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Stay at Home Mom? Is That Really My Title? by: Letty Belmares

Updated: May 12

"So, you're just a stay at home mom? It must be nice to be home and not work." Are your ears ringing? Are you feeling blood rushing to your head and your ears getting warm? It's not because you've been outside on a warm Spring day. It is because your insecurities are kicking in.

Yes, it bothered me too when "working women" would make comments like these related to the extreme misconceptions about what full time moms or stay-at-home-moms do, or through their perspective, don't do. The phrase "stay-at-home-mom" says nothing about what we do. It would be nice if we could relax all day, watch our favorite movies, take a stroll down the park and nap when we want. But we all know the reality is different.

I have been a stay-at-home mom for the last 18 of the 22 years of my motherhood. My two children are now beautiful young adults. Since the birth of my second born, I became a full-time mom. It wasn't by initial choice. Secretly, I wanted to be a full-time mom and watch my children grow. I hated having to leave them and go off to work. Although I loved what I did-teaching children, the children I really wanted to work with the most were my own. I knew that if I quit my job, we would financially struggle. I didn't have the courage to take that leap of faith. So, fate decided to kick me, straight out of a job.

During my second pregnancy, the ESL department from the high school I worked decided to close their program. We, teachers, were left without a job. After my son's birth, I worked as a Substitute Teacher for a while. Placed on a list, I was called to substitute 2-3 times a month. That only helped pay a bill or two. I could have applied to other schools, but it was my son's first signs of asthma at such a young age that made me realize the place I was needed the most was at home with my children. This pushed my husband, Adam, and me to start a business in caricature entertainment and gift service, a field which Adam was already working.

The decision of starting Adam Belmares Caricatures challenged me to learn new skills as specific needs had to be met. The business needed a website. We could not afford a Website Developer, so I decided to create the website. I knew absolutely nothing about .the technology. I was a typical non-savvy tech person. Because I love a good challenge, I studied through research and learned as much as I could about the world of website creation, SEO, etc. The first version I designed was through the Vistaprint platform. The current one we have, I created through WIX.

Later we discovered there were other services we needed for the business. We needed a bookkeeper. We hired an accounting firm, but very quickly we could not afford to continue to pay their service. So, I learned bookkeeping using Quickbooks. I became a Secretary when I designed the contracts for the business with the necessary legal jargon after intense, long hours of research. Adam and I, together, designed and created the marketing materials-business cards, pamphlets, folders, etc. And yet, I did not neglect my two toddlers, at the time ages 1 and 4. On the contrary, I homeschooled them. I have been their teacher throughout their elementary and high school education. Let's not forget the responsibilities of maintaining the home. Of course I cleaned the house and cooked. Eating out on a frequent basis proved to take a huge chunk off our budget.

Being a full-time mom has taught me so many skills and helped me to discover talents that I didn't know I had. So, when I heard a "working woman" say, "She's just a stay at home mom". I smiled and thought about all the jobs/careers I am practicing, all because I decided to become a stay-at-home-mom.

What Is Shown Is Not All That Truly Is

Working a full-time job outside of your house, then coming home to maintain your house and take care of your children's needs is by far easy or glamorous. Not every full-time working mom is left fully satisfied; maybe leaving her feeling a strain of guilt. The irony of it all is that stay-at-home moms envy the working-career women and the working-career women envy the stay-at-home moms.

When I mention what I have done as a stay-at-home-mom, as well as a homeschool teacher, the sincerely honest women have responded comments such as, "Every teacher's dream!", "You're lucky", "I wish I could do that", and "What a blessing". And it really has been a blessing, even though it didn't always feel like it.

Some moms have confessed to me, "I don't have the patience for my kids. That's why I'd rather send them to school." or "I can't stand being home. It drives me nuts". And this one was most interesting, "I have to keep up (with the Jones')".

This is why when "working women" demean stay-at-home moms, they may subconsciously be communicating with an emotion of envy and insecurities of whether they are being the best mom they can to their family. So remember, there is no need to envy working-career moms, because there is more that you don't see.

The Jobs That Moms Fulfill Plus MORE:

These are just some of the jobs that encompass the criteria required to hold the title of a Home Manager. I don't need to tell you how special your role as a mother and Home Manager is, because it is up to you to realize it and believe it.

  • Cook/Chef

  • Baker

  • Landscaper

  • Accountant

  • Nurse

  • Doctor

  • Psychologist

  • Coach

  • Chauffeur

  • Teacher

  • (Fill in your own)

Next time a "working woman", whether she is a mom or not, calls you a stay-at-home-mom, rather than getting offended or defensive, take a moment to breathe and count every job/career/vocation you fulfill in your home. Think about how important you are to your husband and your children, as they clearly need you, even when you think they don't or have difficulty communicating it.

Long before I became a mom, I knew how important it has been that moms place their family's needs as their first priority. During my years of teaching for the public school system, I quickly differentiated between the students whose moms were Home Managers, from the students whose moms worked full-time outside of their home. It was blatantly obvious when observing the students' behavior. The level of respect toward adults, their peers, and within themselves showed a significant difference. Guess who were the most respectful? Of course, kids whose moms were full time Home Managers were more respectful and not so needy for attention.

Acknowledgement Throughout History

Throughout time, mothers have always made the biggest impact in the raising of a family and in society. Our 26th United States president, Theodore Roosevelt, said it best,

"When all is said, it is the mother and the mother only, who is a better citizen than the soldier who fights for his country. The successful mother, the mother who does her part in rearing and training aright the boys and girls, who are to be the men and women of the next generation, is of greater use to the community, and occupies, if she only would realize it, a more honorable as well as more important position than any man in it. The mother is the one supreme asset of national life. She is more important, by far, than the successful statesman, or businessman, or artist, or scientist."

This is why I use Roosevelt's quote here in my first blog and in my first "Little Encouragers" children's book, She's Just a Stay at Home Mom, illustrated by my husband, of course! This is the first of five published children's books that we wrote and illustrated as a family since the pandemic of 2020. I am very proud and humbled taking this journey with my family, in what has brought us to creating our children's book publishing company honoring ALL Moms. This is just the beginning of Matriarch University.

To acknowledge Moms this year on Mother's Day, I start with this reminder in my first blog. Because no matter how much you do, you will never feel like you are fully worthy of your title. This is evident of a loving mother. That is what makes you a wonderful and very loved mother.

Embrace the important role you carry in your home, that spreads to society through your family. You are not a stay-at-home-mom. You are the leader of your family! You are the CEO! You are the Matriarch! Wear your hat proudly, because you are a Home Manager!!

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