Why I’m a stay-at-home mom

Let’s face it, being a stay at home mom (SAHM) isn’t exactly glamorous. There’s a lot of bum-wiping, nose-blowing and mess-cleaning involved and you’re generally not required to have a degree, sit for an interview or wear a power-suit for this job.

There are, however, some seriously worthwhile perks to being a SAHM: like the fact that my boss is a 3-year old who makes no demands on me other than to love him and look after him to the best of my abilities.

After my son was born, I agonised for 2 years about finding the perfect job that would still let me be a mother, whilst achieving that ever-elusive satisfaction that comes from working, and being good at it. I thought I’d found it until I realised that my job (and the way I handled it) wasn’t letting me be a mother first and the mother that I was being, wasn’t very good at all.

I’d tried to conform to and meet all of the demands of being a working mom – I tried for an entire year. It might not sound like a long time, but it was long enough for me to realise that it wasn’t for me. It was long enough for me to realise that I’m not very good at the multi-tasking that’s required to balance work, love, parenting and everything else. Long enough for me to realise that I’m an all-or-nothing kind of person, and I’ve admitted as much before on my blog.

During that year that I was working, I threw everything I was and everything I had into my job and made it my priority. Everything else (including my son and fiancé) competed for second place on my to-do list and missed out on my undivided attention.

Which lead to the realisation that no matter how hard I try, I’m still going to be that all-or-nothing person – and that I needed to change the things that could be changed. So I handed in my resignation as working mom and once again took up the most important and the most rewarding job in the world. That of being mother to my son and throwing that all-or-nothing kind of dedication that I have, into this one single task. After all, time with my son is more precious than a paycheque and I can be replaced as an employee, but never as my son’s mother.

When I told people I was would no longer be working they offered sympathy and asked me when I’d be looking for another job. I felt the need to explain that leaving my job meant more time with my son, more time doing things that matter to me.

I’ve since realised that I should never have felt the need to justify my actions to anyone other than my son. And since all he’s interested in is guns, swords and Lego, I could keep my mouth shut, and get on with my task of being the best mother and the best wife-to-be that I can be. Because that’s all that matters.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I think my boss has woken from his afternoon nap.

Are you a stay-at-home parent? How did you make the choice?

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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