September 1, 2015

Being a SAHM is Actually Easier

I think it is, in fact, easier to be a stay-at-home mom than a working mom.

There, I said it. Someone needed to, because really.

I can say this because I have been a SAHM for 12 years, since my firstborn, my daughter, was three years old (I worked part-time before we relocated from CA to WA). I had my son two and a half years later.

In that time I watched many an Oprah or Dr. Phil or The View, listening to discussions of work/life balance, tips on time management for busy moms, how to lose the baby weight, and and and...

I have read countless articles and blog posts on the topic of the so-called "Mommy Wars" (even written one or two myself), about how staying home with your kids isn't a real job, but if you work outside the home you're selfish.

I am SO OVER it. The finger-pointing and judgments.

Let's just look at it logically, shall we?

Of course not having a paying job on top of being a parent is easier. And no, I don't particularly like the term "job" to describe raising a family.

Our families are apart of our personal lives. Getting married, having children, visiting the grandparents for Christmas, are all individual lifestyle choices people make to enhance their lives.

Working at a paying job is other, if you will. It's outside of your intimate, domestic bubble. People hold down jobs because they have to in order to afford food and shelter, and/or because it fulfills them in some way.

We do not have children in order to support ourselves (quite the opposite, actually). We have children because we feel this deep, innate, biological calling to do so. We give birth to, and take care of, babies because having those little people in our lives brings us joy.

I think a parent is lucky if she (or he) wants to, and gets to. stay home with their kids.

Yes, it's work, and yes, it's hard. No, it's not a walk in the park. Well, sometimes it is.

But the "work" and the "hard" are really just what we ALL have to do whether we are stay-at-home parents or not. Working parents still have to do all the same tasks stay-at-home parents have to do.

Does anyone ever think about that?

I think SAHMs have it easier because we have all day long to do the things that need doing when working moms (and dads) have to cram it all in after work and on weekends.

Working parents still have to do laundry, grocery shop, cook dinners, wash dishes, soothe a teething baby, potty train, oversee homework, take everyone to the doctor, diffuse squabbles, run around to extra-curricular activities, and take care of errands. After they've worked at a job for eight hours.

The hardest part about being a stay-at-home parent is how few breaks we might get. That's what's really at the heart of most complaints by full-time SAHMs. Because of that, it's easy to feel like the working parent's grass is greener. It looks to us like it must be so wonderful to get all those hours every day to take a break from parenting.

Working parents get these "breaks" by going to WORK. It's not as if they're lounging at the day spa, sipping on kale smoothies while Sven works out their kinks. No, they too still have to try to carve out little slices of me time wherever they can get away with it. That, my friends, is a universal parenting problem.

So yeah, all things considered, getting to be a stay-at-home parent is, in my opinion, easier than being a working parent.

I mean, I can't recall the last time I was up til midnight folding laundry because there was NO OTHER TIME for it. No, I do that shit during the day.

I stay up past midnight Netflixing.

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