I felt compelled to talk about two recent blog posts that I read and perhaps offer yet a third perspective. One post from Matt Walsh, regarding his response to the question "what does his wife do all day since she stays home with the kids" (read it here). The other from Michelle Warren about her offering of the other side of the story (read it here). Let me start by saying, I agree with both of them. I think they both hit points quite directly from two different perspectives. So here's my story as to why I agree with Michelle. I went back into the workforce for five months after having my baby before we made the choice for me to stay home. The schedule was exhausting. Up at 5am every day to prep everyone. I had trouble concentrating at work because I wanted to be with my baby. My husband and I fought about whose turn it was to pick up the baby with a fever. I busted my tail to get out of work as quickly as possible so I could spend maybe 1.5 hours with my baby. I repeatedly thought to myself, "We had always talked about me staying home. Why are we not trying it!?" But I also enjoyed (and now miss!) some of the luxuries like taking a shopping break at lunch, meeting friends for lunch, or going to the bathroom by myself. There are pros and cons.
After a very hectic Mother's Day weekend of a teething baby and a sick husband, I asked my hubby to look at our budget. If there was wiggle room for me to stay home then we needed to try. He was reluctant because we would be cutting our income in half. Our lifestyle would have to change dramatically to make it work. But he wanted me to stay home too. I was persistent that this was the direction we needed to take for our family and now was the time to try it. So as of June 1, I started staying home full time. It has been a blast watching my little boy grow. And while there are definite perks to being able to stay home, there are days I want to run and hide. There are pros and cons.
Now let me tell you why I agree with Matt. I read his post as a husband who was advocating for his wife and his family's lifestyle. Nothing more and nothing less. Maybe I was already too exhausted from the day to read into it any more. Whether he took the questions and made them deeper than they were intended or not, I thought to myself, "Here's a guy who gets it." If my husband was repeatedly asked "What does your wife "do or DO" all day?" (depending on tone) I'd want him telling people how awesome I am too. Which I'm assuming he does... Ahem... :)
Let me close with this. Parenting is freaking hard. Society puts such a ridiculous amount of pressure on parents without us all being so damn mean to each other. Whether you are a mom OR a dad and you stay home at home, try to work at home, or work outside the home, we all feel we should be doing something bigger and better. I often think of this quote, "Behind every great kid is a mom who thinks she's screwing it up!" so I leave you with an alternative.
"Behind every great kid is a parent who is doing their best, by all means possible, at any given moment."