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A Stay At Home Mom Job Review
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Remember back before you were a stay at home mom. When you were working employers would routinely judge your performance using the often dreaded employee review process. At my last job, we (the lowly employees) actually had to fill out our own review. Our supervisors would also fill one out and then they would both become part of your review. When I was working I thought that this was a silly and time-wasting exercise. I actually wrote on my last review in the Accomplishments section- "have perfected my ability to walk on water". I have a weird sense of humor that apparently, not everyone appreciates.

Now that I am a stay at home mom, I have found I really miss and need the employee review. My whole life has been geared toward getting good grades, good reviews and promotions. There is absolutely nothing in parenthood with which to gauge my performance. And this is true of all parents, not just the stay at home variety. Sure the house hasn't burned down yet and the children are all still breathing but that is not really helpful. When I ask my husband how he thinks I am doing in my role as stay at home mom he just gets that deer in the headlight look, mumbles "fantastic" and then backs out of the room. Again, not helpful. I want some concrete feedback.

So I have begun doing what so many of us stay at home moms do- comparing. Look at Suzie. Her kids always look so nice. There clothes are never dirty and they appear to be clean. I believe my youngest currently has marshmallow in her hair and a jellybean up her nose. Let's mark this area- not meeting expectations. Christina always has fresh (organic) fruits and veggies in her kitchen and actually cooks for her children. I have joined the Reagan "Ketchup is a vegetable" bandwagon and have convinced myself that Twinkies can be healthy. Yikes- another not meeting expectations. And Erica's house is always clean and well decorated and Jennifer's girls always get along. Hmmm, it is not looking good for me. Try really, really hard not to fall into this trap.

Comparing is the worst thing we, as stay at home moms, can do. When you are living in the trenches it is hard to see the good. I guarantee that right now, at this very moment Suzie, Christina, Erica and Jennifer are wondering why your kids are always (fill in attribute here).

This was an aspect of parenting and of being a stay at home mom that I never considered. I have a need for concrete feedback on how I am doing. And I am guessing (hoping) that a lot of you feel the same way. Do I really have to wait 18 - 20 years to find out if I am doing a good job in raising a quality, caring, productive adult?

The answer is no. We just need to change our focus a bit. and look for the good. My children are very polite and use their manners. They do fight a lot but they are also amazingly empathetic to each other and to others. There is so much there that shows me that I am doing a good job- it is just not laid right out there for me to see. Listen for the compliments from other parents and teachers. When a teacher says your child is so kind in school, do not brush it off as he is always good for other people. See it as an "Exceeds Expectations".

Being a stay at home mom is a job, a hard job. And if you are waiting for someone to walk up to you with a great parenting review, well, you may be disappointed. As a stay at home mom you need to find your own review in your children's good moments. The next time you are feeling like you are doing a lousy job, please remember that every hug, kiss, laugh, smile and I love you is a glowing review. And the next time you see your spouse, think about giving a hug with a "You know as a parent, you definitely exceed expectations."

Street Talk

Yes, I would like to see more compliments from others but that's not why I doing this being a stay at Home Dad. I do get complaints from my kids like you need parent counseling and you not understand us. But I can understand I was a kid once but times were very different then. If the kids are still alive and the house is not burnt down then your doing a good job. Keep up the good work you sound like you've got this under control.

  about 9 years ago
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