We all know the look. The look we get when we tell acquaintances, friends, even family members, that we’re choosing to become a stay at home mom. It’s a look of confusion, surprise, pity, jealousy and “judgyness”. This segment is about overcoming the stigmas of being at SAHM. Whether placed on us by loved ones, SOs, friends, strangers, MSM, or even ourselves, stigmas are the mantras we tell ourselves over and over that slowly break us mentally, spiritually and emotionally. We can overcome these debilitating scripts. We can become the all-star parents we saw ourselves being from the minute that pink line smiled back at us.
Let’s do this together. Let’s learn everything we can and become fulfilled as women and mothers in this role we were created to thrive in.
“Oh so you don’t want a career then?”
Um….excuse me? Someone actually said that to me when they learned that I was becoming a SAHM. While resisting the urge to spit my entire academic and professional career thus far in his face laced with a couple of non-PG terms, I took a breath, *serenity now,* and smiled politely. I tried to present my five year plan to him but he glazed over and interrupted me to talk about his motorcycle…
The day I became a SAHM, I did not receive a welcome kit equipped with elastic jeans, an apron, Soap Opera Digest and a killer brownie recipe (I take that recipe though if you got it). This is 2015 and for some reason people still view a SAHM as this quintessential, archaic role that is completely self-sacrificing and frankly, outdated. They smile at you with this condescending look that says “well, guess you’ll never be getting that corner office but at least all the lunches will be packed!” I’m confused….
Why, in today’s culture where self-expression and feminism thrive, do some (most?) readily assume that if a woman chooses to stay at home and raise her children, she is somehow giving up on herself? She’s throwing away a career, the potential for financial success, the opportunity to be praised by her peers….
There are definitely times when I crave the camaraderie that I had with my coworkers or the simple joy of a coffee break whenever my heart desires. But what I want, but I truly want, is for my children to see me as someone who chose to be there for them, but did not lose herself. To be that booger covered, silly song singing, soccer game attending mom that I’ve always wanted to be. But I want them to see someone who has goals and is actively pursuing them. I’m not storming down boardroom doors at this moment in my life, but I am going to school. I am reading books, staying current in my field and nurturing relationships with people outside of MOPS (I’m not in MOPS. I’ll tell you why some other time).
Being a SAHM does not mean giving up any dreams you ever had for your life. In fact, I see it as achieving double of what I ever hoped for. I get to live this crazy mom life and continue forward in my professional goals simultaneously.
Laugh at the naysayers. Don’t wear a SAHM badge like a death sentence for your hopes and dreams. Keep dreaming, keep pushing, keep being there for your babies but take a minute (even if it’s just one) out of the day to look up grad schools. Volunteer in your field. READ!! Keep nurturing yourself just as fiercely as you do for your babes. I am a SAHM, but it is only part of who I am. Don’t lose you in the chaos of everyday life. And seriously, walk away immediately from that idiot that tries to make you feel like you are less of a person like I should have done.
For more of our SAHM Stigmas series, check out:
SAHM Stigmas: Finances “We can’t afford this”
SAHM Stigmas: A Day of Nothing