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Being a stay at home parent has its challenges. The choice is not always well received. Some people either don't understand or completely diminish it.

Recently there have been a lot of blogs, articles and videos embracing the idea that stay-at-home parents have ''the hardest job in the world''.

Of course things like that are not liked by all; some may think that it diminishes their jobs or choices in life. Some may think that we are delusional, or that we chose an ''easy'' lifestyle.

I often read comments like this: You chose it so you can't complain about it.

Really? What an unfair comment. Would you say that to any working person that chose their job?

Let me take my husband as example : He is a creative director in the video games industry, which many people think it must be the coolest job in the world! It's his passion, and he worked hard all his life to get that job. Does he have the right to complain that it's hard, that he had a bad day, that he is dead tired and only wants to sleep? Or because he chose this job and this life, can he never complain, simply because some people don't have the luxury of choosing their dream job?

To say that Stay-at-home parents have the hardest job in the world might be pushing it. It's not the hardest in the world, but it's not easy either, whether we chose it or not. For most, it will be the hardest thing they'll ever have to do. Why should our feelings be diminished, more than any other person?

When you decide to be a stay-at-home parent, you have no idea what's in store. How can you predict how your children will be, or the amount of work that needs to be done daily? We, like everyone else, have good and bad days. The bad is not less just because we chose to stay at home.

The reality is that a full time stay-at-home parent is often lacking sleep, missing some very important alone time or couples time, rarely has time to eat or take a 15 minutes break by themselves (even going to the bathroom has to be a family activity!). It's being stressed most of the time, always trying to avoid a crisis. Educating young children is hard (ask any teacher, any parent). It can also be very lonely. You don't have time to hang out with friends. Social events are memories of the past, for most parents, but even more to stay-at-home parents. Forget getting a beer after work! Chatting on the bus on the way home with colleagues. That break people get on the way from the work place and the home? Stay-at home parents never get that. We never leave the work place; we are here 24/7. With only one salary coming in, you can forget many activities or outside help. Outsiders may not realize how much these thing can affect someone.

I've also seen this comment often: Staying at home with your kids is not a JOB.

Yes, sometimes it feels like a job. Not everything is fun. We need to have many hats.

When we decide to stay home, it's often because we want to be the ones educating our children, and we want to be the ones to help them develop their personalities and abilities. We also need to be: maids, cooks, nurses, doctors, bodyguards, police and many more.

Personaly, I hate cleaning, really absolutely hate it, want to cry everytime I see my sink full of dishes (beacause with three kids, the sink is always full even if you do the dishes after every meal) or when my laundry basket is so full that clothes are just left in piles on the floor. But it's part of my choice, and I will complain if I want to, and call it a job as well! Taking care of my kids is not a job, but everything else is.

Why does it have to be a war?

No one's better than the other, we are just different, and chose different paths. Why should we always justify our life choices to everyone and why do we feel the need ton criticize the life choices of others? We should just accept who we are, what we chose to be and leave everybody else be who they want to be, without jugment.

Yes I know that is impossible, we will always judge everybody, we are just human, just as we like to complain about... everything.

Published in Child Health

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