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What are the biggest misconceptions about SAHMs?

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
I think the biggest one is that we aren't that busy, that we have lots of time to relax. Some days are relaxing, but here it is fairly late in the day and I'm just sitting down for the first time. And while some week days are a bit relaxing, weekends are almost never relaxing, so the downtime I get during the week is balanced by how busy weekends (and evenings for that point) are.

What do you think are the biggest misconceptions?
post #2 of 60

Exactly what you said, that we really aren't THAT busy. I must be on the computer all day (I am also an informational researcher/writer for a website) even though when I'm on the computer I'm also doing something else, like feeding my baby, and watching/listening for my other kids. I limit my time on the computer, I'm not on all day, and I don't park my butt on the couch and watch TV all day either. I'm usually cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, or interacting with my children. There isn't much downtime but I do find that I am more busy when my husband is home for the weekends, in example. My husband is always bringing up me getting a job but always says "I was just playing/saying" when I tell him if he really needs me to work I will. I just feel undermined and overly unappreciated. I love what I do but my husband has no respect for it. I think strangers understand a lot more than him. 

post #3 of 60

I've had people act like it's just laziness, taking off the time when my poor DH is working. eyesroll.gif I think the biggest misconception is that it's a 40 hour a week situation, when in reality it is 24/7. I do not get breaks/free time when my daily shift ends, because it DOESN'T end. DH feels entitled to a break whenever he wants because he's bringing in money and it's normal to relax after getting off work, but guess who gets to cover during his break at home?

post #4 of 60

I think that people don't get that we are caretakers.  I hear all this talk about how hard it is for boomers to take care of their aging parents, or sick spouses.  How caretaking is the never ending shift, blah blah blah.  And all I ever think is- 'You know what?  Raising children is caretaking too, and the parents who do it also need respite'.  But it hasn't seemed to cross anyones mind that a good chunk of mothers are at home tending to the needs of children just as one would tend to an elders needs.  

post #5 of 60

All of you ladies are resonating with me right now.  The caretaking is what is so exhausting.  Just being the "brains" of the whole family unit, the whole household, etc, is also very exhausting for me.  I know that it's not the same for every sahp, but it seems like working (and maybe one or two household duties) falls to the working parent and the sahp does EVERYTHING else.  And I don't just mean physical labor, I mean the constant meal planning and keeping up with the children's growth spurts,  everyone's birthdays, etc, ad nauseum.  Honestly to me, the mental fatigue can be the hardest part. 

 

Also I am starting to find it disprectful when my husband says things like, "you should get a job" or "you should get a license" (the reason I find the former disrespectful is we won't have the budget for a second car for a very long time and driving hubby to work and back would be very hard, so I would basically have to run all the errands while he and the children are sleeping than do everything I still do while he's at work).  Basically I feel that my husband doesn't feel I'm contributing enough if I'm not working or driving places so he doesn't have to ever run an errand before or after work, but there is no tit for tat.  He would not be taking over any roles I'm filling if I did those things. 

 

And lastly, it seems like people just don't understand how burnt out a sahp can get.  There is sympathy for the working parent having to work then come home and deal with children and the home.  Those taking care of their elderly family members, like mentioned.  Single parents.  And don't get me wrong, I understand everyone in those situations must defenitely get burnt out.  But sahps are NOT immune. 

 

Can you tell I"m a bit burnt out right now and not feeling a lot of support, lol? 

post #6 of 60

The "you are lucky you can sah!"

 

No, it is NOT luck, unless having brains is luck? I work HARD on the finances, shopping, cooking, trying to save gas when having to drive around, so that we can afford for me to stay home. In fact, I played a huge part in us being able to buy a home, all from being a sahm.

 

Yes, dh makes the money, but someone has to be able to wisely manage it.

post #7 of 60
I totally agree that it's the mental part that's exhausting. That's the area where my DP and I get into arguments, because I feel like the responsibility of thought should be evenly split. My DP incorrectly assumes that when I sit on the couch w/the computer at night, I am vegging out, like he does. But I'm generally online shopping for clothes for DD, researching school options, reading about discipline styles, working out our budget, etc. I feel like I can barely keep it all in my head.
post #8 of 60

I totally understand, women get it but men just don't. I appreciate all you do from over here in WA!

post #9 of 60

I agree! Plus, just because the house is still a mess when you get home from work and dinner isn't ready yet doesn't mean that I haven't done anything all day. I have never felt so unappreciated as I do as a sahm.

post #10 of 60

I so agree with what everyone said.  I am also going to school, my classes are on line.  My husband has made some comments that annoys me.  I had a paper due a few days ago and I stayed up all night after the kids went to bed to work on it.  The next day I was totally tired; even though I was up all night once the kids get up I have to be up all day too.  My husband just didn't get why I would need to stay up; he thought I could work on what I need to do while I am with the kids.

 

It bothers me more that he thinks than what anyone else thinks.  What a great question.

post #11 of 60

I agree with the posts so far.  I'm a working mum, and I know you gals are busy too.  For the most part working moms are just plain jelious that we don't get to stay home with out sweeties for whatever reason.  I hope someday to join your ranks. 

post #12 of 60

Happyhats I so related to your post.  I got so upset the other day.  My Dh went on a trip to a conference.  He was gone for about 4 days.  When he came back we were at his pastors house and his pastor said something to the effect that he knows that my DH must be so tired after that long trip.  He hopes he will get time to relax.  Are you kidding me- I would jump at the opportunity to go to a conference especially one that is paid for.

post #13 of 60

I think one of the main misconceptions for me is we're "well off" or "rich".....ummmmm NO!  We make the sacrifices so I can stay at home with our 4 little ones all under the age of 5 yrs.  This is also something we talked about BEFORE we got married and have kids!  

We use to have a BMW, cable TV and go on nice vacations.  Now we drive a used Suburban, no cable TV, shop with coupons & go to thrift stores A LOT more.  Don't get me wrong, we do live a nice life I'm blessed for the things we have and thankful for what we can afford.  But I don't understand why some Moms are like "Oh we could never afford to do that!!!"  Well how much exactly are you paying for your commute to work, your work clothes, your day care (YIKES) not to mention the time away from your most precious gifts...your children.  How much is that worth to you???

Yes I'm "rich" because I have the the know how and means to live within reason and to enjoy being a little broke to stay at home with our kiddos.

Sorry I just feel very strongly when people say that can't afford something like being a SAHM when in reality from the people I see are the same people that spend $200+ on a new purse every other month, drink Starbucks daily and commute over an hour each day for work.

post #14 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by purplerose View Post

The "you are lucky you can sah!"

 

No, it is NOT luck, unless having brains is luck? I work HARD on the finances, shopping, cooking, trying to save gas when having to drive around, so that we can afford for me to stay home. In fact, I played a huge part in us being able to buy a home, all from being a sahm.

 

Yes, dh makes the money, but someone has to be able to wisely manage it.

Well I see where you are coming from.  But in a way it is a kind of luck.  I am not discounting the sacrifices we make as SAHMs but there are moms who dont have a choice; they have to work.  And then after coming home from work they have to deal with the things we deal with.That said there is a lot of misconceptions out there about SAHMs.

post #15 of 60
It kills me when people assume that I don't have a college degree. I went to school for 4 years and got my BA. I get no recognition or credit for that because I'm "just a mom."
post #16 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by purplerose View Post

The "you are lucky you can sah!"

 

No, it is NOT luck, unless having brains is luck? I work HARD on the finances, shopping, cooking, trying to save gas when having to drive around, so that we can afford for me to stay home. In fact, I played a huge part in us being able to buy a home, all from being a sahm.

 

Yes, dh makes the money, but someone has to be able to wisely manage it.

Amen!!!! It absolutely MADDENS me to hear. We CANT stay home, we both HAVE to work and they both have 20k cars and a boat in the driveway. I know there are exceptions, but more often, I really DO think you can manage on one income. We have 6 kids with one income. Sure we cut corners, but it happens with planning and frugality.

post #17 of 60

I once heard another mother say that a woman had said to her something about how stay-at-home mothers sit around and eat bonbons all day. Which really PO'd the mother who told me because apparently she was a very hard worker helping her husband run his business, keeping up their home and office, raising their sons, etc.

 

Thanks be to God, I don't remember anyone being so insensitive to me. The worst I've heard was said not just because my husband and I choose for me to stay at home, but also because I have bipolar disorder, so when I was having problems family members thought I could be doing so much more (job, take care of our children and home, etc.) and now that I'm well another family member thinks it'd be best for my mental health if we send our school-age children back to school instead of homeschooling (if they went to school again I would be home with our two toddlers which is a lot easier IMO).

 

As those of you who know me from the "TV Free and Loving It" group know, I don't watch TV. When our firstborn was born, Dad visited and told us that we "really need to get a TV." Since watching our baby daughter roll around and look around on our bed, my husband and I have always thought babies are much more fascinating than TV! I asked DH how anybody can watch TV when they have a baby. (Nothing against those of you who do watch TV. This is what we experienced.)

 

Someone (probably Dad) once told me I need to get a job. I would have to put my children in daycare, and I'm wondering: if I didn't have to (for financial reasons), why would I pay someone to experience those precious moments with my children that I would miss while I'm doing other work??

post #18 of 60

You ladies brought up some good points on this thread. I definitely understand the misconceptions but I would like to offer a different view: full-time working (to-be) mom who intends to share SAHM duties with her husband. He and I work together to share days at home and work days in the office. We spoke about this plan when we were boyfriend/girlfriend.

 

We live in the SF Bay Area, California. The median house price around here is over $500k+, whereas in the city of San Francisco, the median house price is $1 million (no, not a typo). Renting a 1bd/1bath is between $1,500-$3,000/month depending how close you want to get to Silicon Valley or SF. We literally cannot afford for either parent to stay at home, at least not full-time. We do not live that California glamorous lifestyle that is frequently showed on TV - there are no beaches within a 30-mile radius from us. wink1.gif

 

I do commute nearly 1-hour on BART (public transit) to work because jobs in SF pay much more than other parts of the Bay Area. Full-time child care costs range from $1,200-2,000 per child/per month (no sibling discounts) depending on the level of quality care you're seeking. We have done the math over and over again on our financial spreadsheets, calculated our statements/spending/savings, it's very difficult to justify one of us to stay-at-home and the other to possibly miss out on raising our child.

 

Also, I am the breadwinner and enjoy working a full-time schedule. My husband works at a big accounting firm that drastically underpays him but for career advancement purposes, it's the only way we can launch his career to the next level = make more $$$ after he leaves the company. It's very competitive job-wise and pay-wise in this area so we do our absolute best to provide a stable, humble and budgeted setting for our child with equal parenting responsibilities. Fortunately, our tech jobs are so flexible, we are offered the ability to work from home at our own option.

 

I definitely sympathize with any moms who take the time to be a SAHM but on the flip-side, there are some situations where it cannot be helped and that both parents need to take equal responsibilities in home activities to alleviate stress for both mom and dad. Personally, he loves the idea of being a SAH dad more than I would a SAH mom. thumb.gif

post #19 of 60
I recently left my full time job of 8 yrs to stay home with my kids. So I've experienced both options. I'm glad my husband supported my decision to stay home because I am absolutely loving it and feel like this is where I need to be right now. I have made gradual but very large changes in our lifestyle in order to compensate for my lost income. We live very frugally now but have a very positive and healthy home environment.

Honestly, I couldn't care less about anyone's opinion of my choice except for my husband's. He works full time from home so I can see for myself that his day is rarely a bed of roses and whether he wants to or not, he shares in plenty of my challenging moments as well. wink1.gif if he just went off to work everyday I would probably resent him some but this way, I absolutely don't. Sure, there are those moments where it's 8pm and I'm still doing dishes and laundry after being on my feet much of the day while he's watching a movie with the kids.....but overall my sense of gratitude at being able to stay home and provide my family with an awesome environment and food and love on them whenever I want totally wins. Part of my own journey since I left my job is to learn to get my self worth from within. Definitely a work in
progress but it's made a big difference for me.
Edited by Gracecody - 8/16/13 at 5:15pm
post #20 of 60
"You are a stay-at-home-mom! That must be so much fun!"

It might be for some people. It is not for me. I love my son, but "fun" is rarely the word I would use to describe my days.

I find being a SAHM to be a lot harder than working the 50 hours a week I had for almost two decades. Part of it is due to my temperament, and part of it is due to my child's.

I am lucky that my husband does appreciate me.
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