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.