A shoutout to SAHMs
Disclaimer: I am a Work At Home Mom (WAHM) which means I am a blend of a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) and a Working Mom. I don’t know what it’s like to be a full-time SAHM or a full-time working mom. I don’t mean to insult or upset anyone with this post, this is just my point of view, but if you think I’ve got the wrong end of any stick, please let me know.
Most of my time I work from home. (You can read about A Day in my Life here). I’m a writer, editor and blogger. I’m also an English as a Foreign Language teacher and teacher trainer so there are the odd occasions when I work in the classroom and am away from home. This is what I mean when I say I am a blend of both a SAHM and a working mom. I get to spend loads of time with Baby J on a daily basis but I can shut myself away and focus on my work if I need to or go and run errands unemcumbered, and sometimes I even get to play grown up and go out to work in the real world with adults.
This last weekend was one of those weekends. I run teacher training workshops for a TEFL company a few weekends a month. This means I am in the classroom Saturday and Sunday 8 until 6, so I leave home at 7.30 in the morning and get back at 6.30 in the evening. I love teaching and teacher training and I really enjoy it when I get to do it.For me, it’s exciting to get out of the house (sad but true) and get away from momming for a while. I mean, these days are just awesome: I wake up and feed Baby J and spend an hour or so with him until I need to get dressed.
I quite enjoy the mornings because, let’s be honest, babies are the cutest first thing in the morning. Then I go to work. I grab a chai latte for the car, turn the radio up really loud and enjoy the scenery while I drive. At work I get to do what I love, have adult conversation, go to the toilet when I want to, have a lunch break and just generally have a good time. After work I get home just in time for supper. I feed Baby J and play with him for an hour or so until it’s time to get the bedtime routine going.
Living the dream.
Of course I miss Baby J (and the Beard and Bacon), but I know I will see them again soon so I really enjoy my time apart from them. I know that might sound terrible to some of you but I’m a big fan of me-time and sadly enough as a working mother work is classified as me-time.
When I do spend time with Baby J on these days I’m away at work, I’m much happier with him and much more present, I think because there’s a clear separation between work and not-work. The days when I have the whole day to spend with Baby J don’t look so rosy at 5 o’clock in the morning and I am constantly tempted to keep checking my phone to keep tabs on the real world.
Which brings me to my point.
I understand being a working mom must be difficult. You have to juggle work and family and the logistics of school runs, grocery shopping and quality family time with meetings, emails and the general stress of a job. You miss out on loads of things and your time with your child is severely limited. I can’t imagine only seeing Baby J for an hour or two every day – it would suck, big time.
But (working moms feel free to correct me here if I’m wrong) people understand working moms. People understand that work can be stressful and time-consuming and can take you away from your family. Working moms are respected because they actually have two jobs – their job and being a mom.
Then think about SAHMs. I really feel SAHMs get a raw deal. People don’t understand how hard it is to be at home all day with a child. I cherish my me-time so much because I need time away from my baby. Not because of my baby (though it hasn’t been easy) but because it’s exhausting looking after a child and sometimes, to be quite honest, mind-numbingly boring. I love my work because it lets me exercise my intellectual muscles (so when I have to sing If You’re Happy and You Know It five times in a row I don’t mind so much) and work is actually a break from looking after J.
People often assume the SAHMs get to go on coffee dates and play dates and go play in the park every day.
We do try and do those things fairly often because it’s good for the general mental health of the household to get out of the house, but then remember that going on a coffee date doesn’t mean you actually get to drink coffee (because you’re making sure your child doesn’t stab himself in the eye with a fork), having a play date means looking after not only your child but someone else’s and going to the park means packing like you’re off on a gap year. And have you tried grocery shopping with a baby and/or toddler?! #missionimpossible
So this is a shoutout to all the SAHMs who don’t feel they are appreciated. Changing diapers, nursery rhymes, food fights aka meal times, cleaning up after the daily tornado and trying to understand meaningless babble all day is not easy and
you guys are rock stars.
That’s all I wanted to say really. Feel free to disagree and tell me how unappreciated working moms are too, or tell me how lucky I am, or let me know what SAHMs actually do all day, or just tag a SAHM you want to recognise.