Since becoming a SAHM I’ve discovered that people have some real misconceptions about the gig. I was some of those people!
1.My house will always be clean! Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. And some of it could be that I am a SAHM who also works, so I’m spending the four hours a day that Charlie is either napping or playing or swinging on her own chained to my computer. I’m also not ashamed to say that if I’m done with my work by the afternoon nap then I will often nap with her because I’m doing a lot of night parenting (sleep training just isn’t for me I’ve decided) so an extra nap can really help. So my house is a bit messy, but it’s still cleaner than it has any right to be because when I do clean I bust my tail at it.
2. I will NOT be one of those moms who wears PJ’s all day. Uh, as I type this, I’m wearing a towel. Before that it was a nightgown. And I don’t even sleep in nightgowns because I prefer easy access for night breastfeeding, so, uh, I don’t sleep in much. I literally get up and put on a night gown as my work uniform of the day.
3. Please don’t ask me to sell anything. Since becoming a mother I’ve been offered gigs selling: Jamberry, Rodan and Fields, Usborne Books (the most tempting) and Plexus. Please don’t. Please please please. And please don’t give the illusion of wanting to “check in and see how you’re doing with the baby!” and make me actually call you on the phone WHICH I HATE, to then find out that you’re doing a sales pitch. Being a SAHM does not make me a sales person. Every. Single. Person. who has pitched a product to me to sell has said “I thought of you FIRST because you’re a SAHM!” I don’t judge people who are selling this stuff-I’m wearing Jamberry on my toes right now, but if I want to sell it I’ll ask you. I know how these things work.
And if I here “It sells itself! You get a lexus!” one more time….
4. I won’t need much from my husband in regards to housework. This has been the most disappointing for me personally. I really thought I could handle all the housework. And before I was actually WAH, I was handling it, but like I said above, it’s really hard to fit it all in, so I’ve had to ask Chief for more help than I expected, and I hate asking. I want him to just see that I’m drowning in laundry and pitch in, but he’s not that type. He never minds helping, but he isn’t a self-starter on these things because he doesn’t care if our dining room is full of towels and baby clothes and underwear. I, on the other hand, do, so I’ve had to have a few chats about this issue. He always agrees immediately that he knows I need more help, I just need it to have some sticking power.
5. I will read at least three books to Charlie a day! I wish I could say that this was happening. And I do read to her a lot. We’ve done over 200 books since she’s been born, so that’s not nothing. But it’s not every day. And sometimes it’s not three books. Sometimes it’s five books! Sometimes it’s only one. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen. And I stress about this more than anything else actually, because I KNOW the benefits to reading to her every day. So I need to be better.
6. I will never let Charlie sit in her swing because I’m too busy. The kid only likes her playmat so much, and she can’t stay in the jumperoo more than 25 minutes a day, so sometimes she just has to go in the swing when I have thirty minutes or work left to do, or when I need to freeze the three days of pumped breast milk in the freezer, or move the laundry. Sometimes I just have to let her swing, and luckily we’re in a serious and loving relationship with our swings. She is seriously digging them. So I’m taking advantage.
7. We will go out and do stuff all the time! We do go out some. I try to go to baby storytime every Thursday (but my battery was dead in my car yesterday, so I missed it and I was really bummed). But honestly it is so much easier if I wait until Chief is home to run errands. Doing everything by yourself with a baby is hard. Major props to single mommas out there.
8. I won’t miss my job. Most of the time this is true, but there are aspects of it that I miss. Sometimes an adult conversation would be nice, but I think the thing that upsets me the most sometimes is that there is no system of evaluation or appreciation. My house may look like a small scale disaster, but the only reason it doesn’t look like a disaster of epic proportions is because I work really hard. I do dishes every night, I cook almost every night, I do all of the laundry except Chiefs, and I vacuum/sweep three times a week because of pet hair. But at the end of the day it’s still a mess because BABY. There is no task completion because the task is never complete. I don’t get a yearly evaluation with a raise anymore, and that bit of validation is missed.
I still wouldn’t change my decision to be a STAHM, because my kiddo is the best job there is. But man, she is a lot of work!