I have a 5 year old, and when he was 3 months old I went back to working full-time, because we really couldn’t afford me not to. (My husband was still in school at the time.) A year and a half ago though, we quit our “normal” jobs, moved out of our big, beautiful house, sold one of our cars, sold almost everything else we owned, and moved to Austria to be missionaries in Vienna.
My husband teaches at a Christian school here, and when we were packing up/selling everything, and fundraising before we left, the thought was always that’d I’d volunteer a bit of my time at the school, but would, most importantly to me, finally be allowed to be a full-time parent to my child. As if quitting a very well-paying job, selling almost everything, and moving away to become a missionary doesn’t get enough strange looks, when I’d tell people that my husband would teach and I would VOLUNTEER AND BE A STAY-AT-HOME-MOM, it was as if I told them I had a magical unicorn horn growing out of my [bum, rear-end, behind, etc.].
I think subconsciously those reactions were building up some sort of stay-at-home-intolerance within me, which I’d never had before. I’d have to explain in more detail EXACTLY what I planned to do with my time, a lot like the barista in your article. I didn’t even realize how affected I was by this social stigma until very recently. [I had a guilt-complex which was causing me to spend] more time at the school than I or my husband had ever intended, and our family, namely my son, was suffering. I finally stepped back and am now, after a year and a half, only volunteering SOME of my time at the school to focus more on our family, and other interests/ministries.
And life is amazing.
So suck it, judgy people.
Here is the link again to his post: Dirty Looks Toward Stay-At-Home-Moms... REALLY?, and an excerpt of my favorite parts:
I thought the women’s rights movement was supposed to support women doing whatever they want…….yet too often doesn’t it seem as though Women’s Lib only exists to put pressure on women to pursue politics, the business world and other high-pressure jobs?
Maybe I’m wrong but I suspect that one of the problems ... is that a lot of people simply don’t know what to do with themselves if they aren’t working at their job. ... Perhaps that is why so many people judge women and men who decide to stay-at-home with the children; they think it is merely an excuse to watch Oprah and eat chocolate all day.
Ha! Thanks again, Kenneth.