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When people ask me what I do, my first response is always “I am a stay-at-home mom”, however if I step back and think for a minute, I realize this is a very poor description of what I do. In addition, I am a wife, I have two home-based businesses, I am a medical transcriptionist, a crafter, a home cook, and blogger. (Not to mention the 5,000 other irons I have in the fire.) I will say that being a stay-at-home wife and mother is definitely my number one job, but that isn’t all that defines me.
In today’s society, a woman’s role can be a confusing one. Are we expected to work? Are we expected to stay-at-home with the children? Are we expected to be a housewife? Cook? Clean? Truthfully, we are expected to do ALL of these things. We feel the pressure from every direction to be everything to everyone at all times. It’s confusing!
When I worked full-time, I dreamed of giving up work to have babies and stay home. When I was pregnant with my first child, I was working as a hairdresser in a local beauty shop. I loved what I was doing, but as the end of my pregnancy was creeping up on me, I just couldn’t shake the idea of wanting to become a stay-at-home mother. I decided that I would do whatever it took for me to achieve this goal. I wanted to be able to wake up in the morning and be the one to feed my kids breakfast, play with them, teach them, and discipline them, etc.
A few months of pushing a stroller around our block, which was the highlight of the day, led me back to working part-time. I know had promised my husband that once I was a stay-at-home mom, I would be happier; I would major in diaper changes and making casseroles. However, I will be the first to admit that I am the number one offender of the “fickle mind of a woman”. As women, once we get what we want, it makes us yearn for what we had, or what we have yet to attain.
I have had conversations with working women who are seemingly unhappy. They only want to stay at home and raise their kids and be good housewives, but financial pressures force them into having to work. However, I can also sit down and talk with my friends who are stay-at-home moms, and they seem unhappy too. They long for the “grown-up world” and the talk of things other than potty training and how to hide veggies in your child’s food.
So how do we find balance? I decided that the best option for me was to have my cake, and eat it too, figuratively speaking, of course. I had to be Supermom, as well as bring home the bacon (or bacon bit). It didn’t really matter how much, as long as I was contributing something financially. Contributing financially, even a small portion, helped me feel happier. It helped me feel the freedom I yearned for. I had the luxury of staying at home and raising our children, as well as working from home. It was just the best of both worlds for me.
There is something to be said about feeling valued, and that is what I felt after starting my home business. I am definitely not saying that there is anything wrong with being a stay-at-home mom, but after sitting around talking with my mommy friends who were over for play-dates, I quickly realized that most stay-at-home moms feel undervalued and underappreciated. While we can’t change anyone else’s view of us, we can change how we view ourselves, and if working helps us feel valued, then we should do it, but without sacrificing all of the precious moments that we want to share with our families. It really is the best of both worlds!
Amber Barber is a wife and stay-at-home mother to two children. She was born and raised in Paris and attended The Criswell College and Allied Business School. She works as a Medical Transcriptionist and is an Independent Consultant for Scentsy, as well as mark. Cosmetics. If you are interested in becoming a consultant, you can contact Amber at 903.272.9421 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow her blog at www.olivegypsy.com