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There are many types of moms. For starters, there’s the mom who has to stay at home because they have no other options. This mom stays at home because she can’t make enough money to cover day care costs by working. So she has to stay at home.
The second is the working mom because she has too. Maybe she is the single mom, or her husband doesn’t make enough, or her husband can’t work. Either way, every day she has to go to work no matter what she wants.
These moms have it rough. It is because the choice has been made for them. They don’t get to pick. There are two other types of moms though. The lucky ones, I think. They had control over their choice and either chose:
- To stay at home
- To go to work. Either full time or part time.
I chose to stay home
I am the mom that chose to stay at home. My husband works hard and has a good job.
So, when the time came. I had an option stay working, get a nanny or day care or stay at home. I ran through all my options.
And I chose to stay at home.
It wasn’t all sunflowers though. We had to make some tough choices. One, we had to move to a cheaper area and sell our house. And, two, we are supposed to be living off a pretty serious budget. (That is hard).
Nevertheless, I had the choice. I am very blessed.
Was choosing to be a stay-at-home mom the right decision?
That being said, I also have days where I wonder. Did I make the right choice? Usually those moments come when I am at Target shopping. I am a mess, standing in store that I could easily spend $100 that we don’t have and not even realize it and I see her walk in. She has nice ironed clothes on. Her hair is styled and highlighted. Her nails are done. She are carrying a coach purse and wearing high heels. She looks fantastic. She hurries by me as I shop the $3 aisle without a glance at the cheap crap they sell there. She is on a mission. She has to be somewhere, she is just running in to grab something. Get something done. In that moment, I wish that could be me.
See when I go to Target, I take my son. I stand in the $3 aisle watching the dog wag its tail while my son happily points out DOG! Every two mins. I look at the cheap crap because it’s what I can afford this month. I am not wearing high heels. The truth is my high heels are on a shelf at home and come out twice a year, Easter and Christmas. That is it.
I am not wearing ironed clothes, well at least not anymore. My nails haven’t been done since I got pregnant. I have a coach purse from my past life, but like the shoes, it sits on the shelf. Why have it ruined with fruit packets, spilled milk and overflowing diapers. I am also not on a mission. Most likely I am here killing time. Sick of the house with no activities and three hours until my husband comes home, Target is a great place to come kill an hour.
So as I watch her walk by, I find myself longing to daydream about what my life could have been if I would have made the other choice. I dream of the extra money. The chance to be someone other than “mom”. Having a moment to just be me, walk through a store, eat my lunch, get a cup of coffee. Did I mention the extra money?
I still would make the same choice
But if I am completely honest that feeling only lasts for a few moments. I turn back to my son and say, “Want to go see the trucks?” I watch as his face lights up like we are going on some great adventure and off we go weaving through the aisles, taking our time, trying on the funny hats, looking at the silly shoes. Walking up and down every aisle of toys and filling our basket with a hundred things we can’t buy but they are fun to play with for the next hour. Then we pick just one special item to take home.
Today, I may be tired and I may feel broke constantly. I will probably spend an hour trying to come up with ways to make an extra $100 this month because that would make a big difference to our budget. And when I climb into bed tonight, every part of my body will hurt. But I will know something that the working mom doesn’t get to know.
I didn’t miss anything today. I saw every smile, held him for every tear. Kissed him a million times, made him laugh and made a memory.
So while, sometimes I dream of a bigger bank account, a bigger house, a chance to dress up, a date night! I wouldn’t trade in my cheap flip flops in for any of it.
So to the other stay at home moms. We are the minority in America. We can feel lonely, isolated. We get judged by everyone from the mail man to our parents. And whether you are home by choice or by necessity. Never forget, you work hard, what you do matters. Hold your head up high and don’t be intimated. The truth is we are the lucky ones even when we don’t feel like it.