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There are times in conversation, usually with acquaintances or people I don't see often, when the subject is raised-- being a SAHM. The reaction is often the same, some say, don't you get bored? or what do you do all day? Then there are the ex-SAHMs who say, oh, I tried it and it just wasn't for me. And it is usually said in a tone that really says, it was beneath me or I have better, more important things to do, or implying that I must be simple minded or something because I truly enjoy it.
Let me pause here and excuse myself now if I come off bitter, judgmental or mean. It is certainly not my intent at all. I firmly believe every woman has the choice to nourish a career. I am grateful that women today have so many options. I would never begrudge a woman for being a working Mom just like I would not want to be labeled or judged for being a Stay-at-Home-Mom. I also understand that not everyone is financially able or they are not cut out to do it and that's ok too. I simply feel that in our society, women are scorned more for being SAHMs than being a career Mom. Although, in reality, women are damned if they stay home and damned if they work full time. You're going to be judged either way.
This brings me onto another topic. Why are Moms so judgmental toward other Moms? It's like one big competition as to who does it better. You're judged for breastfeeding too long. You're judged for formula feeding. You're judged for co-sleeping, but then you're judged for leaving your infant in a room by themselves. It's really a lose-lose game we are playing. I am the first to admit I have done this to other women, silently thought they were doing it wrong as I had all the answers. But I am telling you it's wrong and unfair. Instead of constantly criticizing other Moms, we should be supporting one another. Being a mother is difficult enough without feeling like you have to defend yourself and your decisions all the time.
I think the biggest way to get the hairs on the back of my neck to stand on end is to ask me don't you get bored? I find it to be completely offensive and I promise, you will regret asking me that question. Who said anything about being bored? There is not one day that passes that I am bored. It is assumed, for whatever reason, that all SAHMs sit and watch Days of Our Lives all day, while the children play with Tonka trucks and color on the walls with Sharpie markers.
Imagine the day you lead; errands, doctors appointments, school, whatever. Think about how long it takes you to do those things and then double it. That is the life of a Mom. BUT you must take into account meal times, nap times and potty/diaper breaks. And your day never goes as planned unless you can account for the meltdown your baby will have at the grocery store, forcing you to leave a cart full of your week's groceries in aisle 8.
Here's a pretty typical day for me and my boy:
6:15am- Baby wakes, I change and dress him
6:30am-breakfast for everyone, pack Pablo's lunch
6:45am-take Pablo to the subway
7:15am- home and play time
8:30am- Baby naps, I shower
10am- go to music class, chiropractor, gym class, midwife appt (depends on the day)
11am- run to Target or other errand
12pm- lunch time
12:30pm- play time
1:30pm- Baby naps
3pm- grocery store
4pm- unload baby and groceries. Baby snacks while I put away food
5 pm- begin the prep for dinner
5:45- pick up Pablo from the subway
6pm- finish dinner and eat
7pm- put Baby to bed
7:30-10pm-Laundry, clean up dishes, straighten up, check emails, relax for the rest of the night
As you will see, there are maybe 2 hours that I have to myself during the day. Is that enough time to get bored? Uh NO!
So here's the moral to the story... Let's support each other as parents and caregivers to our luscious little babes. Let's value the work of SAHMs as much as we value the work of our career parents. At the end of the day, there is no job more important than raising strong, independent, worldly, compassionate little people. And two hands are better than one. After all, they say it takes a village.
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