Mommy Mondays: Defending Being a Stay at Home Parent

by - Monday, June 13, 2011

On Saturday, while flipping through the channels I came across my favorite financial advice show "The Suze Orman Show." Suze was answering viewer questions and this one really hit home. It was about a stay at home dad who spends money going out to eat on the weekends and such. The wife was concerned because it seemed that he just spent the money (she earned) frivolously. Suze felt that the husband was trying to keep an image of himself by going out and spending this money. He was doing it to prove his worth to others.

Suze also said that being a SAHP (stay at home parent) is THE most important job! This statement really struck me. It seems I spend more time defending my choice to be a SAHP than enjoying it, and as a result, I haven't given my best to my family. My husband seems to be the most torn over "our" decision. I say "our" decision because we made it together.

I was working full time during my pregnancy which was also my last year of college. I worked really hard that year (graduating with my bachelors degree just 3 months before giving birth.) We were also moving to a new city so hubby could transfer to his school of choice. We would be away from family and I was so set against putting my newborn in the arms of strangers just to work that we thought it best for me to become a SAHP. In the course of the (almost) 2 years that followed this decision, my hubby has formed some sort of guilt about it. All of his school friends are UNMARRIED and WITHOUT children and he struggled with balancing a family life and college life. I sympathize with that. The problem came when outside influences began to comment on our choice with things such as "Oh, your wife stays at home...with the baby...all day? I don't see how she does that." Most recently, he heard the same from his co-workers at his summer internship, which inspired me to write this long overdue post.

I guess after hearing it so many times it begins to change your attitude towards your decision. The fact is, they will NEVER see how I, or any other SAHP, does it until they hold their own little one for the first time. Then again, they still may not see it. I DO THIS OUT OF LOVE. I want to be there for all of my young one's accomplishments (crawling, standing, walking before turning 1, etc.) and I have been there. I am proud of those accomplishments and am looking forward to the future ones.

I will be the first to say that I have slacked some due to this discouragement but NOT ANYMORE. This is my pledge to be the best stay at home mom and wife to my family. If others don't understand it, so what.

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