Jared and I got into a heated discussion last night. It all started out when he found out a girl we know is pregnant through Facebook with baby #5 (wowsas! but congrats!). So anyways we got to talking about how we would never have five children and if we did I couldn't work. Which then led to Jared saying I'd never be happy as a stay at home mom (SAHM). Which led to me arguing with him about how I'd love that more than anything.
I know many people who are SAHMs. I envy them, I really do. Jared feels that the tradition of the SAHM is an old one and doesn't agree with it necessarily. He feels women shouldn't be expected to stay home with the kids and not work. He also feels women shouldn't be expected to the be the cook, cleaner, etc. We're in 2011, he says and that practice is ancient and inappropriate for this day and age. I totally agree. However the big difference is sometimes women have a choice and sometimes not.
I don't have a choice. I have a good job and am the bread winner for our household - since Jared works for a non profit and the money there is less than desirable. So even if I wanted to stay home and not work, I couldn't.
But even if Jared made enough for us to live off of, would I be happy leaving my job and being a SAHM? Yes! I would! Jared disagreed saying I would be bored and have nothing to do. I disagree. Yes I'd be busy but I'd have more time to myself, more time with my daughter, and more time to write.
Jared, like most men, thinks about success and success to them equals career success. Jared wants to be successful in his job but feels if I didn't have a "real" job I wouldn't be successful. Men just don't get it - and I'm terribly generalizing here so my apologies! But being a mom is a "real" job and if you stay home and raise your kids right, educate them, love them, etc, you are the most successful person you could be. If you are a brain surgeon, yes successful; but if you are a mom and your child grows into a good person, you are just as successful in my eyes.
I have always thought this and always will. SAHMs are heroic, they are amazing, and they are selfless (and for the record, I'm talking about moms who stay at home and take care of their kids on their own). And for the record, I am kind of a SAHM because I work at home and watch Lyla the same time. I have two full time jobs at the same time. Even though it's tough, I love it and wouldn't trade it for anything.
There is a huge difference between men stereotyping women to only be good for cooking, cleaning, watching kids, etc and women wanting to take care of their families in that way. I guess Jared just doesn't understand that some women enjoy this or have no choice. It's not ancient practice, it just is.
Are you a SAHM? What do you think?