Stay-at-home moms are under a lot of pressure these days. Being at home is slotted as such a no-brainer that many women are committing themselves to home-schooling, sewing their own clothes and feeding the homeless to make their time at home valuable…which makes the rest of us seem even more lazy.
So stop it!
Have you seen the commercial with the mother whose preschooler can already read at the second grade level? Talk about a guilt trip, especially if you are a stay-at-home mom. Like, what am I doing all day if my kid can't write a thesis paper before he enters kindergarten?
And what about the commercial where the mom and her kid (age four) are playing a hand held game side by side on the sofa? She's speaking in a normal tone. He's listening. They're having fun and, worst of all, they're BONDING.
If it were me on the sofa with my son at that age there would be screaming and wailing and gnashing of teeth. "No, you can't play!! I'm going to WIN!!! I'M winning!!!" he would scream.
Of course, since I am a stay-at-home mom that doesn't participate in playgroups, doesn't home-school and doesn't send her children to pre-school, the reason my child doesn't behave like the one in the commercial is because he isn't ‘socialized.'
When did behaving like a normal toddler become a sign of a lack of socialization?
Commercials on television with mom singing how she loves to play with her kid and have a wonderful day really make me doubt my competence as a mother. How many times have I wanted to do something fun with my kids only to end up being the parent because of the way they behave?
You get them loaded up in the car, drive three blocks and you've already warned two of them five times to stop the bickering, whining, teasing and shouting. By block six you slam on the brakes, flip a u-turn and drive back home, plans cancelled. I'd love to be their friend, but they need a parent.
Have you seen the babies-only station on satellite television? Talk about pressure! My babies are straight-A students now, but back then they would have been labeled total idiots for just lying there and drooling.
How on earth would I have worked ‘educational-interactive-baby-television-time' into their busy schedule of spitting up, pooping their pants, crying, sleeping, spitting up and pooping their pants?
When my kids got a mom-at-home they didn't get a nanny/tutor/personal trainer, they got a mom-at-home — somebody they can count on to be there even now when they get home from high school. And that was the whole point in the first place.