Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Stay-At-Home Shame

Lately, I have been on a tyrade about the stay-at-home gig. People are not acknowledging enough, obliging enough, or even proud enough of me or whoever they know who stays at home. I have bellowed on and on about how the stay-at-home housewife is the shame of society. That if I could only "Contribute to society" enough then I could be of some value. I could label myself by that noble venture, and leave the humiliating kid wrangling to someone else. I could even get acknowledged on Women's Day, because I'm so "successful". If only I had it all, a thin body, a burgeoning business, CEO of some NGO, and a mum of the fashionable 2ish kids, people would "ooo" and "aahh" about how I've got it all, the SUPER-MUM. Our celebs, the icon of "Super-mums", are people who burst babies forth from their perfect, unmarred bodies, then show up the next day for their runway show or movie. The rest of us who don't escape our jammies due to sleepless nights and days, dealing with our own children have a lot to live up to.
In the midst of this angst, I have realized how ashamed I am of my own job choice. I introduce myself as "just" a stay-at-home mum, awaiting the sound of crickets. I don't acknowledge my job enough, nor am I obliging enough to what I do. Being a mum of three is a choice that I made. I decided not to abort two surprise pregnancies, so I ended up with 3 under 3, an amount of children that seems preposterous to many sales clerks, and an irritation to everyone else in the shops. I feel the need to apologize for living, all the while resenting everyone around me for "making" me feel like that.
So, I am now beginning my journey toward accepting the true and inherent nobility of the job I do. It is a worthwhile one. I am raising my own children, doing the hard-yards, being bored sometimes, stressed other times, lonely, and tired at all times towards a noble end. I am doing it because it's right, because it's the best thing for them. It's the best thing for me. I've been given children, and it is my duty, privilege, and honour to raise them. I, and not some child care center, am meant to be the catalyst, good or bad, to help them become who God wants them to be. To teach them to love humanity, live with humility, and serve a mighty God. After all, that's a pretty big deal. So, Hello, I'm Erika and I am a stay-at-home mum. What are YOU doing to change the world?