I read thus article & loved the perspective so I had to share:)
The other day, I read an article in the Washington Post about a stay-at-home mother who was having a rather hard time adjusting to answering the ever-popular question, “What do you do all day?” now that the kids were at school.
It’s a topic that has been on my mind lately as I watch in bewilderment as my children seem to insist on growing up at rates that surely I did not approve of when I signed my parental contract. I look at my youngest — my seven-week-old baby girl — and I swear my mind is already flashing to the day (tomorrow, probably) that I will be kissing her good-bye on her first morning of kindergarten.
But back to the task at hand. As I read the article, I scrolled through the comments, anticipating that there would be some doozies in a post about a stay-at-home mom basically proclaiming that she doesn’t feel guilty for doing absolutely nothing all day when I came across this truly remarkable comment:
“I work full time, and my husband is a stay at home dad. We have two kids in school full day (8 to 3). Don’t you realize how much easier it is to hold a full time job when you have someone home with the kids? I can work late and travel when I need to and not worry about the kids. Our weekends are spent relaxing, instead of racing around to get errands and chores done. I can go back to work on Mondays having actually recharged over the weekend. It feels like such a luxury to ME to have a stay at home spouse.”
I was flabbergasted.
Perplexed that in all of my years as a stay-at-home/write-at-home mom, I’ve always been fighting the thoughts that I’m not doing enough or being enough. I’ve always felt I honestly owed the world some sort of explanation for being at home. That I’ve had to throw around the fact that since I stay at home we make sacrifices as a family — like not having cable! I’ve felt I had to bake pies so that the world would know I’m not a worthless member of society. And in the midst of all that mental clutter and guilt it had never, ever crossed my mind that staying at home wasn’t “just” a luxury to me …
But also a luxury for my husband.
And suddenly, when I read those words, it all made sense. Well, of course, it would be a luxury to the spouse who works out of the home to have a partner who stays at home with the children. Someone who is always there to take care of the inevitable days of sickness, arrange the doctor’s appointments, make sure the cupboards are stocked, and heck, to ensure that no one steals the FedEx package off of the porch. And then — goodness! — to have someone to save you the worry of sending your kids into the world, someone to always be there to kiss a scraped knee and take care of the potty training and maybe even have a hot meal waiting for you when you come home?
I realized, in a rush of amazement, that I had spent all of our marriage feeling just a tad bit guilty for being the one who “gets” to stay home. I’ve pushed away the shame of staying snuggled up in my warm covers in the morning while my husband trudged off to work in the snow and I’ve felt the absurd need to pack a million and ten activities into my day so I could list them off to my husband when he came home in an attempt to convince (who really? Mostly myself …) that I was “productive.”
I realized, for the first time ever, that I didn’t have anything to prove. That I had been working so hard to work from home and always have it spotless and do all my educational activities with the kids because it was my job and I’d better darn do a good job of it if my husband had to work, that I never stopped to consider that my being home with our children could actually be a gift to my husband.
I’m actually writing this very article on a rare morning “off,” courtesy of my husband having the day off of his work. I’m sitting in a café, writing for the two hours between my daughter’s feedings. And, in fact, I just now called my husband, who had volunteered to be me for the day so I could work, to ask him what his thoughts were on the topic and to ask if he would give me a quote to include for the piece.
In the background, I heard my daughter crying, the two-year-old whining at his leg, and the four-year-old singing happily at the top of her lungs, having just returned home from preschool pick-up. I pictured the scene I had left this morning — four loads of laundry left undone from the weekend, the house a complete disaster, eggs still caked on the pan from breakfast. Sweetly, I asked him for a quote — did he ever consider me staying home a gift to him?
“What?!” he asked frantically, desperation creeping into his voice. “I don’t know, do I have to give you a quote right now? I mean, she’s crying and I’m trying to make mac and cheese and if I could just pick her up maybe she’d stop crying and …” he trailed off, seemingly too overwhelmed to finish his train of thought.
I smiled — a bit too smugly, I’ll admit. Because I think I had my answer. Being me for the day isn’t so easy. And having him there so that I could be elsewhere working … well, it really was a luxury. And a gift.
Every year my family,nate,myself & my girls go to the pumpkin patch with my mom & sisters.this year was especially important knowing it may be the last chance we are all together for pumpkin picking because of our most likely move to tx next summer.my sisters agreed,& i got the girls ready in thie pumpkin shirts,Lillian picked out her stylish sequin boots to wear,we loaded up the wagon & off we went.it was such nice cool weather,violet wanted to pick up every pumpkin & lily enjoyed pulling baby sister around in the wagon.we found this perfect little pumpkin patch with a gazebo & everything!! only in Fl do your pumpkin patch pictures have palm trees in the background:)but we all had a great time & spent quality time together, & after Lily picked out her pumpkin she said,"YAY NOW WE CAN HAVE PUMPKIN PIE WITH OUR PUMPKIN" if only she knew mommy doesn't make pumpkin pie from an actual pumpkin ;)
My little,sassy,chatty,pretty,smart,awesome 5 year old started kindergarten today, ps can you tell i think highly of her because i do :) she was super excited,has been talking about going to school since last year & riding on the bus,although she's not riding on the bus quite yet. i asked her if she was scared & she replied no,wanted me to do her hair,i reminded her to eat her sandwich forst before her snacks,to use her manners,to be nice to the other kids,although she is so friendly & loving i'm not so worried about that one,but boy i'm a little sad to be sending her off alone,into the big world,all day along,without me, i knew it had to happen eventually but the time came too quickly! i didn't cry although if i think about it too much i just might! & violet did shed a few tears because she wanted to color with the crayons at the tables LOL but all in all everyone was happy :) in about 30 minutes i get to go sit in parent pick up line for an hr & a half,not looking forward to that but i'll bring some things to occupy violet & i & i can't wait to hear all about her first day in big girl school! :)
“I think that we are like stars. Something happens to burst us open; but when we burst open and think we are dying; we’re actually turning into a supernova. And then when we look at ourselves again, we see that we’re suddenly more beautiful than we ever were before!”
― C. JoyBell C.
it only took me the better part of a year(it seems like) to finish this layout,ask my girls Ines & Renee,they know,i started this page awhile back & finally it is finished :) Love the way it turned out, using some beautiful my minds eye papers of my little daughter at 4 mths old :)
I'm a full time wife & mommy to 2 sweet little princesses,Lillian & Violet. Married to a man that treats me like a queen but more importantly loves me for me and lets me have all the scrapbook supplies i want :) i love you hunny!!My family and my friends mean the world to me, I love you all so very much! And I always try to see the best in bad situations because i believe everything happens for a reason.
"mother is the name for God on the lips of all children"
"As I look at each of my children, I know not a day of my life has been wasted~ and what is more important is all the days to come!!"
"the worst part of being lied to is knowing you weren't worth the truth"
"what's meant to be will always find a way"
In life we all have an unspeakable secret, an irreversible regret, an unreachable dream and an unforgettable love. ~Diego Marchi
"Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I need it the most." - Swedish Proverb
"You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She may have loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She's not perfect, you aren't either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break; her heart. So don't hurt her, don't change her, don't analyze and don't expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she's not there."-Bob Marley