The Truths of Being a SAHM
You don't have to be Mary friggen' Poppins.
Staying at home each & every day to be there with your children as they learn and grow sounds absolutely amazing in hindsight, right? Absolutely! Who wouldn't think that it's just living the dream?! But what the world fails to disclose is the truth behind being a stay at home mom..
A little background for this is, I have 4 children; 2 biological (boy & girl), 2 non-biological (boys) whom I've raised full time from 7 months old & 2 years old. They are now about to be 5 and 7, my biological children are 1 and 4. I have been a full time, stay at home mom to all of these children since before my first child was born. Day in and day out, caring for all of the kids while my husband was off at work making sure our family was able to have what we need; thank you husband, you truly will never know how much I appreciate it!
Now I absolutely adore my children, but I also absolutely despise the way I feel a majority of my days being their primary caregiver, day in and day out. Yeah, yeah, that's your job, you're their mom. Why yes, yes I am their mom, which means although I shower them with affection & good times, I'm also allowed to have bad days... most of these bad days though, are always gone untold or unthought of when a fellow mother is making the decision of; do I stay home or do I continue my career after maternity leave? The feeling I get on these bad days are seriously wondering what I got myself into, why I continue to do this to myself instead of working, I want to quit, I want to run away, etc etc! And the thoughts & feelings I get, hurt... I feel horrible for feelings like this, but then I realize I'm only human and it's normal to feel completely done with everything!
So let me be your guide, or your eyes and ears in the real life of a SAHM to multiple children, and no I'm not stating these things to discourage, I'm stating these things to mentally prepare you for what could become your days. Or to let other SAHMs out there know that they are not alone in how they feel Day to Day!
Let me start by saying this; I do love my children, and I love that I even have the choice on whether to stay home with them or whether to return to work. But here are just a few things I least expected while dreaming of my Mary Poppins Stay at Home Mom life & diving on in.
1) Being the Referee for All of the Fights and Screaming Matches Your Children Are Going to Have Throughout the Day
Yes, everyone wants to believe their child will be so well behaved and love their siblings. And yes, while there is some truth to that, there is also some truth to the fact that some, if not most or all, children seem to have a tiny demon hiding within them just waiting for their younger sibling to do the slightest thing and then, BOOM! *loud cries of an injured small person* "Mommy, he hurt me! I don't like him anymore" and then the Mom-feree needs to break it up & make each one go to their own space and settle down before resuming playtime. One point for mental exhaustion!
2) Being the Sole Caretaker for Everyone... and Everything!
Yes, I mean everythinnnng! Unless you've got some angel sent from heaven as a husband who willingly helps around the house and with errands... if that's you... then, high five! But if that's not the case, prepare for the days of always changing diapers, cooking every meal, making every school drop off and pick up, doing every errand known to man to make sure your home functions as best as possible each day, doing laundry, cleaning the house, kids' homework, appointments, shopping, taking your dog out, the list seriously just seems endless so add to it what you will! But seriously, eyes open to eyes closed... you are on the go! A solid schedule & routine is essential... then even with routine and schedule, every time the kids are in bed you start going over in your head everything else that didn't get done or things that are scheduled for tomorrow or next week... then you tell your mind to shut up and just relax in the peace and quiet... before realizing you've stayed up way too late and should've gone to bed hours ago! So, toss one... maybe even two points, to physical exhaustion. Maybe even one more to mental exhaustion!
3) You're going to feel very lonely.
Your friends all work, or maybe some don't have children yet. You become the friend with kids who can't go out, or the friend with too much on their plate to text or call throughout the day... your friends slowly start to fade into the distance and their replacements are the sweet, little, dirty faces of your children... some days they're the only social interaction you receive. Yes, your kids are awesome... but how many conversations can you really have about My Little Pony or Paw Patrol before you begin to feel like you're going insane and your mind has turned into that of a preschooler's? Score one more for mental exhaustion!
4) The Constant Fear in Your Mind of, "What if I'm Not Doing a Good Job?"
I swear I say this to myself daily. You are always wondering if you are doing the best you can, if you're feeding them the best they can eat, if you're spending enough one on one time, if you're showing enough love and affection, if you're paying too much attention to the chores and errands than you are to them...? The list of questions you throw onto yourself is endless! I do it all the time, my husband tells me I'm nuts.. but I swear it's a mom thing.. and because it's a mom thing, score one for moms emotional exhaustion!
I'll stick with those 4 main things for the time being... those are some things I wish I could've better prepared myself for!
I'm no Mary Poppins Pinterest mom, but I am a mom who loves her children. I wouldn't trade watching them grow and learn and develop for anything in the world... along this road I may have lost a little bit of sanity, but each and every day is a new day! Never carry over anything as long as you can help it. Honestly, being a Stay at Home mom is the most exhausting, difficult, draining, stressful job there is... and there are days where I want to quit... many of them! You may feel unappreciated, unimportant, forgotten, disrespected, and pushed to your limit... But being a stay at home mom is many other things as well..
Being a stay at home mom is being a constant in your children's lives. Being a stay at home mom is waking up to giggling faces in your face each and every day. Being a stay at home is getting to watch your children meet every single milestone their childhood has to offer, from their first steps to their first day at school! Being a stay at home is being the glue that holds your entire family together. Being a stay at home is sharing a bond with your children that no one else ever could, knowing your children better than anyone ever could. Being a stay at home is watching them become older siblings, and even with the days of fighting, you also get to witness the days of love and laughter between siblings. You get to see the life and happiness shining from their faces each and every single day, being there for them every step of the way, through every phase of their childhood... being in every memory they will ever have of growing up... there you are; the stay at home mom, who made them feel safe, happy, and loved with each day that ever passed!
There truly is no job more trying, yet rewarding, than being a stay at home mom... just keep the thought in mind; a career will always be there in one way or another, but your children are only little for such a short time. Laugh with them, be present with them, and grow with them. There will be days that you want to quit, and you want to give up... and that's okay! Take those days to shove your face with ice cream and raw cookie dough while you drink a bottle of wine and binge Netflix after bedtime... take those days as your sign of "I need to focus on me for just a moment." But there will also be says that you cannot get enough of your children, days that will fly by and you'll wonder where the time went because you were full of joy and laughter.
Prepare yourself Mama... their lives are just beginning, enjoy every moment. Hide your junk food, have a wine bottle on hand at all times, indulge in the guilty pleasures. Rock the PJs and mom buns some days. Be lazy, or be adventurous. Be stern, but understand they're still learning just like you are. You don't have to be a Mary Poppins Pinterest Perfect mom. Just be the mom your babies need you to be. Be prepared to cry, but also be prepared to laugh so hard you pee a little. Stay at home mom life is not for the faint of heart, I can promise you that! And if you ask yourself if you're doing a good job, you are probably doing an amazing job.
Now... someone pass the wine because mine are finally asleep and it's time for Netflix!