Nov 18, 2014

As a SAHM

The mommy resentment. It isn't a new topic. Everyone talks about the mommy wars. The conflict between work outside the home moms and stay at home moms is ongoing. And I think some of it is because of these idealistic ideas of what the other side is like. I never planned to address this topic here at Crazy Cass Life because I really feel it is overdone. What new can I add?

But, this morning I'm feeling passionate! A mom posted in my mamas group this morning "If I was a stay at home mom I would...(fill in the blank)" Some of the answers were workout more, grocery shop during the week, be happy, bake more, do crafts, etc. It seems many moms who work outside the home have a very idealistic view of what a SAHM does all day! I wrote a quick response on the FaceBook post, but now I am attempting to work through all my thoughts.

 

I have to admit, as a SAHM I sometimes fantasize about lunches out during the work day and having the chance to wear pretty, high-heeled shoes. I think how great it would be to run by the grocery store on my way home from work before I picked up the kids and pick up a few things without crying helpers. I think of going to the potty without an audience. I think of adult conversation around the water cooler at work. And clearly I think of the extra money we would have as a family! On the flip side, I know that work outside the home moms (I refuse to use the term working mom because we are ALL working moms!), or WOHMs, wish they could be present for all of the moments. They hate that someone else is kissing the skinned knees better. They want to be the one snuggling and playing with their babies.

Moms (both SAHM and WOHM) are up all night caring for babies. We keep our houses running. We prep dinner. We feed breakfast. We make lunches. We do the laundry. And all of this is on top of caring for little ones. Life isn't easy on either side! It’s rewarding. It's thankless. It’s wonderful. It's demanding. It's fulfilling. It's irritating. It’s revitalizing. It's exhausting. It’s fun. It's monotonous. It's challenging. mind-numbing. It’s all of these things, all the time. (Literally. ALL. THE. TIME.)

Being a SAHM is all I know. Every day I keep all four of us alive and no one burns the house down. Or at least they haven't yet. As a mama at home with three littles I get to see every milestone and kiss every boo boo. I get to hold my sons hand in the parking lot and steal hugs before nap time. I also get touched all day long and by 5:00 I am counting down the minutes until my husband walks in the door (and silently cursing him when he texts that he's "stopping at the store real quick" because we are hanging on by a thread at home!).The good days are oh so very good. But the bad days you can find me hiding under the dining room table. Or looking up flight schedules to...anywhere.

I don't know what the future holds for my career and whether I will remain a SAHM or put my new PhD to use. I do know that I will forever be a mom. Right now, I am fulfilling God's calling for me. I am devoting my every breath to raising Godly men. I live my life so that my boys can follow Christ. As Susanna Wesley (mother of Charles and John Wesley) said,

"I am content to fill [just] a little space for God to be glorified… No one can, without renouncing the world, in the most literal sense, observe my method; and there are few, if any, that would entirely devote above twenty years of the prime of life in hopes to save the souls of their children, which they think may be saved without so much ado; for that was my principal intention, however unskillfully and unsuccessfully managed."

 

This is my life. However unsuccessfully managed! This is the life of every Mom. We give everything we have to raise our kids. I think it is easy to see the heartbreak a WOHM deals with everyday when they drop their kids off with someone else. The WOHM gives everything. Perhaps it isn't as easy to see everything a SAHM does in a typical day. Maybe the struggles we have inside our own homes need shared. So I'm inviting you into my world today!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 -- just an average Tuesday and I will document it all. Every wake up. Every tantrum. Every laugh. The first Day in the Life post is getting documented as you read folks!

 

 

1 comment:

  1. I agree that SAHMs & WOHMs both deserve respect, but there is one aspect of the choice that has been on my mind this year: How the choice can effect the marriage. When it was a more abstract question, I always thought if a family could afford it, at least one parent should stay home so the children get more individualized attention and can establish the trust that bonding brings. Since I've long opposed a large space for outdated gender roles, I say "one parent," and I think that should be based on a balance of essentially two factors: who is more nurturing, and who earns more. In short: opportunity costs.

    The strain my unemployment placed on my own relationship last year has adjusted my thought on that somewhat. I still think that's a loving act that puts the kids first, but when it comes to the parents, I think it complicates a lot in the household, and in the relationship. Essentially, a SAHM (or SAHD) is doing "unpaid work," but without an external signal, how do you decide what his/her hypothetical paycheck would be to apportion budgetary authority? Not to be staid, or overly sweat the small stuff, but that small stuff can snowball if there's no plan, and one of the top divorce causes has long been _money_.

    I don't see any basis for just, "lets call it even," and I've long hated the idea of just throwing everything in one big pot, since I think that just invites discord by making literally everything - every cappuccino, every pair of shoes, every lunch on a workday, every choice of car repair, EVERYthing - a joint decision. We're imperfect beings, and that's a serious tax on our capacity for cooperation. If both earn outside the home, after contributions to the common pot of bills, bills, bills, then what's left is where you call the shots. Oh, you want to eat at the chop house for lunch on Friday - well, is there enough left in the kitty? If one person's allotment is pretty arbitrary, though ...well, then it's always up for dispute/renegotiation. "Well, I could afford it if she would recognize..." is a breeding ground for resentment.

    Plus, if people online think "couldn't SAHMs sleep in," you know those types of thoughts infect many a marriage, and it can lead to lots of friction beyond the wallet. The only thing I know for sure is Thank God for grandmas ;) But when that's not an option, I think I'd rather we both work to try to avoid this problem, and I'd just say to anyone choosing the SAHM/SAHD path, you and your spouse should be of one mind on the issue if at all possible - and not just agree on whether to go that route, but on the terms/HOW. Otherwise, five years is a long time for discord to set in like root rot in a St. Augustine yard!

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