No One Tells Me {or My People} to Shut Up

Awhile back, there was this article circulating the interwebs titled, “Dear Stay-at-Home Mom, Shut The Blank Up.” I think it was an even harsher title, originally. The thing is, months later, I’m still annoyed with it. The author basically said to shut your pie hole if you’re a stay-at-home mom because you should be thankful for such a gift, and if you want to complain so much about it, then get a job. “Just be content or quit your whining.” But you know what? No one tells me or my people to shut up. The worst part about it is she was/is a stay-at-home mom too. I just don’t get it. People on the internet can be so rude sometimes whether they mean to be or not {they really should learn how to mind their manners}. I think the author was trying to be nice about it, but no. Just no. Can we please be polite when trying to get a point across?

no one tells a SAHM to shut up

Here’s the thing… As a stay-at-home mom, I feel like we have a little secret going on {or perhaps it’s no secret at all}. We see this gig as a job, an occupation, and generally, we really like it. We love it and are appreciative and grateful. Really, we are. We get that not everyone gets to do what we do. We get that it’s our choice to stay home, a choice not afforded by all. But there’s something you also need to know — not every mom who stays at home with his or her child chose to do so, but had to do so to care for a child with special needs. That’s the thing about blanket statements; you just really never know someone’s circumstances.

However, the stay-at-home moms I know take pride in their job as the caretaker of their home. And from a highly scientific poll I took from my SAHM friends, it would take a LOT for us to leave our day job. Just because we sometimes complain doesn’t mean we are unappreciative, it just means we are human and want to be heard. We’re just venting, letting it go, like Elsa.

If you’re in the workforce where you clock in to get a paycheck, do you have bad days? Do you complain about the co-worker who gets on your nerves? Do you whine that your hours are long and your days are short? Are you ever offended if your boss doesn’t notice your hard work and efforts? We’re no different.

Do you always convey how thankful you are for being given the gift of having a job that pays you to make ends meet? Do you always emit positivity? Are you always a ray of sunshine? I didn’t think so. We’re no different.

Some people whine more and some people whine less. It doesn’t mean we’re a one-size-fits-all kind of group. Categorizing and stereotyping is the worst. Every stay-at-home mom and every working mom is different. But when sister girl of that article told all of us stay-at-home moms to “shut up,” I found it to be just plain rude. Would you tell all the doctors to shut up and just be thankful they get paid more than most? Or tell all the teachers to just shut up and be thankful they get the summers off? Or, heaven forbid, tell all the working moms to stop whining because they have to work? No. It’s rude. And for those that do say those things, bless their little hearts.

This SAHM job has a lot of similarities to my old one. It tries my patience, has long hours, but it is rewarding beyond measure. The other day someone told me, “Oh, your life is sooo hard. {In a sarcastic tone.} You stay home all day and get to wear pajamas and go to Target. Boo hoo.” Excuse me. You obviously don’t know my life. I don’t just stay at home. I clean up, I entertain a toddler, I mold her mind to try and create a good human being for this planet, I pay bills, I make phone calls, I correspond with other humans for her to in turn be a good human being, I meal plan, I make meals, I grocery shop, I chauffeur, I clean up messes, I learn things and try not to let my mind go to mush, I brainstorm, I get creative, I work from home to try to add money to our bank account, I deal with tantrums, I listen to crying for hours on end and try to soothe the situation, I respond to emails, I make phone calls, I get. stuff. done. Basically, we stay-at-home moms are the Olivia Popes of our home. We’re fixers. We fix things, and we’re darn good at it, just like most moms are no matter if they stay at home or not. Quite frankly, I’m tired of having to defend my decision to stay home and always list my resume qualifications of my current position in order to be valued by society. Newsflash :: every mother holds value, even the stay-at-home moms.

So the next time you hear a stay-at-home mom complain, don’t roll your eyes, please. All it means is that we’re human. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times…GRACE. It’s where it’s at. Let us all extend a big dose of that instead of judgement. {I’m not mad at the SAHM who wrote the article that got me all riled up either. I just wish she could have been a little nicer about it.}

Let’s lift each other up and celebrate one another and the special job we’re doing as a mother every single day, no matter what that looks like for you or for me. There is no “right” way to be a perfect mother, but there are a million ways to be a good one. Sometimes that means we need to vent a little bit. We’re all doing the best we can.

selfie 3

10 Responses to No One Tells Me {or My People} to Shut Up

  1. Megan June 29, 2015 at 8:11 am #

    Love it! I would also like to add that we also made financial sacrifices for me to be able to stay home. It was also a decision I made AFTER returning to the work force at the request of my husband. I was (still am technically) a nurse. That was a big cut and a HUGE adjustment for us.

  2. Tawnya June 29, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    I LOVE IT! Such a great article… I like what Megan added as well, the financial sacrifices. Adam and I make huge sacrifices financially for me to be able to stay at home, we would be doing a lot better if I worked full time. It’s a choice and I don’t think people get that at all. I’m allowed to complain about my job regardless of what it is it doesn’t change how thankful I am for it… and I guess I’m not technically a stay at home mom, I do work… but VERY minimally. lol

  3. Ana June 29, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

    I love it!! When you tell people that you are a stay home mom, you can Instantly see how their faces change. It is really unappreciated and underestimated by a lot of people.

  4. Alycia June 29, 2015 at 10:11 pm #

    Great post, my dear! I love what you have said. I have to give all you SAHM’s props because I know I couldn’t do it. I love my job as a nurse (most days) but I love coming home to my girl. Life is a fine balance and I think if I was a SAHM, I would start to go a little crazy. I need my time away from the home, but I am so grateful that my job is pretty flexible, and even though I work full-time outside the home, I get to spend a lot of time with Palmer. You couldn’t be more right when you said every mom/woman holds value, regardless of their “job.” I think it’s about time we women stand up for each other, appreciate each other for our choices, instead of knocking others down for their choices if different than their own. I’m so tired of hearing the arguments between SAHM and working outside the home moms. We are all moms, doing the best we can for our children, our familes!!! ugh, just be happy for one another!!!

    I love your whole third to last paragraph, btw! Right on point!! XOXO

  5. Laureen June 30, 2015 at 10:43 am #

    Kristy – I think that being a SAHM is probably the hardest job there is! I recall staying at home during my 12 weeks prior to going back to work, and I had days where I thought I was going to lose it. Don’t get me wrong – I loved that time, and I love the time I have with my kiddo when I’m not at work. As you said, every circumstance is different. Some are called to do have the job, whereas others have to for whatever reasons that only their families probably know. I personally don’t feel I was called to be a SAHM at this point in my life. I commend you for what you do day-in an day-out! What I’ve realized in the short time that I’ve been a mom is that you feel a lot of guilt no matter your situation. I find myself defending my decision to go back to go back to work quite a bit. There’s an enormous amount of guilt either way, and it’s disappointing that you’re going to get judged no matter what.

    I enjoyed your rant, and I mean rant in the best possible way! -LL

  6. Jamie June 30, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

    Oh girlfriend. This is good. So so so good. You go glen coco!

  7. Elise July 5, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

    Hi Kristy! Quick side note- I’m from Port Lavava too! Thanks for writing and representing!

    I feel like I just let out a guilty sigh of relief (can I admit that?!). I am a young mom and the first of most of my friends, siblings, and peers to have a baby. I LOVE my little boy, far more than I ever anticipated and I wouldn’t change my life for the world, but some days this job and particularly my new little boss is hard to handle. My old boss (at my professional and pre-baby job) never screamed at me or pooped on me or made me endure his frustration while teething. There were my own challenges there- deadlines, expectations, commucation struggles and more, but difficulties in one setting don’t negate or lessen difficulties in another. My baby boy doesn’t seem to understand that since I don’t have a deadline to meet or a project to complete, that he then should just always be happy because we are “staying at home”. He doesn’t give a flying flip! But it often feels like the world and particularly some from women in our world (moms and non-moms) think that we should and that feeds into me feeling guilty about having a tough day when they come around. We all need support- working, studying, staying home, or anything else- we were all created to need each other through times of difficulties. I fully support the end of all mom-shaming! What a wonderful world that would be 🙂

  8. Julie @ Logger's Wife July 10, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

    “If you’re in the workforce where you clock in to get a paycheck, do you have bad days? Do you complain about the co-worker who gets on your nerves? Do you whine that your hours are long and your days are short? Are you ever offended if your boss doesn’t notice your hard work and efforts? We’re no different.”

    This. I actually said something similar in a blog post of my own a few months ago. “Bad day” does not equal “I hate my life choices.”

  9. Kelly Carver July 13, 2016 at 6:11 am #

    I read this when it was originally posted but recently started watching Scandal on Nexflix in the evenings so the Olivia Pope reference isn’t lost on me now! I really dislike that there is even so much contentionr between SAHM’s and working moms in the first place. In my mind, we are all sacrificing something. In our case, we are sacrificing what would be a really helpful second income. Working moms are sacrificing sacred time with their children in order to ensure the roof stays over everyone’s heads. My time at home was meant to be temporary, as my daughter’s birth coincided with a move for us where I would be waaaay further away from my office anyway. But time and circumstances have kept me home for almost 2 years now and I’m now expecting a second child in a few months. And I love being the one to shape my daughter’s days and mind. But some days are impossible to get a grip on. They are tough and messy and whiny. That’s hard. But I start over again the next day because the morning brings second chances. And besides, I’ve never met the SAHM of Susannah Lewis’s article. Those women sound awful. All the SAHM’s I know are smart, ambitious and funny. And the thought of staying in my pajamas until noon isn’t very appealing. That’s just me… 🙂

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