Sunday, November 9, 2014

It Needs to Be Said...

Do you personally know of any fathers who stay at home during the day to take care of their children?
How about any mothers who do this same thing?

Well, something needs to be said...

If I could shout this from the rooftops right now and it would travel to those I am picturing right now, I would do it!!!

Parents who stay at home to take care of their children, whether they are mothers or fathers, need to be treated with respect and dignity, as they are playing a very important role in their children's lives. 
Many parents who stay at home also take on work projects as it works into their children's schedules.
They are doing this to help provide and to still be at home with their children.
My husband and I both feel very blessed, as I stay at home with our two sons and do work projects related to educational consulting and social media. We also have started what is turning into a successful gifted education program here at Sunrise Learning Lab™. We hope that our little program will grow into something bigger, but it is off to a very good start.
It is working out well for us, for our sons, and for our students.
But none of that would be true if it wasn't for the fact that my Dear Hubby gives me a tremendous amount of support, respect, and help.
I love my hubby dearly and he loves me!
He gets me. He cares for me. He celebrates my successes and helps ease the pain when things are rough. 
He treats me as an equal in our marriage and that is how marriages are supposed to be.
Think that if you were to ask him, he would have nice things to say about me as well.
We continue to work on making our marriage a happy and healthy one and just wish that some couples who do not treat each other nicely would learn to work on theirs as well. 
How do we work on our marriage and our life together? We try to think of how things make each other one feel; we try to think of kind things to say to each other; we plan fun things to do as a couple and as a family; we help each other by not focusing on flaws, but on the strengths that we each bring to the table.
We work at being good role models for our sons with respect to relationships too.
Our boys know we love each other and we love them!

What is sad is that sometimes, that is not the case with couples.

When one or the other stays at home to take on the role of childcare during the day, regardless of whether they are homeschooling or if the child is too young to attend school, that parent is most likely giving his or her all to take excellent care of the couple's child or children.

What is sad is that some people who are the more traditional, out-of-the-home breadwinners, feel that it is okay to make fun of their spouse...that they can refer to their spouses as "housewives" or "househusbands". That they can make statements about as the bread winner outside of the home, that they are doing "ALL of the Work" while their spouse who is staying at home to be with their child or children is "Doing nothing".
The implications for a marriage are huge! How long does a spouse who degrades another spouse think that that is okay to do?!?
That that so-called stay-at-home spouse should just deal with being humiliated, disrespected, and treated like the butt of a bad joke?!?
For how long should a spouse deal with being put down?
Being labelled and stereotyped negatively for staying at home to take the majority of the child rearing on during the workday?!?

It happens and continues to happen. Some couples stay in these hideous relationships; some decide to make changes by focusing on their own issues and dealing with why they feel the need to put down their spouse; and then, some marriages just fizzle.

As a society, we realize that it is very wrong to use derogatory terms for particular ethnic groups, as it portrays them in a very negative, stereotypical way. It is viewed as deplorable, to the point that certain terms cannot even be uttered on television on most channels.
As a society, most people seem to get that it is degrading to use certain terms.
But somehow, when it comes to couples where one is a stay-at-home / work-at-home parent, some spouses who do their work outside of their homes feel that it is perfectly acceptable to make a rag out of their spouse for being the parent who oversees the rearing of children during the day.

It has to stop!

I have seen it happen to some people I know, some wonderful moms and wonderful dads who give their all and yet, are completely disrespected and made fun of for not being in the 9-to-5-groove.

The parents who are taking on the role of child rearing during the day do way more than just watch their children. They are there to see their couple's child or children reach developmental milestones.
They are there to take care of the children on challenging days, where the child may be sick, sad, tired, irritable, wet, dirty, overly excited, cranky, grumpy, as well as the happy days. The work-at-work spouse needs to be thankful and show appreciation for their spouse who does this for their mutual interest: their child or children. 
Many stay-at-home parents plan outings for their children.
They read, play, sing, walk, create, go on walks, do projects, swim, make meals, drive, and take their children out to meet others for play dates. The stay-at-home parent takes on the role of teacher for their child or children, even if the child is too young to attend school or even if the child attends school.
In many cases with a stay-at-home parent, the family may have a garden and so during the day, that is the perfect time to bring the child or children out to see how things are growing, to smell flowers, to help water the fruits, flowers, and vegetables.What awesome learning for a child!

This is not at all to say what the spouse who has the outside of the house role is not doing a good job either...this is just to say that spouses need to be mutually respectful and loving to each other, regardless of the hours spent in the home or in the office. 
Those who have a more traditional work-outside-of-the-home role need to be kind and loving to the spouse that stays home as that has been the agreed upon arrangement for their relationship.
Work-at-home, stay-at-home, work-at-work...it should not matter as far as how spouses treat each other! 

The spouse who is the bread winner in a more traditional 9-to-5 sense should not be controlling of the money in the marriage, either.

When couples get married, they most likely took vows that mention to love and to honor.
That means that you treat each other nicely!
You value each other!
You are respectful of one another!
You put your spouse in a good light when you talk about them to your friends and family.
You don't make fun of your spouse!
You don't focus on their shortcomings or make them feel like a fool that they are staying at home watching the children!

Think about it for a moment from a child's perspective: how is it supposed to be that a couple would expect their child will grow up to be respectful and loving if one of the spouses puts the other down constantly?
Especially if it is for a decision that was supposedly mutually made by that couple?!?

If a person constantly puts down their spouse, what message does that send to the child?
What message does that send to the universe about the person who is doing the disrespecting, the degrading, the making a rag out of the other?!?

When a person does that about their spouse, people generally think "Wow, if they are so critical about their spouse, can only imagine what they say about others, including me...maybe they make a rag about me when I am not present..."
If a person who hears a friend or relative make fun of another and either they do nothing or else they join in and share how disappointed they are with their choice of a spouse, well I guess that misery loves company.

But this needs to stop.

It is wrong and is driven by hate not love.

Our society should feel just as much outrage when couples put the spouse that handles child duties down and calls that spouse "Housewife" or House Husband" as just as bad of an insult as the insults that stereotype races, religions, or any other kind of horrible stereotype that exists.

Housewives are portrayed on television as trampy, wealthy, lazy, and obnoxious. 
Househusbands are portrayed as ignorant, lazy, and downright awful.

If a spouse calls their own spouse one of these hateful, derogatory terms, what does that say about their relationship?!?

What does that say to society?!?
To the children of the world?!?
To the couple's child or children?!? 

It is also terrible when spouses do that and share their disappointment and refer to their spouse as their housewife or househusband with their parents.

First and foremost, grow up!

If a person is old enough to take on the responsibility to get married, then  they should realize that if the decision was made for one of the two to do child rearing during the day, that being a stay-at-home parent is a responsibility and that there should be mutual respect, not resentment.

If the spouse who works outside of the home feels the need to be totally disrespectful and mean, then maybe that person needs to do some re-evaluating.
Are they angry because they are jealous?
Do they lack enjoyment in their own workplace to the point that they have to make their stay-at-home spouse suffer?
Are they angry because they are exhausted?
Are they full of entitlement thinking that their stay-at-home spouse should do all the cooking, cleaning, household chores inside and outside of the house, as well as providing an amazingly loving environment for their child or children? 
Are they focusing on their stay-at-home spouses shortcomings rather than strengths?
Have they ever taken on ALL that the stay-at-home parent does in one day and thought about that?
Are they hateful because that was modeled for them?
Are they projecting their self-hate onto their spouse?
Are they being egged on by a friend or family member who thinks that putting down a spouse is acceptable???

Spouses who put their spouses down need to seek out therapy / counseling / and a social circle that is full of people who treat their spouses nicely.
Hanging out with people who think that it is okay to degrade a spouse makes it so that the person feels justified in doing what they are doing and treating the person that way.
People who encourage toxic fodder are toxic themselves and lack self esteem, so hanging out with toxic people who put spouses down makes a person that much more toxic. 

Bigotry and hate usually have their roots in lack of understanding that the hater has for its target.
They lack compassion and show hatred and disrespect because they don't know what the other person is feeling. They degrade the other because they lack inner peace and confidence within themselves.

Life is not always perfect.
Marriage is not always perfect. 
These statements are true.
But if a person has decided to enter into a relationship such as marriage, they should think about how they treat their spouse. LOVE helps heal all issues! If you truly love one another, then you should also truly respect one another!

A dear friend once pointed out to me that marriage is like a garden...it needs to be nurtured, watered, looked after gently, and given priority so that those in the marriage can blossom.
In order to blossom, the garden has to be weeded.
If others feed into negativity and encourage someone to speak evil and put down their spouse, the couple is allowing weeds to grow in their garden.
Remove the weeds!

Regardless or not if they are Christian, the Golden Rule comes into play here...
Treat others as you wish to be treated.

So, assuming that spouses are entering into their relationships that are / were not coerced, that means that at least in the beginning of that relationship, that there was a sense of love and of respect.

I am proud that our inner-circle includes stay-at-home-dads and stay-at-home-moms.
I am happy for our friends and family who have chosen more traditional 9-to-5 jobs and have their children in daycare, but I am also happy for the couples who we know who have made the decision to try something different.
There are not right or wrong answers when both in the couple are trying to do right by the couple's children's needs, but also by their family's financial needs.

Because people make different choices in their arrangement as far as working out of the home and childcare, that doesn't mean that any other dynamic is better than another.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T is the name of the game!

Not using derogatory terms based upon one of the spouse's choice for staying at home is critical!
Couples need to think of the child or children involved and need to think how hearing these derogatory terms for one of their parents will have a lasting impact on that child and their future relationships.
Hope that the next time a person who is contemplating gossiping about their spouse, or is thinking of a way to be disrespectful / hurtful / downright mean will STOP and instead, do some introspection and will start to work on their own issues. 

Hope that as people read this, that it will open dialogue in dysfunctional couples.

Hope that they can work out their differences and be respectful, loving, and kind.

They need to think how their bad behavior and shaming of a parent who is handling the majority of child rearing feels. They need to also think of what their words and actions say to the outside world and to their child or children about their entire relationship. They need to grow up and put their spouse and their child or their children in the forefront (hopefully if they believe in God, having God in the forefront too, but will save that for another post) and put everything and everyone else on the back burner.

Our goal is for our sons to grow to have a better understanding of the world and its people and one of the ways to support this growth is for them to see that it is not acceptable for people to put their spouses down!!!!

Well, it had to be said...hope that you will please share this post. 

2 comments:

Jodi Whisenhunt said...

Well said, Colleen! People do not seem to realize how much of their attitudes their children soak up. Couples need to show respect to one another no matter who plays what role in the bread-winning/child-rearing.

The Sunshine Crew said...

Thank you Jodi! Wish that couples would all work at building each other up instead of tearing each other down! Appreciate your comment! :)

We are happy to announce our gifted pilot program starting Fall of 2014!

We are happy to announce our gifted pilot program starting Fall of 2014!
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