I consider myself a stay at home mom, even though I work part time (2-3 days a week). My husband and I both agreed early on that one of us would sacrifice our job to stay at home with our children. There were two main reasons for that. One, day care is crazy expensive. I’ve talked to my friends and family who have spent well over what they pay for their mortgage on daycare, and two, we found it very important for one of us to be home with the girls at all times. I was raised with a stay at home mom, and for the majority of his life, my husband was as well.
Being a close family, and molding our girls into good human beings has been at the top of our priority list.
I was the one to sacrifice my job. Right out of high school, I continued working. I always wanted to go to college, and have a wonderful career, but at the time, in the moment, something always trumped me from doing so. I was ok with the change. Being in the restaurant industry for 15 years can be very wearing on a person, but I was glad to stay at home with my girls. Still to date, being a stay at home mom is the hardest job I have ever had in my entire life.
Being on the clock for 24 hours every single day, is a lot more exhausting than a 10-hour work shift. I have also noticed that stay at home moms get the shaft constantly. If I had a dollar for every time I received an eye roll for saying I was a stay at home mom, my husband would be able to retire. Or, you get the comments saying “Don’t you want to feel valued?” The answer to that is, yes, I do feel valued. I take care of little people all day, they depend on me to live, and learn.
Now, not to veer off topic, but something in the media has caught my attention, and I feel the need to scream it from the rooftops. I’m not one to get into politics, I will avoid any and all questions and comments about it, but it seems that one of the presidential candidates has his back for all stay at home moms, and it’s Andrew Yang.
Not to say I felt shocked, but I did. I’ve never really heard a man, let alone a presidential candidate express the appreciation for stay at home moms. Andrew Yang has stated that he feels stay at home moms should be paid 160k a year, for all we do (preach!). He is also implementing a universal basic income, his freedom dividend that would pay every American $1,000 a month to spend as they choose. In July, Andrew stated on twitter “The #freedomdividend would recognize the work that isn’t valued by the market, like caregiving, that is performed disproportionately by women. Putting cash into the hands of women also would empower them to leave exploitative jobs or relationships.” Ladies, this is huge for us! For the first time, we are really being applauded for all that we do for our families. I know some of you are thinking, “It’s only a thousand dollars, so what?”; a thousand dollars can go a long way for a stay at home mom. In my opinion, it would help alleviate some of the hardships our significant other endures working endless hours to make sure his or her family has food on the table. Or it could supplement income for a women to go from full time to part time, so she can spend more time with her family. I think it’s about time that someone stands up and has a voice for us.
Being a stay at home mom isn’t a luxurious job. We are constantly running, day in and day out, being taxi drivers, math tutors, coaches, teachers, cooks, and cleaners. I know when my day is over at 9pm, I’m exhausted.
At the end of the day, I’m very thankful that I get to be with my girls. I know a lot of women wish they could stay at home, so I consider myself very lucky. I feel like as females, and stay at home moms, we should be looking at our future more in depth. I’m speaking for all women when I say most of us want to move forward in time, not back, so where, and what do we seek to see a movement that’s helpful and positive for us? Let’s start with the politics, and see where this goes. I’m not sure if Andrew Yang will get my vote for 2020, but he’s left an impression on me for sure, with his fight for women. If you haven’t already, check him out. What he says is very empowering, and for those of you who feel like you don’t do enough as a stay at home mom, he is a person, who will for sure make you feel like you are valued.
Pittsburgh Mom Collective, Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement for any political candidate at any time. The statements listed in this article are for comparative and informational purposes.