I’ve held both Mommy-titles. With Bunny, I went back to work, half day when he was almost 5 months old and now with Monkey, I’m a stay at home mom (SAHM). So which one is easier? Do SAHM’S really have it that much easier? Do we really not work? Is “nothing” really the answer to the question of “What did you do all day?”
Here’s my theory, answers and confessions as a new SAHM:
1. Yes! I do climb back into bed once Mr. Bear leaves for work and Bunny has been dropped at school.
A snooze with Monkey for a few minutes is exactly what is needed to catch up on the minutes of sleep lost while nursing him during the night. Added that sometimes I do have an internal debate with myself on whether to catch up on some z’s or have some alone time. Lost sleep wins the battle most of the time.
2. Yes! I do lounge around and watch an episode or two of my series, while Monkey practices rolling, crawling and picking up toys.
It’s the only time I get to watch my things. So one or two, maybe three episodes is my daily fix and I usually do the ironing while watching it; so 2 birds, 1 stone!
3. Yes! I do go visit friends for coffee and sometimes stay there until I have to pick up Bunny from school again.
When most of your daily conversations are either with a preschooler and a baby or virtual ones over the internet, you really do need that face-to-face with another person. And although most of our conversations are around the kids and their shenanigans, it’s still nice and needed to be able to get out of the house.
4. Yes! I do sometimes only make chicken nuggets or fish fingers with smiley potato faces for lunch.
If there isn’t leftovers from the night before and Bunny has already had a sandwich for the day, the easy food gets made when I hear the “Mommy, I’m hungry.” According to me, it’s chicken and potato, which is a veg, and thus a good balanced meal, especially if I add some tomatoes and cucumber. And also, I’m not cooking 2 meals per day. This is not a hotel.
5. Yes! I do only start making supper at around 5 pm or so… it takes time for the meat to defrost. That’s my reason and I’m sticking to it! Ok and I also want it still warm by the time we eat supper. So it’s all legitimate reasons. Oh, also, I take some time to decide what to make with the package being defrosted.
6. Yes! When at home, I do wear very comfy clothes and have no bra on.
Apart from the fact that Monkey is still nursing and needs easy access to his goodies, I often have milk, food and spit on my clothes. My clothes need to be comfy as I’m up and down the whole time, picking up, setting down, rocking baby and on the floor playing. And to do that with skinny jeans and heels on will just not work for me.
7. Yes! Bunny does get to watch some of his tv shows after school.
Although now that school has started, he only gets an hour of TV. It’s also the time I use to make supper and it’s all educational shows, I promise. Wild Kratts, Magic School Bus, Super Wings and Justin Time are ALL educational. And just to kick things up, he sometimes gets a YouTube video on how honey gets made or the circle of life of a shark. This all depends on the day’s endless questions I get asked.
8. Yes! I do clean the house. Little by little each day so it doesn’t feel too much like a chore. Will the house pass a white glove test? Probably not. But it’s clean and livable enough. Secret? Every day I do one thing; one day for dusting, one day for ironing, one day for floors, one day for bathrooms. Granted, everyday I use the silver maid for dishes and the kitchen is always clean. Bunny has to clean his own room and pick up his own toys and Monkey’s toys all get thrown into 1 big box before he goes to bed, so that’s all sorted.
9. Yes! I do feel like running out the door as soon as Mr. Bear walks into the house. By 18:30 I’d had enough little ones hanging on me, draining my energy and sucking every bit of patience out of me.
10. Yes! I do sometimes think of being a working Mommy again.
When you’ve got a career, you get to leave your kids for a few hours. Although you might not be around for the first crawl, walk, word; when you get to experience it for the first time, it is still YOUR first time. I mean, Monkey’s first roll over from back to tummy, he did during his sleep. I didn’t see how he did it. I only found him on his tummy and was like “WTF, how’d you get there?” With a career, you get stimulated conversations and even some down-time when you have to do some work by yourself.
So what do I do while Bunny and Mr. Bear are away from home? From the above, it does seem like I don’t do much. But trust me, I’m busy the.whole.time. My days are a blur and at night, as I reflect on the day, I rarely have a moment of “Wow! I was so bored!”
Would I change my circumstances?
No I don’t think so. Not yet, at least. I love the fact that I get to pick Bunny up from school and find out how his day was. And that I can be a safe terminal for both boys, all the time. I am absolutely exhausted by 18:00 and am ready to lock myself in the cupboard with a bottle of vino… something I only wanted to do if there was a big argument at work. I do find being a SAHM more draining and emotionally and physically more challenging. You constantly have to help the little ones with their outbursts and not knowing how to handle their emotions and you have to stay calm as much as possible and see them through it, as compared to a workplace, where you can tell someone to “sod off”, put ear phones in your ears and blast the volume while wrapping up a report. And then you still have to be the cleaner, cook, butler and chauffeur, as well as the coach, teacher and guidance councilor.
Whether you’re a SAHM, a WFHM (work from home mom) or a working mom, we all have our ups and downs, things that might be easier or harder to do as well as things we envy from the other. But most of all, we are all doing the most and best of our situation. Keep strong Mommies!!