Someone was recently thrown aback by a father who (not knowing her) made a statement in conversation about how he did not want his daughter to be “Just a stay-at-home Mom”. So I ask you, why, we as a society do this to our “stay-at-home” Moms? Why do we say “JUST” a stay-at-home Mom? Why is there no greater value placed on the people who are raising our next generation of doctors, lawyers, fathers, and yes, mothers?
This has been something I have dealt with for a long time. By the age of 22, while my friends from high school were still in college and living it up, I was married with a house, minivan and baby. That was my choice and I owned it. I was very happy doing so, but I had to find a new set of friends who understood where I was at that moment in time. Now, all those high school “friends” have babies that are close in age to Ava (2-4) as their first babies, and I have my “resident amazon”, Chloe at the age of 11. When Chloe was younger I had a friend who worked full time. I remember often feeling slighted by her comments in reference to her working, and me not, or to the fact that her child was and would be more well socialized because of day care than Chloe would. It hurt to have someone whom was supposed to be on my side, taking off handed digs at me instead. I am not sure if she ever knew what she was doing or not, because I never told her. I felt as though she made judgments about myself and Chloe because we had not chosen the same path, but I never stood in judgment of her as I feel each person/family makes the choices that work for them and that are right for them. I don’t feel mothers should have to stay home, or that homeschooling is for everyone, that is just what has been right for us along the way.
It is a pity that our culture devalues the role of motherhood. As mothers, I believe our self-image could be totally altered if we could hold our chins up high, and say, “I am a mother.” Even as I wrote that I wanted to write “just a mother”. Which tells a story in itself about how downgraded our role is! We are seen as second class to a lawyer, a doctor, a school teacher, anything that is considered work, or paid work.
The truth is the role of “mother” or “stay-at-home mother” is an extremely important role for the emotional health and well being of our children. Which is not to say that you cannot be a good mother if you are working, because I don’t believe that is the case either. This belief in the “stay-at-home” mother as well as the value of the family unit, has rung true for Joey and I over the years. We have a very strong belief that a good chunk of the downward spiral in our society is the lack of a strong family unit; from having a full time parent at home, to having both parents together, and committed not only to each other, but to their family. The divorce rate alone is a large indication of the lack of value we place on commitments and the family unit. The divorce rate in America is more than 50%, which means one in two couples will break up.
According to Enrichment Journal on the divorce rates in America, the divorce rate in America for first marriage is 41%; the divorce rate in America for second marriage is 60%; the divorce rate in America for third marriage is 73%.
In the end all that matters is how I see/feel about myself and my roll in this world. I am “Just” a stay-at-home Mom, and I know that my job is honorable, respectable, noble, and worthy of honor. My job description encompasses more than most, and the people that depend on me are more important than the President. I am, in no particular order: nurse, chef, secretary, accountant, mediator, janitor, activities coordinator, teacher, personal shopper, supervisor, maid, taxi driver, laundry service, cheer leader, counselor, hair stylist, wife, friend, mother, and so much more, all rolled in to one strong, capable, worthwhile human being. I am “JUST” a stay-at-home-Mom with all the value, honor, respect and importance that my title embodies.