Nearly four years ago I traded in my 8-5 job to be a Stay at Home Mom to my then one-year-old. Even though I loved my job and I loved working, the thought of staying home with my son was much more appealing (Duh!). I knew there would be challenges and hiccups while we were transitioning but for the most part, I thought it would be a walk in the park. And it was……. Jurassic Park. (Just kidding!) Being at home definitely isn’t as easy as it looks or sounds. You don’t just get to sit around all day watching soap operas (or trashy reality television in my case). Just like everything else, there are precious moments AND hardships that come along with this job (see my post ‘Surviving Two’ for a little more on that!). Here are just a few things I’ve learned in my experience.
I quickly learned that being a SAHM means that in addition to keeping your tiny human(s) alive and well, you will also be cleaning…pretty much all day long. When I started this job I had twice the house I have now. Naturally, I thought when we moved to a smaller house I would have less to clean (WIN!). Nope! False. I still clean just as much and maybe even more because I have two tiny humans now. If I’m not just doing general house cleaning (ie: vacuuming, sweeping, wiping of surfaces), I’m doing laundry, cleaning up toys (I’m ALWAYS cleaning up toys, pick one up and 4 more are tossed down!), cleaning up after a meal, cleaning up after the dogs, cleaning something I missed the last time I cleaned that area, cleaning fingerprints off of all the windows.
It never stops. You would think with all that cleaning my house would be spotless all the time, too. Nope, more untruth. There are days that I vacuum the whole house and by the time I get from one end of the house to the other end, you can’t even tell. (I make cleaning fun by incorporating my kiddos. They are too young right now to realize that cleaning is a chore, it’s still fun to them, so why not let them help!)
Another thing I quickly learned, my days of getting dressed up and “ready” were mostly over. I still attempt to fix my hair most days and sometimes get blush and mascara on. However, if you find me in something other than a velour jumpsuit or yoga/workout pants, consider yourself lucky! In my opinion and as the ‘doer of all the laundry’, there is no need for me to get dressed in real clothes, and later that evening change into my workout gear. I’m only going to see my husband and kids so I’ll just dirty up one outfit with snot and lunch particles and save the others for a day when I am out in public trying to blend in with the rest of the world. I call this life lesson, Embracing the Yoga Pants and I challenge other SAHM’s to this as well. You will thank me later!
Playing off the last lesson, I’m also guilty of doing this with my kids. Yeah, I said it. On the days that my oldest doesn’t have preschool and we don’t go outside of the house, I may or may not change my kids out of their pajamas! They don’t seem to mind and my thought is, “why dirty up another outfit and create more laundry?!”. Many of our days are pajama-casual days!
I learned that there would be plenty of days that NOTHING gets accomplished. Some days I had intentions of being so productive and the stars just weren’t aligned in my favor. I’m really hard on myself on these days because I have my own expectations of what I should get done. Plus, I’m a creature of habit so when things don’t go as planned it makes my head spin and throws my whole day off. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how crazy those days make me, they still happen.
In all the madness, I have learned how thankful I am for my friends. I am especially thankful for the friends I have that are in similar situations as me and know the struggle. You know the one(s). The one you can take the kids over to their house, pop open a bottle of wine and vent to in your yoga pants while the kids play in the other room. THAT friend! Friends are essential in getting through not only motherhood but life and I feel so blessed to have great ones.
Something else, panic and anxiety don’t stop when you become a SAHM. I suffer from an anxiety disorder. I was sure when I left my 8-5 job I would be leaving that behind as well. Wrong again. I still have anxiety and panic attacks, maybe not the same way I did when I was working outside of the home, but it hasn’t gone away completely and why would it? I’m still working… I still have a job. I just went from servicing insurance policies to full-time housekeeping, chef, teacher, accountant and chauffeur to my much younger bosses. The lesson: every momma has breakdown moments and a SAHM is no exception.
that moment you realize being a stay at home mom means never leaving work..
The most important lesson I learned is that this time with my children is priceless. It’s not always going to be perfect. Crankiness, teething, diapers and meltdowns (seriously, Surviving Two <– Read it) will get in the way sometimes. But still, occasionally, everything goes according to plan and we have our perfect days. What seems hard now will be over in an instant so do your best to cherish every moment!
What are some lessons you have learned in your experience as a SAHM, working mom, or just in general parenting? Let me know in the comments!! Also, be sure to check out my Facebook page and LIKE IT if you haven’t already! You can also follow me on Twitter and Pinterest!