According to an unofficial poll by yours truly, the job of “stay-at-home mom” is a dying breed.
It’s not because moms are returning to the workplace—it’s because they’re reinventing the workplace. They’re working from home! Sometimes just a few hours a week, sometimes over 40, and everything in between. Have you seen the same trend among the moms you know?
Many moms in my circle technically stay at home. But we rarely do just that. Almost every single one of my mom friends is juggling something on the side. Some have Etsy shops featuring their specialty crafts. There are many on the LuLaRoe train and countless others involved in other multi-level marketing companies. Others freelance, consult or care for other children beyond their own. Whatever it is, it seems that the majority of stay-at- home moms are finding ways to be, in the least, work-at-home moms as a way to support their family.
Since becoming a mom six years ago I’ve dabbled in almost all of these. Shortly after committing to staying at home with my daughter I took on a part-time consulting gig. After that was a brief stint in an MLM, and now I clock 20-30 hours a week freelancing. I’ve always claimed to be a stay-at-home mom, because that was my goal when I quit work—to have my children, home, and husband be my primary focus—but I’ve rarely been just that.
Still, when someone asks what I do, I usually default to the “Oh, I stay at home with my kids” phrase. It’s easier than explaining all I truly juggle. And if they really cared or understood, they’d know that SAHMs do so much beyond baking cookies and doing laundry.
It felt amazing to have him verbalize that my role in our family has extended far beyond regular motherhood.
But then, after recently hearing me stumble over over an introduction, my husband sweetly pulled me aside and said, “Honey, you have to tell them what you REALLY do. They know you’re a mom. Tell then about your other work. It’s so cool and I’m really proud of you. They’ll think it’s interesting! I’ve been telling everyone at my new job that you’re a writer when they ask about our family and they think it’s awesome!”
So I did.
I claimed my title and spoke it as confidently as I could. And it was fine. It was empowering to share what I do and field questions about my career. Since I work from home I don’t have many opportunities to actually share all I do as a WAHM. And sometimes, I fall into a slump of wondering what it is I’m doing and where it’s all going.
Then on a date night last week. my husband told me that I needed to stop floundering. I needed to embrace that we are once again a dual income family, despite that not being our original intention, and that the title of SAHM no longer did me justice. He basically fired me as a stay-at-home mom and told me to find a babysitter or hire a cleaner (or both!) so I could carve out dedicated work time rather than constantly feeling pulled between work and kids and home.
And you know what? It felt amazing to have him verbalize that my role in our family has extended far beyond regular motherhood. I'll take "firing" like that any day, even if it does mean I'm busier than ever!