I never thought I would want to be a stay at home mom. Sure, kids are great! They’re cute and they make me laugh, but I have never liked any child enough to think that I wanted to be with one 24/7. Well, as we both know, that all changed when I first held our baby in my arms. I wanted to cuddle with him, I missed him when I was gone, and even I missed him when I was with him! I know it was surprising to you that your wife was that compassionate, heck I was surprised too, but you worked your butt off to make it happen. I am very thankful for your hard work outside the house that makes it possible for me to stay home with our babies, and I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but there is something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about. I guess I can’t get mad at you because we haven’t officially talked about this before but I want to make sure you understand once and for all that I’m a stay at home mom, not a maid.
I like to think that we have a progressive marriage in some ways. We split many of the duties 50-50 and we aren’t afraid to step in when the other person needs help. The other half of the time, we have an old school marriage. You work in an office job, and I work at home taking care of the children. You do most of the work outside such as mowing the lawn or taking out the trash, and I do most of the housework, which often includes laundry and dishes. To be honest, I don’t mind cleaning all the time. I enjoy having a spotless house and I will do dishes any day if it means I don’t have to mow the lawn. I guess you could say I am the keeper of the house. But there is a big difference between being the housekeeper and being a maid.
I feel like a maid when I do all the housework by myself. I don’t know why you think that you have the luxury of relaxing when you have two kids under 1.5 years old, but you don’t. So when you are sitting on the couch watching sports on television and I am picking up your soda can and vacuuming around your socks, I feel like a maid. Sure, I could ask you to get off your butt and help me, but at the risk of sounding like a stereotypical woman, I want you to want to help. I will never understand why I have to beg you to keep your own house clean, and I definitely don’t want to see what your house would look like if you were single.
I feel like a maid when I pick up after you all day. Last time I checked I had two children, but while I am cleaning, it feels like I have three. I have a two year old and a 1 year old so I know picking up after them is part of the job, but I guess I always thought my husband would put his own dishes in the sink. When you take off your clothes and leave them on the side of the bed or when you leave your shoes in the middle of the living room, I feel like a maid.
At the end of the day, it’s not picking up your socks that makes me mad and I don’t get too irritated while doing your laundry. What I really stay up at night thinking about is the example we are leaving for our son. As we know very well by the words or phrases our son repeats, children learn by example. He is going to see his dad leaving his dirty dishes around the house and he is going to notice that daddy doesn’t put his own laundry away, and I don’t want him to think he doesn’t have to clean up after himself. He is going to notice that mommy never asks for help and I don’t want to teach him to not speak up for himself. I want to raise a son who wants to help his mom clean and I want to raise a son who is respectful at his friends’ house. Contrary to what this letter might convey, you are not the worst husband in the world. With a little effort from both of us, I think we can raise a pretty great son – as long as you remember I’m a SAHM, not a maid.