‘When my husband and I decided I should be a stay-at-home mom, we agreed that’s what I would be, a MOM. I am not a stay-at-home housekeeper.’

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“I just want to address something that has been heavy on my heart lately…

When my husband and I decided I should be a stay at home mom, we agreed that that’s what I would be, a MOM. I am not a stay at home housekeeper. Yes, I clean throughout the day, but my main focus will always be my children. Most of the cleaning I do during the day involves our kids in some way, switching laundry, unloading the dishwasher, vacuuming, picking up toys…

I want them to know that it takes a team to keep our home clean. But if we spent the entire day playing and learning and growing and the house is a mess at the end of the day, my husband and I tag team when he gets home from work. He does not walk in the door and scold me for the pile of dirty dishes in the sink, he just cleans them. We fold the laundry together after WE put our kids to bed and use that as time to talk about the day or whatever is on our minds. He does most of the outdoor work, not because I won’t, but because he uses that time to bond with the kids and teach them how to mow/weed wack /etc.

This house is OURS not just mine. These children are OURS not just mine. I refuse for them to remember me just cleaning all the time and I refuse to teach my children that the household duties fall on the mother’s shoulders alone. I stay at home to be present in their lives, not to make sure my house is spotless at a moment’s notice. If they want to play a game, I’m going to play. If they want me to snuggle, darn right I’m going to snuggle. If they want to color, we’re going to make a masterpiece to hang proudly on the fridge. If they want to read a book, I’m going to read that book as many times as they want.

I am by no means saying that you should let your house turn into a dump, but I feel like so many men just expect the house to be spotless just because their wives stay at home. We as mothers do not give up careers, adult interaction, a paycheck, and sanity to ensure that the house shines like the top of the Chrysler building when our husbands walk through the door, and I feel pretty confident in saying that many of us are way more stressed about the mess than you are.

Instead of talking down to your wife for the crumbs on the floor, pick up a broom. Instead of yelling about the marker scribbles on the table, ask her if she had a hard day and give her a hug.

Instead of telling her she’s lazy for not folding the laundry, thank her for raising your children and start folding the never-ending pile of mismatch socks.

Instead of huffing and puffing about the things that aren’t done, ask her what she did with the kids, ask her if they laughed, what she taught them, how many times she told them she loved them, then take off your work boots and clean the kitchen.

Being a stay at home mom is hands down the best gift I have ever been given, but it’s also one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I thank my husband multiple times a day for making this possible, for working his butt off to provide for our family.

I have never expected him to come home after a long day and clean the entire house by himself. I don’t expect him to wake up for every single night time feeding during the newborn stages. I have never expected him to come home and do the overflowing pile of dishes, I know that I can do them with the kids the next day. But I am thankful to not fear his reaction if the house isn’t pristine. I am thankful to have a partner who understands what it means to be a team player and will do all of those things without giving it a second thought.

My heart truly breaks when I hear so many women say they are scolded by their husbands for not having the house in tip top shape when they get home or that their husbands don’t help with bedtime routine. Having a family takes an immense amount of effort from everyone, kids included. Going to work and paying the bills does not exclude you from parenting and household duties.

So, husbands, if you’re reading this, thank your amazing wives for giving up everything to raise those beautiful babies you made together, and wives, thank those hubbies for making staying home possible and please remember, the mess can wait.”

Courtesy Kayla Elizabeth Roussin

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Kayla Elizabeth Roussin.  Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

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