During our trip around the world I decided I wanted to stay home fulltime. My role would change from a photographer who is a mom, to a mom who is a photographer. I wrote a blog about my decision and got lots of comments. Mostly people wishing me luck. I also received some private messages. Amongst them a message from Wendy who wrote: “Where I live, stay at home moms (I’m a volunteer and a care giver) don’t have a positive status. I really hope you will break the taboo concerning the stay at home mom”.
I was actually surprised to read this, I had no idea there wasn’t a positive status for stay at home moms. I didn’t even know you would get a status. I was just happy that I finally was going to do what I wanted.
I did hear before, that more stay at home moms, received negative comments. Or maybe “negative” isn’t the right word, but lets say remarkable. I’ll share some of the comments that me, some of my friends and Wendy heard before:
- Don’t you feel bad about your studies?
- Aren’t you afraid that there is a gap in your working experience? Your value will decrease now.
- You’ll never find a job again.
- It’s fine that you made this choice, but I like to be a value to society, so I want to work.
- I want to be a good example for my children, because they have to see that it’s important to work for your money.
- I wouldn’t be able to do it.. SIT at home al day.
- You’ll be a better mom if you can do things just for you
- Aren’t you afraid that you’ll get bored?
- What are you going to do when they (she) go(es) to school?
- Your time will come once all your kids are in school.
- Don’t you have any ambitions?
There are different reasons why women decide to stay at home. Sometimes they have to, because of their health, or they stay home because the children need them (for health or other reasons). Let’s just keep this story personal. My decision to stop working was a thoughtful and deliberate choice, because it was what I wanted. For some it might be hard to understand and I’ll repeat myself: but I love being at home, to do things that have been on my to-do list for ever, to spend time with Liv before she moves out 😉 I’m a nicer person, because (now) I do what makes me happy and for this reason I’m a nicer mom too. I finally get to do stuff that I never got to when I was working which results in less stress. I don’t think that doing things just for you will make you a better or nicer mom, I think that being happy with who you are and with your life, will make you a better mom, but also a better partner and a better person in general. Feeling good about yourself and doing what make you happy is EVERYTHING! What makes someone happy varies, but if you’ve found it: keep it!
This is exactly what I like to teach Liv too and how I would like for her to see me. It has nothing to do with what I do, but everything with doing what I want to do. I want to teach her that she can make her own choices and she should make her own choice, no matter what someone might think about it. She should do what makes HER happy, doesn’t matter if that’s working a full time job, traveling, or whatever.
Everyone will contribute to society. Could be because you are a volunteer, or because you help a lot at the school of your kids, or maybe you can help other moms by watching their kids, or your contribution is just simple that you don’t have to ask others to take care of your own kids. I don’t feel that a paying job is the only way to contribute to society.
That’s why I’m very happy we live in the year 2019. That you as a woman can CHOOSE what you want to do. That’s emancipation. Your own free choice to live the life you want.
I feel lucky that I can live my best life and that it’s a free choice (because that’s not always the case). I received several private messages from women who would love to spend more time at home, but who can’t do it. But of course I also know enough women who like working better than being at home or who choose a combination of being at home and a part-time job, because that’s their best choice. Whatever you choose: it’s a good choice! Every person is different and also every child is different and you know what works best.
The only thing I can hope for is that especially now anno 2019, there won’t be any taboo on staying at home, or in other words: a not paying job. And that you will be as valuable at home as you are in your job. Do what makes YOU happy. Life is to short to adapt to what others (might) think.
Oh and then one more thing: being bored? What’s that?! hahaha