Good Mom Bad Mom


I’m so surprised to have gotten so many awesome responses and such great support….THANK YOU!  It’s all been impressionable, thought-provoking, and encouraging. 

One of the things I didn’t anticipate was the feedback I would get privately.  Many of the responses I got went right to my email with thoughts and opinions of  women who were unwilling to post publically because of fear of offending someone…I had no idea this subject would be so controversial…although it makes sense, sometimes it’s easy to feel stuck on an island alone in your confusion and conflict rather than feeling you might share some of the same thoughts and emotions with others.  

It’s interesting to me that the conflict seems to arise around whether or not you’re a good mom or a bad mom for staying home or going back to work…it’s also interesting that these ideas are both internal and external…we certainly have our own pressures; contributing to our family’s finances, having our own identity separate from spit up and the daily care of our children and household, fears of having “someone else raise my kids”, etc. 

But for the conflicted the societal and personal pressures arise on so many levels. 

Haven’t we as women worked for eons to find our place in the world and break away from the social norm of the 1950’s housewife who stays home and cooks and cleans? Don’t we deserve more than the expectation that dinner will be on the table when our man gets home and that the kids will have all their needs met and that the house will be clean no matter what kind of day you’ve had??

Why is it that when someone hears the term “Stay at Home Mom” (SAHM) there’s this assumption that because she’s traded her 5 day 9 to 5 to a 365 24 hour shift that she’s now hanging out at home in sweats all day doing nothing but being lazy?

One of the biggest struggles I’ve found is how would it be to stay home and be the one in charge of The Household…

ME….The CEO of Chez Heins….(that’s not so bad right)??

What does that mean exactly?

Chief Executive duties assigned as follows in no particular order: cooking, cleaning, doer of all things mom, wife, housekeeper and chef.

What are the expectations?

 You WILL have a perfectly kept house, well-behaved and adjusted children, a happy husband, and a happy marriage.  You will  present for work 15 minutes early unfrazzeled, and properly and appropriately dressed for the job.

How will it change my marriage?

You will do your job with a positive attitude and have things done in such a way where you prove you’re able to handle whatever situation may arise all while maintaining your primary role as chief of staff and of course, as always, other duties as assigned.

What about my husband’s stress level?

 As you will contribute less financially to the household finances, all weight and expectations to provide rest on him.   You will make sure the household, children, dogs, meals, cleaning, etc. is complete to prove yourself worthy of this highly esteemed position otherwise you risk demotion to a higher paying less stressful environment (back the corporate world you go!).

What about our home environment?

If chaos arises with kids, dogs, and or duties, as CEO you will need to adjust…trying to keep her head above water is NOT an option in this line of work…if you can’t hack it don’t try it…this is not for the weak.

________________________________________________________________________

WHEW!! It’s so easy to let my inner self-critic get away with my reality…the most important thing in this world is to be with my child…to nurture him, and love him, and be the one who trains him up with the values my husband and I believe to the best way that works for OUR family…this is no small task! I’m up for the challenge but continue daily to think about the stereotype of who this stay at home mom really is. 

There’s no way I can do it all or be it all…there’s no way I’ll ever be the perfect housekeeper, wife, mother, or chef…it’s funny the idea that comes to mind when I think of being home permanently with my little man…it’s becoming easier and easier to see that this ideal woman and household don’t exist…but how interesting that it was my first thought as I started my consideration to stay home.

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About The Momflict

I am a new mom adjusting to life with my first born...trying to find my place in the world and wrestling with the changes of life in staying home or going back to work...thus, the momflict.
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15 Responses to Good Mom Bad Mom

  1. Dana says:

    Another great, thought-provoking post, Erin! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
    Have you listened to Dr. Laura or read any of her books? I find her to be hypocritical and her racial comment last year definitely bothered me. However, she talks a lot about being a stay-at-home mom, the expectations, etc. and I agree with some of the points she makes. I’ve read a couple of her books but haven’t read “In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms” yet. Might be worth checking out. You can read more about her view points on her website http://www.drlaura.com and read more about her here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Laura.
    xoxo

  2. Nickie says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post. I have often found myself thinking very similar to this or feeling that people are judging me because I am judging myself. Thanks for the great reading Erin!

    • The Momflict says:

      Thanks Nickie! It’s always so nice to hear other people think and feel the same way! Hope you guys are doing well!

      • Nickie says:

        We are doing great! It has really been an amazing journey so far as a mom. It’s great to see all of the awesome changes Avaleigh has and continues to go through. Two days ago Avaleigh just got two teeth. Where did all the time go? They grow so fast.

  3. Kaitlin says:

    Erin – love your blog and your thoughts! This is awesome! I do have to say that I do not feel as though it is a trade 9 to 5 to a 365 24hr shift – I think whether you stay at home or work outside the home, both shifts are a 365 24hr shift called motherhood! With the same expectations :o) Either way you play it – God made mom’s super with these supernatural powers that allow us to have more energy and somehow be able to smile through the 12:30am calls and be up the next morning to do it all again….now if I could just somehow channel those powers…… :o)

    • The Momflict says:

      Ohhh my dear friend! You are someone I truly admire! You wear your mom badge so well and are so graceful with how you provide for your family and your students! I value your remarkable ability to do it so joyfully! Xo

  4. Britni Davidson says:

    Erin! I love your blog! It’s so nice to know that there are other women out there trying to find the right balance between full-time provider and/or working Mom. With my first daughter I was a complete mess when my maternity leave was over. I thought she would never survive without me. Had I been able to stay home I wouldn’t have even tried to go back to work. It turns out being a working Mom is WAY easier than staying at home, but definately not as fun! Good luck to you and that that sweet little boy! I love the blog!

    • The Momflict says:

      Thanks Brit! It’s so interesting to hear about people’s experiences! I’m sure with 2 it’s a whole different perspective than with 1 also! I appreciate your thoughts and feedback! xo

  5. Kaitlin says:

    Friend – ohhh I wish you could share some of that awesome feedback that you have received via anonymously. So many truly bright, funny, and intuitive women that all seem to be struggling with the same battle from either perspective. Check out this article I just read in the waiting room – thought it was interesting : http://www.metro-parent.com/issues/apr11/index.html Read pages 22-24 The Radical Homemaker Revolution! Look forward to see all that God had planned for us :o)

  6. Josie Grace says:

    Great Post! Have you ever heard of Flylady.net? My MIL told me about flylady and her systems right before I had Remember Grace and it has absolutely saved my home and my sanity! 🙂 She really teaches about letting go of our perfection- I don’t necessarily agree with all her views, but I appreciate most of them! I am learning to have fun with my housework and take more time with my 2 DDs thanks to her.
    I have read so many testimonies about her systems and encouragements from both SAHMs and Business women, from every walk of life. I really encourage you to check her website out and sign up for her emails if you haven’t already. It is amazing how I catch myself saying many of her phrases to myself and my dear MIL and I will smile and remind each other of them….. Anyway, enjoy every moment with your little one! Your blog has encouraged me to enjoy every day I have with by Husband and babies! ❤

  7. Briana says:

    Wow, thanks for summing up the job description, especially the part about managing all the home stress so your partner doesnt have to! I do my best at this, but sometimes spill over emotionally with whatever happens to be going on. And its OK. REALLY.

    Finding a new balance with all this is definitely difficult, but worth it for our family.

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