As a first time mother and stay at home parent, I often feel judged. Sure, I may not have a full-time job. I may not get up every morning to chug coffee and hustle off to a 9-to-5. But I do work. I am busy from the time little eyes open to the time little eyes close. I am a chef, a teacher, a nurse, a waitress, a coach, and much more. I am a mother. And I’m absolutely judged for it.
On more than one occasion, I’ve been told to “get a job.” I’ve also been told to “do something productive.” I often come across the awkward silence following my response when I’m asked, “So, where do you work?” I don’t. I stay at home. I am a parent first.
Some days, I’m really on my “mom game.” The dishes are done, the laundry is folded, the house is tidy, dinner is cooking, I even went the extra mile and put makeup on.
Some days, not so much. Some days I don’t change out of my pajamas, the sink is overflowing, I’m ordering a late dinner online, and the laundry isn’t even separated into clean and dirty piles.
But for the most part, my son is happy either way. And isn’t that the point?
Why is it acceptable for people to judge stay at home parents for not having “jobs,” but it’s not acceptable for stay at home parents to judge working parents for not staying home with their children?
I sacrifice a lot of modern luxuries to stay home with my son. We are a one car family, and more often than not I am without a vehicle since it’s being used to get my spouse to work. I forgo regular haircuts at fancy salons, I do not get my nails done, I do not enjoy a drive-thru latte daily. Those lifestyle perks are not important to me.
Those are the kinds of things that are allowed by a second income. Seen as “I deserve this” bonuses. The way I see it, if you deserve that bonus for busting your butt at work to afford the vehicle you take through the drive-thru en route to dropping your child off at daycare to go to work to bust your butt so you can get your hair and nails done so you can look nice at your job that you need to afford daycare, you may as well leave it all behind and enjoy the fleeting moments of your children’s lives while they’re still children.
My hair and my house may be messy, but my child is happy.
Are you a stay at home parent? Do you ever feel judged for it?