“I feel like I have spent my entire life listening to men complain about how their wives ‘do nothing’ or ‘are lazy.’ Perhaps this is because my family is a bit dysfunctional, but that is a blog post for another time. Growing up, it seemed to be the first shot many men in my family fired when they were angry or frustrated with their wives. Listening to men in my family complain about taking care of their stay at home wives made me terrified of becoming one myself. I never wanted anybody to have that kind of power over me. I never wanted a man to be able to look at me and say:
‘Oh, you’re mad because I spent some money? Well, maybe you should go out and get a job.’
‘I fell in love with a career woman. I’m just not attracted to you now that you aren’t working. You’re unmotivated, blah, blah, blah.’
‘If we ever divorce, you don’t deserve to take any of my money.’
I had convinced myself that even if I had children, I would do whatever I had to do to keep working. Even though my husband is a great guy, I still didn’t want to allow myself to become vulnerable in this way. When I became pregnant for the first time, I kept telling myself I would put my son in daycare. However, it wasn’t my love of being a career woman that was driving my decision; it was my fear of being mocked or talked down to for choosing to stay home instead of working. In reality, as soon as my son was born, I wanted nothing more than to never leave his side.
I cried when I asked my husband if I could stay home with my son. I had a whole speech prepared. I told him how I just couldn’t leave Jack. I told him I would cook lunch for him everyday, clean the house, and do whatever I needed to do so I wouldn’t be a burden on the family. At the end of my dramatic monologue, he told me he didn’t want me to go back to work either. He thought it was important I stay with Jack while he was young. I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders when we both agreed. I can also say he has never made me feel like being home with our son makes me less of a contributor to the family. He isn’t like other men I have known. I am thankful for that.
Every now and then, though, I still get scared. I get worried one day he will stop saying ‘our’ money and start saying ‘his’ money. I get nervous he will stop thinking I am attractive because I don’t have a ‘real job.’ I am worried history will repeat itself and he will grow to resent me like many men in my family have grown to resent their wives.
When this happens, I remind myself of three important things:
1. Being A Mother Is A Job
Look guys, I have worked and I have also been a mother. Transitioning into motherhood was a hell of a lot harder than transitioning into the workforce. When I worked, I always had time to myself before I went to bed. Now, there are hardly any moments when I don’t have a child attached to me. Even when Kyle is off work, Jack is still attached to me because I am his source of food and comfort. I shouldn’t feel guilty for asking for time for myself or buying something for myself. I work hard, too.
2. Men Who Say Mean Things About Their Wives Have Other Problems
As an adult, I realized many of the men I heard complaining about their wives staying home had other problems within their marriages. Many times, I would see situations play out in which the wife did end up getting a job, but the marriage was still in shambles even after she chose to work. This has led me to believe the mother staying home with the kids was never the real problem. Perhaps men who complain about their wives staying home have other issues, but calling their spouse ‘lazy’ or claiming ownership over the family funds is the easiest way to hurt their partner in the heat of the moment. This is why I am consciously choosing not to base my worth off the ramblings of begrudged spouses.
3. I Am The Happiest I Have Ever Been
Moms.com ran an article that asked men to share their thoughts on women who decide to stay home. One anonymous poster said this:
‘I think they’re kind of parasitic to be honest. That’s my unadulterated thought. I realize they aren’t just sitting around watching soap operas all day, but they are having their lifestyle subsidized by their partner having to put in extra hours/years at work when he or she could be home getting to interact with the children as well.’
I am not going to lie, stuff like this bugs me. It always will. Does the guy who wrote this know I wake up earlier than my husband every single damn day? Does he know I get up to feed my baby three times at night, so I am always, always tired? Does he know how many times I walk my baby around the neighborhood while he is crying so my husband can attend work meetings in his office?
Sometimes, I get very discouraged when I read things like this. However, despite how difficult it is, this is the happiest I have ever been. Even though I am tired, I wouldn’t trade this time with my son for the world. Are there people out there who are going to think I am lazy for choosing to stay home? Sure, but I am choosing not to acknowledge them. At the end of the day, if my husband and I are content with our decision for me to stay home, then I don’t care what the rest of the world thinks.
And for all you stay at home moms out there who struggle with this like I do, I just want you to know I feel you. No matter what anybody says, you are doing a great job. Just keep snuggling with your babies and screw all the haters.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Lisa Carnett. You can follow her journey on Instagram, Facebook, and blog. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribeto our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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