The shame in being a stay at home mom.

The backlash of being a stay at home mom. (How women bash each other.)

I didn’t intend on being a stay at home mom. I’ve been working since I was 19 and always liked having my own money. I never liked my jobs though, not one of them. I worked retail and had an office job. I worked hard at these jobs even though I hated them and never felt fulfilled. It had always been my dream to own my own business or be my own boss in some way. I took the leap and opened my own daycare. It came with many difficulties like the hardships that occur when you mix business with pleasure. Also, running any business on your own is crazy. But just as I got the hang of it I found out I was pregnant and it become a complicated pregnancy. My husband and I made the decision to close my daycare and focus on my and the baby’s health. I never expected to receive such a backlash especially from other women. And so, here’s my list of the comments women would make towards my decision.

1. I’m weak.

Sure, there are many women who still work while they are pregnant. Some women have no choice while others just keep on moving. I shouldn’t have to mention, but every pregnancy is different. Mine was not the worse, nor the most dangerous. But I knew I couldn’t take care of my business as well as I would like to and take care of myself during my pregnancy at the same time. I constantly heard comments like “I still worked through that.” Or “My pregnancy was worse and I still managed.” I’ve come to terms that some women feel the need to prove their strength by making other women seem weak. It was a hard decision for me to close my business, but it was my decision and I don’t feel weak at all for doing it. 

2. I’m just a housewife.

As time moved on, I constantly heard negative comments like “I could never stay home like you. I have to work” or “I need my independence. Being a stay at home mom is the old way”. More comments rolled in like “Oh, you’re just a stay at home mom”. Also, women would feel the need to throw their careers in my face. I think most women feel the need to defend their jobs or careers so that I do not judge them for not staying home with their children. I always tell women I speak to, that they are hard working and I’m amazed at working moms who get things done. Yet, working moms usually look down at me and have no problem letting me know just how much.

3. I’m a bad wife.

A lot of women would also say things like “I couldn’t put all the pressure on my husband”. They’ll suggest that I’m being selfish, lazy, or not a good partner. First of all, you do not know my financial situation. Also, if things do become tight, I know how to cut back and save and no matter what, they’ll be food on the table, clothes on our backs, and a roof over our head. Thanks for your concern (not really) but we’re doing okay.

4. I’m a bad example for my daughter. 

Perhaps the most frustrating of them all is “I wouldn’t be a stay at home mom because I want my daughter to be better than that”. Ouch. Who’s to say I’ll be a stay at home mom or housewife forever? Also, what’s so bad about the example that I’m setting? That it’s okay to put your health first? It’s okay to take time off and raise your children? Have we forgotten that children are meant to be raised by their parents? 

In closing, I wish all women could have the best of both worlds, be a full time mom and have amazing careers. Very few can do both. Being a career women who is also a mom requires a lot of sacrifice. But also, being a stay at home mom requires a different, but very real sacrifice too. You do not need to bash working moms if you decided to stay home and equally women who decide to be stay at home moms should not be seen as less than. Stay at home moms are not turning the clock back on all the success and strides women have made in the workplace. Being the best mom should always be priority. The most important thing to me, is that WE raise our children more than strangers do. If you do decide to have children, whether you decide to work or not, I hope you have plenty of time and love for them. I would also hope all women would stop competing with each other and tearing each other down. If you need to defend your stance by putting another women down, that shows your insecurities with your decision. Also, I hope that my daughter sees my strength in that I put her first and also I didn’t compromise time with her for a job I hated, but rather held out for a career I love all while being a kick ass mom. Thank you. 
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