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 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?"
Hahaha...at 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.)