Lisa Gallagher en Lifestyle, parenting, beBee in English Brand Ambassador • beBee 16/11/2016 · 3 min de lectura · 1,3K

A Different Type of Leadership

Many women chose to stay at home and raise their children. Many of these same women give up good paying careers because they want to be home with their children. Some women feel undervalued and isolated, especially if they happen to be with a group of women and men who work outside the home and spend a lot of their time 'talking shop.' 

I found myself in groups of people over the years, even within my own home where it seemed talking about work became a habit and I would sit there twiddling my thumbs, or at times, walking out of the room because I felt I had nothing of value to add to their conversations which suddenly seemed so foreign to me. I quit my job when oldest was almost 10 years old, a choice I will never regret. 

Staying home with your children is a full-time job. Yes, I know... that's been said many times but it's so true. Many women decide to take on more than they can handle because they feel a sense of guilt for not bringing a paycheck in. My daughter is experiencing this phenomenon right now and I keep reassuring her that you can't put a price on being a full-time mom. 

A Different Type of Leadership

I know of some stay at home moms who expect their husbands to participate in 50% of all chores, which means getting up in the middle of the night, cooking dinner, cleaning up after dinner, doing laundry, getting the kids ready for bed, giving the kids their baths, taking them to Dr. appointments and allowing their wives to leave as soon as the man's work day ends because the mommy needs a break. Kudos to the men who do this but that is not how I chose to run my home. My daughter doesn't run hers like that either. I'm not sure if there is a right or wrong way as long as it works out ok for both parents and the man doesn't get burned out beyond his limits. 

Call me old fashioned but I felt it was my job and I took it seriously, to do all the cooking, clean up after dinner, get up with crying or sick children in the middle of the night (except for weekends, I would ask for some help with night time awakenings, running an errand without 2 kids strapped to me...),  things I felt were on a smaller scale. 

Many women who stay home with their children become the Chef, the ultimate life coach, great debaters, negotiators, learn to function on less than 4 hours of sleep for quite some time, financial planners, taxi cab drivers, volunteers for many events that come up through out the years on behalf of their children or for other causes they involve their children in, party planners, travel agents, and mighty maids!  Some of these same women go to bed feeling as though they still aren't contributing enough. I think in part, some women feel guilty because no-one tells them how worthy they are. No one shares with them how appreciated they are. 

When my husband came home from work, his day was done. My day was only half over. I couldn't ask him to help me (maybe I should have?), but I felt it was my duty to allow him to unwind and just enjoy the kids because he was the one going out to work each day and bringing home the paycheck. I see my daughter experiencing the same guilty feelings and I keep reminding her that her job is just as important. I also try to remind her that her husband does appreciate all she's doing but he may have a hard time expressing it. I found this to be true after our kids moved out. There is a lot of stress for both parents when you're raising children. Communicating concerns without throwing insults is healthy if you're feeling like a burned out mom who isn't appreciated. Chances are highly likely that you're very appreciated but your husband isn't able to express his mushy feelings. 

I also found in hindsight, it was best to have serious chats when we were both calm... it's a tough balancing act at times but not impossible. My husband reminds me a lot NOW that I did a job he could have never done. I wish I would have heard those words a bit earlier but it all worked out the way it was supposed to. I have no regrets and he was left with no regrets. We gave up a second income but for us,  it was worth it because my children were raised with the values we as a couple wanted to instill. 

It's important to remember that you still need to find some time for yourself. If you don't make time just for you, you'll feel resentful and more isolated. Getting your children involved in activities with other children also allows you to meet other women who may have something in common with you. 

Remember, it's not selfish to make time for yourself, we all need and deserve time to unwind and not lose the core of our being.
Don't ever underscore the importance of your job. I used to have some women tell me that it must be nice to stay at home with my kids. My answer, "Yes it is but the grass is never greener on the other side." I worked fulltime for almost 10 years prior to staying at home, so I knew the price women pay that have to work or choose to work as well. Without a second income, we didn't have the money to do some of the things I would see other families doing who both brought home a paycheck. We all have choices and we chose the lifestyle we had without regrets. 

I'm curious if more women who are staying home today have an agreement that both, mom and dad do 50% of all chores and duties with their children? Have trends changed and are men more proactive with their kids today than they were when I was raising my children? I would love to hear others stories who are either staying at home now with children or did stay at home while raising their kids. 

Women who stay at home are just as vital as women who go out to work. Never underscore the importance of your role. If you are at home raising children, you are a leader with many roles. Remind yourself to repeat that over and over if you feel under appreciated. Never feel guilty for choosing to be at home with your children who you brought into this world with love. 

Repeat: "I am a leader who my children look up to."  Oh, and drink a lot of coffee! 

Savvy Raj Hace 2 d · #18

A very relevant write up from the heart of @Lisa Gallagher. Must add I reread your post with great interest. Have quoted you and shared your work in my recent post on a similar perspective ..Dignity of Being. .

Lisa Gallagher 18/11/2016 · #17

#14 I think what you did and continue to do is admirable @Deb Lange. Working part time, scheduling everything around your kids had to be stressful. That's why I always said, the grass is never greener on the other side. I worked full time until my kids (well my son) was almost 10. So, I can attest that no matter what a mom chooses to do or has to do in many cases (doesn't have a choice, that is) the bottom line: It's a very tough job but one none of us would trade no matter the circumstances. I can't imagine how hard it was taking care of your parents until they passed. Some people thrive on work, most people would love to be able to stay at home- everyone differs. It sure is a balancing act and life is not easy. Congrats on becoming a grandmother! Raising children is the most rewarding job but also a very stressful one given the circumstances or even the day ;-)

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Aurorasa Sima 18/11/2016 · #16

#15 I think mothers will always feel guilty to some extent. Either because they go to work and wished they had more time for their kids or because they stay at home.

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Lisa Gallagher 18/11/2016 · #15

#13 @Aurorasa Sima, I wonder if the younger generation feels this type of guilt today or if it was more common when I stayed home in the 90's? My daughter moved out in 2008.

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Deb Lange 18/11/2016 · #14

Such an important post! When I had my kids I started my own part time consulting business. That way I could have 3.00 meetings to pick up my kids from school. I could block out sports days, school holidays etc. looking back it was hard work doing everything. My kids are now young adults. I became a grandmother this year. The time needing to be with your kids even if we say 15-20 years, goes very quickly. When my kids were adults I then cared for my parents to age and die at home. I funded this myself and took time away from my business. I will work part time for the rest of my life in my own business. Doing intellectual work I can do this. I also need to as I have chosen to spend time doing work that is not paid. I don't know how young mums -and dads do it, working full time and bringing up kids.

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Aurorasa Sima 18/11/2016 · #13

I´ve seen that with friends too. They felt strange when all of the other girls were working or even pursuing a career.

In my opinion, there is no right or wrong. As you suggested: whatever works for both. I´m happy for every family who can afford the luxury to have someone staying at home.

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Lisa Gallagher 17/11/2016 · #12

#9 Interesting yet sad story about the woman who chose to stay home @Vivian Chapman, yet her father made her feel as though she was a failure. I didn't mention in my buzz above how hard it is on many who go out to work and would much rather be at home who feel a lot of guilt too. That is another important topic, which is why I said the grass is never greener on the other side. Yes, there are women who love to work outside the home but many don't have the luxury of choosing. We did take a loss in our income and basically lived from pay to pay... but we managed. We were far from rich during those years and we are still playing 'catch up,' and my kids have been out of the home for almost 8 years.. my daughter lived at home while going to College. It's sad that women take on so much guilt whether they are home or out working but I guess it's human nature as a mom to do so. Thanks for your comment!!

Lisa Gallagher 17/11/2016 · #11

#8 Thanks for your comment @Sushmita Thakare Jain. You made a great point about parenting, it sure is a balancing and juggling act. Nothing is carved in stone when it comes to raising children whether one works outside the home or stays home with their children. There isn't a rule book when it comes to parenting! We will all make mistakes but I always told myself as long as I learn from them and remember it's the positive outcomes which outweigh the negatives that our children remember.