It’s funny sometimes how certain twists and turns in life land you in a place you never thought you would be. I find this to be true as I navigate through this SAHM journey that I’m on. As I’ve said in previous posts, I never ever thought I would stay-at-home everyday, take my children to play dates, story times, plan educational activities throughout the day, etc. I thought I would work, someone would take care of my kids and I would just deal with them at night and on the weekends. Well, it’s mind-blowing how people so small could have such a powerful impact on my life.
After the birth of my first daughter, I worked. I was fortunate enough to have family members care for her. I did activities with her on the weekends and spent as much time as I could after work. Of course, I was still missing precious moments. It sucked.
During my maternity leave with my second daughter, I began to think about how wonderful it would be to be able to stay home with my kids. Truth be told, I felt like I was in a rut at work and something had to give. I was truly happy (though sleep-deprived) during my maternity leave and didn’t want it to end. Luckily, it didn’t. My husband and I figured things out so we could make it work. I am fortunate enough to say it has.
Sure, it has its ups and downs, just like every other job out there, but I can honestly say I am happy. Don’t get me wrong, I do my share of complaining and yelling. It’s sometimes not easy hanging out with people all day who think maps and monkeys can talk. It’s also hard to digest the fact that I don’t make my own money and don’t have a “real” job. In all reality, what I do everyday is a real job. It’s not easy to play cook, nurse, social worker, entertainer, chauffeur, and play arts & crafts guru all in one day.
As I hit the three year mark on this journey, I began to think about why I like doing what I’m doing. Here’s a short list:
1. Being home after school – Now that my daughter is in “big kid” school, it is so nice to pick her up and hear first hand about all she did and learned.
2. Playing & Teaching– It’s great to have the time to play Barbies, or do a puzzle, or play doctor’s office with my kids. It’s also wonderful to carve out time to work on reading and writing. This is perhaps the best because this is when I feel like I am really making a difference.
3. Activities– Although we’re not into too many things yet, it’s nice to know I have the freedom to allow my kids to do certain activities (within reason).
4. Being able to pursue other passions– Someone used to tell me, “find your passion, and follow it”. Well, when you work full-time and have kids, that’s pretty impossible. But, when you don’t have to work a 9-5, there is extra time to pursue other interests. For that, I am grateful.
5. Avoiding the Saturday rush– Because I’m around during the week, I have the privilege of doing errands when stores and such are less crowded. Let me tell you, it is fantastic! I actually don’t go near a mall or store on a Saturday!
6. Appointments with ease– Just like avoiding the Saturday rush, it’s easy to make doctor’s appointments for the kids and for myself.
7. Summer– Sun & fun, need I say more?
8. Meeting up with other SAHMs– I’m lucky to have a couple of other friends who are also home with little ones. It’s nice to get together, let the kids play and have some adult time all at once.
9.Being home for the sickies & snow– Nothing is worse than leaving a child when he or she is sick. It is also no fun trying to figure out who will stay with that sick child if you can not. The same can be said for bad weather. There were no “snow days” where I used to work. I used to dread having to go out in the bad weather and figure out who could trudge over to watch the kids.
10. Being thrifty– I have never met a coupon I didn’t like. I love sales and discounts of any kind. Being a SAHM forces you to look for that extra deal and coupon. I know it sounds strange, but I get a little rush when I get a real good deal. I’m a nerd, I know.
So, there’s my little list. I know not everyone is cut out to be a SAHM, and I totally respect that. Trust me, I know where you’re coming from. For those of you who are SAHMs, what do you enjoy most? least?