Before having my daughter I always knew that I wanted to stay home with my children. I wanted to be that quintessential wife who cleaned the house, had dinner on the table, and the children quietly coloring by time their father came home from work. I always saw myself smiling and happy, nails painted, hair done, and presentable. I thought that my husband and I would spend weekends as family time and visit museums and parks together with our children. I am not sure what television show I was watching and somehow engraved that ideology into my mind but my reality is far different than my expectation was. My reality is that most times my home is a mess, we do not eat enough vegetables at dinner time, and if I am lucky I find time to paint my nails once every six months. My daughter is three is she is beyond a handful. The things people take for granted like walking to and from their car alone, I find myself craving. Yes, something that simple. The joys of grocery shopping alone or peeing in peace seem to be a thing of the past.
Being a stay at home mom can sometimes feel like being a married single mother.
It is this ugly side that no one wants to talk about or discuss. It is this loneliness and bitterness that can destroy relationships and marriages when it comes to children.
Many people believe that because a woman decides to be a stay at home mother, all responsibilities outside of bills should fall on her. She should cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She is supposed to keep her home clean by washing dishes, doing laundry, and supervising busy children. She is never supposed to lose her cool when dealing with her children and she is required to educate and entertain them from the time they rise until they are asleep. She is also expected to [happily] be there physically and emotionally for her partner. A stay at home mom should make sure that her husband is able to walk into his home, put his feet up, and not deal with the daily activities that come with having a household with children. What a job, right?
This job does not have any lunch breaks, no PTO, comes without a paycheck, and there is not any 5pm time stamp. It is constant; 24 hours, 7 days a week and is hardly as luxurious as most people have made it out to be in their minds. It rarely comes with a thank you or yearly bonuses and the real work is normally not seen by those who benefit from it the most. According to Fox News, stay at home mothers are worth an average of $117k per year- that is more than your normal lawyer.
This is not all woe. Stay at home mothers love what they do. We love providing for our families and being able to be there for every waking moment of our children’s lives. It really is a beautiful occupation. But I think I can speak for all stay at home moms when I say this- sometimes we just need a little help from our partners.
Believe me, we get it men. You are tired too. You work all day and come home with the expectation that you should not have to do a single thing at all. But guess what? Your wife has been hard at work too.
In reality, no one truly gets a real break. We have to work together to make sure all of each other’s needs are being provided for, not just the financial ones.
A working father is not only obligated to pay the bills. A working father is expected to also be a helping hand. He is expected to volunteer to wash the dishes after his wife has cooked for his family. He should still romance his wife and make her feel special. He is expected to take on bedtime duties from time to time and commit to spending time with his family outside of the home. He, along with his wife, is expected to provide balance and grace to the home.
A paycheck does not equate to spousal support.
Mortgage payments do not take the place of giving the overworked stay at home mom a few hours of peace once or twice a week. As the saying goes- a happy wife is a happy life. Take the money out of the equation.
Husbands, how have you helped your wife today?
If a husband could no longer say- ‘I pay the bills’, in what ways is he being a helping hand in his family?
Men, Ask Yourself:
–Am I listening to the concerns of my wife without being objective?
–Do I give my wife time to herself when she is energized and not exhausted after already completing her daily duties? (Time alone is not constituted after she has already put the kids to bed for you).
–Am I being considerate to her daily needs and frustrations?
–Could I happily switch roles with her and do her job without complaint?
If you find yourself answering “No” to any of these questions, it may be time to reevaluate how you help in your family.
What are ways you communicate with your mate when it comes to asking for support?