November 8, 2009

The world's best paying job

"Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love." -Mildred B. Vermont

It was implied to me recently by someone that being a stay at home parent isn't having a "real" job. And thus, stay at home parents shouldn't ever feel like they need a vacation.

Now, obviously the person who said this does not have children. However, I don't really feel like it should take having a child to understand that being a parent, stay at home or not, is a HUGE job. All it should take to understand this is a little bit of thought. Just think for two seconds about it! It is a bigger responsibility (or, it should be) than anything else in the world. Before we had Audia, I didn't realize how big of a responsibility it would actually be, but I did know that it was a big responsibility. How a person could not know that is beyond me. I am torn between feeling really sorry for these people and being really PO'd. (I am also torn between hoping that they have children so that they understand and hoping that they never have children because what if they still don't understand what a big responsibility it is after they have kids??)

When I say that I feel like I need a vacation, I am in no way saying that I wish I weren't a mom or that I have any regrets about having a child. I am happier, as a mom, and especially as a stay at home mom, than I have ever been in my life. I feel more fulfilled, more in love, more rewarded, more appreciated, and more grateful than I ever felt pre-child. But I also feel more worrisome, more anxious, and more exhausted than ever before.

Being a parent (especially being stay at home) is constant. It is every second of every day, eight days a week, 365 days a year. There is no leaving work at work when you are a stay at home mom. And I take my job as a mom very seriously. I am more invested in it than I have ever been in anything. That's why I am a stay at home mom! Because I do not feel comfortable having a child and then, in her most crucial years, paying someone else to bond with and teach and play with her. (This is not to say I do not understand why some people choose to put their kids in day care; I totally do. It's just not my choice for my child.) So we have made sacrifices in order to ensure that our daughter is as well taken care of as humanly possible. They are sacrifices I would make 20 times over. And, yes, they are our choices. But that doesn't mean we don't get to feel like we need a break every now and then. Good grief!

I heard a celebrity (I can't remember who) say recently that when she had her first child, it was like every cell in her body woke up to love that child. And it's true! I totally feel that way. It's like the day Audia was born was the day I was born again - as a mother. Everything I do is for her. Every choice I make boils down to what I think is best for her. For anyone to imply that my choice to be a stay at home mom is 'easy' or 'lazy' is not only completely clueless, but it is incredibly insulting. They're fighting words, and I dare you to find any other stay at home parent anywhere who wouldn't agree!

"All mothers are working mothers." - Author Unknown


Sarah Lilly



Couldn't have said it better myself! Of course, when you do get a vacation, you will spend the whole time, wondering, worrying, and talking about the child you left behind. The curse of parenthood. We are completely obsessed with and lost without our children:-)