As the family grows, the number and frequency of home chores increases and couples are faced with a decision. Continue earning two paychecks and learn how to juggle work, child care and household chores. Get outside help possibly paying for one or more services or just deciding that one of the parents should stay home and handle most of the child care and home workload, while the other spends most of the day earning a pay check.
If a decision to stay at home is made, choosing which parent is a better fit for the role can be tricky as well. Some factors start to be considered, like the paycheck size, career prospects and stability or simply choosing the one that has a bigger aptitude for the job and is willing to assume that role.
Some men gladly accept the responsibility and are even more suitable for the job than their partners. However, most of the times women are the ones that choose to become a stay at home parent.
Roles of a mother
Being a stay at home mom is one of the most undervalued jobs. Some people do not see it as a job and consider them glorified housewives. Others see it as a step back from all the rights and important milestones that women reached over the last decades and argue that are plenty of working mothers that still manage to take perfect care of their children while earning a paycheck.
Generally speaking, every mother is a personal chef, driver, laundry and ironing operator, therapist, financial manager, cleaner, tutor, personal shopper, nurse and nanny. While performing all these roles as a working mother is commendable, even If some of the workload is shared with the other parent, it is extremely difficult, if not nearly impossible, to perform all those chores well. Some parents sooner realize that they need outside help, that in turn will most likely cost a lot of money. Not to mention that there is no guarantee that children will receive the proper care and attention that they deserve.
The only way to ensure that children are cared for, receive the adequate levels of attention and nurture is by having a parent at home that is able to provide the best child care possible.
All year long 24/7 job
Being a stay at home mom is a never-ending job. Although other parents are able to complete the same tasks either by themselves or with outside help, working moms have the opportunity to switch contexts and think about something else during the day while they are focusing on their jobs. Then, when they go home switch from working to mom mode and take care of their children.
Stay at home moms don’t go through that. They take care of their kids day and night. Caring for them while there are infants or toddlers, tending to their every need. Then, when they go to school during the day mother tidy up the home, do laundry, go to the supermarket, run errands, plan meals and events, make costumes for the kids, participate in baking sales and other school activities or just prepare the next tutoring session. Then, they go pick up their kids and drop them off on some extracurricular activity or just get them safely home. At home, they help the kids with the home work, prepare dinner, reminds them to take a shower and brush their teeth. And this is just a small sample of what they do.
Every single aspect of their lives revolves around their children, and although most mothers don’t admit it, it is exhausting and sometimes can reach a breaking point. Many mothers are so focused on their children that completely forget to take care of themselves. They have a higher tendency to neglect their own needs than working mothers. Although their worth is the same.
Being a stay at home mom requires organization, patience, dedication and selflessness. It is not a job for everyone and can be overwhelming and stressful at times. Since it is undervalued by some people, it can also have a toll in self-esteem and self-worth.
Nevertheless, these women are fighters who partially gave up their lives for the sake of their children and should be valued for it. While some choose to leave their kids to the care of strangers and let their values and view of the world be shaped and influenced by others, mothers that choose to be at home for the sake of their children take upon themselves the responsibility to ensure that their kids get the best possible education, while they are loved and nurtured. That kind of care influences profoundly a child’s development, making such commitment priceless and impossible be bought.
Being a stay at home mom is a brave and selfless personal decision that should not be judged by society. Many of these women give up or put their careers on hold to provide the best possible care to their children. The same kids that will grow up and that will shape the future to come.
Although there is some excellent child care available nowadays, it is not comparable with the opportunity to spend most of the day with one’s parents. So, the question here is not if parents should abdicate their careers to have quality time available to spend with children, to nurture and take care of them creating a unique relationship that is centered on the child and has the kid’s best interest and well-being in mind. It should be asked instead if parents want the little ones’ future to be influenced by themselves or by complete strangers that, although child care professionals, might be unable to provide the same care levels of their nurturing and loving parents.