As a child, I didn’t know what a SAHM was. All I knew that my mom saw me off to school every morning and was at home every evening when I got off the school bus. I knew that I had a nice, hot breakfast every day before I left and a huge supper every evening. She was there to help me with my homework, as was my daddy. He worked at the local saw mill and was always gone before I left for school, but was always home by the time I made it home.
Mama wasn’t a formally educated woman. The highest grade she completed was the 9th. She had done housecleaning to earn money and a little factory work, but ultimately, she stayed at home to raise her children. She ran our home like a well-oiled machine. We didn’t have designer clothes, but she made sure the ones we had were clean and pressed. We didn’t have elaborate meals, but the chicken, rice, and beans we had so often was plentiful, nourishing and prepared with love.
As a child, my career aspirations wavered between becoming a teacher, a secretary, and a nurse. Mama refused to let up on the notion of all of her girls going to college. She never wanted us to depend on a man. She wanted us to have an education because she knew of the doors a college degree could open for us. She did, however, also encourage me to stay at home with Will if at all possible. I followed in her footsteps and stayed at home. I’m glad I did. Most people know the story of the emotional and mental abuse I suffered during my marriage, but for the sake of my child and the beautiful being he has become, I am grateful that I was there to see him off to school. I am grateful that I was there to pick him off and sweep him off to his practices and games.
Currently, I am honing my skills to pursue teaching as a second career, but will be forever grateful for the time I spent as a SAHM. I am honored to have been like my mom.
T. Shine Hinton