Updated: May 25
Not good enough
Listed above are some attributes commonly associated with stay at home parents or things people have flat out said to me about stay at home parents.
Despite feeling, seeing, and knowing the importance of what you are doing for your child and the next generation, if you’re a stay at home parent, our society has probably made you feel shame surrounding doing so.
Before my tumor and health scare, I was seriously hustling. I was working significant hours, taking care of Eli at the same time, on top of cooking, keeping the house clean etc. I didn’t want to look lazy or like I wasn’t pulling my weight.
Our society has this way of making stay at home moms/dads feel inferior and unimportant. For those of us who care what people think, this gives our sense of self worth a run for it’s money.
For me, it became a vicious cycle of being exhausted and burned out yet wanting to do more to prove my worth, so I kept adding more and more to my plate making me extremely overwhelmed. My mental health was not at all in a great place.
I was so overwhelmed with all that I was doing and trying to be for everyone else that the inside of my head felt hot and would not cool off. I didn’t know how to stop the cycle or respect myself enough to establish boundaries and limitations for myself, so I just kept pressing on despite the heat in my head and clear unbalance in my life.
I wanted to be home with my son nurturing him in the ways that only I could, but I also wanted validation from the rest of the world, so I juggled both at the same time and literally made myself sick.
I ended up developing a tumor, which I believe came from me not listening to or respecting my body and my limitations. Regardless, this literally forced me to slow down. Recovery from surgery was much slower than I had hoped, and I was not at all able to just jump right back into the lifestyle I was used to.
At Erik’s encouragement, I decided to seriously cut back on hours and to only work when Erik could take care of Eli. Now that it’s summer, and he is in his busy season, and our lives are chaotic, the opportunities for me to work are very slim.
I am just coming around to the idea that I am mostly just a stay at home mom at this point. This has invoked a lot of shame and feelings of needing to be doing more in me that I’ve been needing to sit with and process.
I want to raise my son. I want to be the one who is with him all day long showing him the world and loving on him when he falls down.
I am the one who taught him to sing the ABC’s. I am the one who sees how joyful skipping rocks (more like throwing rocks in the water) makes him. I am the one he sings songs with all day. I am the one he hugs super tight around the neck and kisses to try to distract from doing something he doesn’t want to do like clean up his toys. I am the one who reminds him he is a good boy even when he’s acting undesirably. I am the one showing him how to love himself and others.
People can look down on me all they want, but I know and can feel the importance of my role right now. I am raising a sweet, little boy who knows his own mind who will turn into a kind, caring, strong, independent thinking, leader.
I am investing in the next generation, and in my gut, I know the importance of that even if the world doesn’t get it or validate me.
A few days ago, in the midst of processing these feelings, my dad completely unprompted and unaware of what I was going through, started talking about how there is no more important job than that of a stay at home parent and why. My amazing husband then chimed in and talked about our friend who says, “love your family change the world" and how true that is.
I am blessed because I have men in my corner who get it. Not everyone has that, and that’s super sad.
Additionally, according to an article in Forbes magazine, the average stay at home parent works 97 hours a week. The title of this article was, “Why Stay-At-Home Moms Should Earn A $115,000 Salary. How validating! Thank you Forbes!
So, if you’re like me and struggle with societies view of you as a stay at home parent, please take heart. You are more important and more valuable than you know. You are literally shaping the next generation of humans. Let’s be a little easier on ourselves today.
Some days, we do all the things and feel like we got it under control. Other days, we are lucky if we brush our hair and don't step on one of the legos that were dumped across the living room floor for the 14th time that day.
All days, you are:
More than Enough
💕🌻This blog is dedicated to my own inspiring mom who stayed home and nurtured us, and simultaneously managed to start and build a successful business that allowed both of my parents to be home a lot more than your average parents. My mom is brilliant and motivated. She could have been or done anything, but she chose to be my mom. My mom is my hero! 💕🌻