Why is a mommy blogger quoting a 1998 rap song? It accurately describes how I feel as a stay-at-home mother financially in relation to my husband.
When I had my first child, I was a working mom. I had the money, I had the power, and I had the respect. I worked and had my own bank account. My husband listened to my opinions on purchases, didn’t question my spending – aka Pottery Barn monogrammed everything. He helped me clean the house because he knew how hard it was being a mom and being at the office each day.
During my time working, my husband would make comments about stay-at-home moms we knew, “Well, they have the time” and “What else do they have to do?”
Multiple children later, and I became a stay-at-home mom. I have essentially lost the money, power, and respect I once commanded. There are times that I think about what my husband once said about SAHM’s and know those thoughts are now directed at me.
I haven’t had a paycheck in years. While I admittedly love Amazon Prime a bit too much, my spending is scrutinized. Purchases important to me are shut down. Money gives my husband the power to make such decisions and overlook my opinions. The number of children we have, the school our children go to, where we vacation, all have been decided by him since I left the workforce.
I want to be respected for caring for my children with little-to-no outside help, teaching them, nurturing them, feeding them, and running our household efficiently. May I add I did that all in the midst of a global pandemic?
There is no set pay for the work that I do, no lucrative income I make being a mom. I carry the immense mental load that comes with the job. But I don’t make the money, so I don’t get the power, and I fear I don’t always have the respect.
In the end, I can live without the money or the power, but I want the respect. I would choose no other job for my life right now other than to be a mother. I love it even in its darkest days. Because there are stormy, emotional days where I don’t feel like I’m doing my ONLY job very well.
The time I have to be home with my children is short and one day in the near future I will return to the workforce. This time at home will all be a memory, and I want it to be a warm one.
While my wishes and contributions to our life together may be overlooked at times, I am loved and I am grateful because it is a very true and deep love. I have a good life. I have everything I need, even if it’s no longer monogrammed and impulse purchases can’t be made from my own bank account.
“Money, power, and respect. Whatchu’ need in life.”