Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mama Mia

In one of my previous blogs, I mentioned that for a substantial amount of time I was a Stay-At-Home Mom.  I quit a job teaching speech delayed children when my own son was almost 3 years old and I was expecting my 2nd.  My husband and I figured out the resources it would take to send two children to day care would have been about the same amount of salary as I was making and I jokingly (somewhat) reasoned that if anyone was going to mess up raising my kids, it was going to be me!

I want to spend this day acknowledging those of you who have made that kind of commitment to your families (and to society) no matter how long or short of a time period you have allotted.  I must admit, for myself, it was far from an easy job.  And let’s be clear, those who stay home are not just “Moms” (or in some cases, “Dads”), but chefs, housekeepers, chauffeurs, managers, organizers, teachers, playmates, shoppers, nurse, launderers etc.!  It is a 24/7 shift with no sick days, and no vacation pay and little recognition.

There were many (MANY!) days in which, and let me be honest, I was NOT a happy Mom.  I always felt some kind of guilt.  Guilt that I was too impatient, that I wasn’t getting everything done, that I wasn’t spending enough time nurturing my children, that I wasn’t “contributing” enough  to my family or the world, and most of all, that I wasn’t enjoying my kids like any good Mom should have.  Those of you who are now or have been Stay-At-Home Moms probably know what I’m talking about.

It was only after I started my first part-time job that I realized my worth as a Stay-At-Home Mom, because all of a sudden, everything that I had been doing in my home was NOT getting done!  I realized that all the time I spent “guilting” myself was a grand waste of time.  I often commented to my husband, “Gosh! I need a wife!” meaning that I needed someone at home to get everything done!  Soon,  like any working Mom, I learned to adapt by making short cuts and then just learning to live with a messy home from time to time.  Thankfully, my kids don’t remember my “rantings”, and have grown up to be pretty awesome anyway.  Ultimately, my contributions to this world are two young men who are destined to change it.  As a bonus, I have contributed to my own family legacy by raising such amazing men, and wasn’t that the whole underlying reason to stay home? 

I am so convinced that the time I spent was so valuable, that I have included it in my resume.  It is a mark of accomplishment that I am proud of and I REFUSE to leave it out like a huge blank of meaningless time. 

So I honor, acknowledge, and respect all you Stay-At-Home Moms out there.  And for all you single Moms?   Everything that I just said times 100!!  You ROCK!!!!  Please know this: all your hard work and frustration will not go unrewarded.  You are doing a courageous work that I for one recognize.  And please, when that guilt monster starts creeping into your thoughts, escort it out of your house and DO let the front door hit it on its way out!  Keep on being amazing, I’m proud of you.

-Tessa L. Charles

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