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8 Myths About Stay-at-Home Moms

I know, I know—aren't we all a little sick of the stay-at-home mom pieces by now?

Maybe. Maybe not.

I have to admit that when I thought about it the other day, I could only think of one mother I knew of who "just" stayed home—the majority of mothers I knew who stayed home with their children managed to blend work-from-home or part-time solutions that work best for them. The truth is, staying at home doesn't always mean what the world seems to think. And I think it's time to dispel a few of the common myths about stay-at-home moms (and dads).

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Myth No. 1: All stay-at-home moms love what they do.

News flash: You don't have to love every minute of staying at home to be a good stay-at-home mom. I used to wonder if something was wrong with me because I genuinely despised some parts of staying at home. Now in my eternal mom wisdom (ha), I've realized that I can dread parts of the journey and it won't mean I'm doing a bad job. In a way, staying at home is a job like any other; there are good days and bad days, great moments and tough moments, but it's all part of the gig.

Myth No. 2: Only certain types of moms can stay home.

There is no one "type" of woman, or man for that matter, who possesses a key list of specific characteristics that make them perfect for staying home.

I read an article recently that talked about the "type" of woman who chooses to stay home and I have to admit it really made me upset. The truth is, there is no one "type" of person who possesses a key list of specific characteristics that make them perfect for staying home. Nope, sorry, it doesn't work that way. There are many different types of parenting styles that can make staying at home work for them.

Myth No. 3: We stay home because we love it.

For the most part, stay-at-home parents may love what they do, but they don't stay home for their own personal fulfillment—we do it for our children and for our families. Staying at home isn't necessarily always about us. I'm not saying that every family needs a stay-at-home parent to function, but for the families that have the choice and feel it's best for them, it's not always a decision based on warm and fuzzy feelings of the heart.

Myth No. 4: We all are obsessed with drinking.

Now this one is just silly. Not every stay-at-home mom lives for wine. Some of us prefer the harder stuff. Ahem.

Myth No. 5: We stay home to spend more time with our kids.

But being home doesn't mean I'm spending every minute shoved in my kids' faces.

I have to be careful with this one, because obviously in the baby and toddler stages, a stay-at-home mom will spend more time with her children. But as they grow, staying at home for me has also evolved to simply be more available to my family.

This might mean the thrice-daily school runs I am currently making or simply not worrying what we will do if a child gets sick or allowing my husband (the one with the "real" job) to not think twice about texting me an easy, "Sry. Will be late tonight" and have that be the end of it. But being home doesn't mean I'm spending every minute shoved in my kids' faces, staring at them in wonder. A lot of the time it's simply my presence and availability that is most important.

Myth No. 6: That we play with our kids all day.

Nope, sorry, not happening. On a general day-to-day basis, I purposely aim to keep the playing with mom to a minimum. Not only is it one of those triggering things for me that just makes me crazy, but I believe it's good for kids to just be kids and play with kids. (It helps that I have four of them.) It should also be noted that some days, I feel like I do more house upkeep and cleaning than actual child-rearing.

Myth No. 7: We don't care about the "outside" world.

On the contrary, I feel like staying at home has only heightened my awareness and hunger on the issues happening worldwide. Every baby failed by modern medicine, every soldier killed in war, every accident that could have been prevented—those are all my babies in a way, and I find myself wanting to know more and do more. Some days, yes, all I deal with are poopy diapers and fevers and teething and I absolutely don't even have time to change out of my pajamas, but for crying out loud, that doesn't mean I'm an idiot. My brain did not fall out of the birth canal along with my child.

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Myth No. 8: We are dependent on our partners.

First of all, one could make the argument that the moment you pledge your lives together, it is OK to work as a team, but for the sake of this myth, I will simply point out that this isn't the 1950s. A lot of us have educations, keep our skills fresh and—even more likely—find a way to merge work and family life so we are able to contribute financially and invest in a future when the kids are a little older, too. We aren't looking for sugar daddies, but rather partners who value us in and out of the workplace.

Image: j&j brusie photography

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