Being a mom is the best, and the worst. Wait, hear me out. First off, not everyone LOVES all kids. Some women don’t want kids at all, others love their own but can’t stand other kids, then there are those moms who love everyone’s kids, I mean E-VE-RY-ONE! It stands to reason and is not that far fetched. We are all built different, no two people are exactly the same, so why would all moms be built the same? They (we) aren’t! Let’s let that thought sink in.
As a society it has finally become acceptable to discuss (to a point) the variances in parenting styles. Stay at home vs working mom. Breast vs formula. C-section vs natural. Homeschool vs traditional. Baby wearing vs strollers (?). The list goes on. We are all different as are our kids. Even post partum depression is being brought more to light.
Why oh why are we not discussing what being a stay at home mom does? The pressure to be a picture perfect mom is immense, especially since the explosion of social media. Keeping up with the Jones’ is now a world wide pressure. No one can live up to that kind of pressure forever.
What does this boil down to? What am I getting at? I love my kids, all four of them, I do! Let me tell you what I do not love. Piles of clean laundry. Being asked the same question 125,437,581 times a day. Not getting a shower. Picking up clean laundry from a dirty bedroom floor. Going to bed with the house as messy as it was when I woke up. Crying and whining.
When I was younger I wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom, SAHM, to my kids. Oh boy if I could go back and let my younger self know what I was asking for! Add to it the comments from people who seem to know better (or have good intentions offering advice) and it can quickly become overwhelming as a SAHM.
I simply want five minutes without kids climbing on my lap, shoving papers in my face, yelling (at each other and me), crying (the kids too), fighting, someone knocking on the door, tiny voices yelling “mom” across the house. You’ve seen the jokes and memes about moms trying to use the bathroom and they have little toes, hands or heads poking around the bathroom door? It’s real people. My “quiet time” is after everyone is in bed in the middle of the night, like now while I’m able to write these thoughts down to share with you. Legit guys, it is after midnight, on a school night!
The worst part of it all? The mom-shaming. Other grown adults shaming moms for being worn out and complaining about being a SAHM. Are you telling me as a working adult you’ve never had a complaint about your employer or co-workers? If you truly believe you’ve never ever had one single complaint out loud or in your mind then I have a bridge to sell you. Shut the front door on that nonsense. Get real, no one is perfect, we all have bad days. Why then do SAHM seem to be the exception? Because I chose this job?
SAHMs are responsible for the entire wellbeing of these tiny little humans! That is a lot of pressure. Add to it household chores and any sane person will eventually be consumed. Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. I feed my insanity bucket multiple times a day! Ever cleaned up after a tornado? or a college party you weren’t invited to? It’s real guys! I may be surrounded by tiny humans all day but I’m so very much alone. I care for these little people but they do not, and should not, care for me. I never thought I would miss adult interaction. How does that even happen?!
I struggle, hard. I am the captain of this struggle ship (yep it’s been upgraded from a bus). I have completely lost sense of who I am. This feeling has been getting worse over the years. I can’t pinpoint exactly when I started to feel this way but here I am. Lost. I feel like Alice in Wonderland when she is trying to find her way through The Tulgey Wood. Being a SAHM is exhausting! I cry silent tears almost daily. I don’t have time to cry every time I feel the emotions overwhelming me.
I worked, successfully I might add, in banking. I could answer your banking questions and assist you like nobody’s business! (We’ll save my previous employment for another time). Full-time job puts on a new meaning now as a SAHM. This is a 24/7 job! Unfortunately after getting married, moving, and having S the cost of child care outweighed the income from both of us working. Thus began my current 10 year stint.
All day every day is the same for me. I have a range of emotions and feelings, some I never imagined I would in relation to my children. Irritable. Exhausted. Angry. Bitter. Desperate. Frustrated. Defeated. Lost. Insane.
I’ve heard and know the usual cliché tips. This too shall pass. It’ll get better when they’re older. You’ll survive. At least you still have… (insert anything from house, roof, husband, all your teeth, clothes, etc). These don’t help. Mommy needs a break.
At the end of the day would I choose to go back to work and leave my kids home with a child care provider? No. These are my kids. I am their best care provider and we are fortunate enough my husband is able to work and provide for our physical needs. I wish more people were aware and would discuss the difficulties of being a SAHM. Fellow moms, talk about it. Vent, let it out, support each other. You are not alone!