Asking for help has been a difficult task for me. Over the years of parenting I have been able to change my behaviors and one of them is reaching out when I need help. Everyone views situations from a different perspective. What others have seen as stubborn, I view as responsibility. I don’t like inconveniencing others with my responsibilities. When I had children, I didn’t intend on being a stay-at-home mom. It didn’t occur to me that I wouldn’t work. By the time the second child came along, I felt tremendous guilt about not being there for them throughout the day. I have since made moves and changed jobs searching for the flexibility to be available for them. I became jealous of the parents who could stay at home.
Regardless of where you are as parents, everyone faces the topic of working and parenthood. A stigma has been placed on woman and men who have chosen to stay at home rather than work full-time. The stigma, unfortunately, is negative from the perspective of many full-time workers. I fell into using this terminology and judgment as well! I have since developed a disdain for the term stay at home. It has developed into an indication that a parent gets to not work. This is anything but what they are doing.
Although family was close, my children’s father and my relatives were an hour away. The weekday activities became more difficult. Although the daily grind became daunting, I was determined to keep my children in activities. I found ways to be close enough to schools and activities to keep them involved. I didn’t want it to matter that I was a single mom. It did get easier. People have continuously made comments to me such as “I don’t know how you do it,” “I couldn’t do all that…” and “You’re a superhero.” I don’t feel like a superhero at all. The reason is because I haven’t had to be. I haven’t done all this parenting stuff in a completely “singular” way at all. I have had to accept help. I developed relationships with other parents and was overwhelmed with the willingness from them to help. There are times I can return the favor and load a couple extra kids in the car for an outing. But, if I’m honest, nothing could return the favor of knowing that my child can consistently play a sport, be in Scouts, or attend an event because another parent is willing to make sure my child gets there.
My perspective has changed and I apologize to the moms and dads that I categorized them with the term stay-at-home. You are driving mine to practice, a camping trip, picking up food or making them a snack. You help make it possible for activities that many of us parents otherwise would not be able to provide our children and I thank you. Please don’t stay at home! You’re my superhero!