picture from thefeministwire.com
When I was in college, my mother always told me not to communicate my feelings when I was in my most emotional state. Because when I did, it always came off wrong and the point of my words were lost behind my anger or sadness.
I have wanted to talk about being a stay at home mom for awhile. However, when I think to create one of these posts, it is when I am always in a angry state of mind. Not today.
If you haven't gotten the message before, I will restate it here. I NEVER thought I would be a stay at home mom. In fact, for a good portion of my premarital years, I didn't even like children. Akeem was the first guy I even allowed to bring up the possibility of children, and he already came as a package deal: he has a older son, Gabriel.
My stepson, Gabriel
My mother became a stay at home mom when I entered into the 6th grade, but for years she would do part-time/at home work for the company she left. I always loved my mother for being there for my sister and I when we had extra curricular activities, but it wasn't until I was older that I truly understood and appreciated what it meant for her to be a stay at home mother.
Me, Akeem, my mother, my sister (Kelly), and ElliottDespite my mother being a stay at home mom, it was something both of my parents discouraged for their daughters. Like any parents, they want the best for their children. With two young girls, my parents emphasized being independent women and never to be dependent on a man.
They say if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. Over the last 7 years or so, God has been getting in quite a few belly laughs at me.
Now, I will admit, I had a negative perspective of stay at home wives/mothers. Which may sound odd given the prior portion of this post. But I did and I will explain.
Photo from thoughtswithaccent.wordpress.comGrowing up, I never understood why a woman would WANT to be a stay at home mom, like it was a goal or dream for them. I mean who strives to be dependent upon a man and being stuck in a house with a child for five or more years?
My black and white thought process only continued when I got married and moved to Fort Knox. I mean the military doesn't pay as well as some people may think and to see so many stay at home moms seemed so selfish to me.
But like so many things, you never truly understand parent choices until you become a parent. In the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I thought I would and need to return back to work. But when my son was born, my reality changed.
Between the hours of my job at the time and the hours of daycare, my husband and I agreed on me staying home. However, when I agreed to be a stay at home mom I didn't really know what I was getting myself into.
A month after Elliott was born, my husband left for Arizona for two months and I felt as though I had been forgotten by the world. Well, the world that was Fort Knox. I felt isolated and sleep deprived which was a bad combination.
What has added insult to injury are the comments I have received over the last 8 months. While some may not have been malicious, others were like knives to my ego. Women who work seem to talk to me differently at times. Like I can't understand what it means to work.
This annoys and angers me. The comments like, "Well, you have so much time because you don't work," or "I couldn't be home all day, I would go crazy," make me want to gauge the eyes out of the speaker. I'm sure they don't realize it comes off offensive to me. Also, it is usually childless women or ones who have never been stay at home moms that seem quick with the irritating comments.
picture from yoursplendor.blogspot.com
I've never been the type of girl to have a man help me with my bills, even as a married woman, I felt it was my responsibility to take care of the debts I created. A man taking on my debts while I didn't work seemed unfair to me. However, my husband felt that with everything to consider, it would be best for me to stay home with Elliott for awhile. With that in mind, Akeem was supportive of me eventually returning back to work. Sounds simple, right?
HAHAHA! Yea, right!
I had a job interview recently and my interviewer said something that hit close to home. He asked what inspired me to work so hard (when he realized I worked 3 jobs in college). I told him my mother because she taught me that you shouldn't depend on a man; therefore, you should always be prepared to take care of yourself. My interviewer went on to tell me that men prefer more independent women. Since he could possibly be my future boss, I didn't know how to receive his inappropriate story that followed his comment.
picture from itmakessenseblog.com
I always tell my husband, we are a work in progress. When our son was born and I became unemployed, it added that much more work to our progression.
There is no use in pretending, I am not cut from the domestic cloth. Cleaning is not one of those skills I ever mastered, even til this day. Cooking is something I am getting better at but I've been told that to be a house wife/stay at home mom, you basically have to be super woman. While I know some women like that, I never thought I'd be married with a kid by now, so I never really prepped myself for that idea.
I was and kind of still am in a constant battle with myself over doing "more." The thought that I have to clean the house, wash all the laundry, take care of our child, have sex with my husband whenever he wants, dress up (to go no where but the grocery store) and just be all happy and supportive all day......well, it blows my mind.
Once I get passed my failures as a stay at home mom/wife, my sanity is then knocked down a bit more when I realize I have no social life or extra money. Two ideas that are only highlighted when my husband have a very loud disagreement.
Most days, my husband keeps his true thoughts or feelings about things I do to himself. But it's moments when he feels the need to remind me that I don't work, like it is something I wanted, or to tell me I don't do anything but stay at home that I realize how me being a stay at home mom doesn't work for our relationship.
I feel like my husband comes home after a long day of work and has just grown used to me being home. There is no passion, desire, or romance. I used to blame him for that, but I realized that why would I expect that of him when I don't feel like anything but some boring house wife. It's like I don't even have much to contribute in the way of conversation other than what our son did all day.
To wrap this up, I feel like to be a stay at home mom is hard work. Because it is more of a balancing act than it seems. I realize men have an expectation of superwoman, even if they don't say it and that is a hard thing to live up to in the real world.
Now that Elliott is almost 9 months old, I am really ready to return to work. Not just for the money but to help me find balance in my life. Because whatever brings you, as a mom and/or wife, a since of balance is important. Because if you don't have it, you won't be able to really give it all to either. I will always look at being a stay at home mom or a working mom with the thoughts that the grass is greener because you want to love your children and spend as much time with them but sometimes you have to take care of yourself first.