Monday, April 4, 2011

Reading: In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms

Borders is closing their store near me, so a friend and I decided to check out what they had left. We were hoping for books and materials we could use for our kids and their schooling. We found little of what we were looking for, but found some gems nonetheless.

As soon as I got home I started reading In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. The last couple weeks have been trying for me. I went from a respectable career in IT to being a homemaker and homeschooling mom. It is a tough transition, especially in this society where little to no respect is given to the women who chooses to stay home.

One area in this book, of what I've read so far, hit dead on.

Another newbie SAHM wrote that I was the only one in the world who supported her and helped her believe she was doing the right thing. At first, she felt like less of a person, leaving her professional life to be "just" a mom. After listening to me day after day reinforce the importance of a mom to a child, she realized that in fact she had been brainwashed to believe that motherhood was beneath the dignity of an intelligent, independent woman. She would watch people's eyes glaze over when she told them she was a SAHM, and she felt like she had to rush in with a "but, before I left I was...," as if to prove her intelligence to them.

I still feel proud to tell people that I used to work in IT, and I hate to admit that I still feel the need to tell people that I used to have a "real" career; one that required education and skill.  Only after I tell people that can I earn their respect, because we all know that being a mom is not worth respect at all. After all, isn't the mother who always messes up her child into the psychiatrist's office? And no, I don't stay home because my paycheck would only pay for daycare. My paycheck would cover much more than daycare thankyouverymuch. I lived as a single mom on my paycheck for 7 years... I think I could help substantially to our family, but we are choosing for me to be home with our kids and build a bond that will inshaAllah stay throughout all of our lives.

Our society looks at SAHM's, or I should say Homemakers, as hovering women who don't know how to let go of an ounce of control. As if it is so horrible that we want to be there for our children each day. Yes, I put my oldest in day care and worked. I needed to, and felt I that I should, at the time. I want to tell people that doesn't give me a redeeming quality that I'm not a pshyco hovering mother. That just means I needed to work and go to school. Period.

With all this said, it still is a struggle to adjust. The repetitive nature of my "job" now gets tedious when there is no feedback and praise, no review every year to measure my progress, and no raise as a reward for a job well done. Given the field I was in, my knowledge is waning and becoming out of date. As each year passes, I need more and more refresher classes to get back into the game if I would need to go back to work.

I love my life and I am so proud of my family and the relationship I have with them. I know that my relationship with my older daughter has become so much more close since I stopped working and that alone makes it worth it. I just need to remember these things when I'm feeling like I need to tell people about my working days in order to bring my status in their eyes a degree higher

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