“I may not have it together everyday, but everyday we are together and that’s all that matters.”
There is this stigma that exists regarding Stay-At-Home Moms (SAHMs). The stigma being that all we do all day is sit around in our pajamas, eating bonbons and watching Desperate Housewives. Well, the stigma has it wrong.
I don’t wear pajamas, I wear gym clothes…even though my body has not seen the likes of a gym in over four years. And who the heck eats bonbons anymore–I like me a charcuterie board. Desperate Housewives, you said? No way! But, The Real Housewives of Orange County — now that’s my cup of tea. You see, the stigma was incorrect…
Now for a dose of reality, and I am not referring to Bravo TV type reality, but real life. In real life, SAHMs are some of the hardest working and greatest people I know. And this is not meant to be a dig toward any full-time working moms, or mothers who work part-time — it is simply meant to draw attention to the negative connotation given to SAHMs, or even Stay-At-Home Dads for that matter.
As a SAHM, I am required to be ON at all times. I never leave my work. And at present, I spend all day with at least one co-worker. Although she happens to be cute and only fourteen months, she is sure able to bring some drama and sassy-pants moments to my day. Could you spend all day and night, every day, for years, with a co-worker of yours? It would be tough, right? What about trying to go pee by yourself, but your co-worker won’t let you. Now imagine having to change their diaper and feed them. What about having to be their human spit-up rag and their servant for literally EVERYTHING they need? It might exhaust you, huh?
Most people assume that SAHMs are lazy and that we don’t want to work. Truth is that most SAHMs feel terrible guilt for being at home. Yes, we know and realize how lucky and blessed we are to be able to be at home, but that benefit does not come without its internal fury. I torture myself on a daily basis because I do not contribute financially to the family. Then I torture myself because I am spending too much money on fun activities to do with the kids. On top of that, I then feel bad because I am either not getting enough done around the house, or the kids are not getting enough quality attention. It is a vicious cycle.
Other people believe that SAHMs are probably uneducated and not bright. Not the case here or in most cases. I myself went to law school. I dropped out, but I got in and I went — that says something about my level on intelligence, right? So, when you hear me singing to my child about their bathroom habits (and how they have to “peepee on the potty all day long, peepee on the potty while Mommy sings her song”), don’t judge me and speculate on my level of education. Instead, maybe realize that as a SAHM, I don’t get much adult interaction and take that as an opportunity to engage with me in conversation.
It would also be nice for people to recognize that being a SAHM is an accomplishment. It takes lots of skills, patience, love, and persistence (just to name a few things) to keep one or multiple children alive, fed, happy, and developing on track. Not to mention to be able to raise them to be respectful and kind human beings. To be able to do that and maintain a home and your mental and physical well-being, well, that’s impressive.
Lately, SAHMs seem to be increasing in their diversity. There are SAHMs that are former lawyers and some that are aspiring singers. There are go-green SAHMs, and SAHMs that are killing it doing direct sales. There are work-share SAHMs, and some that want to be entrepreneurs. There are high-tech SAHMs, artsy SAHMs, and there are most definitely some SAHM bloggers, like myself, who are using the world-wide-web as their public diary.
What are SAHMs not? We are not Stepford Wives. We are not all the same. We are not to be thought of or taken lightly. We have to be self-motivated, always have a plan, and always have three back-up plans for that first plan. We have to build our own support system and keep an attainable schedule. We have to be adaptable and flexible. We have to do and be so much to so many. SAHMs, though all different, all have a common deep and unconditional desire to be a huge part of their child(ren)’s lives. And, what is more admirable than that?
So, the next time you begin to judge a SAHM or wonder what she does inside of a still messy house all day, remember that the smile on her kids’ faces tell you everything you need to know about just how hard she works.
SAHMs are life changers and for that reason, maybe we should all promote “SAHLC” as the new acronym for stay-at-home moms, as it more accurately reflects our level of importance in this world.