A Letter to Stay At Home Moms

First off let me say, that I know your job is hard and is a job. You are not any less ambitious, smart, or inquisitive. I have to confess, I am jealous of you.

My mom stayed at home with me and my brother until I was 14 years old (I was the youngest). She had a bachelor's degree in teaching and special education. When I was a teenager she started substitute teaching.

With my first daughter, I was really overwhelmed with being a first-time mom.  I was hormonal, and probably was struggling with postpartum depression. I couldn't truly be diagnosed with it because I already have mental health issues which make that diagnosis a little bit complicated. That is a story for a different time though. Anyways, I couldn't wait to go to nursing school and get out of the house. I figured I was just one of those people that couldn't stay at home. I felt like I was trapped and just wanted to talk to another adult. 

This time around with my second daughter I am feeling pulled towards staying at home. A couple of circumstances are different this time around though. My second daughter has had health issues and scares since birth. Starting with being flagged for cystic fibrosis at birth, and ending with being diagnosed with GERD and esophagitis. This made it terrifying to think that I would entrust her in anyone else's care.

I also have been keenly aware that I would only have 3 months to spend at home, full-time with my girls. I took full FMLA leave and short term disability. Something I know some mothers are unable to do. Making it more precious I think on some level. As if I needed to savor, every minute because I knew it wouldn't last.

When faced with going back I cried openly and often about the injustice of it all. How is it, that I can't stay home with my babies?! When in the past it was never even a question whether you would stay home or not. Not that I am saying it's a shining moment of how society treated women. 

Financially it is an implausible endeavor. I cannot stay home with the salary my husband makes, even though he has a college degree. Even if we didn't live in our home, we wouldn't be able to have two cars, or go out to eat, or get the groceries I need for being an MSPI mom. I feel like my children are suffering because of financial reasons and it's just not right.

Although I know that they are being taken care of at daycare. They are getting things I couldn't give them at home like structure, socialization, peer conflict resolution, and things they will need to know for school academically and behaviorally. I just feel like a mother takes care of her children best. 

I will accept these realities that ultimately cannot be changed. Because without acceptance I will be stuck in an angry unjust mentality. I just want to let stay at home mother's know, that even though you have snot on your shoulder. Some kind of bodily fluid on your shirt, and leaky boobs. You are very lucky to be able to have those problems. You are able to focus fully on your children and nothing else. My heart aches to do the same. 

I hope you don't think I am trying to say that what you do isn't difficult. Maybe I am romanticizing it a little.  Are you a stay at home or working mom? What challenges do you face? Let me know what you think in the comments!


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