From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
SAHM is an acronym for "Stay at Home Mom." A stay at home mother is a woman who stays at home during the day with her children while her husband or domestic partner earns a regular income. Generally the one adult earns enough money to support the entire family allowing the mother to care for her children personally instead of using childcare.
When Herr and I decided that it would be best if I stayed home full-time after we had Peaches and moved to Cincinnati, I was torn. I liked the idea of "being there" for my girls and being a part of all of their important milestones. But I had been working part-time doing recruiting for a publishing company and felt that it was important to continue making a financial contribution to the family. I had been working since I was 12, so it was impossible for me to fathom not having a place to go most days a week and perform tasks for which I was paid.
Initially, I disliked staying home. I felt that my limited financial contribution (small recruiting projects done at home) wasn't meaningful--I felt a loss of identity. I also disliked it because we had just moved to Ohio, and I knew no one. Some of the neighbors I had met were exactly what I didn't want to be as a SAHM--running around doing dozens of acitvites every week and seeming to live and do for the children, but not themselves. I also hated it because I never had a break from my then-baby who was quite unhappy most days, hours and minutes. Going for walks pissed her off because she didn't like the sun in her eyes. Trips to the store pissed her off for reasons still unknown. Hiking in the woods pissed her off because she didn't like the backpack stroller I had. She HATED the mall. While I didn't want to be running around all day everyday with my kids, I didn't want to be trapped in my house every day either. Because it became harder to predict her irrational behavior, it became easier to stay home.
In the following months, I started to accept being at home more. Sure, I had joined a Mom's Club and became involved in playgroups, but I usually volunteered to host at least one playgroup a month. It was also the only one I would attend. I started this blog, which was greatly therapeutic and a good creative outlet. I started doing all of my mall shopping online. I started to REALLY like my house. It was so comfortable. I stayed on top of the cooking, cleaning and the laundry (except for folding the laundry--God I hate folding laundry!) Baby Girl was starting to really learn to enjoy playing on her own. Perhaps I indulged her with a little too much Noggin, but she seemed so happy. Peaches started crawling and was almost seeming to be happier. Baby Girl would play in the backyard a lot and went to a tumbling class on Saturdays with Herr, so she wasn't being completely sedentary.
Around Christmastime I had this vision that this summer was going to be perfect. By that time Peaches would be walking. NOTE: I wasn't counting on her running and climbing. As a result, Baby Girl and Peaches would happily be each other's constant companions and have lots of adventures in the backyard. In the heat of the summer, they would be just as happy playing inside as we are a pasty-skinned family that no sun screen can truly protect. It had taken awhile, but I was really enjoying the thought of being a SAHM. I was going to work on a book about my family's history. I was going to start reading again in earnest; you know, BOOKS instead of magazines and blogs. I was going to get through the entire Wall Street Journal every morning. I was going to have nicely pedicured feet all summer long as opposed to a couple of times between Memorial Day and Labor Day. I was going to teach my children to be empowered and become independent creatures while I watched Regis & Kelly.
Fast forward to June: I am officially changing my title to NSAHM, or NEVER Stay at Home Mom. It all starts at around 6:45. Peaches starts beating on the front or back doors, demanding to go outside like a puppy that needs to go out and poop. I tell her "No" because, well, I haven't brushed my teeth, showered, or even peed yet. Then Baby Girl chimes in:
"Mommy, where are we going today?"
"Um, I don't think we are going anywhere."
"But MOMMY, I REALLY want to go to [insert Target, the playground, Meijer, Maddie's house, Kroger, Miss Sue's class, Ella's house, KatieAmyJackandMichael's house] today. PUUUULLLLEEEEZE?"
"Well, maybe after Peaches' nap this morning, we'll go somewhere. Why don't you [insert color, play with Play-Do, play with your dolls, paint, go watch Dora. Isn't Dora on right now?]"
"But, but, but, I WANT TO GO SOMEPLACE NOOOOWWWWW! We need to go to Target for I can get some more sand for my sandbox."
"But Honey, you threw all the sand out of your sandbox."
And so we go. We drive around A LOT looking for parks with shade. The closest one I have found is 30 minutes away. We go to the grocery store, even if we don't need anything. We go to the bank drive-thru, even if it is to deposit $5 into my checking account because Baby Girl LOVES to watch the money get sucked up the tube and into the bank. I am going to WAAAAY more Mom's Club functions than I ever wanted to attend. I am constantly spraying or slathering the kids with 50 SPF suncreen to go for walks in our neighborhood. That's the curse of living in a newer neighborhood--no mature shade trees. Peaches is way too active and into everything. She'll run into the street faster than you can say, "Peaches." She is much too young to leave to her own devices in the backyard, as is evidenced by the mouthfuls of sand she is ingesting. At least they nap though, right? But then, during their naptime, I am cleaning our house and mopping the kitchen floor every single day because our house is for sale and we have to pretend that our home is a museum and that no one actually lives here. I am beat.
The problem with the tomorrows is that the expectation for non-stop fun is left over from the yesterdays. If there is a day that I attempt to put my foot down