Stay-at-home moms, and stay-at-home dads, sacrifice a lot. But do they sacrifice any more or less than moms and dads who work outside the home? Is the stay-at-home mom a sacrificial lamb of society?
I believe both the stay-at-home and working parent make sacrifices, but it’s easier the see and acknowledge those of the stay-at-home mom or dad.
And we’re talking about decent parents and citizens here, not the bottom of the human barrel posing as parents.
But for all the moms and dads out there who squelch their own selfishness on a regular basis for what’s best for their children, everyone’s story is different, good and bad and to varying degrees. For me, staying at home to care for my little Noah is less sacrifice and more luxury. It may feel this way for many other stay-at-home moms, while for others it’s not ideal but that’s just how things ended up.
Financial concerns aside the decision for a parent to be a stay-at-home is just that, a decision. And nobody can tell you how to make your decisions. Every choice you make in answer to big and small question marks throughout your day is what sets you apart from other stay-at-home moms. I don’t consciously think about what sacrifices I have and will make, and I certainly don’t consider myself any kind of sacrificial lamb, but here are some of the bigger decisions I have made:
– Putting my first career on hold. Having worked in the finance industry for fifteen years, I have not set foot into an office in a working capacity as a stay-at-home mom. But it has opened up time and space for me to pursue other lines of work, on the creative side. Writing, specifically. Many stay-at-home parents work from home more often now, for money and mind. I consider myself lucky to now have two writing jobs from home. It’s really a fourth career if anyone’s keeping track.
– Not seeing people. It’s not quite like The Twilight Zone where you, and your child, are the last people left on Earth but it’s a pretty isolated life the first year when your baby sleeps most of the time and would benefit more from a walk around the neighborhood as opposed to play dates with others. I’d say I’m a pretty social person but I’m not afraid to admit I prefer the company of my little Noah more at this point in my life than I do most of the parade of hot mess adults that come through my door.
– Other stuff. So many little things, like dropping what I’m doing throughout the day to attend to Noah’s needs. Or foregoing sleep to fulfill my writing deadlines, or frequenting less the spas and nail salons and shopping sprees I used to have more time for. But again, none of any of the “other stuff” matter enough for me to call them actual sacrifices.
Moving to Belgium was both a sacrifice and a blessing, because right now and in five to ten years, it’s about this new family I have started with my husband Davy. Everything happens for a reason and sometimes reasons are disguised as sacrifices. But don’t make yourself a sacrificial anything, least of all a sacrificial stay-at-home mom. If you feel you are sacrificing too much, then make some changes.
Fiercely own something you do. Life is chock-full of choices.