Sunday, May 15, 2011

How Valuable is a Stay-at-Home Mom?


It amazes me how being a stay-at-home mom is viewed by the outside world at times. When I worked full-time, I was a hard working, self-motivated, passionate employee.  As a stay-at-home mom, I bring even more passion to my job. I could give a detailed list of all of the things that I do on a daily basis, however, I will just say that it is a full-time job. On a job, when you accomplish something or when you are doing a great job, you are given a promotion or a raise.  Stay at home moms have to realize their own value as a wife and mother, because very seldom do you get the encouragement or the “job well done” that you do when you work outside of the home. I guess that is called being an adult, you have to do your job to the best of your ability with or without support or encouragement.  However, as a human being, we do seek the acceptance and approval of others.

Being a stay-at-home parent is one of the most challenging, thankless, physically demanding, jobs that I have ever had, but it is also the most rewarding. I get up every day knowing that my kids are being shaped by me. Who else better to prepare them for their future, to instill the values and morals that we find important, to teach them about God and our Faith? Who else will bring as much love, passion, and concern for their lives to the table? Who else knows them inside and out, knows their strengths, weaknesses, limitations, and sets the expectations high, taking all of these things into consideration? No one is better or more equipped to handle this job better than their own parents. When I look at my kids, I know that my husband and I are doing a fantastic job. I only wish that the outside world would look at them and see how effective being at home with them has been. If I announced to the world that I received a promotion, society would praise me, and call me a success. However, when my kids are operating well above where they should be academically, when they can make friends, feel empathy for others, exhibit good manners, hold their own in conversations, these things are ignored or the credit is given to the child alone. I am one to agree that some things are just God-given abilities, but I also believe that we are also products of our environments, and our choices.

I would like to say to every stay at home parent that is made to feel inferior by others and society, that you should see the value of your job. Know that even if no one gives you that “pat on the back”, if others think that all you do is sit around and eat bon-bons all day, if no one ever says “thank you” for what you are doing, look at your kids and know that they are worth it. They are worth every sacrifice that you make, every  unkind comment that others make when they find out that you are an “at home” parent, for the times when you have to sit in the background, because no one feels that you have anything valuable to bring to the conversation (because you are “only a mom”). For every coupon that you clip, for every minute that you spend away from other adults, for all of the paychecks that you do not collect, just know that it is worth it. One day, when your kids are adults they will look at their lives, and they will be thankful. Whether, they come back to say “thank you” or not, they will realize the value of your being at home with them, and all of the hard work that it took. One day, when every executive retires, when every working parent’s outside job is finished, when businesses fold, or you are just simply too old to do the job, your mark on this world as a parent will live on. Even after you leave this life, the influences, the memories, the lessons will live on through your children, their children, and the generation to come. When I am asked what my occupation is, I often respond that I am “just a mom”. I couldn’t be more proud to be “just a mom”. I have never seen, “This person was a doctor, a lawyer, or held a PHD written on a headstone”. When you leave this life, the legacy that really counts usually rests at a person’s head for all to see....”Beloved wife and mother”, “Beloved husband and father”, or simply, Mom or Dad.

For every stay at home parent that feels that you are inferior, unappreciated, or have no value, know that you are making a difference that matters and one that will last.