Last year I was managing client appointments, court appearances, walk-ins, meetings, etc. Fastfoward a few months and I'm managing diapers, bottles, house chores, etc. Ta-da, I'm a stay at home mom.
I do believe staying home with my kids is the best decision for us right now. Do I miss work? You betcha! I miss feeling like I'm doing something important. Does that mean that I don't think being with my kids is important? Nope, they are important. It's just that I miss being a professional who has another person count on them for more than just wiping their butt. I try to stay involved with things important to me, but there just isn't enough time some days. Now, I love not having to get up early and be anywhere by a certain time. But I also miss not having a workplace to go to. Stay at home moms don't have a commute to and from work. We don't get a lunch break, or technically ever go off duty.
Sometimes I say, "Oh, I just stay at home." Why do I put just in the sentence? I think it's because some people think that the life of a stay at home mom is boring and tedious. We can watch whatever we want on tv, eat when we want, and have this life of luxury. But let me tell you, my job as a stay at home mom is just as difficult as working as a professional was. "Just" being a mom is hard work.
Being a stay at home mom is not generally valued as much as being out in the work force by some. But I would ask any person who says "Oh she's just a stay a home mom" to give it a try. Try taking care of children 24/7 while juggling all the rest of the things an adult has to do. It's much more difficult than one thinks. You can't just put your kids in front of the tv every day and do whatever you want. (Although, there are days when a good movie is necessary) When you are working around nap time, lunch, potty breaks, etc...it can be hard to schedule things.
Recognize that what a mom (any mom, SAHM or working) does is important and in many cases, she is the glue that holds everything together. Sure, having verbal appreciation is nice and every mom needs that. Help out around the house (just don't expect mom to praise you and say thanks--do you to her?) Give her a few moments peace. Put the kids to bed for her so she can take a bubble bath. Okay, I know some moms (including me) will use this time to get something else done. This is where the partner needs to be a bit forceful and say, "This is YOU time, not do the dishes time or whatever." Remember, she's not just a mom. She's a woman with needs and feelings.
I'm running out of steam here, so I'm going to excuse myself to go eat bon-bons and watch soaps. Oh, I mean, I'm going to go play with my kids. ;)