Charge: misunderstanding and undervaluing the role of the Stay at Home Mom
Verdict: Guilty as charged
Prior to becoming a chiropractor, I spent eleven years in corporate America in several different roles, project manager, sales manager, work-life consultant and some others. I thought my roles were very important. I was changing corporate cultures, streamlining workflow, impacting the bottom line, selling cutting edge technology that changed the way business was done. As a chiropractor, I helped people regain their health, changed the lives of children and helped women prepare their bodies for pregnancy and childbirth – pretty important, right? Again, I thought these things were really important and really they are. However in my new role as a SAHM, their importance seems muted. Back in the day as a female corporate climber, I did not understand why any woman would make the choice to be a stay at home mom nor did I value the role of a SAHM. I wondered, what does a SAHM do all day? How can she give up her right to earn her own money? How does she feel any purpose, reward? How does she stimulate her brain staying at home all day? How does she feel achievement?
Oh boy!! As a new mother, I now have a deep understanding and appreciation for why women make the career choice of a SAHM. I no longer have the responsibility of million dollar quotas or the health and well being of my community. Instead I have the responsibility of raising a child and to me that feels really important. My quota is not around how much software I sold but instead how many diapers I changed and meals I provided. I embrace these mom quotas with as much or more vigor and determination as I did my sales quotas. I used to create project plans that left no task undefined and I managed that plan to the minute. I’m finding now that the project plan of this SAHM is not determined by me but by the needs of my child. It’s the most free flowing plan I have ever experienced. How do you “plan” supporting the daily needs of a newborn? I no longer answer to VPs of Sales and CEOs but instead to the peep of a 10 week old baby who has more influence over me than any CEO ever had. I no longer am designing plans of health for people of my community but instead am watching and monitoring the health of one, my son.
As I wrote above, I THOUGHT my role as a corporate climber and a chiropractor came with a lot of responsibility, and importance. But the responsibilities of those roles do not hold a candle to the responsibility and importance I have as a SAHM. I am responsible for the health and well being of my child, his safety, his development, his EVERYTHING. I accept that responsibility with every ounce of my being. It is true, at the end of the year, I likely will not be recognized with a plaque, an all expenses paid trip to Hawaii or a handsome bonus. However I will have had the joy of watching my son grow, learn, and thrive minute by minute moment by moment . I wouldn’t trade a minute with my son for that plaque, trip or bonus. And it is for this reason I am a SAHM.
My apologies to all SAHMS for my previous lack of understanding and appreciation for what you do every day. I now understand, honor and respect your choice and mine.