From an accidental stay at home mom

From an accidental stay at home mom

I’ve been cruising around the Internet today and lots of heated debates around SAHM and ‘working” Moms, the fur is flying.  I think it is a really personal choice based on about 1,582 things that each person needs to consider (or maybe the choice gets made for you….). I was not supposed to be here, really I wasn’t.  My plan, our plan, THE plan was that I would go back to work after my son was born.  I took three months maternity leave and after two weeks of being back on the job, I got laid off…..lots of us did…..all Project Managers were “let go”.  Wow that was a lot to wrap my head around, now what???

Honestly, I was scared.  Financially we could swing it (thank you husband) but mentally the idea of not working was……well completely foreign to me. I hadn’t considered it before and it wasn’t a choice, more like an unexpected circumstance.  I worked my entire life at that point…from the time I was 16 until I got laid off at 35 and sometimes I worked multiple jobs.  And before I was legally able to work, I worked.  I raked leaves, shoveled snow, cleaned, babysat…I hustled because there was no money tree in our shabby little apartment.  I was raised by a single mom and we were broke.  I worked because I wanted clothes, junk food, roller skates and in order to get those things I needed to make money.  I mentally took in many lessons from my single mom.  She always said “don’t become a secretary” and the not always verbal but always present and paramount life lesson – don’t depend on a man.  Well shit now I have a 3 month old baby and no J-O-B and a husband OK with me staying home.

To complicate things further I had a very difficult delivery with life threatening complications which were discovered at 39 weeks pregnant.  So a part of me was just happy to be alive.  I had to talk myself through the not working thing, I really did.  Told myself that if this was my last day on earth….how would I want to spend it….working some job or taking care of my baby.  Truth be told I did send out some resumes but it was a half-hearted attempt.  Part of me could not justify making a choice to work and leaving child care up to someone else a big chunk of the time……simply because I HAD a choice.  It’s a different game all together if it isn’t a choice, I get that.

So why the hostility between SAHMs and working moms….my theory is guilt.  Only my theory based on my own experience not a universal truth peeps so calm down….your theory may kick my theory’s ass at recess….I don’t really care.  You see I had guilt as a SAHM because I was used to being financially independent and I had to constantly tell myself it’s OK, it’s best for the family (and it was best for us the hubs traveled internationally, no family help, we moved and starting a new job would have really messed things up if I could find a job).  I felt guilt for the lessons my mom taught me growing up. I was falling short by depending on a man.  I think working moms feel guilt because they don’t see their kids as much.  It’s just a hard frickan’ job if you do it right whether or not you work outside the home.

I had to step away from my practical always working self and do something completely different from what I carefully planned.  Sorry atheists….but for me being a SAHM was an act of faith.  You see at that time between the health issues, unexpected unemployment, moving and other changes I really felt like the universe was telling me to stay home, so I did.  Honestly it is not something I did gracefully.  It was out of necessity and circumstances that were bigger than me.

So fast forward 11+ years and how has being a SAHM served me.  If I am honest I got the perks and the liabilities in good measure. The perks are obvious, I haven’t missed a thing with my kids.  First steps, first tooth, first haircut, first day of anything – I was there for all of it (still am).  I walk into my kids school and I know half the faculty, the school board and 70% of the kids by name.  I have created a network of go to moms that can get me through the next 7 years of school in this district. I have volunteered for everything (exception: I refused to get on the school board that is just bat shit crazy).

The liabilities are pretty stacked too thankfully some of them have passed.  My first born was a colicky baby who had night terrors and did not sleep through the night for FOUR mofo years and that is the truth.  My kids are about 20 months apart and I got up with each of them every.single.time. During those years I fantasized about a fist full of Tylenol PM and a dark quiet hotel room ALONE. That was hard and I wasn’t “loving” the SAHM thing then….thought it would be good to get away from the little lovies a few hours a day but I couldn’t. I looked forward to medical appointments some days it was easier to have the blood drawn from a nurse.  What saved my ass was a small group of women in a Moms Club.  Their reasons for being home were more planned but the friendships made the hard times bearable.

Bottom line is every one is on their own particular journey and I really don’t think it’s my place to judge yours.  If you want to judge mine have at it….I learned a long time ago that what other people think of me is none of my business.


2 responses »

  1. Nice! That last line really resonated. I’ve heard folks say that and that’s always been hard for me. I’m trying to make it my mantra. For me, working was a choice AND a necessity and I just don’t get why people get defensive over others’ decisions. Another person’s life is their life; it’s not a judgment about anyone else’s.


    • Hey thanks for stopping by and reading my post and bonus points for commenting on it! I am still new at bogging so I get stupid excited when people comment or “like” anything. Thanks again.


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