Ahh, the Stay At Home Mom. The woman who either we think is rolling in dough or scrimping for meals. The one we either think has all the time in the world or has no time to do anything, so she is overlooked in some social circles. The one who has no “say so” in any decisions made in her home because her husband is the one that earns the paycheck. The one who definitely must be a doormat because surely, her husband doesn’t respect her. Then my favorite, the one who does nothing but use her husband for his money. You get the point.
Let's chat about this for a moment? Do You have time?
We stay at home for multiple reasons. Not all mama’s share the same story or reasoning however, what is certain, is its done because it is fitting for the dynamics of our family. From my personal experience, being a SAHM has been interesting, not for me perse, but moreso, the reactions I have gotten from others. There have been many comments made to me that are not only insulting but also hurtful and I know many other mamas who share the same sentiments.
Let me break down some things.
We are not a charity case. I cannot tell you how many times people have approached me with multilevel marketing opportunities because I am a SAHM. Typically, somewhere in the conversation I am told "I know how hard being a SAHM is financially” “I know you could use extra money because you are a SAHM” “This would be a great opportunity for your family," I really could go on but you get my drift. So, here is the skinny. Don’t assume because a woman has made the decision to stay home with her children, that surely their family is struggling financially. It's insulting. This doesn’t mean we don’t support or appreciate you reaching out to us, but telling us what you think you know to be true is annoying. Assuming our household is lacking resources does not make us excited.
We are not a pushover. It may shock you to know that many SAHM’s are the ones that make many of the decisions for the home. I know this thought either wow’s you or disgusts you (the people that think you are a gold digger). SAHM’s are always on the prowl for making family life better. We do not sit on the sidelines while our husbands absorb all the play time, we are actually in the game.
We are not doormats. We are not in a position where our husbands disrespect us because we are not employed (who made this up anyway?). Staying at home to raise your children, is a collaborative decision that both parents make. We are not suddenly, not allowed to use our voice and operate in a situation where the home is a dictatorship.
We are not all wealthy - A household operating off one income does not suggest wealth automatically. What it does tell you about the family is that they are true risk takers. They understand the value in making sacrifices for their family because they feel it is fitting for their family's dynamic.
We are not all struggling - While the thought of operating from one income may signal a red flag to some, being a stay at home mom is a choice or option because the family is blessed to afford that type of lifestyle.
We have not all lost our identity - Although being a SAHM can have lonely moments (especially if none of your core girlfriends are part of your at home social circle), we are not all in a place of boredom or depression. Many mothers are doing extraordinary things as SAHM's that is truly admirable. They have found groups of women who they can relate too and they have also used the time to work on projects that they are truly passionate about, many SAHM have evolved into successful business owners.
We are all NOT, not struggling - Some moms are indeed depressed. They have the weight of their home on their shoulders, they are trying to live up to the expectations of others and some are trying to find their way. It's easy to feel like you are sucked into a bottomless black hole of tantrums, crying, diapers, and carpool lanes. Nevertheless, you do it because you know it works for your family.
Here is the point. Motherhood is hardwork. It doesn’t matter why mothers and fathers make the decision to stay home. What is important is that we serve as a village to her. We act as an individual that will stand in the gaps for her if she need it. Making preconceived notions about her lifestyle is not a productive way to show her support. Approach her by asking how she is doing or if she needs any help, perhaps you can be a resource to her.
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