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Stay at home Myth

May 24, 2009

Where I live there aren’t too many stay at home moms. To the point that it feels like we are so much the minority that the working moms (and sometimes dads) look down on us.

I have heard many reasons for this coming from every single one their mouths.

“Well, it’s nice that you and your husband can afford to allow you to stay at home.”

“I would love to, but my job won’t permit it. It’s so nice that you have a job where you can permit yourself to take a few years off.”

Then there are the snide remarks about me getting to nap all day long, that some of us have to work tomorrow or how I have all day to get my chores done, of course I have a clean house.

Of all of these snide remarks, the one that gets me the most is the misconception that we must make more money than everyone else because we can afford to allow me to stay home. This is the remark I hear most often and am baffled most by. Since when do mothers stay home because they can afford to? I stay home because in this city I would be out of the house for about 10 hours a day, leaving her either with a stranger or in a daycare. Not that it would be terrible. Lots of kids do that and survive, but half of my salary would go into childcare and I just don’t see the point. And the jobs I have seen, not that I have looked lately, but the ones I saw when we were thinking about it, weren’t jobs that I would really be happy at.

At any rate, I just want to say something. I don’t think that either decision is easy or perfect. Yes, my house is clean. Yes, if I’m tired when my daughter is sleeping I can nap (but let me tell you, that doesn’t happen too often). Yes, I get to play with my daughter and do my crafts and work at home on my own terms. BUT, I also never talk to adults unless I call my best friend who lives hundreds of miles away. I don’t stimulate my own brain unless I can catch a break in between teaching the ABC’s and doing laundry. And I find that conversation with the other women I come into contact with is limited mostly to me listening, unless we are talking about the kids. It isn’t always so wonderful and definitely isn’t glamorous, but it is our choice. We made it and I try not to complain about it or dwell on the bad things about it. And I suggest others do the same.

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