I cringe every time I see a friend on Facebook with their work listed as “mommy” or “stay-at-home mom”, not because I think there’s anything wrong with being a SAHM, quite the opposite… I am green with jealousy. I will admit it. I am extremely jealous of the moms that get to stay home with their kids every day. I hate paying someone else hundreds of dollars a month to do what I want to be doing myself. I. want. to. raise. my. kids. dammit.
So why don’t I just do it then? Because my husband and I haven’t reached the point where we are willing to give up our current lifestyle just yet. We like buying pizza on a Friday night or eating at the local diner after church on Sundays; things that would disappear if we didn’t have my income. Could we do it? Yes, we probably could. We are currently teetering at the edge of the decision, waiting for that little push we would need to take the plunge. We have our excuses: we’re buying a house, waiting to see if JR gets a new job, still working on setting up a budget, and trying to increase my income I’m bringing in from my outside projects (iequalsalissa.com).
I know there are situations where it is nearly impossible financially for one parent to stay home. I get that. But I would assume that a lot of people are more in a situation similar to ours, where they COULD, but they would have to give up things they don’t want to. Like cable TV or cell phones or Chai Lattes… And then there are couples where both WANT to work full-time. I get that too. I don’t think it’s in the best interest of the kids or the family as a whole, but I understand it.
It sucks that being a SAHParent isn’t what is expected anymore. It would have been so much easier to give up the income that my job provides if that’s what society expected. We’d just deal with it. But no, somewhere down the line it was decided that families don’t need a parent to stay home with the kids anymore – it has become the norm to let somebody else raise our kids. Now, I’m not saying that only women should be SAHPs, men are perfectly capable of being a stay at home parent as well. Women have traditionally taken this role since we are hardwired to take care of our young, but I know of quite a few men who are/would be wonderful SAHDs. I just think that our society would be much better off with a parent or guardian completely focused on our offspring’s well being (and the well-being of the working parent as well).
Running a household, even though it’s main office is your home, is a real job and should be treated as such. A SAHP is a twenty-four hour, jack-of-all-trades kind of job and you have to have balls (or ovaries) to be able to handle it.
I keep talking about “staying home” and I have all of these ideas in my head about budgeting and working from home… but I’m scared. And I am reluctant to give up things like weekend vacations, shopping and eating out. In the end, it will come down to how much we want to do this. Taking care of a house and family is TOUGH enough, let alone trying to do it on top of working full-time. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. I’m not sure who decided that (traditionally) women don’t have enough on their plate, so they should go out and work full-time as well. Whoever it was, I’d kind of like to kick them. Especially when I’m doing the dishes and laundry at ten o’clock at night after working all day. Or when I miss out on getting my son off the bus. Or my daughter’s first steps. Or any other of the thousands of amazing moments in parenthood. Sucks for me that I’m paying someone to experience those for me.
Keep a look out for my next post on Work From Home Ideas.