How "Lucky" You Are to be a Stay At Home Mom
"You have no idea how lucky you are". I've said it a million times. As a SAHM I say to the working mom, "you have no idea how lucky you are". The working mom has said to me, the SAHM, "you have no idea how lucky you are". These comments that roll of the tongue without thought from us well meaning moms don't realize the part we play in perpetuating the mom guilt we all feel. What I'm realizing though is that we are missing the crucial piece that each of us are individuals with individual circumstances and wants. When someone says to me, "you have no idea how lucky you are to be a SAHM", my thoughts automatically go to guilt. "Why am I not enjoying this as much as she would"..."what motherly bones exist in her body that I was born without"..."what's wrong with me?"
I think it's part of the reason we feel so much shame and why many of us have a hard time speaking up. I would never want to offend a working mom who either chooses to work or has to work because of circumstances beyond their control. My own sister, someone I love more than life itself, is a working mom. So, how can we own our feelings and not perpetuate the guilt? How can we speak out to let others know that they aren't alone without alienating our sisters who are walking a different path or feeling something different in their heart? I heard someone say once, "It is an awakening to know that I am not an oddity and can stop being ashamed of wanting something more". Those words resonated so much with me. To know you are not alone feels like someone taking a weight of my chest. I can breath a little easier knowing that my fellow sisters struggle with similar thoughts, because for so long I felt abnormal. I love supporting my husband with his career in the military and I am making strides to find independence and value as an individual in my role here at home but those thoughts of wanting more still creep in. I don't have all the answers, but maybe as women we can stand up and take accountability for our words. Maybe we can work harder at seeing each other as unique people in unique circumstances. Maybe our counterparts who are walking the paths we long for aren't as "lucky" as we often imagined. Our lives are as different as fingerprints, so can we allow each other to be exactly who we are? Can we allow each other the space to open up about our feelings freely without judgement or jealousy or anger that they "just don't know how lucky they are". I have said it in the past with the best intentions but I can see now how these words can be perceived. For this, I am so sorry and I will do better because, words matter.