I’ve heard a lot of talk lately about people assuming a stay at home mom has tons of free time. I’ve also heard a lot of talk FROM the stay at home moms about how annoying it is that people assume that. The majority of SAHM (stay at home moms) are always talking about how they wished people could just see what it’s really like. They want people to know that there’s barely enough time to breathe never mind have actual free time. There have been times where I’ve said those things myself! But all of this got me to thinking, while we SAHM definitely do have a lot going on, is it really as much as we want/need people to believe? Or are we just getting stuck in a stay at home state of mind?
Negative breeds negative. And for those who know me, you know that I can be negative and pessimistic with the best of them. I am the queen of creating my Friday mood on Wednesday. I can actually wake up exhausted just because the night before all I could think was “I’m going to be so tired tomorrow”. I can wake up to an unhappy toddler and instantly assume that the entire day is going to be ruined. I can forget to switch one load of laundry and all of a sudden have five piled up. All of this got me to thinking, is being a SAHM really that hard? Or are we all just making it harder than it really is by harboring our negativity and crap attitudes?
Now I’m just one example of a stay at home mom. There are many different types and you can’t just put us all in one group. Some of us have one kid, some of us have five. Some of us are pretty low key, some of us hit up every single playgroup we can. As for me I fall into the low key/one kid bracket. I don’t tend to go to each and everything going on. We do groceries as a family on the weekends so I don’t have that added task to worry about that most SAHM’s do. Most of the time my job is to take care of my daughter, clean my house, and have dinner ready for my husband. But even with my pretty basic list of daily duties, it can get pretty hectic. I can only imagine what the mom’s with more kids and more errands feel like. The one thing I do know is, the days that seem the longest and craziest are the days that I can’t just seem to shake the negative.
Parents know how tough raising kids can be. They know that it’s a round the clock job and that it isn’t always fun and games. Parents also know that kids feed off of us and our emotions. Are you crabby today? You can almost guarantee that your kiddo will be too. Trying to figure out why your toddler keeps yelling at you? Ummm, didn’t you just yell at him a minute ago? Fellow parents are also good mood changers. Misery loves company right? How many times has your best friend called you complaining about their kid or posted something on Facebook about how little Jimmy just coloured on the walls…again? And how many times have you jumped right on that band wagon with your own tales of the horrible life of a SAHM? I’ve done it. My friends have done it. And I can bet you have too.
This is all what leads me to wonder if it really is that bad, or if we’re just making it worse. When you’re having a horrible day (or week), just think to yourself if you’re to blame. Our kids are just that, kids. I’m pretty sure your 6 month old isn’t actually trying to ruin your day. I’m also pretty sure that your two year old didn't refuse your dinner because they want you to feel like a horrible parent. We let the small things get to us so easily and it doesn’t take long for it to infect our entire day.
The next time you’re having a horrible week, try to shake the SAHM state of mind. Remember why you became a parent in the first place. Focus on what you DO love about being lucky enough to have a hands-on role in the upbringing of YOUR children. Is 4 year old Billy taking forever to put his shoes on for school? Just remember how amazing you felt the first time he tied them by himself. Is 1 year old Sally throwing her food on the floor? Then remember how proud and excited you were when she took her first bite of solid food. Are your two boys screaming at and pummeling each other? Just remember how nice it is to get TWO I love yous and hugs at the end of a long day.
Being a stay at home mom is something else. It’s something that you’ll never be able to explain to someone who’s never been there. It can be incredibly exhausting having someone around you ALL DAY LONG. But it’s much better than just being alone all day long. While it’s totally normal and okay to have a horrible day, it’s not okay to have a horrible week. The next time you want to pull out your hair and exclaim to the world that being a SAHM is the hardest job in the world, sit back and take a breath. Remind yourself that it’s a privilege, an amazing opportunity, and the best job ever. Even with the piles of laundry, no bathroom privacy, crayon covered everything, sheer exhaustion, etc, etc, etc.
Ever wonder what it's like to be a stay at home mom? Need something to show your childless friends so they understand how crazy it can get? Then keep checking back! Soon we'll be posting a collection of "Day in the life of.....a Stay At Home Mom" in which we'll lay it all out there. You'll get a candid look at what can go on in a 24 hour period of an average family.