SAHM I am and it’s okay…really!

Lately it seems as though I have been bombarded with people asking me if I miss going to work everyday. I know they mean my old job in the formal sense of getting up and having a “normal” routine. But, when they say it like that it sounds like I don’t “work” now. It sounds like I’m retired or something, sitting on a white sand beach having drinks with little pink umbrellas while I even out my tan. I don’t know if it’s something in the water or just a coincidence. Whatever the case, it’s getting a little annoying. Okay, a lot annoying. So…

Yes, I am a stay at home mom.

Yes, I gave up a pretty good job two years ago to stay home and take care of my kids.

Yes, I am a college graduate and even graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Yes, I have other interests besides my kids and Play Doh.

Yes, I have other aspirations in life, and even if I didn’t, so what?

Yes, I sometimes miss the daily interaction with adults and people over three feet tall who don’t want to talk about Dora’s latest quest or Doc McStuffin’s diagnosis.

Yes, I am telling you the truth when I tell you I actually enjoy staying home (most of the time) and raising my children.

These are the reasons why:

I get to do so many more activities with my kids than I would if I was working out of the home.

I have more time to read to them and practice things like writing and numbers since I am home more. So, when they accomplish something like writing a little “f” that we’ve been practicing forever, I’m pretty f’n proud and happy.

When they are sick, I can be there without having to worry about who’s going to stay home to take care of them.

I get to enjoy them. Period.

Don’t get me wrong, I know working moms enjoy their kids too. I also know the challenges of being a working mom too. I did it for two years. So, I don’t want anyone to think for one minute that I think they have it easy. Now, that I’ve said that, let me say this too.

If you think I don’t “work” anymore, let me tell you I have a 24 hour job where I’m always on call. I get no personal, sick, or vacation time and holidays mean I only work harder. Does it suck? Some days, yes. But, I’m sure your 9-5 job sucks some days too.

But, underneath that pile of dirty dishes and bag of poopy diapers, there is a feeling of being blessed to have the opportunity to be a SAHM. There is also a feeling of pride because I know so many other moms who tell me they could never stay home with their kids 24/7. Perhaps it does take a special kind of person. I just think it takes a special kind of person to be a mother whether you stay at home or work. Period.

Can Women Have It "All"?

It’s the age-old question that always ruffles feathers and this time is no different. Can women have it all? That of course, depends on who you ask. If you choose to ask Drew Barrymore, she’s gonna tell you no. She recently talked about how much it sucks to have to give up some aspects of your career so you don’t miss out on things in your kids’ lives.(Her words, not mine!) As you can imagine, her words have captured a lot of attention, mine included.

After reading what she had to say, I think she’s brave to admit what so many of us are sometimes afraid to. Sometimes women can’t have it “all” if “all” means having a killer career and making every activity and being there for every play date. It’s just impossible. That’s not to say that women can’t be successful and still be good mothers. Being a stay-at-home mother does not, by any means, make you a better mother.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, I think having it “all” means different things to different people. That’s okay. I think it’s supposed to. I think that going by a universal definition is what has gotten so many of us feeling inadequate in the first place. Having it “all” has made a lot of us feel like crap if we can’t work forty hours a week, make dinner every night, have a clean house, and still have energy to play dress up with our kids. That’s why I respect Drew Barrymore’s comments that women can’t have it all.

I know a lot of moms, myself included, who have made professional sacrifices in order to be more present in their children’s lives. I know it’s not a choice that everyone has the luxury of making these days. There are lots of sacrifices that come along with the choice. Trust me, there are plenty of days when I wonder if I made the right decision. There are plenty of days that I play the “what if” game. But, in the end, I truly believe everything happens for a reason and when it is supposed. You just have to trust in yourself and try not to look back (easier said than done).

So, are Drew Barrymore’s comments setting women back a few decades? I’m sure there are plenty of you out there who still think so, and that’s fine. I still choose to believe that it’s okay to admit that it may be impossible to have it “all”.