I was chatting online with another bloggy friend who is also a recent job quitter/stay-at-home-mom. She’s having somewhat of a difficult time with it and asked why nobody tells you that staying home is so hard. ”It’s like it’s a secret,” she said. And that really bothered me.
As you know, I’m not so great at the secrets. I pretty much don’t keep anything to myself. But she’s right, this stay at home thing is mother fucking hard, and I don’t talk about it. Maybe I’ve eluded to it here and there but I discovered early on in my stay at home mom-dom that if you complain about it, people get annoyed and/or judge you. And to be honest, when I was a working mom, I did the same thing. Like yeah, yeah, I’m sure it’s rough to just sit home all day and to not have to get up early and get ready for work and then leave your children with other people and go to a job you hate. Blah blah blah, let’s trade lives. But on the outside I would nod and say, “Yes, being a mom is THE hardest job in the world!”
So that was old, naive me that never actually stayed home for a prolonged period of time. And before anyone gets offended, let me say, that YES! I do know from experience that being a working mom is hard as shit too. There’s really nothing more chock full of guilt then going to work when your kid is sick or getting a call from preschool that he pooped his pants and you can’t leave because you are afraid of getting fired. It sucks balls when you pick your kid up at 6 and his bedtime is at 8 so you spend a frantic 2 hours trying to get him home, fed, bathed and actually form a meaningful bond with him. I get it. I promise. I know it is hard too.
All I’m saying here is that staying home is hard too. Let’s start with the obvious, money. Going from a 2 income household to a 1 income household is mind blowing. All of the sudden I have to keep AND STICK TO a budget. Planning trips or new cribs or even buying gas sometimes takes a whole lot of planning.
The less obvious difficulties are those that involve this crazy mind of mine. Before I chose to be a SAHM, I was an accountant, which I know isn’t that exciting, but it takes brain power and my neurons got a work out. Now I talk to a 1 year old all day. I have no friends in my neighborhood, and pretty much all of my friends work so they can’t just chat with me whenever I want them to during the day. It’s isolating. And for a brainy, social gal like me, IT’S MOTHER FUCKING HARD!
Next is using the bathroom. I swear to god. I cannot take a piss without someone yelling at me through the door and/or knocking on it and/or crying and/or trying to climb on my lap while I’m sitting on the toilet. I never knew how much I’d miss alone time until I tried to pee with a 1 year old in the house. This is also true for eating lunch and going to the grocery store.
Lastly, it’s the idea that if I have a hard time being a SAHM that somehow I am a failure as a mom, a wife or a homemaker. After all, I’m not making any money and I am home all day. So shouldn’t I be totally fulfilled? And if I’m not, aren’t I a bad human being? Well, I’m here to say NO YOU JUDGY ASSHOLE (judgy asshole = myself when I think this way.) There is something difficult and not fulfilling about everyone’s job. Have you ever met even one person that says, “I love EVERYTHING about my job! I wouldn’t change a single THING!” Well no because that job doesn’t exist. I do try to look at the positives, but I think it’s important to put this out there so that we can understand each other and hopefully be less judgy wudgy. Even of ourselves.
So there. Being a stay at home mom is fucking hard. I said it. The secret is out.
If you want to read more of this lovely lady’s posts check her out at her blog where she has even more hilarious ramblings, After They Hatch. Oh yeah, and she is for reals keepin’ it real.
meredith taylor says
I’m a SAHM and thank you for writing this. It is fucking hard. And it sucks to be a SAHM at 27 in an area where most don’t have their babies until mid-30s… most “friends” who don’t have kids act like I have the plague and most of the mommy + me classes I take my little girl to are attended by nannies not other moms that I can really form friendships with. And I know it’s just me being shy and overly judgmental of myself but the mommy meetup groups intimidate the hell out of me. i guess that’s my own issue though, smh.
my husband took a staycation this week and i just now (as of friday night) got used to being able to close the door when i go to the bathroom. just in time for the weekend and him to go back to work. smh.
gotta say though (and i know it’s cliche) i wouldn’t trade my job for anything right now… my two year old is pretty hilarious and better company than most adults i know anyway. :)
Oh, you are too funny! I have to totally agree with you. I used to stay home with my kids during the day and work at night and I remember trying to go to the bathroom and counting to see how long I could stay in there without being bothered. Now they have all grown-up and I laugh when they call and I am in the bathroom, somethings never change. Your blog just cracked me up. Cherish the moments though because when they are gone…..they are gone.
What a well described day as a SAHM! I have been a SAHM since my first daughter was born 8yr ago.It is hard! I have three friends who have envied my position over the years and funny how all three have now chosen to stay at home and have come to quite a rude awakening. I have actually just got a part time job working about 20 hrs a week in pursuit of the best of both worlds. Wish me luck! LOL
JennaBelle Sandy says
I absolutely agree and I, too, was one of those working moms whose greatest desire was to “take time off” when my children were born and stay home to raise them. Unfortunately(or maybe fortunately), my husband and I were just kids ourselves, only 19 and 18, and I had to return to my job just 6 short weeks after my first son was born. I drove to work with tears streaming down my face every single day. But as fate would have it, when my boys were 4 and 2 years old, my father-in-law passed away suddenly and we inherited the family business which I had to quit my job to help my husband manage. I just thought I had it made, how easy my life was going to be! Well, needless to say, I am still waiting to “take time off”, and my boys are 12 and 10 years old!
Thnak you for posting this. I am having one of those days with my newborn and 4 year old; I’m a fairly new SAHM (1 year) and even after working at lawfirms for YEARS with some “crazy” lawyers, being a SAHM is the friggin hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Some days I don’t know what the heck I’ve gotten myself into; I love my children and my family but often wonder how I’m going to survive the next few years … and, yes, it is true that other moms (even my closest friends) don’t share the friggin secret that being a SAHM is hard as hell …..
Stephanie Studer says
Yep! It’s been fun following your journey pre-kids and post-kids ;)