Stay at Home Moms

i-to-i Volunteer Travel

Egg Wears the Hat While Cat Drives: The Transition to the World of Stay At Home Moms

by Sam Medeiros for 


I realized the other day that I am not much use for carrying on conversations about headlines or the accomplishments of musicians who achieved popularity within the last thirty-six months.  Where my baby is concerned, though, I'm sharp as a tack.  You see, I've joined the ranks of the Stay At Home Moms. I can sing away just about any discomfort that ruffles the little brow, even when my singing voice is reduced to a hoarse whisper.  I have saved my memory slots for things like the town library's story-time schedule, the names and ages of the children in our playgroup, and the expiration dates of the Gerber Graduates coupons I just clipped.

Have you heard about this debate? I was reading about the so-called Mommy Wars: actual tension between working mothers and stay at home moms. The latter are accused of sacrificing their sense of family on the altar of their own materialism, while the former are disdained for not taking up the mantle of a professional career and the financial independence it would supposedly bring. Stay at home dads face a whole different set of challenges than stay at home moms do in their quest to fulfill the desire to parent.


I am well-versed in the songs my daughter and I sing together, and the characters that populate her world.  There, bears drink from teacups.  Ducks ride bicycles.  Mice floss, and have cats for pets, and mommy squirrels knit blankies.  While I struggle with remembering the details of itsy-bitsy spider's adventures, I know all of the verses to the Little Teapot song, and should the need arise, I can recite our favorite bedtime stories in proper sequence. These are among our favorites.


A carefully crafted resume used to mean everything to me.  Maintaining my grade-point average, scrounging for spare hours to put toward just the right community service projects, and securing recommendations used to be so very important.  I suppose I had some vague idea in the back of my mind about freezing my eggs until I was “ready” to be a parent, but is anyone ever really ready?   I became a mom in my late thirties.  I still wasn’t finished trying to prove that I was interesting.  Just a couple more semesters in this program.  And one more degree after I finish this one.  Oh, and there’s a wonderful fellowship I absolutely must apply for. 

I was ready to go to the Himalayas to help bring education and healthcare to the children of Tibetan nomads,  then I got one of my professors to sign off on an independent study in which I would travel to West Africa to collect folktales.  I even went to the travel clinic with a long list of scary diseases to be vaccinated against. My own inclination to venture abroad has for the most part vanished, but have a look at these volunteer opportunities that might interest stay at home moms.

Admittedly, I wasn’t ready for airborne peas, or chopsticks and puzzle pieces in my file cabinets. Nothing could have prepared me for what happens when a 30-lb. body reaches 102 degrees. But I’ve learned how to make reasonably good dolls. I can assemble furniture without help, and I’m continually learning my daughter’s new favorite Sesame Street tunes. Whether I’m interesting anymore is debatable.

With the exception of the occasional loneliness that comes from not maintaining regular contact with other parents, I sure do like the world of stay at home moms.

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