Before I became a stay-at-home mom, I never noticed how often the question, “What kind of work do you do?” comes up. It’s a question I have come to dread because of the judgment that follows.
Before I became a stay-at-home mom, I had what came off as a more impressive job—I was a software testing manager. When people heard this, I received all kinds of compliments such as how I must be smart, how complicated computers are, or I was asked questions about computer problems.
When I’m asked what I do for a living now and answer that I am a stay-at-home mom, I am not met with much praise.
Sometimes I get asked when I am going back to work.
Sometimes I get asked what I do all day.
I’ve even had people change the direction of the conversation to ask what my husband does, rather than asking anything else about me.
A lot of stay-at-home mom work can feel invisible to begin with. It doesn’t matter how much laundry I do, how many dishes I wash, or how many toys I pick up.
There will always be another mess to replace any progress I’ve made.
The questions from others about when I am going back to work, what I do all day, or changing the subject when they find out I’m a stay-at-home mom can make my job and all the hard work I do to take care of my son feel even more invisible.
Despite the fact that a lot of people may think my job is not important, there’s one person in the world who my job means everything to—my little boy.
While many people may think I have a boring job, nothing I do is boring to my son. I am his best friend.
If I try to do laundry, he wants to help pull the hamper to the laundry room, help load clothes, and push the button to start the washing machine.
If I try to sweep the floor, he will be right beside me with a giggle as he tries to get the broom for himself.
Dinner takes longer than it should to make because he wants to help.
He brings me books to read to him all day long. When he has a current favorite book he wants to hear over and over again, I wonder how anyone could want to listen to me read the same book 12 times in a row, but he never gets tired of my voice.
If he trips and falls, I am always there with a hug and kiss to make it better.
If he is tired because he had a bad night of sleep, we can snuggle extra that day.
We can play in the yard every day or visit the same parks, and he’ll never get bored. He just wants to be with his mom all day.
He doesn’t know a world where he doesn’t have Mommy around all the time.
I don’t have an impressive job title. It’s unlikely anyone will ever call me smart based on the fact I am a stay-at-home mom. I’ll always get questioned about why I am not doing more with my time and when I’m going back to work.
But right now, I’m happy spending my days with my son. This is where I am meant to be.