I was talking to a girl the other day who has an 11 month old baby girl. We were having fun swapping baby stories, then all the sudden she asked me, “so does your husband get really upset with you when he comes home from work and the house isn’t clean?” I told her I try really hard to stay on top of house duties but when I don’t, my husband is patient with me and really has never brought the matter up before. After hearing her response I almost feel guilty for saying that. She explained to me that when her husband comes home, if the house isn’t clean, laundry isn’t done, bed isn’t made etc, he gets pretty ticked at her and always begins with, “you stay home with the baby all day…” then proceeds to make her feel like she is failing being a stay at home mom. This lit a fire in me that I haven’t been able to extinguish. A really gutsy part of me wants to march up to this guy I’ve never met before and chew him out – how dare he say that?! Maybe your house doesn’t look like a model home in a magazine, but your child is happy, healthy and safe and that is FAR more important than dishes sitting in the sink.
Just because I am a stay at home mom and I could potentially stay in my pajamas all day and drink 10 diet cokes doesn’t mean this is an easy job or a day off. Being a mom, even to one baby, is WORK. A fun, rewarding work, yes – but work nonetheless. Its the most important job ever. Raising a child is no small task and nothing to take lightly. It is a privilege, a gift and a divine role I have been given so my child is my priority. Certainly not the house, the garden, the groceries, the dishes or the items on the floor.
I don’t clock in at the office every morning, but I wake up early (after getting not near enough sleep) every morning and I never get time off. I don’t even get private bathroom breaks! Also, I don’t get paid. I stay home with the baby and I keep him safe, I keep his tummy full, I allow him to adventure off and let his curiosity run wild while making sure no danger comes upon him, I teach him things, I actively try to be a good example to him, I practice a lot of patience, I finally get dressed and ready only to get food (or who knows what else) smeared in my hair and on my clothes, I play with him, I chase our wiggly, active baby around and keep him entertained. If I have time and if my baby doesn’t need me, then I will get house work done. Usually this isn’t too hard to accomplish, but some days its impossible – I’m not kidding. So if at the end of the day the house is a mess but the baby is fed, in one piece, happy and safe – I have excelled at my job.
I am so so sooooo grateful that my husband is patient with me and recognizes and appreciates the work I do as a full time mother. He knows I put H first and other duties second and I really love that he is in full support of that. For those of you who are feeling pressure to be better – I hope you don’t feel like you’re failing. You put that baby first. If you can get stuff done around the house, awesome. But that baby is your responsibility, your main priority and far, far more precious or valuable than anything else, ever. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for putting your little human first. You rock.