Thursday, November 11, 2010

Validation for SAHMs—The Job ain’t Easy

Recently, I found myself in conversation with a few relative strangers.  Talk was of a project and a timeline and the question was asked, could anyone meet the deadline in a few days?  One woman piped up,

“I can’t do it.  I’m off work tomorrow, which means that I have all three kids all day . . . ”

—and the clincher, (apparently, though I was surprised, since I’m not often privy to this perspective)—

“all by myself;

my husband won’t even be there to help me.”

She went on to say something about how on those days, all she can do is brush her teeth.

There you have it.  Have you ever wondered if it’s just you?  If this parenting thing is supposed to be easy, and is for everyone else, but you just haven’t figured it out yet?

Personally, this statement hit me like a fresh breeze: so other people think this job is hard?  Okay, maybe I’m not that crazy to feel overwhelmed at some point(s) on any given day (and all day on others).Smile 

And it puts being able to have “all the kids all day” and also accomplish something more than brushing my teeth into the WOW! category (if you’re like me, all that may be is a shower on some days!).

Shortly after we moved to our current house a couple years ago, a neighbor confided to me that she was going back to work for the sole reason that being a SAHM was too difficult (she had two children: a four-year-old and a two-year-old).  She told me, “I don’t know how you do it, but  I just can’t do it anymore.” whispering to add, “It’s easier to go back to work.”

These two statements echo in my mind (I treasure them, if you want to know the truth!) reminding me that though the perception is that being a full-time wife/mom/homemaker is taking the easy way out, it is simply not so.

Hope these statements brighten my mama friends’ days, too; including former SAHMs (Mom).Smile

These comments dovetail well with an article I read a couple years ago, from which I have this excerpt:

“So look, in the interest of truth-telling, I'm telling you this: people are not being honest about what it's like to be with kids. People are scared to admit that they would rather be at work than with their kids, because work is easier than parenting. (Notable exception: Sally Krawcheck.) If I have to read about how much someone loves their kids one more time, I'm gonna puke. Because we all know that parents love their kids. It's not interesting. It's not helpful. It's not even very relevant. For anyone.

“What's interesting is the part where parents love their kids but don't love being with them on a daily basis. It's very scary to write. But I'm telling you, if the feeling weren't ubiquitous then there would be no one to be in middle management working 9-5 because they'd all be home with their kids, doing freelance work after bedtime.”

For more (including a challenge to the myth of Super Mom; that one can do it all), read her entire article here: http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2008/06/10/the-hardest-part-of-my-job-is-that-everyone-lies-about-parenting/

Full-time parenting: effortless, no!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not effortless, but infinitely rewarding!! Ladies, you will be greatly rewarded for your attentions now. Don't get weary in well-doing. The Lord sees all and is using it to mold you into His image. It will be worth it all someday (and if you're anything like me, you'll miss the days of little ones.)
Love (and usually loved being a SAHM :),
Mom

cowartclan said...

I love this post! It is such a tricky place. It is so blastin' hard some days to do anything beyond the basics of: cooking meals, some MORE dishes, some MORE laundry, keeping kids safe and connecting with them that any project outside of the NORMAL day is dizzy-ing and sometimes just fruitless (in my home,) But- BUT I do love it and am immensely grateful to Corey for providing and allowing my to stay home with my quickly growing babies. Hugs to you little mama. We love you and can't wait to see you all again! From one busy mom to another ~ Karen

Debo said...

What a timely coincidence, as I was just getting on to finally post a piece I had typed some months ago along similar lines. Thanks for the reminder. Today is one of those losing perspective days:)

Anonymous said...

So, Deb published that post about her choice to be a SAHM, and it is a mighty good read!

http://belladolcebirths.blogspot.com/2010/11/my-personal-reasons-for-staying-at-home.html

(This is Sarah: comments would not let me post under my Google ID. I'm finished fighting!)