My Letter to Stay-at-Home Parents

Dear Parents Who Stay At Home,

I realized something this weekend. We need permission to just be parents. Stay-at-home parents need to know that the primary focus of their lives – giving care -is valued enough that it’s the only thing we need worry about.

I am ashamed to admit the amount of time I spend feeling guilty for not writing more, keeping house more, offering to cook more, and especially earning money.

This shame soup bubbles and simmers and boils a steam of resentment that envelops my day and changes the climate of my interactions with the children, which adds more stock to the shame pile.

We need to hear it’s okay if we can’t or won’t maintain a schedule, keep up work, stay on top of housekeeping, and cooking. With the exception of work, none of those things bring me much joy anyway. I’m at my happiest when I can be spontaneous and flexible and just hone in on what the kids need and want without all of those other distractions. We need that permission from ourselves, just as much as anyone else.

For the month of August, don’t expect much from me. I’m usually leaving my phone on silent, I’m only answering email when I feel like it, which is basically never, I’m reading real books – mostly about farm animals and colours. I’m trying new recipes in the kitchen with my loves. If I’m writing, it’s old school style with a pen and a notebook. I’ll post later, when I can. When I’m not too tired at the end of the day, or like now, when I’m pretending to be in the shower. If you want to see me, talk to me, date me you’re going to have to figure out a way to find child care and catch me at a moment where I have energy and brain space because my priority until September is squeezing in as much time with the kids before they all begin school outside of their home.

Are you staying at home full-time while your partner works to earn money? I’m going to start this week by letting you know that you are incredibly worthwhile. You are saving a bundle of dough and other important resources by providing impeccable and irreplaceable childcare for your own children. In fact, yours is the most important job in your household. Give yourself a huge pat on the ass, and spend what little break time you get doing only the things you want to do. Everything else can wait until September.

This includes vacuuming, dusting, and shaving your nether regions, which I hope don’t require vacuuming and dusting.

Kisses on your nose,