(Today is a guest post from my wife Jenny!)
I’m done with the phrase “Just a stay at home mom.”
It’s officially time to retire it and I think there are two very good reasons:
1. It makes you feel like being a mom “doesn’t count.”
The phrase, “Just a stay at home mom” is incredibly belittling to anyone whose dream is to be a mom. I’ve written about this before, for some people, myself included, my whole dream is to be a mom. I have an undergrad in Photojournalism, I have a Master’s from Georgia Tech in Construction Management, but I always knew that raising my kids full time was my full time dream. When you tell someone they are “Just a stay at home mom” it makes us moms feel like we’re not doing enough or being enough.
2. It makes moms who want to chase dreams feel inadequate.
I love that there are moms starting businesses, writing books, recording albums and doing a million other creative things. But sometimes, when they step out, people will doubt them by saying, “Oh, she’s just a stay at home mom.” Maybe you’ve never heard this phrase, I hope you haven’t, but moms all over the country do. How do I know? Because they read Jon’s books and then email him. A few weeks ago, one emailed Jon and said she had been told she didn’t have any leadership capabilities because she was “Just a stay at home mom.”
For such a simple, short phrase, it sure does hurt both approaches to being a mom, doesn’t it?
If you’re a stay at home mom it makes you feel like that doesn’t count and you should be doing more.
If you dare to do more, it makes you feel like you’re unqualified.
It’s a circle that keeps too many moms stuck.
It’s time to get rid of that phrase, because it only does damage.
If you want to be a stay at home mom, who doesn’t start a business, great!
If you want to be a stay at home mom, who starts a business, great!
If your whole dream is to be a stay at home mom, great!
If your dream includes being a stay at home mom and writing a book, great!
I think you can do both approaches. (And it goes without saying, you can be awesome without being a mom. Don’t read this post as a criticism of women who aren’t moms, that would be silly.)
Sometimes, people ask me if Jon’s new book Do Over applies to moms.
I think it does, but then I’m biased.
You know who isn’t?
They named Do Over their “Mom Must-Read” for April.
Here’s what they had to say for us moms and our dreams.
“Quippy and filled with aha moments, Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work and Never Get Stuck helps you make positive changes at work and at home. Best-selling author Jon Acuff makes the obvious points that relationships, skills, character and hustle will help you with every kind of career change. But even better, he explains how you can make moves right away. Want to network with someone important? Be a first responder – answer e-mails and pick up the phone right away. Need to know what skills you even have? Complete the in-book note-card exercise and increase your confidence ASAP. So how do you fix your character? Two ways (out of many): Be generous and turn your phone so the screen is down when you’re talking in person. Hustling sound hard? It is. But Acuff breaks it down into pieces like getting the grittiest, least likeable aspects of your job down first. Though the focus is on careers, the advice applies to a busy person’s (ahem, like parents?) entire life. Whether you want to change jobs, get back into the workforce, or just be a better person, this book delivers the goods you need to succeed.”
I think you’ll love Do Over and should buy a copy, but again I’m biased.
What I’m not biased about is the power of us moms.
Never accept the criticism that you’re “just a stay at home mom.”