What I didn't expect {S@HM}


Disclaimer: This is a (hopefully) humorous attempt outline my findings after being a Stay at Home Mom for six years.  This is in no way a well executed strike to enter myself into the mommy wars.  
I only know this side of the story.
Also this is a reblog, it originally appeared on Nay's first blog a year ago.

Years ago, I thought I knew what being a stay at home mom would be like.  I had this preconceived notion that it was play dates and martinis.  I will freely admit that I was under the impression that stay at home moms were so 1950s.  Didn't my mother and her friends burn their bras so I could be a working mom?  These are the 2010s, and I'm very able and capable and it's my right to "have it all", nay "do it all".  Or so I thought.

The reality is that being a "home economist", "domestic diva", or the "CEO of a family", is a job that is so incredibly hard it rarely gets its due.  Most of us are viewed as "non working", as if changing diapers, breastfeeding, or picking up the same damn toys every hour on the hour is a cake walk. I have learned these last 5 years, that being a stay at home mom has it's perks, it's blessings, and it's rewards.  However it's not at all what I expected.

Pinned Image
Yes!
Now you have it all...
Pinterest via Lorrine Blanchet via googleglassproject


Here is what I now know about the hardest job I never interviewed for.


There are no bon-bons, martinis, or personal trainers.  There are however, soggy goldfish crackers, half full juice boxes, and snot on your sleeve.  SAHMotherhood is not glamorous, unless you are famous and/or independently wealthy.  Unless you have an entourage of "people" who help you get ready for the day, you are most likely never ready for the day.  And by "people" I don't mean the short people running around like a pack of wild dogs, trying to break the world record of how many times "mom" or "mommy" can be uttered in a minute.   

Funny Family Ecard: Don't worry sweetie. Mommy is here. I'm just wearing make up.
My kids always freak when my eyebrows are done!
someecards

With the glamour gone you will find your uniform.  Yoga pants and Uggs, Jeans and Toms, sweats and Nike's.  Whatever.  Easy becomes the fashion trend you adopt, because really why waste a great ensemble on 2 kids under 3 who will most likely drool, vomit, or grab your white pant leg with Cheeto hands.  If I were to offer advice here I would say shoot for yoga pants and a tank top.  This way all the people in Target will think that your hair is greasy from working out, and not from skipping another shower because your toddler started screaming as the water started running.


There is always tomorrow.  This is a motto my friend Krysten's grandma told her.  SAHMotherhood means that there is always tomorrow, so if you are anything like me, you live in a constant mode of procrastination.  I can always start (insert housework chore here) tomorrow.  That's why my laundry looks like a mountain range, my base boards look like they were painted greige on purpose, and that gourmet dinner I pinned, is literally going on the back burner.  As in, I'll just get to that tomorrow.  Tomorrow being when I'm out of mac and cheese, the kids are out of pjs or we're hosting a birthday party at our house.


Cooking is optional.  Before I became a SAHM, I really thought that I'd be the mom that made everything from scratch, daily.  Pancakes for breakfast, some kind of vegetable dish for lunch, and an award winning dinner.  Not so much.  For starters, breakfast in our house is a term used very loosely.  Sure, I have been known to bake some cinnamon rolls a morning or two (always from the can), or whip up some chocolate chip pancakes.  Why not?  But I have been also known to toast some french toast sticks, open some string cheese, and on some desperate mornings dole out Oreos.  Because some mornings are harder than others, sometimes lunch is chips and Capri Suns, and sometimes dinners are grilled cheese sandwiches.


Cooking is also redefined.  If you have to microwave it, use a pan, or boil something, you my dear have cooked.  Remember that, repeat it, write it and post it on the fridge.  Grilled cheese involves cooking, chicken nuggets require a microwave, and poptarts can be toasted or not.  But if you are using an appliance before presenting it to your child, you are cooking.  Now pat yourself on the back.


Someone is going to insult you.  Be ready.  There will be someone who will say, to your face (yes, to your face) that you are "just" a SAHM.  Don't take offense.  Or, take offense.  They likely have no idea what you do all day.  There will also be someone, famous or otherwise, who will think they know everything there is to know about (insert mothering speciality here), and it will make you feel like a bad mom.  Don't let some celebutant bully you into to thinking less about yourself of your mothering abilities.  Someone else will talk about how you don't really work, because you don't leave the house in order to clock in and out.  Fine.  Whatever.  Ask them nicely if you can drop your kids off for 24-48 hours.  Then see what they think about your "just" a SAHM-ness.


SAHMs don't get breaks, holidays, or hazard pay.  Like a doctor without the paycheck or the good drugs, this stay at home mom gig is a 24 hour shit show.  I'd love to take a 15 minute break every 4 hours but it just ain't gonna happen.  You also don't get real weekends and Fridays will come to mean nothing more than another day of the week. When you stay home with your kids, you are at their disposal.  Whether you like it or not.  It's a 24 hour round the clock job that requires you to be alert, patient, kind, motivated, and perky.  Although I never manage to be all those things at once.

Pinned Image
Yep, 24/7
Pinterest via Nipajaai Naulneda via .someecards

Find success in the small things.  If I'm being honest I will tell you that 6 months into being a SAHM I felt like a failure.  I was home all day, with just one child and most days I didn't even shower.  I felt like there weren't enough hours in the day.  Slowly I realized that the little successes of the day, motivated me for the bigger ones to follow.  For example my kids ate veggies today.  A meal was actually cooked on Tuesday.  A load of laundry got washed and dried on Thursday.  Sometimes happy kids, who ate 3 squares, who were on their best behavior at Target (while sipping on Icees), and who are now quietly playing while the Fresh Beat Band sings in the background is a MAJOR SUCCESS.  The laundry will be there, the dishes can wait, and I have yet to inspect a baseboard of another mom while visiting her home.


I'm not the expert on being a SAHM.  I'm just one of many, who tries to navigate my way through the ups and downs of a demanding job, with a demanding schedule, and 2 very demanding bosses.  Maybe I have a problem with priorities, some may say I'm lazy.  This is just a little look into what I have discovered doing the hardest job that requires no license, no application, prerequisites, or an interview.  Which is a blessing, because I would have never gotten past the panel interview.


 

 
PS: I have no idea what it's like to be a working mom.
I've worked part time in the past and I'm horrible at it.
If you are a working mom, your job is harder than mine.
Don't let anyone tell you any different.
I can barely get my kid to school on time, and usually I'm in my pjs.

8 comments:

  1. I love this post as much today as when I asked you to guest post so long ago...
    XOXO

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  2. Ha! Isn't this the truth?! Thanks for sharing and the good laughs.
    I started reading The Mission of motherhood with a women's bible study group and it has put so much into perspective on how important our job is as a SAHM is. The fruit of our bearings will definitely be obvious as the kids grow older and everything we do now, isn't for nothing-even if everyday seems like the same tidious work.
    Have a beautiful day Megan! :)
    Kayla

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  3. Gosh, there ARE no breaks. That was a big shocker for some reason...

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  4. "Although I never manage to be all those at once." ME EITHER. I wish I had patience...I feel like I'm never patient! :/
    I force breaks...or at least try, especially being pregnant. I'll lose my mind if I can't have a little bit of time to myself!

    Thanks for writing this...makes me feel less alone!

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  5. Since I'm a teacher I do the stay at home thing during the summer and it is way harder then going to work. Work is my break from the hardest job I know.

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  6. love it. so much truth. and my family wonders why I don't get other "work" done.

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  7. love this. Thank you so much for re-posting. Why the heck does the world make us feel so unworthy?! I mean for crying out loud we are raising the next generation of hellions and taking it on head on. That deserves some credit. That and managing to semi-survive a Target trip. Or shower once or twice a week ;-) Or pull off a hairstyle that looks gymn-fresh not days old. It's nice to hear someone from the front lines who truly gets it and can celebrate the small things. Love you :)

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  8. You crack me right the hell up! Thanks for this. I needed it. So true. I love how you are always so "to the point". One of the reasons why you are one of my most favorite bloggers in the history of EVER!

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