Everyone has a picture in their mind of what a stay at home mom should be. Sometimes it’s fairly flattering - the perfect mother who is always there for her family, home cooks every meal and keeps a perfect house. Other times it’s a picture of a woman lazing on the couch, watching soap operas, eating bon bons and spending her husband’s hard earned money.
Most stay at home moms don’t fit perfectly into either. Maybe you’re great at cooking meals for your family, but when it comes to thinking of great ways to keep the kids busy, you struggle. Maybe your house is clean but you hate to cook. And maybe you do enjoy those soap operas as you help the kids with homework and projects.
Most people don’t recognize the challenges your typical stay at home mom deals with. They see it as a kind of makework, nothing real.
As a stay at home mother you have many doors open these days. You can express yourself for the entire world to see on a blog. You can start a home business. You can volunteer. You can find a work at home job. Or you can just delight in being a stay at home mother and ignore your detractors.
Is a stay at home mom lazy? Rarely. Most try hard to contribute their fair share by budgeting money wisely, being there for their family, raising the kids, cleaning the house, cooking meals, and generally working what studies have shown to be the equivalent of two full time jobs. Next time someone calls stay at home moms lazy, just remind them of that.
You don’t have to be June Cleaver to be a successful stay at home mom. If you don’t enjoy cooking, that’s just fine. Use the shortcuts available to you that fit in your budget. I would suggest keeping the food healthy for your family’s sake, but otherwise it’s up to you.
Despite what some feminists think, choosing to be a stay at home mom is not a betrayal of what the feminist movement fought for. Women now have options, and can choose what exactly they want to do with their lives. Saying that it is unreasonable to choose a traditional path is denying you the right to live your life as you choose.
Just take a look at what today’s stay at home mom is like. Odds are you weren’t raised to think of yourself as a future stay at home mother. Growing up, girls are now encouraged to think of having careers, not “merely” raising their families.
It’s okay for a stay at home mom to have outside interests. They don’t have to be the more or less traditional volunteering, cooking and so forth. You can keep up your skills so that when your children are grown or reach an age where you decide to go back to work you still have the skills. You can do real work at home.
There are more options out there for stay at home moms than there used to be. Even as you take the time off from outside the home jobs to raise your family you can maintain your own interests.
Stephanie Foster is one of the lucky ones who has been a stay at home mom since her children were born. She has a forum at http://www.homewiththekids.com/phpBB2/ to meet other moms.