Roussin, a 27-year-old mother of three, wrote candidly about married life in the lengthy post. It encouraged stay-at-home mothers, who are “scolded” by their husbands if the house isn’t clean when they return from work, to stand up for themselves.
“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,” the Michigan mom began the message, which she posted alongside a photo of her husband doing the dishes. “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.”
She explained that her husband, 29-year-old Jonathan Roussin, usually helps her clean when he returns from work. She advised other husbands to do the same, writing, “Instead of talking down to your wife for the crumbs on the floor, pick up a broom.”
Roussin’s post quickly amassed hundreds of shares and “likes,” and has even appeared in several popular motherhood blogs alongside her personal blog In The Midst of Mama. She tells PEOPLE that she felt compelled to highlight what many stay-at-home mothers deal with on a daily basis.
“You just see so many moms complain about the fact that their husbands get upset that the house isn’t clean when they get home from work, or dinner is not on the table. It makes me so sad that so many people have to deal with that,” Roussin tells PEOPLE. “I am on the go all day, and my kids are my first priority. So cleaning the house is not on the top of my to-do list.”
She adds: “I feel like so many moms these days are so consumed with cleaning the house so their husbands aren’t upset that they end up missing out on their kids being young. And that makes me so sad.”
Since the post has made its way around the Internet, Roussin has received both praise and criticism, she says.
“There were comments from people saying that I was lazy and that is not the case. There were a couple of men who commented on it and said, ‘Well, I’m glad my wife doesn’t think like this.’ It just made me sad,” she tells PEOPLE. “I’m speaking to the women that feel obligated to keep their houses spotless. Not because they want to, but because they need to because of their husband’s expectation.”
Still, she says, she’s heard from women who were inspired and encouraged by the candid post, noting that the public’s response to her address has been mostly positive.
“My intention was to let moms know that open communication between you and your spouse is so important. I was hoping to reach men and women,” she says.
“I was hoping that women would realize it’s okay to leave the mess there. I’m not saying to make your house a dump … but being a stay-at-home mom means so much more than keeping your house clean. It means being there for your kids.”