Before we get started, I have to tell you that I love being a stay at home mom.
But when I first started staying home with my kids, I had to let go of some of the dreams I had of being a SAHM. Because the truth is that when I had rough days at work, I’d find myself day dreaming about being a stay at home Mom. I’d picture myself sitting outside with my daughter nestled in my arms. We’d smile at each other while we admired the buzzing bees and birds that flew overhead (without a drop of poo EVER falling on us). It was the perfect daydream. But, the reality of staying home with my kids (while rewarding & priceless) wasn’t exactly how I pictured it to be…
What It’s Really Like to Be a Stay at Home Mom
Dream :: Me relaxing and recharging as my quiet, extremely happy baby (she’s happy because I’m home with her, of course) sleeps peacefully in her crib.
Reality :: Me bouncing my baby, holding my baby, singing to my baby, doing everything humanly possible to get those eyes shut. Remember those dolls that close their eyes when you lie them down? I love those baby dolls and their sweet little eyes so much. But, real babies? Yah, they don’t do that….
Dream: Hours of free time to pick up the house, get dinner ready, and have everything looking great because I have so much TIME.
Reality :: Hours of time spent in my home which leads to more chores than I could possibly imagine. I did not realize that being home all day would result in MORE chores because we use more dishes, dirty more places, and take out more stuff. Silly me. Oh, and the dishes, making dinner, and cleaning clothes become impossible when you have a baby to hold anyway.
Dream :: Friends flooding to my door with their quiet, happy babies ready to play.
Reality :: Finding friends is a bit harder because you’re home all day and everyone else is either at work or off somewhere you can’t find them. When you DO actually find them, the babies just lie on a blanket or start crying. Because that’s what babies do. Or, since it takes forty five minutes to get anywhere (because you have to stop and nurse or bottle feed, change diapers, pack your bag, load the car, etc.), when you finally DO get to your friends house, you have to leave. Because baby has to nap.
Dream :: I’d have more time to get ready in the mornings, time to get dressed and feel good about the day.
Reality :: I now have more stains on my clothes than I ever thought possible because my kids have decided I’m a towel and a tissue all in one. I’m so much easier to reach than the tissue box. And, getting ready in the morning? Forget it. Just go to bed wearing your clothes and make up for the next day. You’ll thank me later.
Dream :: I’d have magical moments with my kids every single day. Time to connect, time to enjoy each other, just lot’s of wonderful TIME together.
Reality :: Somedays I literally beg strangers to take my kid from my arms just so I can have one moment of TIME to myself <—quickly followed by wanting to hold my baby again. 😉 Oh, the irony!
Dream :: Things like getting grocery shopping and errands done would be so much easier because I’m home all day.
Reality :: By the time I get the kids in the car, drive, get them out of the car, get in the store, get them back in the car, drive, get them out of the car with all the stuff from the store….half of my day is already over and I’ve completely lost all of my sanity in one trip. And, I managed to forget the toilet paper. Crap.
Dream :: I would be less tired and stressed.
Reality :: I am the boss, janitor, cook, entertainer, playmate, butt-wiper, boogie cleaner, organizer, cleaning lady, social coordinator…I have more titles at home than I could earn in a lifetime at work!
Dream :: I would be the happiest Mom every moment of the day, every single day because I’m home with my kids.
Reality :: This is a hard and unpredictable job, but there rewards are extraordinary!
But, here’s the thing…
No job is perfect.
Being a stay at home Mom isn’t about imagining how great it’s going to be or how much easier it’s going to be than a different job, it’s about recognizing that everything that is worth having takes HARD WORK.
Which is why I’ve had this all backwards.
I shouldn’t have been comparing my life as a SAHM with my dreams…instead, I should have been comparing it to my reality:
Reality :: I need to work and contribute to my family.
Dream :: I get to be a Stay at Home Mom.
All day every day, I get to live my dream. It may not be like the one I pictured, but it’s everything that I’ve ever wanted.
Someday I will have cleaner clothes, less bags under my eyes, and less bicep muscles (does anyone else hold their kids all day long?!), but I’m telling you, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Are you a stay at home mom?
Come on over to our Facebook page and tell us how life is in your house!