My name is Alyssa, and I am a stay-at-home mom. Also known as a home-maker or house-wife. What ever you want to call it, there is a stigma that surrounds these terms.
There are a lot of people in the world who think of a home-maker as being a lazy, good for nothing, moocher, who doesn’t want to get a “real” job. They see us as people who just sit around all day, watching soap operas, eating bon-bons, and living off of our husband’s hard earned money. Most of these people are individuals who have never had to keep a house in order. For some, it’s even their own husband.
I have been a stay-at-home mother for nearly 10 years straight. I run a five person household. Three of my five children are under the age of 7. Believe me, I know hard work! I am a chef, a baby-sitter, a house-keeper, a dishwasher, a waitress, a laundry attendant, a taxi driver, a book-keeper, and a nurse all rolled into one! I’m on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year! There are no lunch breaks. Nobody comes knocking on my door to say, “go take your 15 minute break”. So tell me, who works harder, a stay-at-home mom, or someone who works 40 hours a week for an actual paycheck?
I once took a job readiness class after being a stay-at-home mom for 8 years. Near the end of the class the instructor sat down with each student individually to tell them their test scores, their strengths, their weaknesses, and what type of job they would do well at. I scored high on most of the tests, and average on the rest. I was told I would be a great candidate for everything from a secretary to an assembler in a factory. I was told with some training I could be a choreographer or a pilot. With a doctorate I would be a great surgeon! However, the instructor then informed me, I more than likely wouldn’t be getting any job outside of the fast food industry.
Despite my high test scores and obvious skills, I was told I had been out of work too long, and that employers see a woman having children as a negative! She honestly told me that a man having children, in an employers eyes, was considered a plus, but for a woman, it was a major negative! I was advised to avoid mentioning that I had children to a prospective employer, at all cost!
First of all, who has the right to tell me I don’t work? I bust my backside all day, everyday. Just because I am not paid for it doesn’t make it any less work. Let me tell you, it takes an incredible amount of self-discipline to be a stay-at-home mom. It also takes a lot of patience. It takes all my time and energy, and the work is still never done. All I ask for is love and respect.
Yet there I was, being told by another woman, that despite my obvious skill set, I wouldn’t be hired to do anything but flip burgers and punch buttons on a register. My prospective employers wouldn’t accept stay-at-home mom as a job I have held for the past 8 years. Even if I had held a “job” just last week, the fact that I have small children would knock me out of any job I might actually enjoy doing, or any job that paid more than minimum wage, or any job that might actually challenge me more than I had been for the past 8 years.
Second of all, why is a woman having children considered a negative, but a man having children considered a positive? I asked, so I’ll tell you why.
It’s considered positive for a man to have children because, it forces him to settle down, to act responsibly, to want job security. For a woman however, having children is considered a negative because, said woman is going to call off due to sick children, snow days, doctor appointments, and holidays on which schools are closed…etc.
Please tell me what century this is? Are we still stuck on this type of stereotypical bulls**t? Does the section of The US Constitution that states “all men are created equal” actually only count for the men of this country?
I want to make one thing perfectly clear. I don’t look down on people who work in the fast food industry. I have worked it before myself. It’s easy, and it’s not so easy at all. It’s actually really hard to serve with a smile when you have an irate customer screaming in your grease splattered face because, someone in the back forgot to leave off the onions! All for a whopping $8 an hour, if that!
Even though I excelled at this job (because I am a very patient and customer friendly person) it just wasn’t for me. I was out of there the first chance I got. Kudos to any and all reading this who work at a fast food franchise! Seriously, you’re even more patient than me, and that’s saying a lot. The truth of the matter is, for 90% of the people in the fast food industry, it’s a dead end job. Not much room for advancement, not much room for raises. Besides a select group of awesome individuals, this is really an after school job.
Being 31 years old (at the time), and having already served my time in “Hamburger Hell” (and hating every phoney smile minute of it), I was more than a little frustrated that I would more than likely be serving again.
I was, in the very least, shocked and offended, to hear these harsh facts laid out to me by another woman, a mother, one of my peers! Although, I knew she didn’t like these facts anymore than I did. We discussed it all in detail.
Seriously people, let’s start a movement. I want you to go tell your favorite stay-at-home mom (or dad) thank you, for all their hard work. Let her (or him) know that their job is important. Not just to the children she’s raising, and the husband whose underwear she’s washing, but to the entire world! Tell her that you know, despite some ignorant people’s unwanted opinion, that her job (and it is a job) is actually the most important job in the world. After all, she is raising our future!
Thanks for reading!
P.S. While you’re at it, thank your fast food staff. It’s a job, and somebody has got to do it. While you’re getting reamed $6.00 for a sandwich that cost all of $.50 to make, they’re more than likely not making much more than minimum wage. All so some corporate giant can make millions. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?