Why stay-at-home-mom is NOT a job

Why stay-at-home-mom is NOT a job

The dreaded question every single stay-at-home-mom eventually faces is So, what do you do? Whether asked by the nail technician or when we’re in some adult environment feeling pretty awesome for having had the courage to leave the kids with the sitter, when this comes up, we shrink into an uncomfortable mess.

We start to avoid eye contact, our heart beats faster, our body language communicates utter despair. We feel shame in admitting that our job is to stay-at-home and JUST-BE-A-MOM. Why?

Because we fail every single day.
Because if we went to college, now it’s a great time to feel we wasted our education.
Because our heart is divided between selflessly offering ourselves to our kids and selfishly pursuing a career where other people are looking up to us and listening when we talk.
Because women have fought for freedom of choice and we are now wasting ours by going back to the only option women had 200 years ago.
Because we feel guilt.
Because we don’t feel we contribute enough with just our taking care of the kids

We ALL must change our mind about what we mean and how we perceive our own self and our children.

Many stay-at-home moms (there is even acronym for this, did you know – SAHM – what’s the exact first word that comes up in your mind as you read this?) will turn their entire life purpose towards modeling their children into the fantasy version of the children they think they deserve, or the children they believe would be adjusted to the world, well-behaved and perfect. Because that’s an interpretation of the job, and in a way, they are right. Only it’s not sustainable, as these tiny humans will fight us back to be who they were meant to be in the first place. When that happens, the SATHM’s entire illusion of worth and purpose will fall apart. That’s when it gets interesting. And hard.

We all need a pursuit of purpose that is different than raising our children.

We can allow our souls to be consumed by everything our child did, didn’t, is or isn’t. Or we can shift perspective and start ENJOYING the life we have and the children we have.

Here are some truths that a MOM, any mom, working at home, from home, from the office, yoga mat or coffee shop needs to consider about their kids:

My child is good.
My purpose is to intentionally step back and observe who my child is.
My child is my teacher. What do I need to learn from them?

Nothing, really NOTHING else matters. They will have tantrums, disagree with us, nights when they won’t sleep, friends we don’t accept and different principles and beliefs that us (and it will drive us crazy).

Never let them crave your love or acceptance. Let’s not reprogram them to think I am only loved when I do… ,say…or behave…

And when we talk about YOU, when somebody asks What do you do? talk about the things you enjoy doing not about the daily tasks you accomplish. Instead of talking about “wiping the bottoms of the next generation”, talk about what lights your fire, what makes your heart dance and what keeps you dreaming.

I change the world.
I knit.
I read.
I take photos.
I play.
I do yoga.
I bake.
I write.
I sleep.
I run.
I drink tea.
I pray.
I laugh.

And then ask What about you? completely unrelated to a job description.

Wonderful women, let’s change the dialogue! Let’s get out of the repetitive thoughts that we are not enough or whatever we do is not enough of a contribution.

If we want to change how we feel about our life, we must change how we define what we do.

Just as I finished this article, I was looking online for some photos to accompany it. I typed stay-at-home-mom job and thousands of images depicting young attractive women wearing heavy duty gloves, scrubbing floors, stoves, removing carpet stains and baking the perfect cookies appeared. There was the occasional one smiling while holding a duster and a baby. And then there were the ones who were trying to cook, hold babies and work on their laptops or talk on the phone. All while wearing hot rollers and a hair net. Is this really how we view it? Is this how we feel it while we’re in the middle of it? Is this really this century?

So let’s change this conversation. Right here and right now, take ownership and responsibility for who you want to be. Rewrite definitions, story and your own dialogue.

Share it with the ones who need to hear this.

Why stay-at-home-mom is NOT a job 

If we want to change how we feel about our life, we must change how we define what we do. 

We all need a pursuit of purpose that is different than raising our children. 

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  • Charlotte

    Reply Reply September 6, 2016

    First of all I want to say Hallelujah Sister! This is such an important topic to discuss and I feel we spend so much of our time with the head burried deep in the sand.
    I read SAHM and I immediately thought SHAME. How odd is that?
    Great article Talida, thank you for sharing with the world.

    • Talida

      Reply Reply September 7, 2016

      Me too Charlotte! Isn’t that crazy?

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