I’ve been asked numerous times how hard being a stay at home mom really is. The *really* is pretty much implying a non-verbal slap-in-the-face to all SAHMs. What they’re really saying is, “I can’t imagine you’re really as busy as you make it out to be.”
What I want to say is something along the lines of, “Remind me. How is your salaried job with benefits and an hour long lunch going? How is your adult interaction coming along? I bet your NON spit-up and pooped on clothes are just piling up. I can’t imagine waking up at 8:00 AM. Man, you’ve got it rough.”
What I usually respond with is a short and sweet, “You’d be surprised.” and force a smile.
You’d be surprised at the miniscule amounts of sleep Moms get. Especially with newborns.
You’d be surprised at how quickly clothes and spit-up rags pile up. Especially when your kids start teething and drool on everything. I easily do a full load of laundry every other day. the worst part is folding that massive amount of kids clothes into itty bitty little piles.
Speaking of drool, you’d be surprised at how high your baby can get their ear-piercing cry when they’re teething and in pain. For months. …aaaand months.
You’d be surprised at how much poop we get on ourselves. For years. Poop. The time spent cleaning poop off of ourselves is enough to drive anyone insane.
You’d be surprised at the lengths I’m willing to go just to talk to one other adult on any given day rather than babble and coo with my babies. ALL. DAY. LONG.
You’d be surprised at the number of times you end up in a doctor’s office last minute for things ranging from injuries, vaccinations, illness and getting that removed from there.
You’d be surprised at the amount of time you spend picking up after a child. It’s seriously amazing how quickly they can make a mess. Since having my first child 18 months ago, I haven’t been able to get my entire house completely clean and organized from top to bottom. I spend good 3-4 hours on that task daily.
You’d be surprised at how often you just completely forget to eat all day long until you put the kids down for bed and realize you’re starving. Then when you go to eat your favorite snack, you realize you already gave it all to your child. That means yet another grocery store trip.
Speaking of putting your kids down for bed, you’d be surprised at HOW. LONG. bedtime takes. At least an hour. At least. This includes fighting your child into an overnight diaper. Prying their mouth open to brush their teeth. Chasing them down to get their pajamas on. Hunting down their favorite blanket they absolutely can not sleep without that they hid. Again. Realizing that they pooped in their overnight diaper and having to do that over again. Noticing the blanket is missing again. Picking out a story for your child and actually managing to get through it without a meltdown. THEN and only then do they finally go down. Sometimes, we even give a bath before all of this. (This is probably one of the most time-consuming tasks for parents)
You’d be surprised that on top of the kids and the house, SAHMs usually end up running the finances too.
You’d be surprised at how little your ‘me time’ is actually about you. You still end up having to regularly stop what you’re doing and go back into your kid’s room to get them to be quiet and go to bed. When you actually do get to eat, it’s only bits and pieces in between taking care of your kids.
You’d be surprised at how many house chores you begin, and never actually finish. I’ve had a sink full of water that has sat so long that it got cold multiple times before I actually get to it.
Somewhere in between there we take our families to parks, beaches, grocery shopping, fireworks, parades, birthday parties, the zoo, playgrounds, playdates and god knows what else.
I honestly believe it takes a special kind of woman to stay home with their kids. Someone who is willing to forget they themselves exist and to completely live their lives for their families. Someone who is willing to get defecated on, yelled at, and ignored on a regular basis. Someone who is willing to go without adult interaction for hours on end every single day.
Besides, these naysayers should be thanking us we’re staying at home with our kids. If we all went to work, all the best paying and high-ranking jobs would be taken! Everyone would hire us because we’re obviously dedicated, hard-working employees. We would never complain about the hours. We would never complain about being tired in the morning. We’re not afraid to get our hands dirty. We work with all kinds of personalities and in the end we always see our job through to the end.
Plus, we’d kill to have an entire uninterrupted hour or even half hour for lunch all to ourselves. Oh, the possibilities… 😉