Sacrificial Stay-at-Home Mom

FacebookQuestion

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?

Myth

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.

Always dishing,

Jun

8 Comments

  1. Renee

    As a stay at home mom, I never feel like I’m sacrificing anything. Maybe it’s because what I *want* to be doing? I’m perfectly happy spending my days caring for my (almost) 3-year old son. But that’s just me, and i don’t know where I’ll be in 15-20 years when my son no longer needs an “at home” parent, but I’m still secure in my decision to be with him, now, when he actually wants me around.

    Reply
    1. Jun Song Author

      Yes! And I have girlfriends who chose to return to work and it was the best decision for them and their families. Nobody should feel trapped. I’d love to take more bubble baths but I’m not really complaining! 🙂

      Reply
  2. My mom was a single, full time working mom. I know the insecurities I had as a child. I hated being a latch key kid. I envied the kids that had mom waiting at home for them after school. There were no choices and my mom was the best, single, full time working mom ever, but I knew when I had children of my own, I would be available to them 24/7. I have 2 happy, well adjusted, successful, adult children now. My husband worked at least 2, sometimes 3 different jobs just to keep me at home, and I am forever great-full to him for that. Yea, I dropped everything and ran the “forgotten” gym shoes or book to school. I was at the school for all the Halloween and Valentine parties and loved every second of it. I chaperoned both my kids senior trips. My son’s first, then my daughters 3 years later. My house was the house where all the kids would congregate before deciding where and what they were doing..
    I did sacrifice. Saturday was another working day for my husband. His days were 12 hour days. All the dads on the street would be home and we would still be playing in the front yard waiting. I watched my neighbor across the street pull her brand new red corvette out of the garage everyday and go to work. How nice. My four door sedan smelled like french fries and had suckers stuck to the floor mats. I sometimes envied the neighbor next door being all dressed in her fancy business attire and spending the day with adults all day when I had a crying teething baby in my arms, but that envy was only for a fleeting second. I noticed the professional dressed sports car driving mom starting to call me and ask for these little favors. Like, “Could you take Nancy her forgotten book bag? Our back door is on locked, its on her bed”. Of course I jumped and ran because that was who I was, but it didn’t take long before I started putting my foot down. I am home for MY kids. MY husband works 12 hours a day for this reason. I am not the neighborhoods stay at home mom. Then I realized I’m not sacrificing anything. I’m doing the best thing for me and my family right now. I have really happy adult kids. They are successful in there professions and there personal lives. I like to think there childhood has everything to do with who they are now. I KNOW my childhood has to do with who they are! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Jun Song Author

      I hear you Lisa. You and your husband sound very lucky to have each other :). Knowing that you’re doing for you and your family is one of the best feelings ever 🙂

      Reply
  3. Cathy Jacobson

    <3 u Jun! It is a double edged sword. Women are criticized if they choose to work outside of the home and criticized if they choose to stay at home and "work" . I think the important part of this blog post is realizing women should be supporting each others decisions in how they choose to parent. I have been impressed from the beginning with Jun's ability to take on these large decisions in her life with grace, humor, sarcasm, and depth. Leaving family and friends and moving to another country IS a sacrifice. I moved, within the same state, when my kids were young and even that was scary and difficult, so I cannot imagine such a large move. When I made the move I wrote a list of all the things I would not have in the new area that I enjoyed so much in the former location, then i sought out those things here. Someone gave me this advice….If you hate where you are presently, you will hate the next place as well. It is up to YOU to find happiness, excitement, fun and friendships. Parenting is not easy, so let's support each other more instead of criticizing.

    Reply
    1. Jun Song Author

      Well, Davy and I do criticize other parents when we’re alone hahahaha, but at the end of the day we also realize that nobody should tell parents how to parent. We wouldn’t want to hear it from others and so we just discuss it with each other as a “Let’s never do what they just did” or something like that :). Thanks for question, and thank you for the comment above. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Tidbits_from_T

    I have such mixed emotions over the topic of staying home. Before having children I always thought it would be wonderful/I’d do well with it. Not the case. I have two sons now and have had wicked postpartum depression after each. My first mat leave felt like an endurance test. While other moms were cooking, crafting, going on outings, etc… I was trying to cope with a colicky baby who never napped. I love my sons so much but for me to be the best mother, wife, example for them I need to work (at least to some degree). I’m still on my second mat leave, which has been a better experience, but will be returning to work in some way, shape or form when the year is up. Every family is different and I strongly believe that everyone needs to figure out what’s best for their family and just go with it.

    Reply
    1. Jun Song Author

      Absolutely it’s each family’s responsibility and choice in whether or not a parent stays home. It’s not for everyone. And with so many girlfriends, i’ve seen how some things work for some and others don’t. The parents must be happy for the child/ren to be happy 🙂

      Reply

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