: 05/14/2000

"Why are you wasting your education and brain?" and "I wish I could just stay home and do nothing." These are just examples of some of the comments stay at home moms must endure. While anyone who’s ever stayed home with their children for any length of time knows that it takes brains to raise kids and you almost never have a time when you are doing nothing. Yet these comments are still made on a regular basis. I have been a stay at home mom for almost three years. In that time, I have learned more about time management, being efficient and staying on the go than I ever did in the corporate world. I was a paralegal for 4 years before stepping into the challenging and rewarding career of stay at home mom. As a paralegal I would tell people what I did and they would immediately seemed interested, ask legal question or tell a lawyer joke. As a stay at home mom I tell people what I do and they ask me if I am bored. It is sad that people look at moms who stay at home in that light.

I would never criticize a mom who chooses to work outside the home. That is her choice, and she is entitled to it. I realize that sometimes there is no way for a mom to stay home and I respect that. My choice is not always the best or only choice, I just wish for more respect for what I have chosen to do. It is not just people it is also the media. There are constant articles and tip sheets for working moms. Where are the tip sheets for us that stay at home moms and where is out support and respect. There is so much emphasis on the material rewards of work that sometimes it is not recognized that good parenting has more valuable rewards; not just for the parents, but for the children, too. I am not saying one way or the other whether being a stay-at-home mom is harder work than holding down a job outside the home. I am saying it is a different kind of hard work, and it deserves respect as well. I have to keep in mind that regardless of others' opinions this is the right decision for me. There are studies that show that children turn out just as well adjusted with or without a stay at home mom. I don’t know about studies and figures but I do know about my own experiences of coming home to a snack and my mom being there to go over my day with me. Those days are memories I will always have not of a day care center or a babysitter but of my mom balancing and juggling so she could be there for me.

Before my daughter turned two years old we had moved 4 times. I felt grateful that I didn’t have to find a new sitter or day care in each new state. Her world was constantly changing except for me being there each and every day. My second child was born prematurely and I was thankful that I did not have to worry that someone else was taking the extra care that he needed. My husband is very insistent that it’s "our" income. I appreciate that kind of thinking, but I find that it is still somewhat difficult to treat myself to a new article of clothing, makeup, or other such pampering after having provided those things solely on my own before. The important thing is not who brings in the money, but how well, as husband and wife, we work as a team to provide the whole picture for our family. People who have never stayed at home may not look at it in the happy way I do or with the positive spin that I see. Knowing my husband respects, supports and encourages my decision has become far more important than any comments I receive.

Going to one income calls for a major budget overhaul, it’s usually imperative that some material things are given up. I wondered how we were going to manage it, but we have. It’s amazing how some things can be done away with, and we really do not miss them. Somehow we always get through the month without bill collectors knocking down our doors. I believe that being forced to change our spending habits made us see our lives in a new perspective. Less tangible things become valuable to us. Playing with the kids and cuddling with a book replace trips to the mall for a spending spree on things that would be forgotten in a week. Looking into the future I see that my greatest gift to my children will be my love and time.

WRITTEN BY: Kelli publisher of free monthly e-zine for stay at home moms. or or

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