what I want you to know: a teenager’s perspective on having a stay-at-home mom

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face.  If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest posts is by an anonymous reader.

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I know this is a luxury. I know that I have it much better than the rest of the world. But I still want you to know a 19 year old daughter’s perspective both now and in the year’s past.

My mom was a high school teacher. Then she went on maternity leave a bit before I was born. Then she stayed home with me and my 3 younger siblings until the youngest started grade 1. She started by substituting occasionally and now she is teaching 3 full days a week. Her prep work and marking and other teacher obligations make this more than a full time job.

My family has really suffered since my mom has gone back to work. Only they don’t see it that way, especially my mom. My mom figures that we need her income to live our luxurious lifestyle. We don’t need to live on an acreage. We don’t need three cars and a quad. We don’t need bi-annual vacations. We don’t need brand name clothing. We don’t need the best of foods bought in the store. We don’t need to be put on sports teams. We don’t need all this extra clutter at home. We don’t need these extras. This isn’t what life is about.

This is causing my family a very stressful life. Hardly any time together. And when we are together there is the pressure of stress. The only thing my mom has time for at home is to throw meals together, do laundry, and take naps. I don’t see what has been gained by her going back to work. I have tried explaining to her that I would trade all this for having her at home.

Now all the cleaning, healthy cooking, dishes and so on has fallen on me. It falls on me because I choose to do it between school and other obligations. My siblings sometimes help.

Before she went back to work my mom baked bread, sewed for us, spent time with us and dad, hosted guests, and stuff like this. Now everything needs to be perfect for school, but a clean and orderly house, and time with the family is pushed on the back burner and more than not gets burned. It hurts to see that she cares more for her job and lets life at home and together get sloppy.

I want you to know that to have less is to have more in material goods. How often have I longed to have less money and therefore more time together. Life isn’t about stuff, or money. Our days are flying away.

I want all stay at home mothers to be encouraged. Your children may not realize what they have in you staying at home, until you go back to work.


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