This past weekend, I got to sneak away for my bi-annual hair color appointment. This is always a day that I look forward to, but this time of year especially. With the craziness of summer coming to a close and the kids headed back to school, it always feels like such a treat to take part in a Saturday morning and do something nice for myself.
I sat down in the chair as I always do and spent the next hour or so catching up with my hairdresser. There is just something about adult conversation and knowing that you will be in that salon chair for the next few hours that truly feels like the perfect ‘Mom timeout.’ When it came time to rinse the color out of my hair, she had another co-worker come over and help. I had never met this stylist before, so of course, we start the normal ‘small talk, chit chat’ that we ladies have learned to do so well.
We exchange names and then THE question is dropped:
“What do you do for work?”
Now, I have been asked this question probably more than a dozen times over the years, so my answer normally just rolls right on out without me even having to think about it.
“I just stay home with my kids. I’m just a Mom.”
I normally have no regrets about that answer, but this time, after saying those words, I felt myself pause. Since when does being a Mom not equate to having a job. Or justify having a ‘just’ in front of it?
I let myself feel those feelings and spent the rest of the day thinking about how on Earth I had let being a stay-at-home Mom somehow in my brain not mean as much as having some grand career.
I don’t know about you, Mamas, but I know for me, being a stay-at-home Mom is the hardest (and most rewarding) job I have ever done.
From the moment my eyes open in the morning to when my head hits that pillow at the end of the day, I am ON. There is no clocking out to take a lunch break or calling off when I am sick. There is no replacement for me on the days that I just need a break. It’s all me.
I change the diapers, kiss the ‘ouchies,’ prep three meals a day (plus snacks on snacks on snacks), do school pick-up and drop-off, help with homework, read stories, sing the nap and bedtime songs, do the dishes, tackle the mountain of laundry that somehow keeps reappearing every day, and then, by some miracle, I am still standing at the end of the day. And not just standing, but eager and ready to do it all over again.
When I take time out of my day to list all of the things I do on a daily basis, without even thinking about it, I am truly amazed. Being a stay-at-home Mom can be an incredibly thankless job at times, but one thing is for sure, it definitely does not deserve the ‘just’ that we often throw in front of it.
Let’s normalize being a stay-at-home Mom as a full-time (and even overtime) job.
There is so much more to what you do, and even when the days are long and feel repetitive, I hope we all know that the work that we are doing does make a difference.
You are never ‘just’ a Mom.