Friday, June 16

Who Coins the Phrase?

Whoever coined the phrase "stay-at-home mom" obviously didn't have one. Although I do medical transcription at home part-time, I do consider myself a stay-at-home parent since I can do my transcription whenever I want within the 24-hour day. However, since my schedule is flexible, everybody figures that I have so much more available time than any of the moms with paid-employment, and therefore all my stay-at-home time gets eaten up by away-from-home activities. Sometimes I think I would actually get to be at home more often if I took an office job and could use the excuse that I was too busy with work to do everybody else's extras. I don't complain though--I've made financial choices in order to be able to quit full-time work and I am doing what I need to be and want to be doing right now. I can say though, instead of working the typical 8-hour shift and then coming home and being done with work, I get up at 7am and crash around 11pm, just after the last transcription file is uploaded.

Some of the stay-at-home activities I've participated in since Monday were:
1) Got a mammogram at 8:45am because after all, I am a stay-at-home mom so my schedule can be flexible.
2) Took a home-cooked meal to a cancer patient at our church because I stay at home, and don't need to run through the drive-through to pick up dinner.
3) Chaperoned 50 4th graders on their 1-mile walk to the ice cream shop at 12:20pm because I don't have to leave work to help out.
4) Went on an all-day trip to the state capital with 100 4th-graders because I don't have to take a day off work to go.
5) Volunteered to help a 100-kid 3rd grade class picnic all day because I don't have to take a day off work to attend.
6) Took a kid to a podiatrist appointment where I found out he has to have foot surgery and didn't have to ask for time off to do it.

This was not an unusual week, other than the class trip/picnic which are usually filled in with other school activities that need my help or emergencies that come up like sick kids, household errands and other such that everybody has to juggle. My point is that whatever amount of time is available gets filled up with doing important things and working in a job with set hours would not let me caretake for my family the way I want. It would bring more money for sure, but I'd either be sending my kids along on these activites with somebody else or putting myself over the brink trying to do everything and not being able to do everything well.

All my busyness this week made me think about a post I've been reading on the "Mommy Wars" where people banter back and forth on the virtues of staying at home versus returning to work. I have no urge to enter the banter because I think people get defensive when they are questioning their own choices. I am firm and sure of my work status because my choice supports the values I believe in; I don't have the need to convince other people to see things my way so that I'll feel okay about it. I have many friends who stay at home and just as many that have returned to work. We are each friends because of the type of people that we are and whether we work or not has nothing to do with it. I think the only war part is the internal one where people do things that they aren't sure are good for their families and they try to convince themselves and others that it's really okay. That conflict can occur when staying at home even though you need to work to help support your family or choosing to work simply to afford yourself a luxurious lifestyle at the expense of your little ones.

For not being one to enter into the 'mommy war', I've certainly said my piece. "And that's all I have to say about that." Forrest Gump

5 of Your THINKS:

Peter said...

I am not privy to the "mommy wars" and I am glad for it. People need to make decisions in life, some hard, some easy. Arguing over the internet about whether that decision is good or not seems pointless, and I think you are right to avoid it. If there is a little voice in your head saying this is wrong, it probably is.
To cast judgement on an idividuals decisions with out knowing their circumstance is foolish.
Advice: Wisemen do not need it and a fool will not heed it.

JenLo said...

Great quote, Peter.

Crystal Breeze said...

I don't sweat it anymore. I have to work my job and pretty much I want to anyways. Today Thad took James on his field trip to Sea Breeze and I am just happy that one of us was able to go.

As for Maddie and Ethan, John Howard watched them while I did my evening shift at work.

I like putting MEN to work....Ha..Ha...

Anonymous said...

I am a busy stay at home mom too! Although both my boys are at school, I am there just about everyday! I feel that I am VERY lucky and thank my hubby everyday to be able to stay at home!
Working moms tell me that they are happy that I am in their child's class to help out. Sure, they wish they could be there and try their hardest but just can't financially and YES I do give up ALOT to stay at home. I am just glad I can be there, not just for my son, but for the WHOLE class.
Jennifer, I am wiped out this week but I am glad I went to the class picnics and Albany! I wouldn't have it any other way. I have met some awesome friends (you) being a stay at home mom, so I wouldn't change it for the world!

Paula said...

I really don't care for the term "stay-at-home". I prefer to call myself a full-time homemaker.