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Stay-at-Home Mom’s Viral Post Sends All the Right Messages to Parents

Photograph by Kayla Elizabeth Roussin

There are many perks to being a stay-at-home mom. There are also a lot of preconceived notions, and one Michigan mother of three wants to remind others that staying home to raise your kids makes you a mom—not a housewife.

After hearing stories from friends, claiming their husbands were upset that dinner wasn't on the table when they got home from work (or the house wasn't clean), 27-year-old Kayla Elizabeth Roussin pulled up a chair and wrote a powerful message that she later shared on Facebook.

"When my husband and I decided I should be a stay at home mom, we agreed that that's what I would be, a MOM. I am not a stay at home housekeeper," she wrote on Instagram. "Yes, I clean throughout the day, but my main focus will always be my children."

inthemidstofmama

When my husband and I decided I should be a stay at home mom, we agreed that that's what I would be, a MOM. I am not a stay at home housekeeper. Yes, I clean throughout the day, but my main focus will always be my children. Most of the cleaning I do during the day involves our kids in some way, switching laundry, unloading the dishwasher, vacuuming, picking up toys.. I want them to know that it takes a team to keep our home clean. But if we spent the entire day playing and learning and growing and the house is a mess at the end of the day, my husband and I tag team when he gets home from work. He does not walk in the door and scold me for the pile of dirty dishes in the sink, he just cleans them. We fold the laundry together after WE put our kids to bed, and use that as time to talk about the day or whatever is on our minds. He does most of the outdoor work, not because I won't, but because he uses that time to bond with the kids and teach them how to mow/weedwhip/etc. This house is OURS not just mine. These children are OURS not just mine. I refuse for them to remember me just cleaning all the time and I refuse to teach my children that the household duties fall on the mothers shoulders alone. I stay at home to be present in their lives, not to make sure my house is spotless at a moments notice. If they want to play a game, I'm going to play. If they want me to snuggle, darn right I'm going to snuggle. If they want to color, we're going to make a masterpiece to hang proudly on the fridge. If they want to read a book, I'm going to read that book as many times as they want. I am by no means saying that you should let your house turn into a dump, but I feel like so many men just expect the house to be spotless just because their wives stay at home. We as mothers do not give up careers, adult interaction, a paycheck, and sanity to ensure that the house shines like the top of the Chrysler building when our husbands walk through the door, and I feel pretty confident in saying that many of us are way more stressed about the mess than you are. Finish reading in comments.

In an interview with "Good Morning America," Roussin said her goal in writing the post was to inspire mothers to stick up for themselves if and when their husbands "scold" them for not doing housework, adding that she left two jobs to stay home with her children.

Her post goes on to say that most of the cleaning she does throughout the day, including "switching laundry, unloading the dishwasher, vacuuming, picking up toys,” involves using the kids in some way or another to help out.

"I want them to know that it takes a team to keep our home clean. But if we spent the entire day playing and learning and growing and the house is a mess at the end of the day, my husband and I tag team when he gets home from work."

Roussin says her husband does not "scold" her for leaving a pile of dishes in the sink. Instead, he cleans them.

Roussin says her husband does not 'scold' her for leaving a pile of dishes in the sink. Instead, he cleans them.

"We fold the laundry together after WE put our kids to bed, and use that as time to talk about the day or whatever is on our minds," she wrote, adding a note to suggest that other husbands might want to do the same.

“Instead of talking down to your wife for the crumbs on the floor, pick up a broom. Instead of yelling about the marker scribbles on the table, ask her if she had a hard day and give her a hug. Instead of telling her she's lazy for not folding the laundry, thank her for raising your children and start folding the never-ending pile of mismatched socks. Instead of huffing and puffing about the things that aren't done, ask her what she did with the kids, ask her if they laughed, what she taught them, how many times she told them she loved them, then take off your work boots and clean the kitchen.”

Roussin ends her post by thanking her husband for “working his butt off” to provide for their family, saying that she never expects him to come home after a long day and clean the entire house by himself.

But, she concludes, “having a family takes an immense amount of effort from everyone, kids included. Going to work and paying the bills does not exclude you from parenting and household duties. So husbands, if you're reading this, thank your amazing wives for giving up everything to raise those beautiful babies you made together, and wives, thank those hubbies for making staying home possible and please remember, the mess can wait.”

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