Whether you are a parent who stays home or a parent who works full time, you can’t chill in bed all day, read books or take endless bubble baths.
I applaud parents who make the choice to stay at home with their little people. It’s hard work, but it’s not a job.
A job is something you have to do to pay the bills. A job is something you earn a paycheck for.
Being a parent is a choice. A beautiful, precious, amazing choice.
I am not a stay-at-home parent. Every day, I work with other people’s kids to help them grow to be the best educated middle-schoolers (and eventually adults) they can be. Every night, I get home and play and learn with my own little person.
Sure, I have accumulated sick days. If I am in need of that “nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, fever, best sleep with a cold medicine” and I stay home, I have to be mom, too. Maybe that means a few more movies on Netflix while cuddling with mama in bed. Perhaps my daughter will enjoy Easy Mac for lunch and Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup for dinner. Fewer stories may get read than usual, and our physical activity may be limited to walking to and from the bathroom.
But I don’t get the day off either.
I see friends post that being a stay-at-home mom is a lot of work. Infographics with the “value” and pay scales for all moms are all over the web. I get it. I stay home with my daughter every summer (while working on curriculum and taking classes). It’s a lot of work, but it’s not the same as my job.
I love my summers of stay-at-home-momdom. There’s work to do around the house and keeping a toddler entertained is often a task just as daunting as keeping middle schoolers engaged. I can understand how moms need a night of adult conversation from time to time.
But being a stay-at-home mom - being a mom period - is a choice. Complaining about not getting a day off is getting a little old. We get sick sometimes. It’s life. Sometimes I have to go to work when I feel crappy and deal with all that comes with being a teacher. Then I come home to do some of the same stuff moms that have all day with their kiddos do as well.
I miss my daughter while I am at work. There are times I call her babysitter just to hear my daughter’s voice. I love my job, but there are times I am jealous of moms that get to stay home and watch their toddlers change and grow every minute of every day.
Describing motherhood as a job you don’t get a day off from makes it seem less of a blessing than what it is. If being a mom is, in fact, an occupation, it’s the best one I have ever had. The pay is low, but the rewards are plenty. Even if I have to take a little DayQuil on those crappy cold days, it’s all worth it when my little girl asks me what she can do to help me feel better. That’s the good stuff. It’s not a job to me.