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The SAHM Pt. 3

Ok wow, never have I posted three post in one day nor have I gotten such a stir from one topic! Obviously I’ve struck a chord here. First off I want to say I appreciate ALL of your comments. Not one of them offends me… Ok just that one I mentioned in the last post, but the rest of them, I honestly appreciate. You either are on the same page as me, and pose the same questions I do, or you have opened my eyes to a different point of view that I never thought of.

I really hope I don’t come across cocky or “know it all” I try to be upfront and say that I either have no idea what I’m talking about, or I’m guessing and just asking your advice and questions on what YOU think is hard about the job. I didn’t realize it was such a touchy subject but I imagine it must be a battle many SAHMs face (defending their job against people who say their job ISN’T cushy like some of us may think).

I hope you realize that I am really excited to eat my words. If having a kid and spending 3 months at home full time with them will make me HAPPY to go back to work full-time then bring it on! Haha.

But I do want to highlight a few comments that REALLY sum up how I feel and what I’ve learned.

How I feel: Summed up my Mrs. Smith:

“Being at home is easier than having a full time job AND being a mother. Hello! It’s two things. I am NOT saying being a SAHM is not hard, it is. But can’t something be a little-bit harder?”

Comments that really made the light go off for me:
Mrs. Foote:

“But you know what IS hard? Teaching kids. It’s emotionally draining and requires a ton of patience. This can really push people to the brink, especially the perfectionists. They don’t want to see their own flesh and blood fail. Each child you add to your family brings their own challenges and strengths. The joy in motherhood comes from watching your children overcome their challenges and maximize their potential. The heartache comes when they cannot overcome their challenges.”

And Mrs. Pearson:

“Why do you think more moms are on antidepressants than any other ‘profession’? It isn’t just post partum that takes it out of you. You deal with kids that drive you crazy everyday, and you love them more than anything, but they never say thank you, and they don’t listen, and when they do listen, it is always when you are doing something you don’t want them to ever do. It’s emotionally, mentally, and physically draining.”

Ok Jenna and Kayce, can I just say that THOSE explanations really hit home. I often feel under appreciated at my job, but the people I work with aren’t my own flesh and blood (thank goodness!) So all in all I hope you realize I wasn’t trying to say the job IS NOT hard, I was just honestly asking what was so hard about it… Not trying to downplay it (although I did add a little sarcastic humor which obviously offended some, sorry). I really just.. As an outsider looking in, wanted to know.

Now, reading these responses I have more of an idea of what makes being a stay at home mom one of the hardest jobs in the world.


I feel so special! I’ve never been in someone’s post before ha ha.

I like this post a lot better than the other two. And now I understand what you were getting at. I had never known how difficult it was until I had my daughter. Parenting is a completely new and rewarding and challenging experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

You are going to completely love it and then hate it some days, sometimes both in the same day.

I’m really glad you aren’t upset about some of the comments here. I agree with most of them, and I am so glad I found your blog… well, you found mine first. It has opened my eyes to tons of things and I love looking over some of my experiences and relating them to yours.

And kudos to keeping your cool about how touchy this issue is with a lot of women. I don’t think I could have done this with half the tact you did. KUDOS

Mommy Bee says:

I have heard women say that a regular job was a nice break from the unending work of motherhood. I think for some working moms at least they are excited to go back to work for that very reason–the break, the predictability, etc. It’s not that they don’t love their kids or even per se that they need the money, but just that they need a little bit of adult-oriented time.

Those moms who do not work usually end up having book clubs and playgroups and knitting circles. In my ‘playgroup’ half the moms just had babies, so it was obviously not even for the kids, it was for the moms. I think getting a few hours to be a grown-up is important especially for SAHMs. It’s rejuvenating. I think that’s the hardest thing about SAHMing is that it’s give give give all the time, and unless you specifically find ways to refill your own tank, you’ll find yourself running on empty, cuz it won’t fill itself.
Why do you think I’m such an avid blogger. LOL!!! (I have no IRL friends out here, so it’s all online. Whew!)

As Mommy Bee I feel that SAHM need some grown up time with other moms, friends, their husbands.
Maybe if I was at home all the time would go crazy but again not because I am a SAHM but because my days would be all the same. I like to mix things up.
I see my friends, and I go and have nice date nights with Hubby, and I go visit friends who have kids so that my kid can play too while Moms chat 🙂

I guess I’m lucky that now my in-laws are close and that really at any time I can bring my daughter to stay with them for an hour, two or even a whole day 🙂 so I can have time for things that are a little more grown up and all.

But seriously in those 4 years it really never even crossed my mind to go and look for a job so that I could be saved from my life at home. I always thought that when my daughter is older I’ll do something from home, and now I do so I guess maybe now I can be considered WAHM how cool LOL 🙂

LLnL says:

Who knew you would get those kind of responses. I am a person that sees both sides if the table so I think it is a great discussion. The only way to learn about something that you have not yet experienced is by asking experienced people. I think that it was smart and brave of you to honestly discuss the topic.

Jenna says:

Yeah, I agree with LLnL. It’s good to be able to discuss both sides of things. Otherwise, the only way to learn is to dive in face-first. And who wants that? It’s wise to gather as much wisdom from others as you can before embarking on such a tremendous journey. You’ll be a better mother for having thought it through.

Brittanie says:

I think SAHMotherhood is different for everyone, but for me, the hardest things with only one kid is staying busy, finding something to do that brings me out of the house, and dealing with the lack of adult interaction. Taking care of my little girl is my favorite thing in the whole world.

On my blog I randomly attract anonymous people like the ***** who post here. It’s unfortunate, if you don’t have the courage to post using your identity don’t post at all in my opinion. I’m not ashamed of who I am, I say what I believe. Great blog Jen, keep up the good work.

Camille says:

I’m SAHM and I don’t see much difference between myself and working moms. People have different solutions for making work-family balance work for them, which is more important than the actual choice. And it’s not so simple to just pigeonhole anyone into one category. I’m a SAHM now and I absolutely love it, challenges and all, but who’s to say that I won’t want to or have to work at some point in the future? We all do our best at any given moment.

One of the things that makes being a mom so difficult is that our country really isn’t as much a family-friendly country as it has the potential to be. You should check out an incredible an organization called Moms Rising, which addresses issues that concern *all* mothers: http://www.momsrising.org/aboutmomsrising. Even Michelle Obama understand the significance of work-family balance: http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/02/michelle-obam-2.html

Personally, I think that being a SAHM is difficult because it’s the most thankless job in the world. You’re on the front lines doing the work no one else wants to do — home management and ensuring that your child receives the best care possible. There’s already a loss of power in that you’re making sure everyone else is taken cared of LITERALLY 24/7. But the loss becomes even more severe severe when the unexpected happens: divorce. There are plenty of risks we take daily in our privilege to be a SAHM, not to mention the stigma attached to it. The stigma and doubts alone are incredibly insulting and debilitating — I mean, Christ, most of us are really trying to make ends meet, not going out for a free ride! Just remember that EVERY mom is a working mom. It’s sad how much we take for granted.

“If an expectant mother walked into a library and asked, ‘How will my baby develop?’ the librarian could show her some books on infant development. If, however, she is asked, ‘What about me? How will I develop as a mother?’ the librarian would probably look surprised. The idea that mothers develop isn’t a common subject for a book. Almost the opposite. Many people seem to think that that mothers risk stagnating. Especially if a mother isn’t out at work, people must assume she must be ‘stuck’ at home doing boring and repetitive chores with nothing to stimulate her.”
–Naomi Stadlen

Destiny says:

I agree with Mommy Bee, it definately helps to have a social outlet when you’re a SAHM. Regarding your first SAHM post, you mentioned the idea of just getting a part-time job, but I’m not sure you thought to factor in the cost of good day care which is about $200/wk for a child under one and about $100/wk for ages 1-4. For most SAHM they would make enough to only break even. So it really isn’t beneficial to work part time outside the home. If you have someone you trust who will do it for less or free, then it might be different if you really, really want a part time job. For me it just isn’t worth it.
It can be hard to understand everything a SAHM does if you have never been one. In fact, it can even be hard for husbands. My husband used to come home from school/work and ask what I did all day since he often came home to a messy house and no dinner. It was hard explaining to him how difficult it could be to get things done with two small children, until. . .he was a stay at home dad. There are some days your children just need you and nothing else gets done. I’m now back at home and he works, but he never criticizes anymore and he is much more appreciative to the work I do. Also, you get better with time. Being a SAHM is hard at first, and with each new addition, but then you get in a groove and hopefully you have support from your husband and other moms.

Betts says:

I’ve found there are three extremely heated debates among moms: SAHM v. WM, nursing v. formula, co-sleeping v. cry it out. If you express an opinion on any of these without knowing where your audience stands, be prepared to have your head handed to you on a platter by the side you oppose. I try to keep an open mind and let others make their own decisions, but if I feel attacked or insulted because of the choices I made, I will strike. I think that’s what happened here, even if you didn’t intend it. So when are you going to take on the other topics? LOL

Mommy Bee says:

LOL Betts, you hit that on the head. I think these mothering topics are so ‘hot’ because it all comes back to what all the SAHMs here have been saying–when you’re the mom (especially a SAHM) you have 100% responsibility for how your kids turn out. When you genuinely believe that breastmilk is superior to formula, then you’re not likely to keep your mouth shut. Likewise if you believe that cry-it-out is psychologically harmful, or that co-sleeping doesn’t allow kids to grow up…I would venture to say that circumcision is another VERY hot topic (if you can find somebody willing to discuss it!) So, how about it Jenn, do you need a break, or are you ready to take on more hot topics?! 😉

Inevitably people get defensive when someone else questions their choices. I have two basic thoughts on that–one, if you have to be defensive about it, then are you really that sure about it?! If you truly believe in it, you shouldn’t feel the need to defend your decision. Two–I’ve always said that I can respect a person who makes an educated choice (even if I don’t agree with the choice), but I cannot respect an UNeducated choice, or the choice-maker. Especially in this age of information, I think there’s really no excuse to trust anybody’s word on anything, a parent should be able to learn things for herself and make her own decisions.

Betts says:

I’ve found there are three extremely heated debates among moms: SAHM v. WM, nursing v. formula, co-sleeping v. cry it out. If you express an opinion on any of these without knowing where your audience stands, be prepared to have your head handed to you on a platter by the side you oppose. I try to keep an open mind and let others make their own decisions, but if I feel attacked or insulted because of the choices I made, I will strike. I think that’s what happened here, even if you didn’t intend it. So when are you going to take on the other topics? LOL

Destiny says:

I agree with Mommy Bee, it definately helps to have a social outlet when you’re a SAHM. Regarding your first SAHM post, you mentioned the idea of just getting a part-time job, but I’m not sure you thought to factor in the cost of good day care which is about $200/wk for a child under one and about $100/wk for ages 1-4. For most SAHM they would make enough to only break even. So it really isn’t beneficial to work part time outside the home. If you have someone you trust who will do it for less or free, then it might be different if you really, really want a part time job. For me it just isn’t worth it.
It can be hard to understand everything a SAHM does if you have never been one. In fact, it can even be hard for husbands. My husband used to come home from school/work and ask what I did all day since he often came home to a messy house and no dinner. It was hard explaining to him how difficult it could be to get things done with two small children, until. . .he was a stay at home dad. There are some days your children just need you and nothing else gets done. I’m now back at home and he works, but he never criticizes anymore and he is much more appreciative to the work I do. Also, you get better with time. Being a SAHM is hard at first, and with each new addition, but then you get in a groove and hopefully you have support from your husband and other moms.

I feel so special! I’ve never been in someone’s post before ha ha.

I like this post a lot better than the other two. And now I understand what you were getting at. I had never known how difficult it was until I had my daughter. Parenting is a completely new and rewarding and challenging experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

You are going to completely love it and then hate it some days, sometimes both in the same day.

I’m really glad you aren’t upset about some of the comments here. I agree with most of them, and I am so glad I found your blog… well, you found mine first. It has opened my eyes to tons of things and I love looking over some of my experiences and relating them to yours.

And kudos to keeping your cool about how touchy this issue is with a lot of women. I don’t think I could have done this with half the tact you did. KUDOS

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.



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