Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Finding a Stay-at-home Mom's Voice

It has been such a long time since I blogged last. I took some time off for goodness, I cannot believe, 20 months. It was unintentional, but needed. Focusing on the family was very important.

Now, to move on to what this blog is about.

I read an article this morning that I felt like I should weigh in on. It was called Dear Stay-At-Home Moms, Shut The Eff Up. I read the title and I have to say, I as very offended.

"How dare she?" I actually said out loud.
"Yet another mom not having another mom's back." I said in my head.
"Why can't other moms support each other's choices in life?" I questioned.

Then I read the article fully.

I have to say I do agree with a part of the article. We SAHMs should feel blessed. We get the honor to be able to be witness to some of the milestones that mothers that work outside of the home sometimes miss. That is about where it ends.

I have been a SAHM now for 14 years. At the beginning I was a young mom when I became a stay-at-home parent. I felt so guilty. Guilty that I was not contributing to the household financially anymore. My self-worth was not focused on me as a person, it was focused more on a personal confliction between no longer getting accolades at work and finding value in my new unpaid job as a stay-at-home mom that myself sadly at the time and society say isn't worth a value.

I used to work at a national alarm company and was GREAT at my job. I always made my goals and my supervisors made sure that I knew it. I felt very good about myself and my perceived self-worth within my job. Let's face it, long gone are the fancy certificates for appreciation for reaching your work quotas or finishing a work project when you become a SAHM... no one is going to give you a plague when you worked for 4 months straight to potty train your toddler and he finally gets it or a cool lunch in your honor when for a whole week you got every single person in your home up and out of the house on time for school and work with no hiccups. It was hard for me to transition from working outside of the home to being a SAHM. Family members and friends at the beginning of becoming a SAHM would say "it must be nice" or "you are lucky," not in a positive way to me, it was more in a scorning way. It was a heavy weight and at the time I didn't know how to handle it so I shut down. I didn't talk about my feelings. "How dare I say I am having a rough day when I get to stay at home with my kids and raise them?"

That is where becoming older and yes a bit wiser as a SAHM has given me a bit more knowledge on the emotional side of being a stay-at-home parent. The article is so wrong telling the SAHM to "Shut the Eff Up." SAHMs PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE find an outlet to your feelings. Find a trusted friend, a mom's group to attend, a church outlet and please don't be afraid to tell your spouses how you are feeling. I for too long kept things buried inside because I didn't want to appear ungrateful for the position I was in. What ended up happening was that depression set in. A mix of PPD after my second son was born and not having an outlet for my feelings lead to a very dark time in my life. I kept things so deep down that I didn't even realize that I had become a different person. Because I didn't find value in myself and the job I was doing, it was weighing on my marriage as well. I just know my husband must have thought I was loosing my ever-lovin-mind at the time. Everything must be all roses, rainbows and sunshine to the outside world. I have to appear to have everything together.... SUPERMOM TO THE RESCUE!!!! What a crock of crap now that I look back on those years.

Luckily, I have a husband who told me something wasn't right. Friends and family who urged me to seek medical advice and then allowed me to talk to them openly about how I was feeling even though none of had experienced the woes of being a SAHM. They just let me get it all off my chest. Being a SAHM is lonely, it is hard, it is a battle and yes it is a blessing and the most rewarding job ever. BUT HARD!!!!!!

Not having an outlet for those feelings good and bad is dangerous. Frivolously telling someone just because they are a SAHM that their opinions or feelings are not worth them being able to speak of them or as in Ms. Lewis's words "Shut the Eff Up...quit your whining" is alarming and so very unhealthy. You can be grateful, thankful and blessed to be a SAHM and still need someone to talk to and express feelings of inadequacies and even the mundane of things like something I complain about constantly..."If I have to tell my teenaged boys to put deodorant on one more time I might scream and pull out all my hair."

If there isn't an outlet and our voices are silenced following Ms. Lewis' direction... might as well notify the hospitals to start construction because we are going to need a bunch more white padded rooms ready to go and STAT!

As a seasoned SAHM to other SAHMs... Don't be afraid to talk about it. Find that outlet... Your husband, a friend, a family member, a church councilor, a councilor in general or even expressing your feelings in a blog post. (wink wink) And most importantly DON'T SHUT THE EFF UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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