“I don’t know how you do it. I couldn’t stand to be stuck at home like that.”
“STUCK at home” Few three-word sentence fragments annoy me more than those three words put together.
Why are we who choose to be home perceived as “stuck” at home?
Aren’t we the ones who have the most freedom?
We can get up at 10 am, wear no makeup, watch TV, walk around in grubby clothes, ignore the kids and deal with the consequences later, stay up until 2 am without concern about an early morning alarm, see how long the baby can go without her diaper leaking, eat ice cream at breakfast, doughnuts at noon, and feed the kids PB&J sandwiches for every meal.
Or…, we can choose to see our baby’s first walk, change every one of her thousands of diapers so we don’t miss out on the interaction we get with her when we do, read and study to wisen up our brains, sell something extra on eBay, practice baking and gardening and knitting and Spanish lessons, take the girls to ballet and the boys to baseball, read a book aloud to the kids after lunch and have a cup of tea at 3 pm.
Over the past 9 years, I have been a working-outside-the-home mom, a working-at-home mom, and a stay-at-home mom (unpaid work). Of all of them, it is the stay-at-home mom who gets the most disdain from the outside world.
But don’t worry about her.
She owns all of the 1,440 minutes in each of her days. And she can spend each of those minutes as she wills, with no boss, no schedule but her own, and all the freedom every American loves to have.
If she gets a hankering for a bologna sandwich, she can go to the grocery store and get the ingredients. If she wants to see a movie, she can load the kids into the van and take them. She can attend a craft show on Friday afternoon and a Grand Opening pre-sale on Thursday morning.
She has been given the freedom to choose how to fill her days.
If having that kind of freedom is being “stuck,” then I am so glad I’m one of those poor souls who are “stuck at home.”