Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's a Job

When my husband and I had our first child we were 24 years old and our expectations of what it would be like to have a baby were way out of whack. My husband thought that because I was staying home to raise our child that the house should be clean at all times and dinner should be ready on the table when he got home from work. I thought the same thing- because I was home I should have the baby taken care of and the house in pristine condition. Talk about a wake up call! I felt guilty about not doing what I thought should be done and my husband's high expectations made me feel worse. Looking back I can't blame him for feeling how he did- he really had no idea what it was like to be a stay at home mom.

A real blessing for us was when I started to work on Saturdays and he became the stay at home parent for that one day. My husband started to see that taking care of a child takes a lot of work and all of the other things, like cleaning the house, go on the back burner so you can meet your child's needs. What really opened his eyes was when we had out daughter and he had two kids to take care of on Saturdays. Now, his parents help him a lot but even with that he gets so tired after running after the kids all day that he goes to bed very early on Saturday nights.

One of the best compliments I have heard from him was that going to work all day was easier than being home with the kids all day. Finally, some recognition that kids are a real job and a hard one at that. I used to feel guilty that I got to stay home, no matter how hard it was, and my husband had to go to work all day to provide for us but now I am certain that he likes it that way. I like it that way too but I do have to admit on the days where it seems like my kids are in cahoots to drive me completely insane I dream about what it would be like to have a "real" job.

I am not saying that being a stay at home parent is better or worse that other jobs but what I do is so important to me- it comes with lots of joy but also some stress. I am responsible for raising my kids to be good people who contribute to society and by the end of each day I feel emotionally and physically drained. Though I feel drained and though there are times where I wonder what the heck was I thinking when I decided to be a stay at home mom I love being able to spend time with my kids and I love the bond we have.

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