My Love/Hate Relationship with SAHM

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 the 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.

4. I get to watch the beautiful relationship forming between Ronin and Ellie on a daily basis. It is such an amazing thing to see. They can be so sweet and loving with each other, love playing together, and be absolute terrors to each other. But I get to see it all.

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!

About Cristi Comes

Warrior Mom. Wife. Writer. Advocate for mental health, suicide prevention, self care, self image and style. Technology and social media lover. Board of Directors, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Washington State Chapter. Editorial Team Postpartum Progress.

Comments

  1. You are blessed, my dear. For now I must work outside the home. I miss a lot, I know that. But I also know that I have chosen the best care for my kids when I can’t be there.

    I wish I could stay home not only for them but because it is very difficult for me to keep a job and stay sane. My struggle with bipolar disorder makes it difficult to work around other people. The pressure and the stress of trying to provide for my family as well as meet everyone else’s needs does me in. I’m usually DONE by Wednesday but must keep going.

    My goal is to stay home in a year or two and pursue MY dreams. Oh, and lazy movie days too =)

  2. I’m on a leave because of health reasons and seriously…I don’t know how you do it. The first week in and I was ready to jump back to work. I love my son, I really do, but I also love being able to pee alone and talk with adults without having someone pull on my shirt yelling “Mom. Momma. Mom. Mommy. MOM”…and the mess? Oh the messes.
    I give you all the credit. It is by far way harder than I ever imagined it would be.

  3. I’m with you on the loves and the ‘hates’! Mostly, I love that I get to choose my SAHM life – I know many would give a right arm to be in my position, so I always try to focus on the positives.

    But oh, I do miss alone bathroom time!

  4. I’m so with you on all of these points. I absolutely love being able to be at home with my kids, watching them grow. But I sure do miss the alone time as well as the creativity/productiveness in the working world.

  5. I agree with you but I also love not having to get up super early in the morning to go to work.

  6. I agree with every single thing.

  7. I can relate! I will be celebrating 3 years of SAH-dom in February. There are days I think I am crazy for staying with the kids and others I absolutely adore it. I do feel like I have lost myself in being a mom and there are days I struggle with that but I’m trying hard to find a balance!
    Melisa – Mommy This and That recently posted..Stream of Conciousness Sunday: NaNoWriMoMy Profile

    • Stopping by from Multiples and More! Great post! I can imagine how it only makes sense filancialny to stay home when you would have to pay day care for three little ones! : ) I totally know what you mean about a start/end to the workday. I couldn’t exactly put it into words, but that’s one of my favorite parts about working.

  8. I’m a couple of years late finding this post but I feel like I’m reading about my own feelings. I lol’ed pretty hard at the whole “only peeing alone if the kids are asleep”.

    You’ve described my feelings perfectly. I HATE pumping. I hate pumping so much I’ve stopped. Aaron gets formula in his bottles and gets milk straight from the boob if he’s with me home or out and about. School + pumping was just a total no-go for me.

    I always thought I’d love being a SAHM but I don’t, and that makes me feel guilty sometimes, and then I feel guilty about feeling guilty, and it’s just a ridiculous cycle. Now that I’m in school and the kids go to daycare, I’m definitely a lot happier, and that makes me sad.

    Conflicting emotions central, over here.
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    • Such conflicting emotions!! I need to go back and read the post again and see how my life as SAHM stacks up now that they’re 3 & 5 but truly having something we’re passionate about in addition to the kids just makes is a better mother.

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