So I think I’ve determined that I have a love/hate relationship with being a stay at home mom. OK, not “hate” exactly, more like love/not-love.
Granted I’ve got an almost 4-year-old and an almost 20-month-0ld, so its a pretty labor-intensive time in the grand scheme of motherhood. Neither child is in school. BOTH are still in diapers. (Yes my 4 year old is not potty trained. If you don’t already know the story, feel free to read this post and this post.)
Right now, tonight, I have a few moments while they are both sleeping to write a blog post, and it struck me just how much I LOVE/NOT LOVE my SAHM life. So here’s a few reasons why.
I’d love to hear if you can relate to any of them. And if you can’t relate, how do you feel about your own role as SAHM or WAHM or WOOHM (that’s “Work Out of Home Mom” in case that wasn’t clear. Did I just make that up? WOOHM sounds like a pretty cool abbreviation to me.)
Why I LOVE being a SAHM:
1. I get to see my kids grow and change minute to minute. I don’t ever feel like I might miss milestones or moments.
2. I get to snuggle A LOT on a daily basis for naps, quiet times, game times, movie times. (My kids are very cozy snuggle bugs.)
3. I’ve built a very strong attachment with my kids. They want mama around them, with them and I love that.
5. Because I’m with her so much I understand Ellie’s toddler speak probably 95% of the time, which makes communication at this stage pretty easy. SO nice!
6. We luckily don’t have to pay for costly childcare. (Its EXpensive in the Pacific Northwest.)
7. I can still easily nurse Ellie at almost 20 months and not have to worry about pumping, etc (Have I mentioned how much I hate pumping?)
Why I NOT-LOVE Being a SAHM:
1. The constant unending cleaning, picking up, wiping butts, making food/cleaning food/washing dishes, dressing/undressing/laundry, etc. The tedious cleaning of everything is just amplified. I used to have a pretty clean nice looking house before kids. Now I feel like things just pile up and pile up and pile up all of the time. I’m the queen of piles and I hate them.
2. I NEVER get to pee by myself. Unless little ones are asleep of course.
3. Its difficult to focus on anything other than them when they are awake and with me. Me time/blog time/necklace-making time is impossible unless I pay for it, the kids are asleep (and let’s face it, I’d like to be asleep too!) or my husband watches the kids. And I want him to have him-time too.
4. I never feel fully present for adult conversations when I’m at play dates with our friends. I always have half to three-quarters of my brain on my kids. Moments of true adult time are very few and far between.
5. I take less care of myself, i.e. doctors appointments, dentist, any appointment really, because of the hassle of scheduling care.
6. Finding ways to keep the kids entertained and happy all day long can be tiresome and draining.
7. Part of me misses being a creative, active, engaging professional interacting with other professionals on a daily basis.
Why LOVE Overcomes the NOT-LOVE:
1. Right now, being a SAHM is my choice, my husband’s choice, our family’s choice. And its the right one for us, right now. Being with them on my worst day is better (for me), than not being with my kids at this stage of their lives.
2. It may not be the right choice tomorrow (but tomorrow is not today.) I can definitely see me doing something out of the home once they both hit school age, whether non-profit or corporate, I don’t know. I really am loving my mental health advocacy. So we’ll see.
3. On days that my own mental health is not at its best, I can be in the comfort of my home. I can use my own strategies to take care of self and take care of my kids. In other words, I can be lazy if I need to be. PJ Movie days are just fine and can happen on a regular basis. (Like today.)
Every role of motherhood has its own joys and challenges. And I know every stage and age of kids, brings its own joys and challenges too. So I’m just going to keep moving forward. Making the best choices (for us) and for my mental health.
Today I am SAHM, tomorrow the FUTURE (whatever that may be) awaits!