The Story of Silence
The Story of the Stay at Home Mom
Not too long ago there was a girl. A girl who went to school. A girl who followed directions, turned in assignments, and got good grades. A girl with many dreams and aspirations. She was a girl who grew up in the post-feminist revolution time of the late 80s through the 90s. She was told over and over again that she could do whatever she wanted to do and she could be whoever she wanted to be.
So that girl grew up and went to college and again she followed directions, turned in assignments, treated her teachers with respect, got good grades, and graduated with honors.
Later she would have a job. It was a job she loved and was proud to do. It was in this job that she followed directions, made her deadlines, made friends with the staff, spoke kindly to customers, and got good notes on her year-end reviews.
Then it happened. This girl got married and had her first child, and then her second child, and decided to stay at home full-time with her children. In this one decision, she became a stay-at-home mom. Nobody told her this then, but something happens when you become a stay-at-home mom. All of a sudden, you are no longer yourself – the girl full of talent and potential – you are your title… You are a STAY-AT-HOME MOM.
She realized pretty quickly that there seems to be two groups of naysayers in the world as it relates to stay-at-home moms: The ones that thinks she should be doing more and the ones who think she is doing too much.
The first group doesn’t think she is doing enough with her life. She somehow becomes invisible to these people. She isn’t favored by the feminist movement because the lifestyle she has chosen seems to be counter to that of feminism. So many believe that feminism is about women working outside of the home. However, that was never at the heart of the feminist movement.
The crux of feminism is that women should have choices and should have the opportunity to live out their dreams. Raising a family as a stay-at-home mom has been her dream job. It’s very disheartening to recognize that what she sees as valuable, others diminish as nothing.
Stay-at-home moms are often silenced in our society because stay-at-home moms are treated like they aren’t good enough. Perhaps people believe that these moms can’t find a job, hold a job, or keep a job. Maybe they think they are lazy. Some might even think this is something they do when they are in between careers. That is simply not true.
Being a stay-at-home mom isn’t about having a lack of options – it’s about realizing it is the BEST option for you and for your family. The people that think stay-at-home moms are not doing enough fail to see them as women who have unique gifts, talents, and hobbies.
Many think that the feminist movement helped put sexism in the rear-view mirror, but it seems that has not been accomplished because this “sub-class” of stay-at-home moms is either viewed as not living up to their full potential or worse… they are doing too much.
This leads us to the next group of people – the ones who think these moms are doing too much. This group is tricky because they masquerade as supporters of stay-at-home moms. Yet, they just strive to keep them in a box. It’s a kind of modern day sexism where now that they’ve made the decision to stay at home, those moms aren’t allowed to pick up any hobbies, start a new business, volunteer at a local women’s shelter, or do any ministries at church – because “they belong at home where their children are.”
See, what’s ironic about that is — those same people will praise a husband for volunteering, doing a hobby, or starting a new company. Again, this is akin to flat out sexism and it needs to be talked about.
If a stay-at-home mom is married, you should take a good hard look at what you expect or accept from her husband and give her the same respect. It should be the mom’s choice, not yours, as to how she spends her evenings and weekends. People that expect her to be watching children 24/7 while not having a break are living in a backward world and applying a double standard. Wake up – this is 2017 not 1917!
We’ve come a long way in 100 years. This seems to be the next progression of feminism. We need to start seeing all women as individuals. Women are people full of ideas, likes, dislikes, hopes, dreams, and talents.
Stay-at-home moms sacrifice a career, not because they don’t care about work, not because they can’t work, not out of laziness, not because they are forced to, but because they have a unique love for children, a love for family, and a hope that their children will grow up and make this country even better than it is today.
They long for the world to be a better place. They humble themselves in service to their husbands, their families, and their homes. In a world full of people who are always out for themselves, these are the people who recognize what Albert Einstein once said, “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”