Ahhh, got your attention now! As a stay at home mom, let me assure you that I’m not going to wag my finger in your face and tell you to hell with feminism and that a woman’s place is in the home. A woman’s place is where she chooses to be – in the home or at work. And let’s face it, neither choice feels optimal, does it?
But there is one thing that stay at home moms don’t have to deal with and that is guilt. Not all guilt, mind you…for some people, guilt is just part of their DNA. I’m talking about the kind of guilt that makes a mama bend the rules some because it’s just easier than enforcing them.
I think I speak for most parents when I say that it would be infinitely easier in the short run to just give the kid what he wants sometimes. And yet that is exactly the wrong thing to do for the long term health and sanity of your home.
In our house, we are as consistent as we possibly can be. My husband and I do not contradict each other’s edicts, and we do back each other up when the wily 3 year old tries to play us off one another. Usually we have her number. The other day, when not getting anywhere with her attempts to stay up late, she said, “but I haven’t seen you all day!”
It was Sunday. She had in fact been with us every moment of the day, save the glorious 2 hours she was napping.
So her plea got her nowhere and off to bed she went.
But what if I had worked all day? I would have felt supremely guilty! Maybe I would have even let her stay up late, who knows, but regardless, she would have seen on my face that she found a weak spot and, given that she’s a child, she would have tested and tested and tested that guilt.
That’s when I knew staying at home was a tad easier. I mean, how do full time working parents do it? I swear I’d be so bad at managing the child rearing with working such hours.
So, my hat is off to you parents who work outside of the home and come home only to have precious few hours with your children, squeezing a day’s worth of attention (both bad and good) in before bedtime.
photo credit: Cia de Foto