Then people who make inaccurate assumptions about Stay-at-Home-Moms. But before I explain why, let me confess that I use to be one of these people. I truly believed that staying home with my children meant that I would have plenty of time to keep an immaculate home, prepare an organic home-cooked meal every night, keep my scrapbooks up to date, finish all of my writing projects, read a new book every week, schedule numerous lunches and outings with friends...all the while nurturing and teaching my children. I actually laugh to myself every time I think back to those days before I quit my job. I was completely naive...but with good reason. I mean really, one cannot possibly understand how challenging it is to be a SAHM until they actually become one. Plain and simple. But that doesn't seem to keep people from making assumptions about what we "do all day". And that is when I get angry.
My SIL Dana posted an awesome article on her Facebook page that discusses this very subject. If the scanned copy is too small to read, you can click here for the full article. Please read it before you continue this post because I think the columnist hits the nail on the head...
See what I mean? Beautifully said. I think my favorite line in the whole article is where she explains, "It's taking 45 minutes to do what takes others 15". The woman who sent in this question had a point...SAHMs can't list off grocery shopping, house cleaning and trips to the library as excuses for why they are pressed for time because all women (and men) have to find time to do these things. BUT...these other men and woman are not trying to accomplish these tasks with children. A trip to Target alone vs. a trip to Target with two kids in tow is a VERY different experience. If you have never had to leave an entire cart full of items in the middle of the store because you had to escort a screaming, tantrum-throwing child to the car...consider yourself lucky.
The thing is, I don't want to make it seem like I think that being a SAHM is harder than working outside the home because I'm sure in most cases it's not. Both jobs are demanding for different reasons. But just as I don't assume that career women have it easy because they get lunch breaks, vacation days, sick days, weekends off, etc., I would expect career women not to assume that I just sit home all day reading books with my feet up while the kids trash the house around me. If I could make it so, I would like to have more time for my friends. I would like to have more time to answer e-mails as they come in, instead of answering them days or weeks later. I would like to have more time for myself and be able to put on something cuter than a pair of sweatpants most days. I would like to have a phone conversation that I didn't have to interrupt twenty times. But these are the sacrifices I made to be a Stay at Home Mom and you know what...it's worth it to me. I will trade in my wants and needs to be home with my kids any day :-)
So...to all you career women out there who do not have children yet...please be understanding when it comes to your mommy friends. We really do love you and want to spend time with you...it's just not as easy as it use to be. But hey, if you are really missing us and want some time to catch up, it would be awesome if you picked up a pizza and came over one afternoon. Chances are we will be home...or at Target :-)