Thursday, April 12, 2012

Stay at home moms are LAZY

When I was growing up I thought my mom was pretty dumb.  She didn't go to school.  She didn't go to work.  She sat at home and watched a bunch of kids raise themselves.  When I trudged off to school every morning I couldn't WAIT until I was married with kids and could just sit around the house all day and eat whatever I wanted and watch tv. 

Sorry Mom.  

Sorry that I as an all knowing 3rd grader, I TREATED you like you were dumb and lazy.  

Sorry that I didn't notice all of the things that you did all day long everyday.

Sorry that everything you did no doubt went unnoticed and unappreciated by everyone for over 20 years.  

But THANK YOU for doing it.

When my sweet sweet little Gwenny started 1st grade something changed at my house.  

I got a taste of my own medicine.  

Suddenly I realized that Gwen thought I was stupid.  

She started asking why I didn't go to school like dad.

She started telling me cute little things she learned at school. 

And following it up with, "Did YOU know that mom?" first it was cute and funny to see the tables turned and realize how I made my own mother feel.

And then I remembered how I FELT about my mom. (You ok mom?  Stick with me...don't cry. I love you.)

How does this idea get started in such little children that their moms who sacrifice so much to stay at home and raise them, are lazy dummies?

Last night I read about Hilary Rosen accusing Ann Romney of not working a day in her life.

She raised 5 boys.

She had a job with no vacations.

Well, people will always say stupid things and what can you do?

But then this morning I was listening to the radio as I drove Gwen to school.

They happened to be talking about Ann Romney. 

The man on the radio was kinda sorta defending stay at home moms and mentioned that he has 2 kid at home, so he knows it is hard work.  And then he said, "But let's be honest here. Being a stay at home mom is not as hard of a job as being a working woman and coming home at night to make dinner and help kids with homework after a long day at work." 

Sweet sweet little Gwenny looked over at me and said, "Mom...did you ever work?" Oh man. Here we go.

Here is where I find myself in a blogging dilemma.

I try not to be too opinionated on here.  

When I first started blogging I could and did say whatever I wanted. (sorry mom)

Only family was reading it. 

I could talk about everything that happened in my life without worrying that the other person involved was going to read it.

And then one day I ran into someone in my hometown and they told me how much they loved reading my blog.  And I had to do a quick mental scan of everything I had ever said on my blog and was horrified that I might have said something that would offend them.

Since then I have offended people.  I've been told at least once that I have.

For a long time I changed the way I did things and tiptoed around things and quit being myself. 

And then I realized that no one was changing for me.

I have to change because I might offend you? 

I can't make jokes because someone might not understand that I'm kidding? (And I'm serious when I say that I am NEVER completely serious.)

I can't have opinions because they might be different from yours? 

I have strong opinions about homeschool.  Does that  mean I am judging you if you send your kids to school outside the home?  NO!!! (My kids are not homeschooled, so that would be silly...we'll talk again if I ever pull the trigger and teach them myself.)


So here we go with the offensive predictable rant about stay at home moms from a stay at home mom.


First of all....let's talk about what job outside the home is harder than "staying at home".

Are we talking physically harder? Mentally harder?  Emotionally harder? 

The point I'm trying to make there is that you really can't compare them AT ALL.  

It is a sacrifice as a woman to go to work everyday when you have children at home who miss you and you miss them.  What are you sacrificing for? A bigger home?  A boat?  Food on the table?  Who can judge whether your sacrifice is meaningful or legitimate?  It isn't anyones business.

It is a sacrifice as a woman to stay at home with little kids when there are daycares on every corner and before and after school programs at every school in the country.  What are you sacrificing for? 

So we make choices about what we are sacrificing for.  And those are personal decisions. 

I have done both and I know that when I was in the height of being a busy photographer I envied my friends and neighbors who were strictly stay at home moms because I felt like I had no time to play with my kids and just enjoy them.  But when I left the kids with a babysitter for a few hours while I went on a photoshoot, it was like heaven.  I could get in the car with my equipment and not wait for little hands and feet to climb in and buckle up.  I could drive in the car and hear myself think without screaming and fighting and QUESTIONS from the back seat. I could get out of the car in one smooth motion and not worry about grabbing drinks and diaper bags and little people. (Not to mention that they NEVER leave their shoes on enroute and they can NEVER find both shoes once you arrive at your destination.) And when I got home I just wanted to kiss and hug the kids I had missed, because I had a chance to miss them.  There was definitely less yelling in those days.  No, that's probably not true.  I had a lot more time for blogging and pinterest and facebook when I spent hours on the computer editing pictures in the wee hours of the night.

When I was working I thought that if I stayed at home I would always have a clean house, laundry would never pile up, kids would never get ignored and life would just be easier.

And now that I have taken a LONG hiatus from photography, my house is never clean, my laundry is never caught up on and my kids occasionally get ignored.  Because the things you do as a working woman might be gone, but they are replaced by the work you were missing out on while you were gone. (I don't mean to say that working moms don't have to come home and do laundry and make dinner and wash dishes like a stay at home mom.  I mean that there are certain messes at least for me that were made elsewhere or cleaned up by a babysitter or taken care of by someone else because I was literally not there and someone else was taking care of things.) And at least at this point in my life, the stay at home work is harder than the work I was doing as a photographer. But I have had toddlers and little people messing up every room in the house if I ever turn my back, just because they can.  That will be a different story if I continue to be a stay at home mom once all my children are in school.  And as a stay at home mom you become a babysitter for everyone else, because you're at home anyway... 

As my kids get older I will take on more work as a photographer again.  It is definitely a sacrifice right now to stay home. I have been looking at rental homes in Scottsdale and I know that if I just went back to work I could afford a nicer home. It makes me feel guilty. I made my own laundry detergent for a few months...that one was a sacrifice for the whole family.  Blah blah blah....we all make sacrifices and no one cares about anyone elses reasons or sacrifices, they just want to be able to say that they do more and they are better, but it's comparing apples and lemons.

So let's not judge Ann Romney for making the decision to stay out of the workforce to raise her boys herself.  She knew she could do a better job than anyone else.  And just because she has money does not mean that it wasn't a sacrifice.  Even if she had professional help with her housework, does not mean that she didn't sacrifice and work hard.  (When you work outside the home do you have help with  not only your children, but also at work....usually.)  Her sacrifice is showing in part today in the contempt that the world feels for her and her decision to "stay home".   The world thinks that she is lazy and dumb.  

So let's hear it.  Even you strangers stumbling upon my blog by googling "names to call people with braces".... let's hear your opinion and how I offended you and how you agree or disagree with me........

(and those who didn't stumble here on accident, stay tuned for a less opinionated updated complete with pictures.)


kellyrass said...

Barabara Bush said it best today on Fox - BEING A STAY AT HOME MOM iS A LUXURY!!! I appreciate my that I am able to be home with my kids ALL DAY EVERYDAY, even though sometimes I feel like it would be easier to go to work!

Women should give each other a break! I won't worry about how you're raising you're kids and no one needs to worry about how I raise mine!

Aubrey said...

Suzy you make me laugh. It must be the Smith in us that we are NEVER serious. I was a little bugged with Hilary's comment. I too have been on both sides and it is some tough work raising good productive children. Let alone 5 BOYS!!!! It is a huge sacrifice to be at home. Look what a great job she did with raising those boys! Everyone has different circumstances and I am soooo glad that I can be home with my boys and give them the influence they deserve and need in this crazy world. And I think your mom is the coolest (even when I was in 3rd grade!)

Hunter Ann said...

I love this. Suzy I love you. You are an amazing stay at home mom, and it is definitely a job. I'm not one, and even keeping my apartment clean is difficult.

dancin' momma said...

This was a post I needed to read today. I really loved everything you just said, especially the part about the sacrifices. I believe that most moms, in the work force or at home, have the "grass is greener" syndrome. Being a mom is tough. Period.

Jessica said...

Suzy, I love that you state your opinion. I feel the same way when I am posting on my blog: will I offend someone? Who? Why? What? When? Blah, Blah, Blah.
Anyway, in my opinion, when a woman works she can still get everything done at home after work, but it's the daily special moments that are spent playing with your children that get squeezed out. When a woman comes home she usually has along list of chores that trump the one-on-one time with children. Being a full-time mom and a full-time worker can be done, but it's all about good, better, and best (Elder Oaks). People will decide which choices are good, better, and best for their families and we should not judge their choices based on our own understanding.

Anonymous said...

I am going to admit that Ann Romney isn't my favorite. When someone of her wealth says that "she doesn't consider herself wealthy" is pretty deep in denial. Maybe I took It out of context but it doesn't really matter. And if (I don't know if she had a nanny or not) I had a nanny and didn't HAVE to work I would be working for fun and enjoying both. What I do know is that there are pros and cons of both worlds and that is why the perfect medium would be to be able to do both. When you are forced (financially, peer pressure from society or own self guilt) to do one or the other thats when it gets dang hard. Even though I have to work I am a much happier mother than when I HAD to stay home. But that is my personality. Either way there is a sacrifice of something. But an amazing daycare and a sane mother never hurt any child I know. And now that I am working I have an immeasurable respect for people like my mother who has worked every day of her life (went right back to work when I was 6 weeks old) AND for those like your mother who sacrificed everything that she may have wanted to stay home and raise children. Both are hard. Life is hard. But as long as we raise good citizens of humanity (whether its us alone or PLUS a village ..thats what counts. And we all need to just follow our heart and find what is going to be best for ourselves therefore being the best for our children whom we are setting the example for. Your amazing Suz I heart ya :) Kat

Elyse.Beard said...

When I think I might offend someone on my blog, I just remind myself that haters gonna hate. And if they don't want to read my blog, they don't have to. It is MY blog after all.

About being just a stay at home mom....I've only done it for 3 weeks and I can't imagine a job harder on emotions or mentally or physically. Props to you awesome moms that I have to look up to. You guys don't get enough credit. And I agree with Kelly, women should back each other up, not judge and compare and tear down. We all have reasons for doing what we do.

Dusty said...

Amen sister!!!! This hit the spot for me today, I am currently in the same situation as you, I go back and forth with wanting to be a successful photographer and often find myself jealous of those amazing women who seem to be able to do it all! After having Quinten I have decided to also put my photography business on hold and just focus on my little guys but I have to admit some days I miss it, I miss the break, missing my kids when I am gone, and watching people's faces light up when I capture their families memories for them!!!! Both are hard but I must say being a stay at home mom that try's to run their own business is the hardest!!!!!! You are one awesome woman and mom keep up the hard work it will always pay off! Hope to see u soon xoxo Dusty

DD said...

I liked how this was brought up today:
"Speaking Friday at what the administration called “The White House Forum on Women and the Economy,” President Barack Obama said that after his two daughters were born, he and his wife—both Harvard Law School graduates—could not afford the “luxury” of having her stay home with the children.

In 2005, when Obama began serving in the U.S. Senate (and his daughters turned 4 and 7), he and his wife were earning a combined annual income of $479,062. Barack Obama was paid a salary of $162,100 by the U.S. taxpayers, and Michelle Obama was paid $316,962 to handle community affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Could your family “get by” on $162,000 per year?"

Interesting perception

DD said...

I think he should have been a stay at home dad!

Elaine said...

Oh Suzy, you are so articulate and such a good spokewoman for all of us moms who stayed at home and all of us moms who work (I too have done both) and neither one is easy! Both are hard work. I love that my husband has taken over many of the daily tasks for me now that I am working and he stays at home. He even took care of the 2 youngest boys school, dental, medical, etc. items that I did for the oldest 5. And now he is doing the cooking and grocery shopping. I love it. And I got a cleaning lady last year!!! Oh my, my life has changed. But it is difficult in different ways than it was when I was a stay-at-home mom of 7 children. I'm SO THANKFUL I was able to stay home with them until the youngest was in school. Thank you Suzy, for your thought provoking post!! Love you and miss you!

The Belnaps said...

I totally love you and I always offend people and I tried to tiptoe too for a while and then I thought..screw it..this is it or hate it. And being just a mom is the HARDEST thing ever..period. I don't care what anyone says..but Nate and i both agree that I could never do what he does..busts his a$$ every day for us..and he could never do what I do...bust my a$$ for these kiddos and it all works out and BTW I still have not made my detergent but at least i know I will have it if the world comes to an end:)

Loriannie said...

What a lovely post! I feel very fortunate that I got to stay at home with you kids most of the time. There were a few times when I had to work atleast part-time, for short periods, and it helped me to be more supportive of the working out of the house Moms. I did grow to completely despise babysitting other peoples kids, and haven't completely recovered from that. Now that I am 50 and can look back, it is easy to see that Moms need more support and less pressure FROM EACH OTHER! I still love being a MOM, and I adore being a grandmother. My greatest desire is to be a stay at home Grandma, because working like I have to right now makes me not available to be the Grandma i want to be. Time is truly the greatest commodity! I love you very much and am releived that you no longer (I hope) think I am dumb and lazy!

patty said...

Elyse said it best when she said 'haters gonna hate.' Does anyone remember the extreme criticism Sarah Palin got for even considering a job as VP when she had a family at home? What hypocrites! I just have one other thought: it seems that the one thing that hasn't been explored here is whether being a stay at home mom is best for the kids. I have to believe it is far better than any day care, anywhere. I certainly understand mothers who have to work-but I have known women in my life who could have worked anywhere and made big bucks but chose to stay home and do without because they wanted to nurture their children themselves. Those are the women I admire. Go Ann Romney!! There are 5 boys out there who know you did the right thing.

Kikal said...

I don't know...I know some pretty crazy people who should probably let someone else be in charge of raising their kids :) LOL, this is great!

Brena and Brendan said...

Suzy! Great post! I loved reading this!!! I actually just made the decision this last semester to quit my job (The dream job I had long desired for, I know it wasn't that great of a job, but I LOVED it!!!) to be a stay at home mom. It was a very hard decision for me! But I finally decided after seeing two very different examples of mothers in my life (one example I desperately wanted to avoid being, and another example I pray I can one day become), that I needed to stay home! Also my kids do not get a 100% me because of my health issues so I wanted to make dang sure they got as much of me as I could give them!!!! Plus I took a long hard look at why I was working, and honestly I didn't need the $, sure it was NICE, but I didn't NEED it! I didn't need to sound important for HAVING a job, and I didn't need to be ashamed for JUST being a stay at home mom! Staying home is definitely a LUXURY as Kelly put it! Through staying home I have found that I have more energy and patience for my kids, I also have learned to be more dependent on my husband! I have always been appreciative of his hard work, but now I can really appreciate everything he does so that I can stay home!!!! A husband who wants his wife home raising their children is a sweet man and a woman should take that as a compliment!!! I love my kiddos and I LOVE that we are blessed enough financially that I can be home! I know not everyone has the opportunity! Some of the strongest women I know have raised some amazing kids and I admire them much more than I would ever a successful business woman who neglects her responsibilities at home!

Nat said...

I have five boys. I know how much work Ann Romney DIDN'T do! It's a piece of cake. She's just lazy.

Okay. I am totally joking. Sometimes I have thought that it would be nice to have a job just for the BREAK it would be from all the work I do at home.

I loved your post. You've never offended me.

Oh, and last night I told our "pickle juice shirtless in the boy's bathroom" story. That's a good'un. Oh goodness. It makes me laugh every time! :)

Seth and Peggy said...

When I read this, Ivy went into the bathroom and played in the toilet and put lotion in her hair. So I had to clean it up. If I was at a job, on my break, that would not have happened to me. For this reason, I dub the stay at home mom as the tougher career choice! :)

Anonymous said...

You said that ann romney never got a vacation raising 5 boys. What do you think working moms do when they are on vacation? Hire a nanny and visit their "mcmansion" on bora bora while the kids stay home? No, we do the exact same thing you guys do-spending time with our kids. A vacation is not a vacation from the kids.
Also, having 2 kids of my own and experiece babysitting and working daycare, raising kids is not as hard as you guys claim it is. I would gladlly take watching 20 kids over managing a group of people. Or working as a er nurse. Or how about my friend who works as an air traffic controller. You think it sucks you have a few kids who are always hanging unto you and never leaving you alone-my friend has the safety and lives of thousands of people on her hands 5 days of week.
Stop trivilizing the jobs that take hard work and effort to get into just to justify your self- worth.

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Anonymous said...

I am completely over SAHMS thinking they have the hardest job in the world. I am, always have been, and always will be a working mom. I do everything you do, plus maintain a full-time job. My husband and I sacrificed time together by working different shifts so that one of us was always with our children. The laundry doesn't do itself, dinner still has to be made, toilets still need to be scrubbed, homework still needs to be done, and noses still need to be wiped...regardless of whether I work from home or not. Those things don't magically disappear just because I work outside of the home. You are not saint. You haven't given up anything. You aren't doing something more than what is mandatory from a parent. You raise your child and maintain a household. Not working outside of the home and using your child as an excuse for your laziness is pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Oh, honey - stay at home Moms ARE lazy, and are setting a terrible example for their kids. You should only be a stay at home Mom if you are willing to give up electricity, indoor plumbing and modern medicine. Otherwise, join the human race and GET A JOB.