With the upcoming elections, I had expected to hear the Roe vs. Wade commentary but politicking the role of the Stay at Home Mother is just asinine There is this notion that my choice to stay at home with my children is some how negating your achievements in the workforce. For decades we have been trying to break down gender barrier. Women are absolutely just as good as men. Why are we not just as good as a Montessori preschool teacher? or a daycare provider? Do you really need a degree to respond to basic human need?
I would go so far as to say I’m probably comparable if not better than anyone we could pay to look after my children simply because I am their mother. I’m vested in my children. They are my passion. Are they learning? Yes. My kids don’t know the words to every sing along but they know their alphabet, numbers, colors and shapes. They know how to dress themselves. They have manners and they have friends. Not everyone has the luxury of being at home but to me, if you’re making sure they’re safe, they’ve got good food to eat and they know that you love them, you are doing just fine.
Not only is our instinctual qualification as a mother being questioned, the position of stay at home mother is not widely considered viable experience for workplace. Employers look at my 3 years working in the home and ask, “Well what else have you done?” There has been steady advice to seek out volunteer opportunities, to work on the side or to take classes showing that I am in fact sharpening my skills as a professional. Yes, being a stay at home mother has certainly hindered my ability to get a well paying job. In fact, the trend is to not hire mothers whatsoever. Children somehow impeded my natural ability to work. For the life of me, I do not understand how fathers bypass this discrimination but they do. A father is seen to be more even keeled and reliable compared to their single counterparts. Why aren’t mothers held with the same regard?
Being mother has made me one hell of a commodity. It has taught me to plan ahead. I rarely forget anything of importance because the consequences are simply unbearable. Forget to pack an extra outfit at the park and risk having a miserable child and smelly upholstery. Forget to bring a snack and watch how quickly your happy child goes nuclear. There is a lot of thought put into everything we do. Prior to kids, I was chronically a late offender. Now, I am always on time, if not 15 minutes early. Ladies and gentlemen, I am the honorable Erin Hall, CPA, CNA, personal assistant, personal chef, maid and child advocate. I work harder and more efficiently than I ever did. I am patient and dependable. My annual salary is paid in hugs and kisses. I get one holiday a year. Thank you very much.
While it is becoming more acceptable to list “homemaker” as an occupation, there is a backlash against certain terminology. Can I tell you how many times I’ve read “Mommy blogger…I hate that term.” or “SAHM, that makes me cringe? Why is that? Many people identify themselves by their work. My husband is a Web Developer. In his blogging days, he was a web blogger. How is mommy blogger any different? I have experience as a mother and so I write. Or is it a matter of terms? Example: we no longer call those with mental handicaps “retards”. Are the words mommy or mother as degrading as the word retard? Would it be better to say, I stay at home? If I said that, what would you assume I did all day?
You see it is not our choices that are the problem it is the current philosophies in place. When we as mothers begin to appreciate ourselves, each other and our efforts, those around us will likely follow. When our worth is no longer defined by monetary gain, the world will be a better place. Mother’s Day is Sunday May 13th this year. Don’t you forget it!