Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I hate being a SAHM

During the time (albeit brief) before I had kids I loved working. I loved the feeling of getting that check at the end of the week, even when my work made me want to loose. my. mind. I liked working hard even when I only had an unimportant retail job and all I was doing was setting up the Christmas tree in the home decor section of the Christian book store. I liked having money to manage, even if I often did so poorly.

Fast forward ten years.

Somehow it still isn't any easier. The day after day after day of same. With no paycheck to cash, no performance review to look forward to and almost never any sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Just more of more 24/7.  When you're a Stay At Home Mom there's no "I can make it through the next hour because then I'm going home" you just make it through the next hour until Daddy comes home only to make it through the next couple hours until bedtime, only to have them climb in bed with you and pee on your sheets.

I drive myself crazy. I battle with my ideals. Fight the urge to berate myself for not having blog-worthy snacks and activities for my kids or Pinterest-perfect rooms. I constantly feel like I ought to be more organized, more put-together, a smidge closer to perfect, or at least a step or two farther away from the point of completely falling apart. I wonder, even when I occasionally win a battle, if I'm going to loose the war. I get a room clean or have a good day only to have it annihilated less than 24 hours later.

But even though it isn't easy, even though more often than not being a SAHM makes me feel like I'm constantly loosing my mind, emotionally overwhelmed and physically exhausted - this is where I want to be and what I want to be doing.

There are those moments, like today at the grocery store as I watched my boys put money in the Salvation Army kettle and ring the little red bell when I realize I am teaching them something important just by being who I am. Every time I put my change in the food bank jar, every time they put their quarters in the Salvation Army kettle they are learning to be giving. They are learning by example and in moments like these I realize more than ever that this is where I want to be.

There are those moments, like when Eli falls asleep in my arms and I breathe in the smell of him, and smell his soft skin and kiss his little nose. I try to imagine what his life will be like twenty years from now, I try to remind myself how much I'm going to miss this and I realize that this is where I want to be.

When the tantrums need to be dealt with or the ten year old version of a tantrum has to be talked out  - this is where I want to be. When all the mind-blowing complexity of raising five infinitely different children is all squeezed into one getting-ready-for-school-morning - this is where I want to be. Even though there is a significant part of me that would rather grab my coffee and my lip stick and head to an office. I want to be here.


  1. Yes, the mom job doesn't have a weekly pay check; it is a very long term investment. You are investing EVERYTHING that you are in your children, for their future.
    Love you lots!

  2. That's so true Mom. Thank YOU for investing yourself in us, and showing us by example that we were worth investing in. Love you!

  3. I saw this post's title on my feed and immediately clicked on it with a chuckle. Hello. You have FIVE children. Cut yourself some slack! All those things on Pinterest HAVE to be by moms of two or less. Or, they're cutting back in some other area to make those Pinterest-worthy snacks. No one has more than 24 hours in a day, and your kids don't care what their snacks look like - they want Mom to be there to talk through a tantrum.

    I don't know what your social circle is like, but I have a LOT of mom friends who have continued working. I'm in the minority, staying home. And I'm not knocking them, or their decision, and their kids are great. But I can DEFINITELY see that my children have benefited from my staying home. They are calmer, more secure, more internally-driven, and less reliant on outside sources of entertainment and validation. Whatever decision other families make, I can see how much my children are better off for having me as a constant in their lives right now.

    It sucks as a mom though. It's hard. I love working too. I hear ya.

  4. Thank you for this, I needed it this morning! I having been having a really rough couple of days and this reminded me why I stay at home! xoxo

  5. I'm jealous of your sham job. The more I head to my office the more I hate it. I get the whole getting away time for your self that you crave but man I bet your kids are awesome and are going to be amazing adults because you are selfless and being there for them 24/7 good for you! Keep it up momma!

  6. I think both working away from your children and staying at home are both hard, just different. I do understand where you are coming from and I often complain to my husband that this is the most thankless job I could have. There are rewards, for sure just not in the form of money. I think people don't realize how staying at home can make you forget yourself. I saw the former me slowly fading away and it made me sad. I've started to remember who I am and my dreams and it's helping. I also understand the impact of social media on moms. I too wish for the perfect house, clothes, recipes that I see on pinterest, Facebook and instagram. It is hard sometimes to keep things in perspective and remind myself that those things aren't important. I also think it's important to support other moms and I think this post is a great way of showing that we are more alike then we are different. Love your honesty.

  7. I found your blog recently through some link up and came back today just to check it out again.
    I like it :) I like the way you write, your honesty... I LOVE your photos. I'm at home with my 5, too.
    There are definitely hard days. Go back to bed and hide under the covers days. But, like you, this is
    what I'm choosing. "The days are long but the years are short."

    Adding you to my reader tonight :)


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