Why I Don’t Regret Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

IMG_2041I just read a piece over at Huffington Post that really made my blood boil called Why I Regret Being a Stay-at-Home Mom. Now, I am a work at home mom with my blogs and freelance work that I do, so I don’t fall into the 100% stay at home mom role. However, I wouldn’t trade my life in for anything. So here are a few of my responses to the points that the author of that article made (her point in bold, my response follows):

1. I let down those who went before me. Feminism is around so we have choices. You have let no one down staying home and doing what I consider the most important job out there — parenting.

2. I used my driver’s license far more than my degrees. I use my degree all the time. Those critical thinking skills — I honed them in college. Best class I ever took? Statistics. That taught me how you can make any poll say what you want. Once you know that, it definitely changes your life view of things. I also use those English courses blogging. My Business Administration minor definitely helps with my blogging network (I’ve got 3 other blogs besides this one!).

3. My kids think I did nothing.My kids know what I do. Part of that is because I do the blogging, so they understand what I do is work.

4. My world narrowed. Mine got larger. Granted, a lot of that has to do with the internet. Your world is only narrow if you allow it to be.

5. I got sucked into a mountain of volunteer work. Yes, there is this thing called the word “no”. You don’t have to be a stay at home mom to volunteer too much. I also think its great to show your kids that we give back the community and that life isn’t just about us.

6. I worried more. They are kids. You worry. That is going to happen if you work or if you stay at home. There are plenty helicopter parents who work too. Plus, your kids are happier that you are involved in their lives.

7. I slipped into a more traditional marriage. Why is this a bad thing? I’m home more. I make dinner and keep most of the house clean. My husband is here less so he does yardwork (which I often times due just because I like to burn my calories mowing the lawn) and taking out the trash. Oh yes, and killing spiders. If I made more than Bill (my husband), his butt would be at home, and he would have the most work. Again, feminism gave us more choices. Nowhere in the feminism handbook does it say traditional marriage is bad.

8. I became outdated. Again, you choose to that to yourself. I’ve actually got more job skills now than I think I did before I had kids.

9. I lowered my sights and lost confidence.I’ve raised my sights. I know that I can run my own business without a boss.

She also goes into the big long tirade about money. Well, here’s the deal honey — you could have kept your job and been laid off in this horrible economy and still be in the same boat you are today. Instead though, you would have lost spending time with your kids while they were children.

Nobody can care for your kids like you do. Nobody (though good day care centers do try but they still don’t love your kids like you do). You can’t get back that time watching them take their first step or seeing their beaming faces when you are lunch mom. (My kids fight over whose classroom I should be lunch mom in when I get called to volunteer). I get to be there for my kids. Being a stay at home mom actually opened up doors for me — like this blogging thing I do.

What are your thoughts?

Comments

  1. says

    First, I agree that you are’t really a stay at home mom, you’re a WORK at home mom and I think there is a distinction. (yeah, stay at home moms work too but it’s simply different no use fighting over it)
    But I think you are right on with each point. I didn’t read the piece but i’m kind of glad I didn’t. Basically very few of those have to do with staying home!! And make so many amazing stay home moms look bad. Some of my FAVE people are stay at home moms.
    And I totally wish I could be one again!!!

    • says

      I work very part time (some weeks more than others). LOL I’m able to stay home with my kids and pay for their Catholic school tuition. I wouldn’t trade that in for the world.

  2. says

    I feel bad that she was so unfulfilled as a SAHM, but some of her regrets seem like they had obvious solutions. She was a stock trader, she could have taught night school, she could have taught her kids to trade stocks with their allowance! To say her kids didn’t see her “work” means she taught them the wrong meaning of work. Every member of my family knows that everything we do benefits all of us. Doing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, mowing the lawn – those are jobs. Planning for, shopping for, and preparing meals is a job. And there’s no reason for SAHMs not to have aspirations! She could have waited until they were older and planned to write a book or go back to work part time or whatever. She’s not getting sympathy from me.

  3. says

    I have been a SAHM for almost 19 years. I am so thankful I have been able to do it. I have 13 more years to go and will enjoy them! I love your responses and feel the same on a lot of it. Great post!

  4. says

    I absolutely LOVE this post!! Soo true and you touched on some very interesting subjects!! My kids KNOW what I do too and don’t think less of me because I AM home with them. They know mommy earns money too, yet I am able to be with them throughout the day and see them grow! The BEST of both worlds!!!

    • says

      Thanks! My kids’ friends think what I do is pretty awesome. (though that delves into the different of working at home and just being a stay at home mom).

  5. says

    I LOVE this! You eloquently expressed how I feel on this topic (And I don’t have any kids, by the way). It really irritates me to hear women’s choices constantly being marginalized and judged – I could go on at length but you already said it all so I’ll stop, haha. Yay for feminism and yay for moms!

  6. says

    WOW! I can see how you are heated on this topic! As a SAHM with a Masters Degree in Science and Education, I can tell you that I also feel MORE qualified now, after having kids, to teach kids. I also feel that my world expanded, and my social networks have increased after having kids and being a SAHM. This article you references is absolutely ridiculous and completely a “personal” take and can’t be generalized to all us SAHMs. Good job on showing a different side of the SAHM thing and that it isn’t something that should be a regret!

  7. says

    I can see how an article like that would make your blood boil. its articles like that that give women who CHOSE To stay home a bad name.As if wall we do all day is sit around eat ice cream and watch jerry springer.

  8. says

    I’m so glad to see your post. I was tremendously offended by the original blog as well. I have nothing against SAHM or Working Moms. I DO, however, have a real issue with WHINERS. The writer equates staying home with sticking one’s head in the sand and never engaging with anyone but your kids. Hey, if that’s okay by you it is by me… but don’t do it for 20 years and then complain. I feel for her family for having her step up and essentially say she feels she made the wrong choice by spending time with them. And I won’t even touch on the level of ticked I got about her complaining about volunteering. Look, being a Mom means whatever you want it to mean. If you want a meaningful fulfilled life with work (paid or unpaid), great. If you want to stay home full time or work full time or find some mix, great. But what you don’t get to do is make yourself miserable for 20 years and then complain about it. That’s like sitting down eating an entire cake and then saying “I have a bellyache… and the cake wasn’t that good anyway”. Nothing burns me up more than that!!!!

    • says

      I agree with everything you just said. :) The thing is — the world needs volunteers and I happily volunteer where my time allows. You just can’t let yourself get taken advantage of. And I’m a firm believe that you make your life what you want it to be.

  9. says

    I am a SAHM {my blog aside} & I agree with you. Feminism is about us choosing what we want to do & not being forced to, even if that’s staying home. I agree with the rest of your points too, that’s just the one that bothers me the most whenever it’s brought up.

  10. says

    I love being a “work at home” mother, but I honestly didn’t really find her article offensive. Being a stay at home mother isn’t for everyone. That doesn’t make them a bad mom, though. Sounds like she was letting off a lot of steam, which is usually not a good thing on the internet since words usually don’t interpret well online. :)

  11. Bobbie says

    I have never read your blog, I just happened to come across it after reading the Huffington Post article. Although this might sound wishy-washy, I like both the article and your response. I am a mom of four kids (12, 10, 8, and 5). I am also a lawyer. When I had kids, I was lucky enough to be able to go part-time (like really part-time, 2 days a week). It cost my big time in the career world meaning I make much less than my peers who worked full time. But I don’t regret it at all. I loved being home with the kids which is why I get your response. I went back to work full time this year (it’s been gradually building, you know the part time thing that balloons). It’s been hard to adjust, and I miss my more leisurely life with the kids. But there are things I love about being fully committed to work too. There is no perfect choice. Everything has good and bad sides. The important thing is that we care for our children and respect each other’s choices.

  12. says

    Amen! I am with you 100%!
    And since becoming a mom to my first in 2009 and twins in 2010 I’ve soared! We’re now expats in Europe. So I’d really like her to explain to me how I’m outdated, my college skills are wasted etc etc etc!!!

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