A slow clap for stay-at-home moms

IMG_4126 copyI’m on stage. She’s putting the kids to bed.

A thousand set of eyeballs stare at me. Two stare at her.

My words inspire laughter, hers tears.

When I’m done, I’m rewarded with a standing ovation. She’s rewarded with silence.

I hear: “Good job. Well done. Thank you.”

She hears: a ticking clock, a baby rustling, a lullaby singing.

Everyone wants to know what my wife, Annie, thinks of all my adventures and if she wants to come along. She doesn’t. We’re different like that.

I’ve been away for the past week and I miss Annie, who recently became a stay-at-home mom, and our kids. I can’t wait to pick up my daughter, Harper, and twirl her. She’ll ask about her promised surprise and I’ll reveal her new cowboy hat — her Texas cowboy hat. She’ll demand to ride her Fischer Price horse, Old Paint. But before we go to play, I’ll give my baby boy Griffin a kiss on both of his chubby cheeks and tell Annie, “I love you. I missed you.”

Over the past week I’ve traveled to three states to speak at five schools. Students often tell me that they want my job or, this is kind of embarrassing, that they want to be me. I love what I do. I’m honored to do it and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else for a living, but the thing that gives me the most joy in life is my family. Most everybody has one.

It’s normal.

I find normal to be spectacular and adventurous. Annie told me that Griffin just discovered his tongue while I was away. Everybody has one, but that doesn’t make an infant discovering his any less of a miracle.

Husbands have wives. Husbands and wives have kids. Mothers and fathers love their kids beyond all.

It’s normal.

One-quarter of families have a stay-at-home mom. Theirs is the most important job in the world. The next time you are at a dinner party and a woman tells you she’s a stay-at-home, hug her. Congratulate her. Commend her. Act like she’s the most interesting person in the room because she is. She’s wonderful and selfless. She’s patient and beautiful. Start one of those inspiring slow claps. She deserves it.

Without Annie, I’d probably be on some deserted island teaching a lost tribe how to SCUBA dive. She’s given me focus, purpose, love, and a family. She gives me the freedom to do what I love to do, share it with the world, and still have normal.

She keeps my feet on the ground and I (like to think I) keep her head in the clouds.

Sarah M says:

Thank you for this. So many people just don’t get it. And sometimes even those of us who are SAHMs don’t get it. We are important.

Cathy Shouse says:

What a beautiful essay. It is a blog post and so much more. Perhaps an editor you know would be interested?

A lovely post. Your wife sounds great, and your parenting situation sounds like it’s working well for you two. A slow clap to both of you! 🙂

Heather says:

Hello- Typing with tears in my eyes, bc after 16 years of being a stay-at-home mom…I still need to hear this. I just finished reading your book today and was struck by (among other things) you can weave a love story into it. You and your wife are blessed and so am I! Thanks for appreciating your incredible wife! 🙂

An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a
friend who had been conducting a little research on this.
And he actually bought me breakfast simply because I found it for him…
lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!
But yeah, thanx for spending the time to discuss this subject here on your blog.

Let your voice be heard!