Today was my first day back at work! For the last 84 days (yes, I counted) I was fortunate enough to be able to stay at home with my family, which was something I never thought I would do. For the last 10 years I’ve been that parent who picked up their child and thought the other mothers who arrived in workout attire were so lucky they had the time to go to the gym. What I discovered was that while some may go to the gym, more often than not the gym attire is a reflection of a woman hard at work. From children forgetting projects at home, to school lunches, field trips, sports practices, grocery shopping, running errands, cleaning the house, deciding on dinner, haircuts, taking care of household business and just living in general, the life of a stay at home mom can be just as exhausting as it is fulfilling. And while I’ve always felt they have been undervalued and disrespected, I often felt as though I could somewhat understand, but let me tell you, I was wrong. Here are a few things I discovered:
- A cooked dinner every night is questionable, so is a super clean house.
- For every one thing you accomplish, you think of five new things to do.
- Every time the car is cleaned, a dust, grass, and kid storm attacks, completely undoing all of the car’s cleanliness.
- When it comes to playing with children, made up fun is the best fun.
- Sometimes it’s easier to pay for convenience.
- The first step to a village raising a child, is embracing the village and nurturing the friendships.
- Having conversations and hanging out with adults is like recess.
- If you have a partner, don’t assume they don’t respect and acknowledge your hard work.
- Uninterrupted showers don’t exist. Either the children are interrupting you or you’re worried about why they aren’t interrupting you.
So cheers to the stay at home parents who have this amazing job! Although I enjoyed my experience, I can say pretty confidently, I am so happy to be back at work. I also feel truly blessed to have family and friends who don’t “mom shame” me for taking this path in life. I may not get every mom moment right, but I know that I’m a fantastic mother, whether I’m staying at home, challenging processes at my university, or preparing to take over the world.
Raising children is an incredible responsibility, so I encourage you to take a minute to thank a parent for contributing to our world’s future because even though “we aren’t able to prepare the future for our children, we can prepare our children for the future”.