What It’s Like To Be The Stay At Home Parent

It’s not all playdates and trips to Target.

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Photo by Arren Mills on Unsplash

Check Your Identity At The Door

Overnight I went from Michelle, capable and intelligent paralegal to Michelle, somebody’s mom. At first, I loved it. I could sleep as much as I wanted or as much as having two infants would allow. I didn’t have to be anywhere, but appointments for the children, and they only occurred every few months. It was magical. I got to spend time with my babies. I got caught up on all the TV shows I was behind on and got to read more than I ever did before.

The Myth Of The Stay At Home Parent

The most annoying thing I hear from people about staying at home with my kids is how lucky I am, and it’s usually said in a condescending tone. I didn’t want this. It was thrust upon me because my spouse makes significantly more than me. It didn’t make fiscal sense for me to continue working. While I did go back to work briefly while they were little for my sanity, in the long run, it wasn’t worth it to get them up at 5 am for before care. It just didn’t seem fair to me when we didn’t need the money.

The Decline Of Our Mental Health

It’s no surprise that being home, with zero purpose, and no outlet will make you stir crazy. I liken it to being snowed in with no electricity. I started to eat away at my loneliness and loss of purpose literally. I always moved furniture around and found projects to keep me busy, but it wasn’t enough. There’s nothing like going to work and having a project due that you knock out of the park and your manager tells you so. You get the accolades of your peers. You get to socialize and gossip around the water cooler.

How To Help The Stay At Home Parent In Your Life

Be there.

The Hardest Job In The World

I’ve read those articles that itemize what you would pay someone for doing everything that a stay at home parent does. It is the hardest job in the world, and there isn’t any preparation for it. No one tells you how it will feel emotionally to stay at home when that was never in your plan. It’s physically draining to care for children. You’re on high alert all day, ready for the next disaster to hit and constantly on the lookout to prevent them. And it never ends.

MFA|Essayist| Author| IG: michelle_elizabeth_writer| Email: writer.michelle.elizabeth@gmail.com

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