It’s official. I read too many blog posts.
In an effort to clear up common misconceptions about stay home momery, I wrote Tuesday about how when you’re a stay at home mom, you’re not allowed to complain.
Today, I want to write about another post I read titled, Being a Stay-at-home parent is a luxury…for your spouse.
At first, I found myself nodding my head in agreement with this post on Babble. You’re darn right, my husband better appreciate the fact that I stay home! He IS lucky to have me! I SHOULD stop feeling guilty because I get to wear sweats all day (even thought I don’t) and he has to go to work (and incidentally wears scrubs…the most comfortable clothing on the planet). What would he do without me? I even shared it on my Facebook page with the disclaimer that I knew it was a luxury for me too.
But, there was one little thing that bugged me about the whole article. Her use of the word….luxury.
Excuse me? When did my life become luxurious exactly?
Sure, if you count having your toddler use you as a walking kleenex, trash can, or butt wiper luxurious, then I guess I am. It’s like that song we all love/hate: “I’m so fancy. You already know”
What added fuel to the fire was when another working mom posted it to her Facebook page in disappointment that people weren’t recognizing that the stay at home parent was living a luxurious life too. I have to say, I agree with her that both parties benefit, but again, us stay at home moms were accused of not appreciating what we have. Again. (insert eye roll).
I don’t know about you, but my day to day life doesn’t feel very luxurious. A luxury by definition is “the state of great comfort and extravagant living”. Excuse me while I take a break and laugh hysterically at that one.
Ok, I’m back.
When my husband and I made the choice to have kids, we knew we wanted to make it work somehow so I could stay home. When our first was born, he was smack dab in the middle of graduate school. I had been working at a law firm, and earning decent money for someone with just a bachelor’s degree. But, quit? How would we survive?
We did it though. And, we may or may not be paying a hefty student loan now that proves that fact.
We’ve sacrificed lots of things we used to enjoy to have me stay home. For one, eating out. But, we also have student loans that might be paid off sooner, cars that could be nicer, and a tiny home that could use some work, but will just have to be enough the way it is.
Yes, it’s nice that I don’t have to get dressed in a business suit and show up at a job at 8 am, but my work is still work. And the ability to stay home isn’t a luxury. It was a choice. One I stand behind, and one I’m grateful for (even if I complain sometimes). I know not every mom gets that choice, and for that, I’m thankful.
I also don’t really like being told I’m lucky. Luck is only a tiny fraction of it. We made this choice happen through lots of sacrifice and choices with this goal in mind. My husband chose a career path that would make enough for me to stay home. That meant extra schooling, extra school debt, and putting off buying a home even though all our friends were doing it. We don’t have flat screen TVs in our house, or super nice clothes. We make choices everyday to be frugal and save.
This ain’t no Real Housewives scenario. Maybe it should have been titled, Being a Stay At Home Parent is Beneficial…For Your Spouse.
So, here are a 10 ways I think our lifestyle and me staying home is “fancy”:
1. Today, I got woken up by my 5yo who needed a kleenex. At 6 am. There was a box IN his bed with him already. We’re super fancy because we let our kids sleep with tissue boxes.
2. Yesterday, my breakfast dishes sat in the sink until right before I cooked dinner. It wasn’t laziness on my part, but extreme busy-ness. There just was not time.
3. Instead of sending my laundry out for someone else to clean and fold, I wash it myself. Leave it in the dryer for 3 days, then fold it and leave it at the foot of my bed for another 3. It eventually gets put away by magical creatures known as children (or adults) that ran out of clean underwear.
4. Sometimes we get a caterer for dinner. His name is Papa John. He makes really good take n bake pizzas.
5. We have this GIANT TV in the basement. It’s awesome for movies and video games. Except I think it weighs 5,000 lbs. It’s a large box tv from before the flat screen was invented. We’ve decided that instead of moving it OUT of the basement by 4 large men swearing, we will just dig a hole in the basement floor and tip it over into it.
6. People hacking into my phone are in for quite a show.
7. I’ve shared my holiday home tour. DEFINITELY fancy.
8. Sometimes I wear socks with flip flops. I really try not to leave the house like that though.
9. I’ve flipped the cushions on my couch so many times to hide some stain or another, that I should really start using all those cleaning tips I have pinned.
10. I have a nanny. She’s called the TV. I use her whenever I’m desperate to pee alone, shave my legs in the shower, cook dinner, or think.
I love being a SAHM, but we make it happen with budgets, and planning, and saving money for things. We chose this life, and while I know it’s not a possibility for everyone, I do think it’s a misconception that those that get to stay home are somehow living the high life. And, I’m definitely NOT fancy. My t-shirts from Target with holes in them prove that. Blessed, yes. Luxurious? Now, that’s funny.