Monday, March 05, 2007

A cheer for SAHMs (and WMs!)

SAHM = Stay At Home Mom
WM = Working Mom

I have a button on my backpack that says "Every mom is a working mom." Staying home and taking care of a kid is really hard work, people. And there is no pay. Yes, of course it's fulfilling, but so is going to work every day and getting a nice fat paycheck direct deposited into your checking account! And having your identity hinge on something other than how many vegetables your kid eats!

I have just read a wonderfully eloquent blog post about a woman's decision to stay home with her daughter. I have three comments: 1) Reading her post made me recall the gut-wrenching feeling of thinking about going back to work and leaving my baby, and I also thought about the times that I actually locked my SAHM self in the bathroom and pretended I was sick just to be ALONE for a few minutes. 2) I concur about the lack of decent daycare facilities. It's ironic that most people who live here have two jobs, but that there is no really adequate place for them to leave their children while they work. 3) As a feminist, I've had to wrestle with the negative stigma placed on women who choose to stay home (as opposed to the equally negative stigma placed on women who choose to work). I came to the conclusion that it is extremely courageous to choose to stay home and raise one's children. It's also courageous to choose to work. Basically, becoming a mother takes a huge amount of courage, because no matter what decision you make, you'll probably have to take criticism from somewhere. The key is to make the decision that's right for you and your family, and to be confident that you are the best person to make that decision.

I think Big W summed it up best when she said, "any time you are going through an identity amputation, well, it ain't easy." For me, it required medication and lots of ice cream, but I came through it with a strength that I can now draw on daily (as well as enough abdominal fat to survive on when the revolution comes). I'm proud of how I've raised my son so far, and I think I've made the right choices. Three cheers for all the moms making all the choices that will affect the next generation. It ain't easy, but there's nobody more qualified to make the choice than you.

1 comment:

Big W said...

I finally got around to stopping over here and reading this post and I want to thank you for it. If every mom was this supportive to her fellow moms, well, we'd all be a lot better off. XO.