After 3 years of being a full time working mom, I took the leap and became a SAHM April 1st of this year. I’m happy with my decision. It’s really amazing to be able to spend this much time with my kids. There are a lot of benefits and I know that I am really fortunate, and so are my husband and kids. I knew going into this it wouldn’t be a cake walk, because I had great maternity leave with both kids and spent about 11 months home with them between the two maternity leave plans. I was semi-seasoned as a SAHM. I think one of the most frustrating things I’ve experienced as a SAHM is the stigma that I have all this free time now that I am home. Seriously? You have some balls if you ask me “what do you do all day?” or “how nice is it to have free time now?” YOU ARE INSANE. You have a completely delusional outlook on what it means to be a SAHM. I’m home with a 1 year old and three year old all day. I dare you to spend a week by yourself with my kids. My day is spent teaching, feeding, entertaining and cleaning up after toddlers. Oh, I also do laundry by the boat load and keep up with other household chores. Most days, I can’t even go pee or get dressed without something like this happening.
Sadie loves to get into the trash and recycling, multiple times a day.
She also loves to play in the dog water or pour it on the floor.
This morning, Daddy left his bowl of oatmeal upstairs. Sadie found it and put the bowl and spoon in the toilet while mommy was getting dressed. Oh, she also climbed in the toilet, too. In the name of safety and cleanliness I removed her before snapping this picture.
Sadie loves toilet paper, too.
In addition to cleaning up messes made by Hurricane Sadie, I try to keep a clean home, but sometimes doing that with kids around is like brushing your teeth with Oreos. I think my husband deserves to come home to a clean house after working all day, and if we’re being honest, I can’t stand having a messy home, so I clean… a lot.
Here’s what my kitchen and family room look like at 7am when we come downstairs for breakfast.
Here’s what they look like by 7:10 am (and I promise you, it just gets worse throughout the day. This is only 10 minutes in.)
I also clean up toys (lots of them).
Here we are sweeping the floor. Sophie was actually being helpful by sweeping the dust piles into the dust pan. Sadie, not so much. Mostly, she just scattered the dust piles around.
I also do laundry.
And I do lots of it, because most days my 1 year old can’t stay clean for more than 10 minutes and my three year old thinks she is in a runway show and changes outfits multiple times a day.
While a large part of my day is cleaning up after my kids and keeping up with the household duties, another large part of my day is teaching my kids and keeping them entertained. We leave the house for an activity every day.
We go to the library.
We go to the park.
We go to Jump Man Jump.
We go to the Discovery Museum.
Because if we don’t get out of the house for entertainment, we have meltdowns from being under stimulated and cooped up. Big scary melt downs.
In addition to being a housekeeper, teacher and entertainer, I’m a cook! I make three meals a day and three snacks a day. My husband always has breakfast before work and he’s always sent to work with a lunch. We rarely eat out. It’s just not in the budget when you’re on a single income. I spend a good chunk of my day in the kitchen and cleaning up meals. Toddlers are notoriously messy eaters.
I know I am very fortunate to have this time with my kids and I love it. I also know what it is like to be a working mom. I worked a demanding corporate job for three years while being a mother. I think each situation presents a set of challenges. Being a working mom meant my kids were in day care and away from me 9-10 hours a day. It meant laundry on weekends and less family time. It also meant not having to worry about finances or a budget. It meant having adult conversations and stimulating my brain. It meant alone time. Being a stay at home mom means lots of time with kids. More time with my husband in the evenings because chores are done. Weekends are mostly free of chores and laundry. Our family life has really improved. But, it also means having very limited time for myself. Cleaning up messes all day long. Not stimulating your brain past “the wheels on the bus go round and round,” and sometimes feeling isolated, like you live on an island with two messy, loud, loveable toddlers for 10 hours a day. I don’t have a lot friends, it’s hard to when your kids are this age. Everything is so scheduled. There’s a huge misconception out there that we SAHM have coffee circles, girl time and loads of play dates. It’s just not true. At least not for me with a 1 and 3 year old. I have a good friend with a toddler who lives 1 block away from me. We rarely get together. It’s tough when your kids are this age.
So, next time you’re wondering what a SAHM does all day, or how we spend our free time, consider this blog. And God help you if you have the balls to ask me one of those questions, I might punch you. Seriously.
My family is lucky that I am able to stay at home, but trust me, there isn’t a lot luxury, there aren’t coffee circles, there isn’t TV time, free time almost never happens… most days there isn’t even a shower and if I want a shower, most likely I’ll have to go to the gym for that.