What do Stay at home moms do all day?
What a ridiculous question. Seriously. I stayed home with both my daughters for 3 years before going back to work full time and I tell you what, I might cry if I had to go back to staying at home with the kiddos. For REAL.
I think it's easy for people to pass judgement on SAHM because they don't see something that they produce; that is tangible like money or flow charts. Or there is a guilt because for whatever reason, they can't be that for their kids, so they have to justify their choices by putting down the choice they didn't make. Right or wrong, I think people do that with anything, not just child rearing. its in our nature to want to make our choices look like the best ones.
With my first child, born in 2010, it was easy in hind site but i didn't know any better...and suffering from postpartum depression for the first year of my firstborns life didn't help so it seemed REALLY HARD. My second was born in 2013 and it got interesting managing sleep schedules and potty training. Then I went back to work when they were 3 and 7 months old and it all got jacked up. I'm currently debating if a third is in our future...HA!
Ive decided to make this easy though, about what SAHM and WM do...i'm a chart person. I need to see a list. Then I need to see another list to compare it to the first list. then make a pros and cons list :) list list lisity lists!!! So here you go, ad step by step of my day as a stay a home mom (with and without depression), and a working mom.
SAHM w/Depression - Hear crying baby in monitor and close eyes pretending you don't hear loud sobs of MA MA!! Realize its not stopping and go get baby. Feel nothing. just tired. horribly tired. was up every two hrs last night with baby. feed baby. Made hubby lunch. Shoot daggers at hubby for not saying how amazing i am or how much he appreciates me...save for later to come back at him in our normal evening "discussion" No breakfast. Just gonna stay in the pjs today I think
SAHM - Hear crying baby in monitor and go get baby. Horribly tired... was up every 3 hrs last night with baby. feed baby. Possible breakfast. Made hubby lunch. Clean baby, do dishes, kiss hubby goodbye for work. Get dressed; workout clothes baby!
WM - Get up before baby/kids wake up. Horribly tired... was up every 4 hrs last night with baby. Hear baby wake up feed baby. Fix your lunch, hubby took care of his own, and pull the lunches you made for kids the night before. Hear crying baby in monitor and go get baby. Feed kids. Feed yourself, maybe. Get dressed, dress kids, pack car with lunches, backpacks, diaper bags, medication, work computer, pillows, stuffed animals, water and milk sippy cups...and did I forget anything else? OH GOD MY PHONE!
SAHM w/Depression - watch baby play by itself while you sit on the couch doing nothing. Still SO TIRED. Someone called earlier, but you didn't feel like talking to anyone. Praying for naptime. Feed baby lunch and NAPTIME!!!!
SAHM - Throw a load of laundry in the washing machine. pack the stroller with some snacks and walk to the park and let the kid(s) play while you hover over them for an hr. Run to the gym for 40 min and take advantage of the childcare so you can get some weight training in! Hit the grocery store and have at least 3 items opened at the checkout because the kids were getting hungry and fussing and at that point you had no issue with opening and eating food right there in the store. Get home and fix lunch for the kid(s) and start unloading the car with the groceries as they eat. Start nap time routines which can take anywhere from 5-50 min depending on kid and quantity of kids. finish putting groceries away and take a bite of something, maybe actually sit down and look at FB while you realize you're STARVING.
WM - Drop kid off at school, then drop other kid off at work. ( my work has in house childcare!!!!) Make sure with both they grabbed their backpack, toys, water etc needed. Briefly touch base with teacher/Childcare worker. Then i GET TO WORK!!!! GLORIOUS WORK!!! I get to talk to people I like..ADULT CONVERSATIONS!!!! I get to feel productive because I am producing things like inventories! Event Schedules! WONDERFUL DATA SHEETS!!!!! lol I'll pop into the nursery and peek in at my little one just to say hi for 5-10 min. I might go out to eat, or eat my pre-made lunch, then go pick up the older kiddo from school at 1pm and bring her back to work to go into her other classroom. I might even go shopping or GROCERIES with out children on my lunchbreak!!! so wonderful...sigh....
SAHM w/Depression - While baby is sleeping, you play video games or watch a show...maybe put a load in the laundry or take a nap. when baby wakes up....UGH why can't they sleep longer?!?!? get on the computer and have baby play next to you so you make sure they don't hurt themselves...but you really don't want to touch them. Get annoyed when the baby wants you to pick them up or play with them...or have any interaction with them. Still So tired.
SAHM - While baby/kids are sleeping, you know you should take a nap, and you might, but instead you try to get some things DONE around the house! check on laundry and transfer wet laundry to dryer and maybe put in another load. Clean up floors, maybe clean a bathroom, check your blog, check your etsy site, check your pinboard....start pinning ideas for activities for 2 year olds....baby's up. Read to them, play games with them, teach them numbers, letters, colors, manners, sign language....plan dinner in your head with current choices in the fridge.
WM - Still at work!! WHOOP WHOOP!!! stop in to check in on the kids again. Feel bad when they cry for you as you leave...(guilt pangs) Go back to whatever work you have left for the day. Realize 10 min before closing that you needed to do something "important" and end up getting the kids 15-30 min later than you meant. Gather all their crap and impersonate a pack mule as your try to only make one trip carrying everything including a child in your arms...this counts as working out right?!? Car management. it take me 25-30 min to get home so since i was late, I have to appease the masses with snacks, or music or conversation about the day. Get home and hubby is there already. Unload everything and everybody.
SAHM w/Depression - Told hubby to pick up something for dinner because you don't feel like cooking. Husband comes home to a messy home, crying baby and annoyed/tied wife. I hand hubby the baby and go lay down on the bed for 30 min. Didn't help. Go and grab baby to feed it then start the bedtime routine of books/ songs/ prayers. baby is asleep so me and hubby eat dinner in front of the TV and netflix something. We don't really talk. He asks how I am...I lie. we get into an argument and I go to bed early because i know I will be getting up in a couple hrs anyway. Just so so tired and no amount of sleeping will make me feel better. I take it out on my husband. We are not in a good spot.
SAHM - The kids have successfully destroyed anything that might have resembled that you cleaned up. You get the oldest to "help" you cook dinner while the other one plays on the floor or watches something. You check on the laundry again and fold the dry clothes while trying to show your kids how to fold as well...which just creates more work for you in the long run! You have to discipline the oldest for hitting the younger one...for the love your sister is not a trampoline! SHARE! Hubby calls to let you know he's coming home and you scramble to try and get the house re-cleaned. You start singing the clean up song to the kids in hopes they will start putting things away as well...hubby comes home and the house is still messy but not as bad as it was. Welcome him home with a kiss, and the kids give him hugs because they missed him! you let the kids play while you both talk about the days activities. Dinner time. You feed baby first then rest of you eat after baby is put to bed. Hubby puts the older one to bed and you clean up the kitchen. You then veg in front of the TV after cleaning up the rest of the toys that were left out. and you both fold the final laundry that was still in the dryer. You and the hubby are in a good spot.
WM - Hubby is annoyed with you because you are so late...and it's been the 3rd time this week. Kids are tired and hungry so you put together one of your quick go to meals that take 20-30 min to make so you put on a tv show or movie for the kids to watch while you make it. Everyone eats dinner together. Start bedtime routine with youngest, oldest plays or finishes the show you put on earlier. Play ponies with oldest for a little bit or do a quick coloring page. Hubby does bedtime routine with oldest. During that time you clean up dinner, pack lunches for kids for the next day and then check social media. You don't blog anymore except for rare occasion. Hubby gets back and you talk briefly about the day that wasn't discussed during dinner. Then Veg in front of the TV and watch a show or movie. You and the hubby are ok. Could be better, but it's a little stressed sometimes. You feel like the job and your family fight each other.
Then REPEAT ALL.
This is my personal experience with the different life stages. I know that this can be SO DIFFERENT based on kids, job, spouse...etc! Bottom line though is that its all hard, it's all worth it, and you will never get your sleep back until the kids are older. It's just a season, and that will change to something else! Be encouraged! It's crazy, and you know what is best for you and your family. I love working, but it may not be the best thing for my family. My hubby loved me staying home, but it wasn't the best for me. And who knows, I might go back to being a SAHM in the future, but Im sure that wont be like what I experienced the first time i stayed home.
|Me SAHM w/depression with my firstborn @9 months old|
No more depression! Me SAHM and my first born @16 months old
Me SAHM and my girls, 2 yrs & 7 months old.
Our family now as a WM. Girls are 20 months and 4 yrs old.