Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Life Of A SAHM: Yes, I Eat Bonbons And Watch Soap Operas All Day

That is, if by eating bonbons you mean devouring some indulgent moments with my little sweeties, and by watching soap operas you mean observing the daily drama that unfolds with a baby and a toddler, then yeah, I do those things.

There are probably a gazillion and one posts on the Internet in which dumbfounded stay-at-home-moms vent about getting asked, “So what do you do all day?” Thankfully, I never get asked that (though that probably has more to do with the fact that I rarely see any human beings other than my hubby and little ones), and I’m glad because I’m not sure how I’d answer.

Because that question has already been answered quite eloquently here.

And also because sometimes I do get to the end of the day and think, “What did I do today? Was I productive enough? Did I accomplish all of my goals?”

But, you know, I did that when I worked at an office too. Think about your own job. Is it easy to explain what you do to others who have never done it? Can you even remember every little thing you did all day?

That’s why I just can’t understand why the question keeps getting asked. It’s as though, despite the fact that there are people who get paid money to do it, taking care of children isn’t considered work.
I can tell you with great certainty that I am far more tired at the end of the day now than when I was working a desk job. And it’s not because being a SAHM is harder – I’m not trying to argue that.

In fact I think the bizarre competition that exists between working parents and stay-at-home parents is simply ridiculous. There are pros and cons to each choice and sacrifices that have to be made no matter what situation you’re in.

Neither is easier than the other; they’re just different.
stay at home mom perks
Tiny Little Hands
But what I have learned from being a SAHM is that constant childcare can be exhausting, just as any job can be exhausting when IT NEVER ENDS. Full time 'mommying' can make you a little stir crazy and a little overwhelmed by the lack of adult interaction and mental stimulation, and being your own boss is not always easy because you run the risk of being far too hard on yourself far too often.

It’s particularly difficult at times because there are no immediate rewards, no plaques or certificates to show for all your hard work. No one sends an email to your boss telling him what a great job you did on a project, and there are no raises. No one even observes what you do most of the time. So for someone who has always been as achievement oriented as I am, that was quite an adjustment.

tiny little feet
Tiny Little Feet
It’s rewarding, yes. But the rewards come in much different packaging, and often you are the only one who ever knows about them.
But I wouldn’t trade what I’ve got now. And maybe that’s the key difference for me. Jobs come and go, but this is the one that I am most devoted to and most thankful for.

I’m thankful to have the opportunity to do it, to get to spend as much of this precious time as I can with my little sweets…my little “bonbons”.

The truth is I don’t really care if anyone else thinks I have it easy or that my job isn’t important. I don’t care if some people don’t respect what I do. I know how hard it is, I know its value, and I know I give it my all. More than anything, I know I’m going to miss it when it’s gone.

And I know my own little soap opera is far more interesting than any I'd ever see on TV.


  1. oh yes! it's so hard not to compare myself to working moms and wonder "what if?" it really is. but at the same time, i wouldn't change positions! i think the hardest thing about being a sahm is the lack of seeing immediate results like when you've completed a project, produced something, chaired a meeting, etc. sometimes i really miss that immediate gratification. of course, i know the results i'm working for are much more long term and i try to keep that in mind... but it's tough sometimes when you're in up to your elbows in the day-to-day!!

    1. Definitely! And we have now reached that difficult four-month mark, so things have gotten...interesting. ;) I think the phrase "the days are long, but the years are short" says it best.

  2. Well said! Being a sahm is a far tougher job than most imagine. I think many assume it's easy or that sahms are lazy because the nature of the bulk of our work is done at home. And until they've (the critics) worked at home, they can't possibly fathom how tough being at home with children and working 24/7 can be.

    Having walked both roads, I know that working moms and sahms both do work, and they work very hard. I enjoy this path, however, because I like seeing my little ones grow up in front of my eyes. I like having a hand in all of their growing. We are not, as sahms, bestowed with many tangible rewards, but the rewards we do get, the intrinsic ones, the evidence of our work in our children, that makes it all worth it for me.

    1. I totally agree, Jessica! There are days when I miss having "grown-up work" to do, but I have never regretted my decision to stay home. And there's always blogging/writing to keep me sane, right? :)