The SAHM (I’m going there too)

The stay-at-home-mom has such an easy life! OMG, all she has to do is watch the kids play all day and take them school and pick them up? What right has she got to complain when she probably had loads of time to hang out with her friends for lunch and go shopping at the mall?

If you actually believe any of that, think again.

To be a stay-at-home-mom requires a dedication that goes above and beyond the call of duty. It is a 24 hour job, 7 days a week. It can suck you dry of emotion, and at the same time the rewards are priceless.

It is the most underpaid job in the Universe. Think about how much working parents pay for childcare. In most cases, all they get in return for payment is someone watching their child for 8 hours a day, feeding him, changing his diapers and playing with him. I’m not running down daycare providers or nannies – what they do is wonderful, because Lord knows it is hard enough to love our own kids sometimes, let alone someone else’s!

The SAHM does all that and so much more, and yet her payment is only whatever her children deem suitable: toys all over the place, peeing on the floor, refusal to take a nap, the occasional kiss and when they hit about 6 or 7 years old the inevitable “I hate you! I wish you weren’t my mother!”

For some women, staying at home with their children is the ultimate reward. For others it is not so easy. I am in the second category. I love my kids to bits, but I also treasure my time away from them.

Right now I feel like I have the best of both worlds. I work part time out of the house, but I always pick my youngest up from school. I am almost always home when the older two come home, if it’s not my carpool day. I try and spend time with each of them individually every day, whether it is doing puzzles with the two year old, discussing Star Wars with the almost 6 year old, or helping the 7 year old with her homework. Sometimes each kid gets less than five minutes of mommy-time. Sometimes one of them doesn’t want alone time with Mommy. That’s okay too – trust me, there are times I don’t want time with them too!

I plan my weekly menus in advance so that I can grocery shopping once a week. If possible I make dinner while the 2 year old is resting after school, so that I have more time in the afternoon with the older kids. Our family is lucky because we get to sit down to dinner  together as a family almost every night of the week.

So what is it that I’m trying to say with these two blog posts?

I don’t understand the “war” between working moms and “non-working” moms. All moms work. There is no “right” way to be a mother. We have to stand together and celebrate that there is a choice today. Years ago, most mothers didn’t have the opportunity to work outside of the home, even if they wanted to. Theoretically, we do have that choice today.

I’ve seen both worlds. They each have their ups and downs, the pros and the cons. We all do what we have to do, what we believe is best, what works for our families. Perhaps right now you don’t have a choice – if that is the  case, it is my sincerest wish for you that you will someday get to choose, and that you will be happy with the choice you make.

As for me, I get bored when I’m home all day, with or without the kids. I like having a routine, somewhere to be every day from 9:30 until 12:45. It does give me less time for me, and yes, it means that I have to schedule grocery shopping, cooking and other necessary things. But I’m okay with that for right now.

Learn to love the life you have, and if you can’t, then pray hard for a better future.

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