Secrets of a Stay-At-Home-Mom
Hello! It's Jenny. So, part of what Brooke and I want to do here at sheKC is share real life stories from real women in Kansas City. To give NEW perspective. Or, to relate! We believe women should support other women, not judge. Aren't we all trying to do the best we can everyday for ourselves, our relationships, our careers and our kiddos?
I want you to meet my dear, sweet friend, Melissa. We met years ago and bonded instantly over... clip-in hair extensions. Yes, lifelong friendships CAN begin at a hair salon -- we are proof. I believe that every single person we cross paths with is absolutely meant to be in our lives. For good or bad - there are no accidents. My belief, anyway.
This is true of me and Melissa. Who knew that many years after we first met, she would hold my hand through my painful infertility journey and not long after that, I would hold her hand as she walked the same path.
We've both been blessed with our miracle babies. I am a working mom. Melissa is a stay-at-home-mom. Two worlds that get pitted against each other more often than they should. Unfairly. It's a choice and whether you need to work, want to work, need to stay at home or want to stay at home - one is simply not better than the other.
I asked Melissa to blog about her life as a S.A.H.M. In her spare time. Because clearly, she stays at home, she has loads of free time, right? Well, maybe loads of... laundry...
Hi. My name is Melissa. I'm happily married and a mother of a three-year old girl and six-month old boy. Welcome to my circus. Or playground. Whatever you want to call my home. See, I'm a stay at home mom (SAHM) and let's be real - it's hard. It's very hard. I would go on to say it's the hardest job I've ever had. I always dreamed of being home with my babies. I never thought it would be a walk in the park. I also never imagined how exhausting it would be either.
I've questioned the decision of leaving my career to become a SAHM on many bad days. And believe me, there ARE bad days. At times, I just end up crying with my babies. When I've lost all of my patience it seems easier to cry (or scream) than to try and fix the chaos. Hey, I'm human. I have feelings, too. Although, I'm here to say, I don't regret leaving my job...at all. Sure, being at home all day dealing with children can be stressful and makes me feel isolated from adults at times. At the end of the day I can't imagine NOT being home. For now, my career is them.
Life as a SAHM might seem like a piece of cake. Don't get me wrong. I love being home with my kids. But, let me paint you a more detailed, accurate picture. Some might think that I'm sleeping in every morning, casually sitting on my couch watching TV, out shopping or something of the like while watching and playing with my kids all day. Um, that's not reality.
There is no sleeping in. Heck, I don't even have to set an alarm clock. I'm not sure about your kids but mine are sometimes up early -- 5 am early. Luckily, they are pretty cute! My daughter's morning snuggles are the best and my son's smile brightens my mood anytime of day. We do lounge in pajamas if there isn't anything on the agenda, so that's fun! Or sometimes even if we do have something planned, my daughter wears pajamas anyway. She always says, "pajamas are my favorite." I totally agree with her.
If the TV is on it consists of Peter Rabbit, Paw Patrol or something similar. I'm very aware about the amount of time recommended for screen time each day. We may or may not exceed the limit on occasion. Don't judge. We are surviving.
Naps? Ha! Yeah, not happening. My three-year old only naps if she catches one in the car. My son is still young so he naps. Me? I'm half asleep most days but someone has to be responsible while my three-year old is awake. It's a shame I don't like the taste of coffee. There are days I'm not sure how I'm going to survive on minimal sleep while trying to provide fun activities all day until bedtime. But, you know what? I do it. I survive the day every time I think I'm just too exhausted to do so. Thank goodness for outside activities like gymnastics, swimming, the park and play dates with friends to help make a long day seem short.
I'm constantly trying to find a balance between keeping my kids stimulated with activities, keeping my house clean, running errands and giving the attention to my husband that he fully deserves. I'm not there yet. I'm not sure I will ever find that perfect balance.
I manage to keep my kids entertained most days. We escape the house on occasion and take field trips to local kid friendly places. Mom guilt. Oh, the mom guilt. Am I doing enough? Should I be doing more?
My house. Good golly my house. It's far from perfect. If you come over unannounced my house looks like a playground. And I'm okay with that. So, enter at your own risk.
Running errands -- specifically grocery shopping. I really do need to check out the supermarkets that will deliver groceries. It will probably save me time, money and a few less meltdowns since it's not the most fun activity for both kids.
My husband works a different schedule than your average 8 am to 5 pm job. He's gone 24-48 hours at a time. Sometimes 72 hours. I know he works just as hard to provide for our family so I can be home with our children. Fitting in any type of date night is just non-existent unless I stay up past the kids bedtime. On rare occasion, we eat ice cream and watch a recorded show on the couch. Let's face it though, I'm in bed right behind the kids most nights.
Balance...still working on it.
So, my secret life as a SAHM isn't much of a secret. We have the good, the bad and the ugly. Well, just a glimpse anyway. What I have learned as a mother is I do what I need to do in order to survive. And that's okay. I can't give 110% every day.
Staying at home with my babies is where my heart is. It's not for everyone and I get that. I can honestly say the good days, by far, outweigh the bad. I can't imagine my life as a mother any other way but at home with them. My babies are my world. They are a dream come true.