Dear Stay-at-home Moms,
Are you sitting down? Better yet, are you sitting down in a chair without a child crawling around all over you or screaming “mom” at the top of their lungs? Chances are that if you’re reading this letter, then you probably won’t make it through the whole letter at once…unless it’s naptime. But then again by naptime your attention span is probably fried.
But here’s the thing. You matter. The job you do matters. Whether you plan out every moment of the days you’re home with your children or you go with the flow, what you do matters.
But here’s another thing. Your job will be thankless. Your job comes with no monetary compensation (unless you count the yearly shopping trip you allow yourself). Your significant other might not (read: probably will not) come home and thank you for everything you accomplished during the day. Your children won’t kiss you goodnight and thank you for every piece of laundry you washed that day or each toy you picked up. Your friends won’t say thank you when you find a last minute babysitter, so you can spend an evening out with them even when you would much rather use the babysitter so you can just lock yourself alone in your room for a glass of wine alone in your own bed.
But you will still do this job day in and day out. You will still get up every morning ready to spend the next 8+ hours as the sole caretaker of little children. You will still do countless loads of laundry every week. You will still prepare enough food to feed a small army. You will do all of this because you’re a stay-at-home mom, and you’re amazing. You don’t need to hear a “thank you” because that gratitude doesn’t define you. You are not less of a mother when you don’t hear “thanks, mom.” You are not less of a wife because your husband didn’t notice that you vacuumed this morning.
When you start doing things expecting verbal appreciation, you start building a wall of resentment. Do you really want to spend your already loud days with the voices of resentment growing in the back of your mind? You are appreciated even if no one says so just like the sky is blue even though we don’t shout it from the moutaintops every chance we get.
So mothers, think of this letter as a release from something extra you need to worry about. I am releasing you from stewing over this thankless job and giving you permission to enjoy it. Unshoulder the pressure of performing well enough to deserve a “thank you.” Luckily there are no yearly evaluations or performance minimums to strive for. You don’t have the easiest job, but it is one of the most rewarding. So stop making it less than that by expecting a shower of appreciation every day.
A Fellow SAHM