"Why on earth can't women respect each other without having to have a job to validate their existence??" I worded that sentence carefully. I didn't mean that we can't respect women *with* jobs. I just don't think that should be a requirement to be respected, and I'm finding that to be the case more and more often.
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What are the biggest misconceptions about SAHMs? - Page 3post #41 of 608/18/13 at 5:07pmpost #42 of 608/19/13 at 9:08pmWhen my job is a break from my days at home, the question about which is harder is answered (for me).
I do work, currently on hiatus with our second.
@msbusybee: I live where you live. I 'get' and applaud your cheery attitude. For me, living here in $$$ land, I wish someone had said: out of tenderness for the woman, unknown yet, that you will be when your newborn is here, create a Plan B for her so that if working is not what is right for her, the plan is already thought through. The draconian extremes already visualized, the sacrifices required a known quantity. I realize it is advice that can't be taken, learning being what it is, but for what it is worth...a Plan B costs nothing to create, in energy or dollars, and is often the thing mamas downriver say: I needed it and didn't know.post #43 of 608/21/13 at 10:03am
that it isn't 'work' ROLF. I am now a student/single/sahm and I was conversing with someone also in my program, this past summer I took 6 hours all in 5 weeks. My classmate single/no kids etc said he was only taking 3 hours because he 'works alot', studying around 2 kiddos schedules and maintaining a home and finances and dealing with the transition from married/sahm now single/sahm/student and eventual single/wohm mom is a lot of planning and work believe me!.post #44 of 608/21/13 at 11:06amWeird. I always get reactions that are the exact opposite of everyone here. It must be because I have more than the "normal" number of kids, but I get constant comments about how hard my life must be, how I must be so busy all the time, how I must never have time to sit down, how I must be so strong / organized / amazing / whatever, because they can't imagine being able to stay at home / have more than two kids / homeschool / whatever. A lot of times when other women hear that I am a SAHM, their first response is to tell me how much they would hate doing that themselves.
I don't think people realize that what they are saying is, "Wow, your life must suck. How awful to be you." Gee, thanks.
It gets more complicated because I actually do suffer from anxiety and depression. I have dealt with these issues for my entire life; I was on anti-anxiety medication at 13, and probably should have been before that. People assume that my issues stem from having such a "difficult" life, telling me that I have anxiety because I'm "overwhelmed" and "trying to do too much" (completely based on assumptions, and not based on my reality). Some of my old friends actually had a conversation -- online, where I ended up seeing it -- about how they felt sorry for me because I had ruined my life and was obviously miserable. That really hurt, because the truth was that I was miserable AND alone when I knew them (and no one even noticed how unhappy I was; not even my ex-fiance paid attention to the fact that I was crying myself to sleep at night on a regular basis). The only thing that had changed was that I now had people in my life who loved me and cared about me, and about whom I cared, enough for me to speak openly about my issues and seek help. My husband has always been incredibly supportive of me in trying to fight through my anxiety and depression, and has pushed me to keep going when I wanted to give up. My kids make me happy when nothing else can, and motivate me to be the best me that I can. Yet people are always telling me that to be actually happy I need to get away from them. (Literally, I have been told it's not even good enough to go out with my husband, but that I *need* to get away, even though I completely prefer to spend my free time with him.)
So, no, no one ever says or implies that they think I'm sitting around being lazy or doing nothing all day long. Honestly, I AM doing nothing a lot more than people think, LOL. I try to encourage other moms that it is possible to relax and spend time doing things you enjoy even while staying home with your kids. I do it all the time.
As far as the other things people have mentioned... Like I said, my DH is very supportive. He was the one who initially suggested I stay home (and I was excited, because I didn't think that was possible), and he's committed to that. When he's home from work he helps with the kids and the house, and we spend a lot of time just hanging out together and enjoying each other. He often asks me if I feel like he does enough, and I always say that I feel like he should relax more!
I don't care what people think about money. I do feel like we're pretty well off, as we hardly have to worry about money at all. (Well, sometimes I get a bit annoyed at people assuming we are poor, like people at church trying to convince us to take charity we don't need even after we've explained that we have plenty.) Of course, we've also been through hard times. DH is in technology, and he's highly sought after for what he does, but jobs aren't always there. There have been times when he worked any job he could get, including tattoo shops, security gigs, waiting tables, and even running karaoke. I appreciate that he's willing to do whatever is necessary to keep us afloat. I feel really lucky to have someone like him. When people tell me that they couldn't afford to do what I do (stay home, homeschool, or have more than X kids), I tend to think a) maybe they couldn't, as I don't know their situation; and b) most people seriously underestimate what they could do if it's what they really wanted. But most people who say that don't really sound like they really *want* to do whatever we're discussing, so why would I try to talk them into it?
I also don't care if people think I'm uneducated. Technically, I am. I'm fairly intelligent and auto-didactic (so anything I *want* to learn, I pick up pretty easily on my own), and I have no desire to work outside the home, so I found college pretty useless. I quit after a year and never looked back. My only regret is wasting that one year.post #45 of 608/22/13 at 12:05am
This has generated some strong opinions! It is horrible to feel belittled for doing something really important, that you strongly believe in, and may have chosen to do despite financial strain and all kinds of complications. I am a stay at home parent and we have no family or friends nearby to help, so there have been the occasional days when I am really sick and have literally been sitting on the floor with two very lively boys romping around me causing mayhem and I have been unable to do anything!
Those are the bad days, the good days are very good!
The worst misconception we have in England is our government suggesting that being a stay at home parent is a "lifestyle choice" - that makes me furious. It is something I didn't plan to do (I did consider going back to work and my employer was REALLY unhelpful about my child being ebf) and was a real wrench. I still feel surprised at being cut off from paid employment and whilst my husband helped me make the decision and was and is supportive about it all, it is still really hard work.
It is 24/7 and as one member said earlier, the mental fatigue of all the 'small' stuff, like meal planning, health, etc is exhausting!
I saw a former work colleague the other day for the first time in over a year. First of all she greeted me with "oh you look like a Mum" and later said "you can tell you're a stay at home mum, you have an out of date phone"! Big deal! So I look pathetic in her eyes. I always feel that's how I look to others but I really don't care, I have made this choice for the sake of my children and I hope it works out for them later in life, that I was always here for them. And I really have a lot of respect for those women who DO work - I am amazed by your strength.post #46 of 608/22/13 at 9:45amI am pretty sure none of the sahms here are meaning to start a fight. We are just bitching about how we feel we are viewed by the comments we receive.
I live in a high col area, and our lifestyle is drastically different than that which I see all around me. Because it does take one huge or two good incomes to pay for the expected basics of a 2+ bedroom house, 2 reliable cars, and the requisite day care/ all day preschool. So at least here, it is odd to not strive for those things and care for your kids all day instead. People make comments, and when a friend with a nice house in a safe neighborhood with 2 shiny cars pays for 20-40k of child care per year tells you they could never afford to stay home it doesn't ring true to a sahm who has chosen to sacrifice those luxuries for staying at home. We are by no means saying that all wahms are well off- just that this is a common comment we receive from some.
We are all trying to live the lives we feel are best for our families.post #47 of 608/24/13 at 7:28amI get nothing but positive comments and I only have two kids. People are always encouraging me and telling me how busy I must be and how I have my hands full and on and on. I'm glad no one ever belittles what I do for my children. Studies have shown(overall) that moms who work part time are the happiest. Moms who work out of the home full time miss their kids and have to compact a lot of motherly duties into a few hours of the day. Moms who stay at home lose their sense of self and live in a perpetual state of cleaning ...post #48 of 608/24/13 at 2:13pm
I think the idea that we do NOTHING.
Yes, I stay home with my son (whom I homeschool) and my daughter. I also work full time from home, in addition to the 24/7 job that is parenting.
Years ago when my now-ex-husband remarked that I did nothing all day, I gave him a piece of my mind about what goes into caring for a baby and giving him a nice, clean home and meal to come back to at the end of every day.
Whether stay-at-home-parents work additional jobs from home (like I do) or not, they have enough going on without people assuming they sit around on their butts eating bon-bons all day.post #49 of 608/24/13 at 5:43pm
I've heard men say that they wouldn't put up with some woman 'mooching' off of them. Classy, huh? I think the idea that it's mindless work that bothers me... okay, house keeping can be, but parenting sure isn't! I had one woman ask if I ever felt guilty that I wasn't contributing to society since I'll get an old-age pension that I never paid into when I am a senior (Canada) Seriously? I don't know that I'm never going to work, how can she know that? And even if I don't, it's the SAHMs that do the brunt of the work for the PAC and other volunteering at the school, we are the ones the working moms called when the teachers went on strike, or when they are just stuck in a traffic jam and could we just hang around for half an hour on the playground until they get there and watch their kid? My community has benefitted from me being home.
I'm lucky to have a lot of support. Whenever I've compared my job to my husbands (he works 12 or 14 hour days managing a bus yard) he goes "Give your head a shake, your job is hard!" usually I'm complaining about being tired and trying to justify that I know it's not the same because I don't get up at 5AM and it's not as physical as his work and he's got schedules for 5 communities to meet so it's stressful, etc. I am saying my work is never-ending and I can't let my attention lapse for a minute because our youngest is 1 and she'll get hurt, toddler tantrums and big-kid mood swings are crazy-making, etc and I just need to mentally check-out for 20 minutes. I always feel guilty asking for extra help, ha ha!post #50 of 608/24/13 at 11:43pmMy boyfriend that doesn't live with me, my 5 year old and our 3 month old, has said "I don't get shaken baby syndrome, how could anyone ever do that, baby's are just so precious." Well buddy I haven't done it but I get it. And you don't have to be a sah parent to get it but it might help if you lived with your kid to get it or to then decide to open your mouth about it. He's never had a night with a colicky baby, let alone several in a row, or even really done any night parenting outside of the hospital. But whine me a river about working in an office 40 or 50 hours a week. Fortunately I don't need to live with him and don't see it happening till he sees some light , if ever. My next child in 5 years just might have a sperm donor dad.post #51 of 608/31/13 at 3:40pmI love this post. My dad jokes that I sit and watch TV all day but I really don't. My TV is usually only while my LO is nursing. Housework never ends, food needs to be cooked and I tend to our LO 24/7. Daddy just gets all the kisses and cuddles when he comes in. It is hard work with no "real" breaks and some days it is exhausting. It's so rewarding though and so worth it. I hate when people say I'm lucky to do this because it isn't luck. Sometimes it's a sacrifice - I don't go on shopping sprees and I don't go get my nails done. You have to really want it to do it.post #52 of 608/31/13 at 8:29pm
Last year while I was 6 months pregnant with my third child, and taking care of my 4 yo and 2 yo full time, my brother called me and asked `have you decided to get a job yet or are you still taking it easy?`. I did not know how to respond to that comment, I was just speechless. Unfortunately, this is a common sentiment among many people I know.
I generally don`t pay attention to other people`s opinions and judgements about being a SAHM, though, because I know that my husband is fully supportive, and we have chosen this path because we think it is the best way to raise our family. I kind of feel bad for people like my brother who think that a parent is not contributing meaningfully to the household if he/she is not bringing home a paycheck. There is so much more to life than making money, but that idea seems to elude a lot of people these days.post #53 of 609/3/13 at 7:22pmpost #54 of 609/8/13 at 7:18pm
sort of off topic but: why on a SAHM/P support thread are we having to defend ourselves from WOHM? i don't see anyone here bashing WOHM, just women venting frustrations.
i have only recently been home full time (about 3 years now) and i have to say that it has been much harder mentally then i thought. i was an RN before and so the hard work of caring for people is not new to me... but not having adults to talk to everyday, is harder than anything. some days i want to go running out the door crying for lack of good conversation.
my dh is so so supportive and we are making it work. it would be about 100X easier if i got a job, but then you know i did that for 16 years and i feel i missed a lot. and our kids never went to day care, i just worked opposite shifts than my husband. so i missed a lot of sleep. yes i have heard them all talk, and seen them all walk and i know i am their mother 100% even when i was working, but it is different. working outside of the home doesn't make you less of a mom. i don't think anyone is saying that.
AND there is a money part. i am lucky in that my dh has a pretty good job, BUT he worked his butt off to get that job. it wasn't handed to him like magic. and we have to work the numbers every month to keep this boat afloat because we have 6 kids and i am expecting #7 at the beginning of the year. they all need to eat, be clothed, get an occasional gift. there is a lot of sacrifice. which we made, and it works for US.
what have i heard? it must be so nice to be so lucky. and i could never stay home i would be so bored. and i couldn't stand to be around my kids that much. and i guess some days this is all true. lol we are lucky dh could have a crappy job and i would have to work. some days i am bored (not for lack of stuff to do, but just because i am doing the same stuff over and over... BUT that happened at the hospitals too, some nights were just boring as heck) and some days my kids make me batty, i mean i am wanting to run and hide... BUT i had bad nights at work too, so you know...
which i guess is another issue... you can't complain a lot. because you COULD go get a job. when you WOH you can b!tch day and night about your job, but if you are a SAHP it is always rainbows and sunshine, if you complain then something is wrong with you. i have found the company of other SAHP so important because they get it.post #55 of 609/10/13 at 1:33pm
Biggest misconception: that we STAY AT HOME! I was out half the day yesterday, half the day today (just having my first coffee and it's nearly 1:30) My kids had appointments in the mornings, and my son just started middle school so he wants me to walk and meet him on his way home. Too much new all at once, I think. I have an errand to get done this week that will probably be a 3+ hour round trip on the bus, and another errand that we'll be out all morning for. I've told my husband I'm going to come down and meet him for lunch one day, too.post #56 of 609/10/13 at 2:48pmLOL Mummoth! I was just thinking how unusual (and unusually pleasant) it has been to be home almost all day today. We took a lunch picnic to the park because I refused to go that long without some fresh sir and exercise. Generally, though, I have to get the kids out of the house by 10 or 11, or we all just start going insane. There's never a shortage of errands or adventures out there for us.
As for the OP's question, I don't tend to get into very many conversations comparing my days with those of non-SAHPs. I guess that is fortunate. I have certainly heard my share of "I wish I could be a SAHP" or "oh, I could NEVER do that. I would go crazy!"
For me, I have been a SAHP exclusively for 5years, but am now starting a job working in a grocery co-op 30 hours/week, but doing it in such a way that kids will not be in non-parental care. DH is re-arranging his schedule to squeeze in 40 hours without interfering with my schedule. This is great for me, since I am not generally satisfied with bring a SAHM or a whom if childcare is required. Now I feel that the playing field can be leveled quite well between DH and I and I never have to worry about either of us not doing enough. We will both be doing too much, I suspect. That said, if most of the housework gets saved up for me, there will be he'll to pay.post #57 of 609/14/13 at 7:36pm
Definitely the mental exhaustion is the worst part. The constant battle of doctors appts, meal planning, budgeting, shopping, couponing, cleaning, organization tips and reworking to make things work. Plus for most parents that stay home they can't afford it. Yes the childcare, gas, expenses may make it not worth going to work and depending on the number of kids you have and area you live in it may well cost you money to go to work but that doesn't mean you don't still need more income for your family. Needing that extra income puts more stress on the SAHM to save money which means more budgeting, finding little ways to make a little from home even if things like swagbucks for an amazon gift card, couponing, making almost everything you eat from scratch because its the cheapest way to eat, making your own detergents/cleaners/bath care etc to save money (yes it's more natural too so benefit but it's also a financial decision for me). The constant online comparison shopping and having to garage sale/thrift shop it to get things we need so we can stay in budget. I frequently spend days researching a purchase and comparison shopping just to be sure I get the best deal so I can stay in budget. We build/make a lot of things at home too for the money saving. I think that makes a big difference too... I see a lot of people that "can't afford" things but they don't realize I make almost everything we eat from scratch where they just buy it. Our car is old and dh does all the maintenance himself where there's are newer or they just take it to a shop. We build furniture/buy cheap/make stuff to organize and decorate our home where they purchase what they want/can get in the store. When they need something they just buy it off a walmart shelf but I searched for two days first researching it and got it for a quarter of the price elsewhere. They go clothes shopping and buy what they need I run to three thrift shops for items then purchase on ebay used. Sometimes the making money gets more credit than the fact that I may not have gotten it on a paycheck but all the things I do from home save us and therefore "make" us possibly hundreds a month!!!post #58 of 609/14/13 at 7:52pmQuote:Originally Posted by Mummoth
Biggest misconception: that we STAY AT HOME! I was out half the day yesterday, half the day today (just having my first coffee and it's nearly 1:30) My kids had appointments in the mornings, and my son just started middle school so he wants me to walk and meet him on his way home. Too much new all at once, I think. I have an errand to get done this week that will probably be a 3+ hour round trip on the bus, and another errand that we'll be out all morning for. I've told my husband I'm going to come down and meet him for lunch one day, too.
LOL I just saw this. I still work out of the home part time so I guess I'm not totally a SAHM and the job contributes to me being out of the home but this is definitely true regardless. Both my oldest two had a soccer game Thursday night, DS had practice tonight, Mon is lil bit's cheer class then DS has a soccer game, Tues is the PTA meeting and DD has a soccer game again Thurs. Um... yeah that's just their activities for the week not my work schedule and the household work/errands or the fact that this is homecoming week and the kids want to get in that. Oy!post #59 of 609/15/13 at 1:19pmpost #60 of 609/25/13 at 12:33pm
I also really dislike the notion that one must be rich to stay home. Ha! We really, really budget and cut corners. We live in a small, modest home with 5 soon to be 6 kids. For years, we only had one car. (We were lucky to find a second car that we could buy last year for only $1200.) We don't eat out in restaurants except maybe getting pizza once a month. I cook 3 meals a day for everyone in the house, 7 days a week. My husband works 60 or more hours a week. We don't go on big vacations. I can't remember the last time I was at a salon. We don't have cable or cell phones. My kids clothes come from consignment shops, yard sales, or hand me downs. I have a large garden that I work hard at and we get a lot of food from there Because for me there is NO other option. I will always stay home. Not b/c I'm rich, but b/c I feel it's my calling to do so. For me, if money gets tight the only option is to reduce expenses.
Happy Stay at Home Mama to:
DD - 9
DS - 7
DS - 5
DD - 3
DD - 7 months
Baby #6 on the way!
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