Monday, October 29, 2012

First Week As A (Temp) SAHM

I'm getting a brief glimpse of stay-at-home-mom life. Last week, Claire started going to daycare every other day. I kept her in daycare full-time until then, even though I was home with Baby Amelia. It would have been nearly impossible for me to care for both of them at once, without compromising my healing and recovery from childbirth. That sounds very dramatic (I didn't even have a c-section and I'm talking about healing!) but let me tell you. It's no joke, having a baby. So I packed her up every morning, baby in tow, and took her to school to be watched after by her Daytime Moms.

So I'm only one week in, but hoo-boy. Now I get why SAHMs feel they get a bad rap sometimes. What I mean is... I always believed it when women said "WE WORK! We just don't get paid."   You know, during the whole "working mom" conversation, in which it sounds as if "working moms" are saying that SAHMs don't work because of the wording of our titles. I never thought that, I have always thought SAHMs do indeed have full, busy, not-always-fun days. But now I UNDERSTAND it. I empathize. And at the same time, I feel I am finally validated as a mother, in some weird way. I feel like....... being a "working mom" up until last week, I never really earned my mom badge until I spent some time as a SAHM. 

I say I was a working mom up until last week because Maternity Leave and SAHM are quite different things. The first five weeks with Amelia were Maternity Leave. This meant I was parked squarely on the couch, just watching TV and nursing all day long. Occasionally I would, say, unload the dishwasher. Perhaps on a Tuesday I would fold a load of laundry. Not much else, at least not during the daytime when the baby was awake.

Now on the days when I have both Claire and Baby Amelia (I can't just call her Amelia.... I have to call her Baby Amelia... it's like a lisp) home with me, I feel like I'm a SAHM. Which means, it's a work-day.  Yes, there is still some couch-sitting, and there is definitely still some nursing, but there's a ton of housework (dishes and laundry galore), a ton of activity planning, a ton of cleaning up from meals and snacks and activities and playtime and diapers and pull-ups and underwear (potty-training on top of it all!), and there's cooking dinner, and swiffering the blessed hardwood floors because holy shit if there isn't dog hair all over the floors AGAIN even though I just did this, I am going to become a mad-woman over this dog hair situation.  (And that was this blog's longest and worst run-on sentence.)

Anyway... don't take the above verbal vomit to mean I am not LIKING my foray into this new, albeit temporary, role. In fact, I kinda think I love it. Which I'm surprised to realize SURPRISED ME. I mean, why was I shocked to realize I enjoyed spending the whole day with my two beautiful daughters?

But like I said, I feel somewhat validated now... like I finally earned a little bit of street cred in the mom world or something. I won't lie... I sometimes feel slightly judged by SAHMs when I disclose that I send my daughter to daycare full-time due to my office job. See? I can't even say "when I disclose that I'm a working mom" because I feel like using those words discredits what SAHMs do every day, which is still "work".

This post is going nowhere fast, so I'm going to end it here. The last week has been awesome, and I'm going to try my best to enjoy this precious time while I have it. I need to formulate some of the awesomeness that is Two-Year-Old Claire here on this bloggy thing, because let me tell you... she is so awesome. But later... my babe child is wailing for me, duty calls.


Grace said...

So interesting to read about your take on things as a "temporary" SAHM, since that's what I do all day long.

The sheer amount of housework required (kids are so messy! especially toddlers) and activity planning (at least for my very active, social child) was definitely a big surprise to me. Funny how what you imagine and what things are actually like can be so different.

Meg said...

Love hearing your take on this! I can't imagine how much demanding/exhausting it is with a busy toddler. I feel like as soon as Bo goes down for a nap I run around and clean the house, get dinner ready, or do other random things (you know, comment on blogs) ... and I keep thinking to myself that when the next one comes along, while she/ he's napping Bo will still be up demanding my attention! Yikes!
Fun to hear you are happy and enjoying the days at homes with your 2 littles. It's a different kind of demanding/exhausting than an office job, I think. Maybe cos you're paid in giggles and baby coos and hugs.