As I was leaving a car shop the other day, I thought to myself about the man who just fixed my car. I got to know a little about him during my drop-off. I know he has two daughters, and is a hard-working man. I honestly had one of the best customer service experiences ever. This man was intelligent, kind, and he exhibited skills that would be attributed to that of a highly effective leader. Yet, he isn’t a CEO of a conglomerate, or a manager at a bank. He’s a man working as hard as he can every day at a job that, although may not be looked-down upon, is not one that’s often celebrated. I wondered if his daughters knew how amazing their dad is at their job. I wondered if they were proud of him.
And that got me thinking… I wonder if my sons are proud of me. Yes, I’m getting ahead of myself. I guess they’re too young right now to think on that level (my oldest is not even 3 yet, and the other is a newborn), but it won’t be long before they will start asking questions about “what I do” and learning about other grownups’ jobs.
I’m a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). I became one once my son was born. I
gave-up left my well-paying, great-benefits jobs as a manager at one of the big four accounting firms to be a SAHM. I have a bachelors of Business Administration degree and I completed my MBA only a year before becoming a SAHM. Basically, I’m the most underpaid, well-educated person I know. BUT… the choice was mine.
No one asked me to be a SAHM, no one twisted my arm. I WANT to be the CEO of my kids (or rather, have them boss me around). I WANT to teach and mold their young minds. I WANT to be the one that takes them to the park, the library, and to art and music classes. I WANT to be the one that knows all of the “in” kid songs like “sticky sticky bubble gum” and “sleeping bunnies.”
And so, here I am.
I’m not questioning my decision to be a SAHM, but rather, I’m wondering if my kids will be proud of my decision. Our society places so much emphasize on careers, especially for women. The news is full of successful working women making headlines such as Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer and Facebook’s second in command Sheryl Sandberg. And with good reason. Our mothers and grandmothers have fought hard for women rights, and look how far we’ve come (even though there’s still a long way to go in women equality, but that’s not what this post is about).
When my kids ask me what my job is, and I proudly and happily respond back and say, “My job is to stay home with you,” will they look back at me and smile? Will they look back at me with their head tilted to the side with a blank stare on their face? or will they ask me “No… I mean, what is your job?” indicating that my answer was not what they were looking for.
I hope that by becoming a stay at home mom I can instill a sense of self-worth in my own children. That I can teach them that I’m just as important to society even though I don’t make an income. I hope that by staying at home with them they learn that “work” comes in various forms. I hope that one day, they will become better fathers and husbands because of it.
I have no problem explaining to them the many benefits of having their mom stay home with them, and the fact that the choice was mine and that I love every single second of my day at home with them. I just hope that they understand. Whether or not they agree with me, I guess I just hope that they will be proud of me.