I got something in the mail yesterday. It's something that has left a little pin prick in my heart. You can all correct me if I am overreacting.
It seems that two things in life bring about great amounts of advice. The first is when you get engaged and are planning to be married and the second is when you decide to become parents. Advice is everywhere. Unless you have a strong filter, or develop one, the advice that sounds a lot like "have to's" will drown you.
I remember at Christmas in 2007 I was six months pregnant and we had just moved back to the central coast four weeks before. There we were in our economical Toyota Echo on my extended family's property that makes an Echo look like a Tonka toy. As I was uncomfortably crawling into the passenger seat, I received advice..."You really should buy a house. A baby can't live in an apartment." My heart hurt. I knew the person saying it was saying it out of a place of wanting that for us but what I realized, sadly, was he had NO idea how much we WANTED that, how hard we were both TRYING for that. It popped a little piece of me and deflated it. All I could do was stare at my bulging belly and think, "I am trying. I want to give you the world, sweet baby. I want to give you the world!"
Since Ashton came into our life, Christan and I have been working SO hard to figure out HOW to break free from the rat race. How do WE achieve our dreams? Two months after Ashton was born, Christan started our LLC, ChristanP Photography. We were sprinting for freedom. It has been a slow process that on good days is more than a natural high and on others, leaves discouragement and a heavy heart. We have invested HOURS of thought into HOW to provide for our son, HOW to free me up from working so I can RAISE our son and run our business from home instead. We decided that if we sacrifice now, we will have a pay off later. The sacrifice has been Christan and I both having two full time jobs. He designs websites and comes home to edit photos and I work and then come home to care for our son and run the home.
Yesterday I received a book. I received, "In Praise of Stay At Home Mom's" by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. It came with a note. The note said, "Points to ponder." While it may be a great book and I applaud its message (Stay at home mom's have a VERY hard job) I felt invisible and overlooked. Does the sender genuinely NOT see what we are doing, what we are sacrificing, how we are TRYING? So now I say, "I cast out this message that hurts my heart!" While the intention may be good, it seemed insensitive and misinformed. It hurt.
This is a description of the book:
They number in the millions and they are incredibly important to families and to our society, yet they are under appreciated, little respected, and even controversial.
Who are they?
They are the stay-at-home moms.
These are women who know in their hearts that staying home to raise their children is the right choice for the whole family. Some do it from the outset of their marriages, while others make the difficult transition from career-driven women to homemakers. Either way, it is a choice that is incredibly rich and rewarding, not to mention challenging.
Now Dr. Laura, building on principles developed during her long career as a licensed marriage and family therapist, provides a wealth of advice and support, as well as compassion and inspiration, to women as they navigate the wonders and struggles of being stay-at-home moms.
- to hold your head high and deal with naysayers;
- to see the benefits of being home not only for your children but also for your marriage;
- to understand the changes you see in yourself;
- to realize that the sacrifices you endure now will make for lasting bonds and a stronger family, in addition to a more cohesive community.
In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms is a special book, a profound and unique understanding of how important it is for mothers to raise their own children.I'm sure you can pick out the points that would hurt my heart-- like "how important it is for mothers to raise their own children." I wanted to scream IF YOU THINK I DON'T WANT TO BE THE ONE WATCHING MY SON GROW UP, YOU ARE SERIOUSLY MISTAKEN!!
But I step back and I look at the big picture: I have a wonderful son, I have an amazing AMAZING husband who is busting his BUTT to make our dream reality, and I am a great mom! I am. It has taken me 11 months to accept and KNOW that but even if I work, I come home and get to be a great mom.
I am a great mom even if I work.