It was so good to see you! I'm happy for you and thrilled to see you using your talents so successfully. You've always had a "go-get-'em" spirit and I'm glad to note that hasn't changed.
I couldn't help but notice that as we chatted, you repeatedly referred to me as "just a stay-at-home mom." Usually people misspeak once and immediately start backpedaling, saying something like "Not that what you're doing isn't important. I just meant you're not employed somewhere. You have the toughest job on the planet!" Your lack of backpedaling spoke volumes. I was left with the distinct impression that you thought yourself better than I and that I was somehow wasting my purpose by staying home. I hope you will indulge me while I
I'm not a fan of those stay-at-home mom salary comparisons. You know the ones: If a stay-at-home mom got paid for all the different hats she wears, she'd be raking in half a million dollars annually. Nurse, counselor, taxi driver, cook, seamstress, launderer, coach, and whathaveyou. I think it belittles the years of training and schooling some of these professions require. However, just because you can't put a price tag on my job doesn't diminish it's worth.
I may not be an RN, but I have the privilege of praying with my children when one of them is hurt and administering band-aids as well as love. I may not be a counselor, but I have the Wonderful Counselor in my corner every time I address a tear-stained face and a hurting heart. When we climb in our van, you would think we're the von Trapp family.* We sing it up often, and I don't care if anyone thinks it's cheesy. It's not always convenient, but I'm doing the best I can to train my girls to manage their own homes someday (whether they choose to work or stay at home, have children or never marry!). My daughters will know what a roux is and how to make one. Every meal isn't a culinary masterpiece, but every meal is an opportunity to connect as a family around the table. They will be able to sew a button on a shirt and remove stains from their clothes, because I have invested in their home education. That's more than a professional could ever hope to offer them.
Every morning I wake up to precious faces inches from mine, eager to discover the promises of a new day. The best alarm clocks in the world can't hold a candle to that. Every night before bed, kisses adorn my face while little arms wrap around my neck. That's light years better than the best make-up and designer jewelry money can buy.
I may not truly have the toughest job on the planet, but I believe I have one of the most important jobs in our society (regardless of whether I work outside the home or not). The moral, spiritual, professional and emotional success of the next generation is fundamentally dependent on the hard work of parenting them now. Intentional parenting is hard work and can leave me exhausted at the end of the day (or by happy hour). But it's a good kind of exhausted and a day well spent.
So, acquaintance, You may have it all together. I'd rather have my kids all together with me.
You may be trendy and sexy. For a season, I'll keep my postpartum flabbies and nursing-friendly shirts.**
You may be filthy-rich. We don't have a six-figure income or drive a luxury vehicle. We don't have the biggest house on the block or live in the ritziest neighborhood. I shop at Goodwill and Savers. Our birthday and Christmas budget is always small.
Despite all of this, I can't help but think I'm richer than you.***
Blessed To Be Just A Stay-At-Home Mom,
P.S. Wasn't it nice of me to refrain from going postpartum crazy on you? You're welcome.
*Minus the matching lederhosen and ability to sing on key.
**Besides the fact that my girls get to see me taking care of my body and working to get into shape again.
***After all, my off-brand bag from Ross and your Louis Vuitton handbag are both equally capable of holding diapers and spit rags.