As stay at home parents we are in a unique situation.  Our job takes place in our homes without the presence of bosses or coworkers.  Yes, we have friends and family, but really the only people who we really interact with in our jobs are our kids.  And the only outside person who really sees us in our jobs is our spouse.

This creates a lack of job performance recognition.  I have been feeling undervalued lately.  This is a rough time for us and although we are very lucky and blessed in our life, we are struggling right now.   

Although it is a lot of pressure, all the responsibility for lifting me up and making me feel valued and validated falls on my husband and this is a little much for him, I think.  Unfortunately, there is no one else to help carry this burden.  It is his to bear, and I am sorry for that.

I tried to give him an analogy to help him to understand.  I asked him to imagine that he went to work every day and no one there ever said he was doing a good job.  It would be awful for him, and I think that it helped him to see the reality of the situation.  This is our job and validation for being good at our job is just as important for us as it is for anyone else.

Unfortunately, now that I have spoken about it, we now struggle with how to provide me with the support I need without his compliments or statements sounding contrived and trite.  

The great thing is that we can have this conversation at all.  I feel very fortunate that I feel safe enough and loved enough that I can say that I need more from him.  That says a lot about the strength of our relationship.  Many don’t have this situation and live alone with all this.

There is this catch 22 about being a stay at home parent.   At least for me, i feel guilty if I complain at all.  I made this choice and I am very grateful for it, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have hard days, days that I wish I could crawl into bed and not get out till next week.  When you have a job outside the home, you come home and discuss the things that are going well and the things that are hard at work.  But when I do, i feel guilty.  I feel guilty for not enjoying every moment with my children, guilty for complaining about a choice that has been a huge sacrifice for our family, guilty for wanting more for myself.  And in response I usually get the suggestion that I go back to work.

I don’t need to go back to work, I need two days by a pool with a foofy umbrella drink or ten.

It is impossible for those not staying home to fully understand the joys and trials that we face every day. There are moments of pure bliss and moments when you feel like you have completely lost all value and substance.  It is equally impossible for us to fully understand the stresses that working moms face trying to be and do it all and not feel like they are doing any of it very well.

The hard fact is that being a parent is hard.  It just is.

We need to support one another, husband and wife, parent and child, friend and friend.  We need to be compassionate and lift each other up and be there for each other, even if we aren’t all the same or make the same choices or parent the same way.  

Hugs and kisses and flowers and all that crap.

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