Saturday, July 17, 2010

SAHM-dom, What I Know Now!

O.K., I meant to do this post several months ago on the one year anniversary when I quit my job and officially became a stay-at-home-mom. But that was about the time I injured my ankle and school was in full-swing. Time got the best of me and I am doing it now several months after the fact. Before I start my list of revelations I have to acknowledge that I used to think SAHMs had a pretty sweet deal. They hung out at home, played with kids, got some housework done, went to the gym, hung out at the mall and Starbucks. Seemed pretty relaxing, non-stressful. All the time in the world to get things accomplished. The house would always be perfect and clean, because hey! they don't "work". Uh, yeah.... I was totally, completely, utterly This past year and a half has been what Oprah would call an "a-ha" moment. I have a whole new profound respect for SAHMs that I never had before. Things are a little different in our home though. When my husband works, I am basically a single mom. He works twelve hour graveyard shifts. Unlike a lot of other SAHMs I don't get a reprieve in the evening, that is when he is leaving to begin his "day". I pretty much fly solo all day long. That kind of changes things a little. But we have managed to work around his schedule after a lot of trial, error, and some bickering. You learn to adapt, overcome and roll with the punches. So here we go:

SAHM-dom: What I Know Now

*It's not glamorous. I actually used to think it was. Now I know it is down-in-the-trenches dirty. I used to see the mommies at my daughter's school drop their kids off and then head to gym as I drove to work, thought they lounged over coffee at Starbucks with their girlfriends afterwards. Little did I know that the gym time was probably their only time to themselves all day long. And "lounge" at Starbucks? Forget it! Gotta head home, get to work, and hopefully squeeze in a shower.

*The house is not perfectly clean and organized all of the time. It is a challenge to clean the house while entertaining a wee one. And even if you are cleaning, that sweet little darling is right behind you making new messes. Erma Bombeck summed it all up in one quote, "Trying to clean the house while the kids live there is like trying to shovel the walkway in a snowstorm." Amen sister! I mistakenly thought my bathrooms and kitchen would constantly be sparkling, no crummies on the counter, the floor vacumed, house dusted, beds made, laundry neatly folded and put away. Yes those things happen in my house, but not on a daily basis. If the kitchen and bathrooms are gleaming that means the laundry is piled up. Of the laundry is put done and put away the floor is most likely in need of a good vacuming.
*Being on one-income sucks. So much more financial freedom when we had two incomes. My money always went to the fun stuff like clothes for the kids, extra-curricular activities, clothes for me, scrapbooking goodies, outings, household goods, etc. I could buy what I wanted when I wanted. Sigh, no longer the case. I will admit, I miss that extra money so much that I often question my decision to stay at home.

*It is a thankless job. Society never really says "thank you for quitting your job and raising decent human beings." No one ever says "thank you for doing the laundry, scrubbing the toilets, etc."

*Nothing compares to seeing your baby achieve milestones for the first time or your child's face light up when you are there to pick them up after school. These are precious moments I would have missed if I worked. The "MAMA!!!" I hear when Maddie sees me as the classroom door opens warms my heart. Everyday without fail it is the same joy and excitement. Luke's first creeps and steps, his first word, and all those cute little quirks. I am proud to say I was there for them all. I remember witnessing that first wobbly, rocking step. Priceless memories!

*It is far more exhausting than any of my past jobs. At the end of the day I am beat.

*I miss dressing up. Pulling out the clothes and getting the outfits together for work got old after awhile. But now I that I don't do it on a daily basis I do miss it. All those fabulous high heels in my closet don't get nearly as much use as they used to. Although I love not having to dress up every day, it would be nice to do it a few days a week.
*I look forward to bedtime. The kid's bedtime that is. After they are snuggled in their beds it's Mommy-Time. My time to relax with a glass of wine, catch up on one or two of the shows I have recorded on the DVR, mess around on the computer, read, scrapbook. It's like dessert to me, I covet that time.
*All that crafting I thought I would get done? Not a chance! Most of those projects are still tucked away in my craft closet because I just don't have the time. Sigh, someday...

*I need a SAHM of my own! How nice would that be?!

*It is humbling. Some things are no longer as important as they used to be. Most of those being material things. Dashing to the grocery store without make up is no longer unheard of. When you become a SAHM priorities shift. Some of it is just a natural progression/evolution and others are just out of necessity. But I have to admit, I like the humbling process of being a SAHM.

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