Saturday, December 1, 2018

How's life as a SAHM?

It's been forever! I thought I would blog more while on leave of absence but at the moment my laptop is out of commission. I just had a giant DD coffee and it's Saturday and I don't feel like I'm about to pass out are some responses one of the common questions I get.

~How's life as a SAHM? 

So this is kind of fraught because this is a huge "mommy war" trigger area. I'm in a weird in between position, where I'm not working right now, but I don't fully identify as a SAHM either. I didn't quit my job, I'm on a leave of absence, I have a hard return date, and despite the fact that many people insist I'll just quit, that's not going to be happening for a variety of reasons both financial and personal. I feel guilty talking to my working friends because I'm not back at it, pumping in the trenches, navigating a 3 month old in daycare like them. But I also don't totally identify with SAHM friends either because this isn't a permanent fix for me, and I have also had nearly 4 years of being a mom and working full time.

Labels aside, it's awesome. And that's where I feel somewhat uncomfortable, like I'm being a traitor and fueling the mommy wars. But here's the thing: being a parent is hard. It's hard because you love your kid so much it hurts and just want to do everything right for them, but there is no "right", and there is no instruction manual, and kids sure don't make it easy, and that's confusing and challenging every single day. I haven't seen any way that changes whether a parent is working, not working, a mother, a father, whatever.

That said...yeah, things are easier for me without a full time job. There's a reason TGIF is a thing, and a "case of the Mondays" is an entirely different thing. I don't set an alarm. Sure, that doesn't mean I get to lounge in bed until I feel like it, but I think it's safe to say there aren't too many people past college age who do. Almost 100% of the time I still sleep later than I did last school year, waking up before the kids to shower, get ready, prepare a crock pot dinner, clean, etc. Also, "getting up" just means going downstairs in my pajamas and drinking coffee. It doesn't mean jumping in the shower before the insane rush to get ready for daycare and out the door by 7 and cramming my breakfast down my gullet during hall duty.

In her short life, Remington has already had pink eye, a double ear infection, and hand foot mouth.
Random pic of her being adorable hiking at Free Forest School

Conveniently, I think? All at the same time. She would have had to been out of daycare for a full week! Not having any family in town, Eric and I would have had to take turns taking off, dealing with sub plans, guilt trips from coworkers, losing sick days we had already used up for maternity/paternity leave...all in the first quarter of the school year. It's a LOT easier to just be like "My baby is ill. I will care for her." End of story. Side note I also got HFM and had to take Advil in order to eat for two weeks straight. Baby weight lost from that: 0 pounds wtf.

With a six month old, of course not working is significantly easier, because no mother should be at work 6 months after giving birth unless she chooses to. Maternity leave in this country should actually exist. I can lay down with her during naptime when I'm exhausted from night wakeups. Breastfeeding without having to pump 3+ times a day, wash bottles, wash pump parts, count ounces feels like a dream come true. Honestly any time I feel like I'm going to lose it with frustration I picture the unheated cluttered closet I used to pump in. The door didn't close all the way, I would be balancing my pump and laptop and lunch on these rickety shelves covered with crap and sitting in a tiny hard plastic kid chair. So yeah, not every single moment is rainbows in sunshine but a much, much higher percentage are.

Like this!

And I'll just say it - it's a LOT more fun. This is nothing against my job, and I really do miss working with the students. But let's get real. Paperwork, observations, spending hours grading, standardized tests, STRESS...yeah I don't miss that. Getting to be in the woods hiking with my kids, or at story time, or at a playground, or just playing at home, on a weekday morning is literally the absolute best thing I could possibly ever be doing. I hate myself for sounding so cheesy but it swear it's true! YES they drive me crazy and I feel like I'm about to lose my mind at least every day when they are fighting over a book and we have 50,000 books or an empty paper towel tube (not making that up). But again, kids drive you crazy with fighting and tantrums and being kids regardless of your sex or your employment status. That's not a SAHM thing, so I don't feel it's relevant. Or if it is, with the argument that I experience more of the frustrating moments being home with them, ummmm....have you ever BEEN working at a job? It can have one or two frustrating moments. That's why it's called "work" and comes with the perk of a paycheck. My job can be fulfilling but my kids bring me more joy than anything else in the world. Apparently I can't write about this without being super cheesy. But, it is Christmas season, the time for cheesy sentiments, right?

~ How do you take your kids so many places? (Not a humble brag I swear people ask this!)

Because they legit cray.

For real though, they get antsy and turn the house into a jungle gym if we stay home so it's honestly easier for me to just take them somewhere designed for their insanity.

Remi loves chilling in the ergo, isn't mobile, and sleeps on the go, so now is really the time for it. I'm not a good literal stay at home mom. When the van was broken, or when HFM hit us (but not the boys so they were nuts as ever), and we had to stay home, my patience declined quickly. We do playdates with friends most days, seek out free/inexpensive activities, and ask for memberships to places for holidays instead of gifts.
At the zoo with Casper and Wyatt

Baby besties (Remi has several besties)

Everyone is happier this way. I also have the ticking clock feeling sometimes. I only get two years of being able to go see the train garden at Christmastime on a Monday! Must do ALL THE THINGS!

~ Do you miss work? 

LOLLLLZ just kidding no one would ever actually ask that.

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  1. Ha, don't stress! Some people are SAHMs for their kids' entire childhoods, or lives. Some people are at home when the kids are little, and in paid work when they're big. Some people are in paid work when the kids are little, and not when they're big. Some people enjoy their parental leave (hi!) but stay in paid work - out of necessity, out of choice, because they would be terrible, antsy, grumpy, impatient full-time caregivers (me), whatever. It's just a label. We all love our kids when it comes out in the wash (me to the preschooler: it better come out in the wash, young man) or we wouldn't have them, right? But I get it. It's a weird, in-between place to be.

  2. Your family is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing them with us.


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