Posted by: Genny Colby | April 19, 2012

The Glamorous Life of a Stay At Home Mom

I have had a few jobs in my life, as many of us have I am sure. Before I turned 16,  I was a babysitter, taught Sunday school classes, and assisted at family friend’s in home day care.  Once I was 16 I worked a year in fast food and then moved into retail.  I worked as a teacher’s assistant and gymnastics coach while in college.  Then I got my first “real” job-teacher.   And my first career change into the world of Human Resources for a company that did all forms of staffing.  Each job has provided me with opportunities to grow, to learn, and to discover new things about myself.  But teaching was always in my heart, I have to admit.

Then came the next job change, and my current job, Stay at Home Mom (SAHM).  It is also my favorite job out of every one I have ever had.  I know there are those out there who love to debate who has it easier/harder…the stay at home mom, or the mom who works.   Being a parent is hard work, there are no days off, no sick days, no “mental health days”.  You are a parent 24/7, regardless of whether you work outside the home or not.  My point is not to argue who has it better/worse, but to maybe give you a glimpse into what life is really like for a SAHM.

Yes, we SAHM’s have all the same responsibilities around the house as those who work outside the home (laundry, bill paying, cleaning, cooking, shopping).  Yes, we do have more flexibility in when we do a lot of these things since we are not limited to after dinner, before bed, or on the weekends.  I am not going to argue that point.  Let’s just all agree that there are parts to being an adult that suck and are just plain, not fun.  Seriously, when you were younger and could not wait to grow up and stay up at late as you wanted or eat just chocolate cake for dinner…did you really think about having to buy toilet paper?

But at least in my case, these duties, before kids, were a little less intense.  Two adults generally make less of a mess than kids.  And when you pick up after two adults, it is pretty easy to assume that in 30 minutes that same room is likely to still be picked up and looking neat.  The household responsibilities tend to be more evenly dispersed between the two partners.  Maybe one cleans the bathrooms Saturday morning while the other tackles the kitchen.  And there was WAY less laundry when it was just two adults. Now the bulk of the household is my responsibility.  And not because the hubby won’t help, but because I do have more time to get things done.  And that is a good thing, because cleaning the bathroom takes twice as long when you have a young helper!

I know there are people out there that think the life of a SAHM is all about relaxing, going to the gym, reading books, and watching TV.  I won’t lie, there is some of that, obviously.  But the bulk of my day is spent making sure our daughter is safe, happy, and engaged in some sort of activity.  This could be free play, running errands (you try to do Target in less than 30 min with a 3-year-old in tow!), going to play dates, or some other structured activity.  To be honest, most of my day is spent making sure she is engaged in some sort of activity, that she has time outside, and that she has time playing with other kids.  Any household chores are generally done with a helper, which while a great learning activity, adds time and steps to what could be a pretty simple process.  And in 30 minutes that room you just picked up is likely going to need another pass through again soon.  It sometimes feels like all I do is go from one room to the next picking things up.  Yes, I do make my daughter help pick up her stuff, but it is a lot easier for a child to pull out 101 toys than it is to get them to pick up those 101 toys!

All those field trips, art projects, songs sang, books read, social interactions, everything that a child would get exposure to in day care or preschool setting, it is my job to make sure my daughter gets at home, with me.  Now, I do have an advantage over some in that I am a trained early childhood educator, which basically means I have a whole bunch of supplies on hand and I am not afraid of a little glitter or a mess.  But when you think about a SAHM and you envision her sitting back reading a good book while her children run wild, that is not an accurate picture.  We are busy from the moment they wake up, to the moment they finally give in and go to sleep at night.  It is our primary job to make sure that our children are growing, learning, having fun, and just getting a chance to be a kid.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter and I love being a SAHM.  I would not change that for the world.  But it does mean that I can’t take a mental health day and drop her off at day care while I go get a hair cut, work in the yard, or just hit Barnes and Noble for an hour.  Everything I do during the day is done with a shadow or a helper.  And I would not change it for the world.

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Responses

  1. Hi!! I am really enjoying your blog and I have nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award! Enjoy!!

  2. […] Musings of a Stay-At-Home-Mom […]

  3. […] Musings of a Stay-At-Home-Mom […]


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