I am sure most of you read or heard about recent comments of a stay at home mom "never working a day in their life." I am not going into the political points of who said what and why or what I really think of all that. What really struck me though was all of the comments after the fact from both men and women that stated that they didn't have the" luxury " of either being a stay at home mom or allowing their wife to be a stay at home mom. Wow! I have never once thought of being a stay at home mom as a luxury.
I mean no disrespect to working moms. I was once a working mom. But, being a stay at home mom is not a luxury. The definition of luxury is: 1. Something inessential but conducive to pleasure or comfort. 2. Something expensive or hard to obtain. 3. Sumptuous living or surroundings. As a stay at home mom, I am working every day in many different ways. I am the mother, chef, housekeeper, nurse, teacher, laundress, seamstress, manager, accountant, nanny and whatever else that particular day demands. What part of that is inessential but conducive to pleasure or comfort? The stereotype of the SAHM watching TV, eating bonbons, and taking bubble baths just is not reality. The only TV watching during the day at our house is Nick Jr before nap time. I have never eaten a bonbon in my life (though I have been known to stash some chocolate in the cupboard for emergencies.) I have taken one bubble bath in a year. Stay at home moms do not have these luxuries. Not only is there work to be done, we have to do it with all of our children underfoot! So that kitchen that just got cleaned and mopped will have muddy footprints in 5 minutes. The second the dishes are done it is time to prepare another meal. Those 4 loads of laundry that just got folded will get knocked over before it gets put away. I don't get to "clock out" at 5 pm. My job continues 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
We did sacrifice a second income and with the sacrifice of that income did have to learn to be much more careful with our money and our budget. The amount of money that the 9 of us live on successfully would be shocking for some people. I know families of 3 or 4 that cannot manage with double the income that we make. But we do survive and successfully. Our children have clothes to wear and food to eat. We have a nice house and a few vehicles. There are more toys here than any child could ever need. We get to eat out on occasion and even take a small vacation every year. We manage to buy all the children's school supplies and participate in fun and educational activities. The truth is when I was working we had a whole lot of expensive things we didn't need and a lot more debt.
I am grateful that my husband recognized the importance of me being at home with our children and did not view it as a luxury but a necessity. I am also grateful that he is such a good provider for this family and willing to sacrifice some luxuries. The children are thankful too.