Friday, January 25, 2013

Debunking the SAHM theories

For those of you who dont' know, Stay-At-Home-Mom = SAHM

It's been an interesting evolution for the stay-at-home-mom. I think many of us can't even fathom the stay at home moms from the 40's and 50's. While I don't pretend to know what happiness level they might have had, I can't help but realize the journey at-home-moms have taken from then. Sure, in the old sitcoms they were all smiles but it was a very different life they had then and their purpose in life seemed to be to please their husbands and keep the children quiet and out of trouble (not that there's anything wrong with that!). It also seems like stay-at-home-moms more recently have to fight a different stereotype. Many are thought of as lazy and unkempt, others are sometimes considered old-fashioned and not in the nice homey way, but in the "those people are kind of weird" way. I've only been a stay at home mom for a year and a half and I can say that there were times early on that I answered the "and what do you do?" with a short, but sometimes-long-winded explanation that I was a teacher, but because of our recent military move, I'm now staying at home with my children reason.  Not that I was ashamed to say that I stay home with my kids, but that I didn't want to be lumped into a group that I didn't belong in. Today's SAHM is a very different breed. I thought I would tackle some of the SAHM theories that still exist today and help throw out all those stereotypes now that I've walked (and am still walking) in those shoes:

  • SAHMs sit around all day.
Beyond the soccer mom label they do so much more. Today's at home mom is often fit with an exercise routine being a very important outlet (mine is at the a$$ crack of dawn). Many of us couldn't function properly without our Starbucks coffee, a good haircut and our fast but functional makeup on. Most are very computer savvy and we Facebook and blog with the best of them. Gone are the days when we sat on the couch wearing sweats and t-shirts watching soap operas all day. Besides finding creative ways to be frugal and cutting coupons like nobody's business, many at home moms also work from home. We drive our kiddos all around town to soccer and basketball practices/games, gymnastics class, speech, and preschool. Come to think of it - I'm rarely home at all. As soon as I get Thomas on the school bus in the morning, the girls and I are in the car and off running errands, going to appointments, bringing Abby to school, or shopping for groceries. It's not until lunch time that we are back home eating and then getting ready for nap/quiet time.  My day usually starts on average at 5am and I force myself to bed between 10-11pm.  If I could order up a few extra hours each day... trust me, I would.  I promise you that I do not sit around all day.
  • SAHMs didn't go to college or have a career.
Most people now know this is no longer the case.  So many SAHMs I have met have gone to college and/or started a career, and have for one reason or another, decided to put their career on hold while they take care of their children.  Take me for example - teaching career put on hold and two Masters Degrees. Enough said. Some people might think that I'm wasting my education as a SAHM.  I think just the opposite - if I'm not going to be teaching young minds in a classroom, then I'm most certainly going to use my education expertise in my own home {FULL TIME} to educate and teach my children while they are still young and before they go off to school themselves.  If anything, my own education has given me the tools to be an even better "at-home-mom" for my kiddos.
  • SAHMs have no pressure or expectations.
Mommy pressure is everywhere - from parenting magazines that have the "make your own baby food" articles, mommy talk about how long to breast feed, which TV shows are the most educational, {wait you let your kid watch TV?!}, how many pinterest projects have you done this week with your child?!, and also get that organic dinner on the table and how to do all the laundry & have a perfect home everyday of the week!  Aughhhhhh The opportunities for maternal guilt are everywhere and they are hard to fight when you stay at home and realize you really don't feel like churning your own butter and color-coding your kids' closets this week.

Needless to say, I have a new found appreciation for what it takes to be a stay-at-home-mom.  And I'm quite certain that being at home with my kiddos is worth every penny and dollar that I'm missing from my teaching paycheck.

1 comment:

Lindsey McAllister said...

You have NO IDEA how much I LOVE this post!!!!! :)