Why a Stay At Home Mom Is Kinda Like a Superhero
What does it mean to be a stay at home mom?
- “Oh, so you are not working. I mean nothing at all, not even a part-time job?”
- “I envy you, I wish I could stay home all day!”
- “So, what did you even do all day?”
These are the most common replies I get when stating that I am a stay at home mom. I am sure that all of you stay-at–home mommies have heard the same or even some more judging and inappropriate words. I don’t know what it is exactly that makes them judge us as if we are on a home vacation. Maybe it is the stay at home part that is suggesting that since you are at home, it must be quite relaxing. Therefore, I will try to explain to you how my day goes as a stay at home mom, compared to the days when I was a working woman, meaning working-outside-of-my-home woman.
Before I became a mother, and ever since I’ve graduated, I’ve been working, and loving it! The last seven years before I become a mother, I’ve been working as a manager in an international company providing services for customers coming from different countries. My days were busy, to the point of not having enough hours in a day to accomplish everything I’ve set as a goal. I was driven and quite ambitious. I still am, it just goes in another direction. My work now is building a character and providing a better human that will hopefully make some change in this world. Me staying at home in order to raise my son, didn’t came as a surprise though. It has always been a plan and I have no regrets. I believe that I am doing the most important job there is for a woman on this planet. Even though at times it feels as if I am putting my own needs aside, I don’t mind. I know that the upbringing of my boy and the time I am spending with him is the most precious time for the both of us.
In order to make the comparison, I’ll start going through a day of my working career:
I would usually wake up at 7 a.m, get ready and head to the office, where I would drink my first coffee, chat a bit with my co-workers and start achieving the goals set for the day. At noon I would have a break for a lunch with a friend, coworker or my husband. It was never a complete break though, meaning I would spend the time with a phone in one hand and a fork in another. Then I would go back to the office, continue the meetings, sending emails, solving problems, getting information, searching for more clients and so on. The list would never end. At 5 p.m. my day would be at an end, so I would put my phone to rest, heading to the gym or for a yoga class. At 7 p.m. I would be at home for dinner with my hubby and a movie at home, or have friends over or attend some event or even a party at times. Most of the times, my day would be over at midnight. The weekends were reserved for a short trip to a spa center, the nearby mountain village or stay at home time doing little to nothing at all. A weekend meant relaxation time.
Now, let me try to give you a peek at one day as a stay at home mom:
The waking time is about the same, 7 a.m at times even 8 a.m., but the sleeping part is quite different, (since I share my bed with my almost three year boy now). After being kicked for about six hours, woken up at least once – either to take him potty or give him some water – your beauty sleep is over. You get up a bit exhausted and coffee time comes before brushing teeth.
Bathroom time always comes with a companion, hugging your leg while you are brushing your teeth. Physically you are never alone, not even a single thought of your own can go without an interruption and a tiny little voice calling you “mommy, mommy” … asking impossible and funny questions all the time, not a minute of silence.
If someone has told me that I would miss silence this much, I would tell them that that’s just insane, but look at me now…
After the bathroom time, which can last from 10-40 minutes, depending on what my son wants to explore there. What part or thing he wants to wash – face, teeth, hands and then at times feet, cars, toys, fruit even. Then comes breakfast time. This can last even two hours, depends what kind of an eater your little one is. Mine, for example, aside from eating, wants to play with and explore his food. Usually when the eating part is over, the kitchen looks like a battle field: food remains everywhere, and I look like a wounded commander with “bloody stains” over my clothes, vegetables in my hair and an empty stomach. After the cleaning part of the breakfast ritual, here comes the living room adventure where you need to walk like a cat since it is a lego mine field there. If you survive it with no broken leg or head, you can start to prepare for the outdoor part. The preparation is consisted of: preparing snacks, I usually cut some fruit and vegetables, add some nuts and the lunch box is ready, and keep in mind, this is the easy part. Then comes the odyssey in searching the right clothes to wear, since everything I choose for him is not an option. At this point I manage to eat a banana while he is exploring the closet. Our outdoor time lasts 2-4 hours, during which I participate in excavation games, climbing and running around. If I am lucky, I get to rest on a bench while watching him play with other boys or girls. My munchkin doesn’t take a daily nap anymore, so when we come back home, the circus goes on. After cleaning the entrance way from the toys and the pile of clothes, I get to start the lunch preparation and afterwards comes the feeding part, where he gets fed and I get frustrated since he is a picky eater.
In case you didn’t know that boys come with dirt, of course doing the laundry is a daily routine, and it is never done. By the amount of washed clothes, I am convinced that there are at least 6 more people living at my home, probably hiding somewhere. While I wash and iron, my boy does not stay still, he is a perpetuate mobile, always producing mess. Putting toys away is an impossible task, usually it ends with replacing the toys from one room to another. When daddy comes home, the circus becomes louder, so multitasking with a demanding chief sounds relaxing to me since it comes with no screaming and yelling and no throwing toys everywhere.
At 8 p.m. the loud part of my day is over, my little monster goes to bed. Luckily for me, he falls asleep quite easy, but that doesn’t mean that my day is over just yet. I still have to finish the dishes and clean up his toys, finish the laundry, so that my home would be clean only when we are sleeping. When everything is at its place, I have some me time, meaning I prepare myself for watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and falling asleep after five minutes.
Quite a relaxing schedule as a stay at home mom, don’t you think???
The weekend is just the same day repeated twice with a hubby mess as a plus. If we do get to take a short trip somewhere, it is the same activities at a different place but this time with crying at night since my boy wants his own bed.
Have you noticed what’s missing aside from the rest? No gym, no yoga classes and the so much needed meditation time. No friends for coffee or lunch break, at times I even miss clean clothes and normal looking hair.
The paycheck of a stay at home mom comes in kisses and hugs that are making you melt to the bone. And every day is spiced with the sweetest: “I love you mommy so much”, “You are my favorite, mommy”, and many more!! The bonuses comes with the opportunity to be there when your little one smiles for the first time, makes his first step, says his first word, and these moments are priceless! It is the most fulfilling and yet loneliest job.
It is isolating and alone time, since there are rarely adults in it. You are the world to your little one – his/her playmate, teacher, cook, driver, protector, personal entertainer and so on… the list is long. A stay at home mom completes all these roles, and usually it comes with no or little appreciation.
So the next time you see my home as a messy one, keep in mind that toys strewn about are a sign of a happy child playtime. Dirty dishes in the sink are a sign of well fed children, and a messy entrance way means you are entering in a happy home.
At the end of your working day, you can see the result of all the efforts you made. Usually there is some spreadsheet, a report or something testifying your job, and a proof for what you did that day. A stay at home moms work can’t be seen. It is an invisible job. An outdoor lesson on what the ants are building can’t be placed in a spreadsheet. Love, compassion, full bellies, eyes full with sunshine, hugs and warmth, all remain hidden under the pile of the unfolded clothes. The building of a good person is a continuing process and the results are invisible till the growing process is done. The value of a stay at home mom must not be graded on the cleanliness of her home, it shall be valued for their selfless investment in their children.
At the end, I just want to make myself clear that I am not writing this in order to complain or to compare myself to the working moms. Every mother is doing an amazing job no matter what her choice was and no matter of the situation she is in. Every moment of motherhood is a treasure, and every mother there is in this world is devoted to her children’s happiness. We shall all be the so needed support for each other. It is ok to let the dishes stack up. It is also ok to wish that the wheels of the bus would fall apart. It is ok to miss the woman you were. It is ok to enjoy every second of motherhood as it is ok to struggle and can’t wait for the day to be done already.
Every mother is a great mother to her child and is doing her best. We are all the most valuable part of the world building its future.
Author: Daniela Mioska