Yesterday was Labor Day and it did not even occur to me that I, as a mother should be able to celebrate Labor Day. I have one of the hardest jobs in the world! All mothers do! Talk about stigma’s when someone asks me what I do for a living I pause, then answer: “I’m a stay at home mom.” I get nods and little comments like “Oh, that’s nice.” But then I say: “Oh, but I was a social worker before my daughter was born.” And the comments for that statement are much more rewarding: “WOW! That is not an easy job!” OR “That must have been rough, takes a special kind of a person to be a social worker!” Ya know what?! I work just as hard now as I did as a social worker except that I am ten times more tired and do not receive a pay check. Why are we not rewarded for this incredibly difficult, unappreciated, most important job in the world? We, as mothers are raising human beings twenty four/seven! I wake up at five am at the latest and force myself to go to sleep early every night so I have enough energy to run around and have fun with my daughter and be productive doing housework, food shopping, cooking, laundry, and writing. On top of all that I have to balance my chronic pain. This is not a post intended to be “bitching”…..ok maybe it is a little but we, as stay at home moms deserve a LOT more credit.
Sometimes I wish I had lived in the fifties when women were expected to stay home and raise their children and be a homemaker. I know most women probably despise me for saying that. But at least I would not feel so insecure for being “just a stay at home mom.” I love being home with my daughter and I cannot wait to have more children but it is work and I think a lot of people underestimate how hard mothers who stay home work. People ask me sometimes: “Don’t you get bored?” How the hell would I get bored? I never stop and when I do it is to write. Even at night I would love to stay up late and watch reality television and read for hours but I know I have to be awake at the crack of dawn.
Being a stay at home mom with chronic pain makes the job easier and harder. It makes it easier because I have constant distractions that take my mind away from the pain. It makes it harder at times because I really do not get many breaks in which my body and mind does need. I also do not receive a pay check as a stay at home mom to pay for yoga classes and the things that I love to do that help my chronic pain. I make it work but it is still difficult.
I wouldn’t change being a stay at home mom for the world. Even if I never get to go to that yoga class or get to buy my favorite running shoes but some credit and appreciation from society would be great. I used to watch the show “Trading Spouses” or ” Wife Swap” I think there should be a show called “Role Swap” for husbands and wives. And not just for a day, but for a few weeks. People would definitely agree with me that stay at moms work just as hard as mothers or fathers who go to work during the day.
If you are a mother, especially a mother with chronic pain you better celebrate yourself and realize that you deserve a Labor Day just for your job.