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I have a confession. You're not going to like it.

post #1 of 137
Thread Starter 
I think SAHM is a much easier job than WOHM. :

There. I said it. Maybe it's because my husband is supportive and an equal co-parent who also is equally invested in keeping our home neat and clean, maybe it's because he picks up my slack all the time and makes sure I get enough me time to stay sane and healthy, maybe it's because I have two dream angel babies, but I really, really, really think that I would jump off a cliff if I had to WOH and then try to be a mom and wife after spending 8-10 hours a day working at an office with other people.

I don't have to spend all day exhausting myself trying to work with other people, interact, solve problems, travel, wear a suit, keep paperwork up to date, meet deadlines, come home to tired kiddos, try to put dinner on the table, do housecleaning and organizing and bill paying and then try to spend time with my husband on top of it while giving my children quality time with me during the week. I truly think WOHMs must have superpowers.

I really don't get it...comparatively, to other WOHMs that I know, I have the life of luxury. Am I the only one who feels this way? Again, I recognize that my two are really dream kids, so we spend the vast majority of our time hanging out and playing and laughing and learning, but even on the most difficult days, when both are sick and cranky and tired and grumpy and tantrumy, I STILL cannot fathom trying to work an extra job on top of being a wife and mother.

Okay, I realize you're all going to hate me, so I'm donning my flameproof suit. :
post #2 of 137
Oh hells yeah.

For me, anyway. Now, when I SAHM I used to say differently (course I had nothing to compare it to, never having WOHMed at that time).

And it's true that in terms of *labour intensity,* for me taking care of an infant was harder, you don't get breaks, it's 24/7 constant, don't get a lunchhour, don't get to shower. All of that.

But I find the juggling I'm doing right now of school, co-op placement, and mothering really stressful. I have to leave school or work if my kiddo is sick or freaking out, I have to change hats all the time, if she has a bad night I still have to function in the world the next day.

It's rewarding for sure, but for me I am much, much more exhausted now than I was as a SAHM.
post #3 of 137
Oh, this is sooooo much better than WOHM.

I've never actually been a WOHM, but being a SAHM is easier than it was just working and pregnant. I worked as a midwife, so 24 hour shifts where I didn't pee until 3 am (from 8 am) were common. I was exhausted all the time. And, oddly enough, just a regular day int he office (no hospital) was exhausting. We ate take out, or we looked at each other at 7 at night, "what's for supper?" The dog whined to be taken to walk, but I was just too tired. Alll the time. On Saturdays, instead of fun stuff, we spent the morning cleaning.

Oh, yeah, this is soooo much better.
post #4 of 137
Yeah, very true, Betsy. I also find it hard that I don't have the time during the day to organize and plan for domestic needs... like dinner, etc. It all has to be done when we come in, exhausted and wanting to just relax and be together, at 5pm.

Overwhelming.
post #5 of 137
I get to do both.....I'm a teacher, so I WOH 9 months of the year and SAH 3 months of the year. Summers (when I'm off, so I'm SAHM'ing) are SO. MUCH. EASIER!!
post #6 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
I get to do both.....I'm a teacher, so I WOH 9 months of the year and SAH 3 months of the year. Summers (when I'm off, so I'm SAHM'ing) are SO. MUCH. EASIER!!
Same here. And I agree.
post #7 of 137
I think it's better but I don't think it's easier.
If I didn't think it was better, I'd get a job.
post #8 of 137
I think SAHM is a much easier job than WOHM. :

There. I said it. Maybe it's because my husband is supportive and an equal co-parent who also is equally invested in keeping our home neat and clean, maybe it's because he picks up my slack all the time and makes sure I get enough me time to stay sane and healthy, maybe it's because I have two dream angel babies, but I really, really, really think that I would jump off a cliff if I had to WOH and then try to be a mom and wife after spending 8-10 hours a day working at an office with other people.


Speaking as a pregnant SAHM whose never worked AND take care of my DS at the same time...Ohh I definitely can believe that is true. Having your DH help you and having dream kids are part of it too but even if that wasn't the case...it STILL sounds easier than working!

Driving around to my doc appointments exhausts me...can't imagine driving rush hour every day...and in the snow?!
post #9 of 137
I completely agree! I can't imagine trying to get enough time in with my son on top of the demands of my old job. I feel very fortunate that it has worked out that I can stay home.
post #10 of 137
I completely agree. I considered myself a SAHM when dd was small, although I was actually finishing highschool, but I took her with me. And I think it was a billion times easier than working fulltime and still doing everything I do around the house. People keep trying to tell me how much harder it's going to be to have two kids when the new baby gets here, but all I can think is that the year of mat leave is going to be an awesome vacation.

I think it also helps that if you love what you're doing, it will always feel easier than doing something you don't love.
post #11 of 137
I think that for many (probably most) it *is* easier. Because with a job outside the home you still are responsible for most of the same things you would be if you were a SAHM, especially if your DH works as well.

But, for some people who get bored with their kids or who don't have the temperament to be with kids all day, then working out of the home could be easier. SAHM just may not be fulfilling for them.

But, when you add it all up, it is only obvious that WOHM are more stretched to the limit when it comes to time, etc.
post #12 of 137
its all relative. its harder for me, because I have had to learn patience, learn how to be responsible for someone else 24 hours a day, learn how to find fulfillment in the little things that making being a SAHM worth doing, and forget how much I liked the corporate ladder climbing, deadlines (yes, I love deadlines), and all the things that those who love to work, love to do.

In the end, I come to this. Its harder for me. I clean up after 4 people 3 of which have all day every day to destroy our home, the 4th whom I love dearly but comes in, dumps his stuff, and then joins the homewrecking party for the hours he's up, and in the area that we're in, with the interests that I have, its pretty much cut me off from any outside world, other than via the net. Work is orderly and 'fair' and there is always someone to go to when things are not working out. Home is not always fair, and there is nobody else to go to for help when its just me and the kiddos.

That being said... seeing my 16 mo old daughter smile or my 12 year old son get an A in a class way too advanced for him according to his teachers (before I chose to homeschool) and its all worth it.
post #13 of 137
I agree, it would be very hard to do what I do now, night duty, cleaning, cooking etc. and WOH. I have found that the SAHMing wasn't really the hard part once I made some new friends and was getting out more. The parenting is hard, but worth it and I'm glad I don't have WOH responsibilities on top of that. I am the type of person who could stay home for days at a time and be fine, but dd loves to go places so we get out alot.
post #14 of 137
I know that everyone is different, and all that stuff, but I am sincerely perplexed by how anyone could find sahm'ing more difficult that wohm'ing. Really. Do the demands of parenthood lessen if you're doing all that parenting stuff plus spending 8 hrs a day at work? I suppose it could be more enjoyable for people who really love their jobs, but easier? I will never understand people.
post #15 of 137
Oh absolutely.

Yeah, baby care is 24/7 but the thing about WOH isn't so much the work, as having to constantly be "on" for interaction with a bunch of mainstream adults. The clothes, the fake smiles, the office gossip BS.

OTOH there's the theory that "the more you do, the more you do." It's apparent from reading this board that many people have difficulty finding their compass or "self-starting," so to speak, in the unstructured environment of home. Depending on your personal stamina, some people find it more comfortable to be "on" all the time. Depends on your temperament, I guess. I used to know a lady who was like this. She had to stay home for a year due to some health issues, and was crawling the walls. She would clean her house obsessively just to stay active, despite the health issues. Not due to a sense of guilt or obligation, but just because her inner energy drove her to it. I wish I was like that - although I wouldn't direct it towards cleaning!
post #16 of 137
ITA as well. I am *not* saying SAHMing is easy or that WOHMing is better. But in terms of being able to focus your energy on one thing -- your family -- it is much easier.

I have a good friend who was a WOHM attorney until about six months ago, and she says the difference in her energy level now that she's at home is unbelievable.
post #17 of 137
I would tend to agree with you. I have actually not worked since I married, so I have never faced the challenges of work plus childrearing or even work plus taking care of my own home for that matter. Being a SAHM does come with it's own challenges, but personally they are challenges I much more prefer to working outside the home.

The only time I have really been driven batty by being SAHW/SAHM is when my husband is deployed. The first few weeks take quite a bit of adjustment and it is a bit difficult to go from having a supportive husband who is assisting in many duties around the home to being the sole adult in charge of and responsible for everything. Other than during these times, I really enjoy being at home and find it to be a great deal more enjoyable than my life was when I worked.
post #18 of 137
(NAK)

I'm glad it's that way for you, but I'd have to say it's not something one can generalize about - it depends on so many factors:
  • Your kids' temperment/personality/age
  • What the WOH job is
  • Your temperment/personality
  • Your spouse's presence and support
  • How active your days are as a SAHM
To name a few....

I agree that it is more enjoyable, but for me it is harder (I think I was able to slack off more when I was working ; now I can't...or won't allow myself to!). Just more demanding, more physically exhausting, although I assume that WOHM's share those feelings!
post #19 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna View Post
I know that everyone is different, and all that stuff, but I am sincerely perplexed by how anyone could find sahm'ing more difficult that wohm'ing. Really. Do the demands of parenthood lessen if you're doing all that parenting stuff plus spending 8 hrs a day at work? I suppose it could be more enjoyable for people who really love their jobs, but easier? I will never understand people.
That is a good point. I was thinking in terms of my days, which are without a doubt busier and more demanding than when I was working; as I said above, it depends on the job, the kids, and so many other things. So in terms of a "job," SAH/WAH is harder for me - it just is. Does that mean anything about SAHM/WOHM in general? Does that discredit the additional burdens of mothers who have jobs outside of the home? I certainly hope not; it is not my intention to spark round one million of the Mommy Wars.
post #20 of 137
Quote:
I suppose it could be more enjoyable for people who really love their jobs, but easier? I will never understand people.

Maybe you're more acclimated to being a SAHM than me then, and I applaud your ability to make SAH so easy. For me, its not that way no matter how much I wish it was.


Quote:
baby care is 24/7 but the thing about WOH isn't so much the work, as having to constantly be "on" for interaction with a bunch of mainstream adults. The clothes, the fake smiles, the office gossip BS.

See for me, this is the bonus, not the difficulty. I find it very hard to not be able to just walk out the door when I want, or even go to the bathroom when I want to. Taking care of baby 24/7 is just not something that comes effortlessly for me. Being "on" for interaction with other adults without having to find an excuse of "be friends" is fun for me. I like being around adult people and find myself struggling constantly with the lack conversational options beyond how my kids day or how nice the house looks.

Maybe its just that I liked my jobs when I worked and didnt find them stressful or anything. I would get showered and dressed, wake my son and dress him, drop him at daycare, drive to work and listen to music in the welcome solitude of my car, get to work, grab a drink, sit at my computer and develop websites/help people with technical support on existing software/sites, joke around with other employees, take an hour or so for lunch, come back, do some more stuff at work, head out at 4:30pm, pick up my son from daycare and hear about his day, get home, make dinner, play with my son, watch TV for awhile and go to bed. It really wasnt difficult at all, and left plenty of time for me to listen to music/surf the net/have lunch with friends/whatever. SAHM'ing means that I am primary support 24/7 because of my 'inside edge' and that there are WAAY more messes to clean up...and to be honest, I'd rather drive an hour to work at a PC than do manual labor (aka cleaning).

Its more work (for me) but its worth it right now. If it wasnt I would have gone back to work.
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