Despite the fact that I work per-diem, for all intensive purposes I am a stay-at-home mom whose husband’s hard work has afforded me the opportunity to be there for my family in all the ways that matter. Many think I am lucky to have this luxury, and in a lot of ways they are right. I get to be there for my kids, to help them with their school work, to support their after-school endeavors, to foster their growth and independence, and to, on the most basic level, watch them grow up. There is no greater joy than that. The pay-offs are priceless as I get paid in “I love you’s” and I get to share in their successes and triumphs – whether they are academic, social, athletic or developmental milestones (my toddler).
Yet, there is a flip side to being a stay-at-home mom that only another stay-at-home mom can understand. That being that part of you that craves adult interaction after PG-ing it all day long with your children. The part of you that knows that there are no sick days, no vacation days, and no time-outs – no matter how tired, how frustrated, or how overwhelmed your are. And the part of you that silently screams for appreciation, recognition, respect, and validation of your unrelenting “Cinderella” efforts which keep your family working like a well-oiled machine but seem to go unnoticed by every member of your household. Being a stay-at-home mom is not some “relax and eat bonbons” kind of life. It’s hard work to keep your household running efficiently while managing the lives of your little ones; all the while trying to find or make the time for your spouse. It’s even harder when you also have a some type of career that demands even the smallest bit of your attention.
Being a mom (whether a stay-at-home one or career mom) is to undertake certain unspoken responsibilities that are inherent with motherhood. The investment you make in your family is emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual, and social; and deserves the recognition, the validation, the respect, and the appreciation from your spouse, your partner, and even your extended family. Simplicities such as hearing “thank-you” or “I appreciate all that you do” can go a long way in validating your worth as a mom.