Moms, let’s face it – motherhood is hard. Whether you’re a working mom, work-from-home mom, or a SAHM, you’re likely balancing it all. No one family is exactly the same, so we all make different decisions based on many different factors. I feel like women, and mothers especially, are always seeking to have it all. In a perfect world, we would all have important, high-paying careers that we loved, a perfectly kept-up house, and all the time with our children that we could possibly want. Unfortunately, that’s not very realistic. I think it’s really rare to have it all.
I would consider myself a mostly SAHM.
I say mostly because while I am home with my son the majority of the time, I am employed as a nurse per diem. In other words, I’m required to work very minimal hours.
I am an RN at an outpatient procedural center. I am per diem now but was full-time before having my son. It was your typical 8 hour, Monday through Friday job. And overall, I have always really liked it. I love the fast-paced atmosphere and having my nights and weekends free. I adore my coworkers and the doctors I work for. And I have always loved being a nurse. I love learning about the body and the mind, meeting and caring for patients and families, and of course, wearing scrubs! Nursing has always made me feel needed and essential in a way. It has always given me purpose.
I can remember wanting to be a SAHM for as long as I can remember, thanks to my own mother, who stayed home with my sister and me.
As I look back, I can tell my mom truly enjoyed being a SAHM to us. There were the days we would ride our bikes to the library, check out new books, and then go get ice cream cones. My mom was the one who always brought treats in for all our class parties. On warm spring days, my mom would walk to our elementary school to pick us up, with our beloved overweight pug in tow. My mom dropped us off and picked us up every day from school. And there was always a snack waiting for us when we got home.
When I started taking ice skating lessons, they always ended around dinnertime. My mom (probably as a pursuit to get dinner on the table quickly), decided that dinners on ice skating nights would be homemade pizzas and a side salad with my favorite homemade Italian dressing. I looked forward to this night all week.
My sister and I attended a Catholic school. Every Friday morning our teachers walked us across the street to the church for the all-school mass. My mom isn’t Catholic, but every Friday she attended mass with us. She made Halloween costumes, matching Christmas dresses, and dinner every. single. night. There were lots of days I came home from school to find some little “surprise” sitting on the stairs going up to my bedroom. Just something small my mom picked up while she was out running errands.
As a kid, you don’t realize the sacrifices your parents make for you.
My dad worked hard every day to provide financially for his family, and it was this that allowed my mom to stay home and raise my sister and me. He sacrificed time with us to make sure we had everything we ever needed, and just about everything we wanted. He sacrificed, no doubt. And my mom sacrificed a lot staying home with us too. She put a career and her own aspirations on hold for years, just so she could be there for us.
Admittedly, I have struggled with being a SAHM more than I ever thought I would.
I find it hard to put into words sometimes. Becoming a SAHM, I underestimated the constant feeling of not doing enough, not working enough, and not being enough. I underestimated how easy it would be for other people to make me feel inferior, simply because I don’t “work.” I have let other people’s opinions of my decision to be a SAHM, and SAHMs in general, affect the way I see myself. I think motherhood is the best, hardest, most important job in the world. But I never thought I would experience such feelings of inadequacy as a SAHM.
I wonder now if my mom felt the same way at times. I feel bad it took me so long to realize how much she probably put up with from other people, just to take care of us and give us a childhood we would look back on with happy memories. While I do know she enjoyed staying home with us, I can imagine she struggled with some of these same things.
I don’t want to come across as ungrateful because believe me, I know how fortunate I am. I know how fortunate I am that my husband has supported me, and not just financially. He has never once made me feel like I am not doing the most important thing in the world raising our children. I am so grateful that we have both always wanted the same things for our family. And I am truly grateful for every second home with my son – from all the important moments and milestones to all the mundane everyday moments in-between.
This is not to say being a SAHM is harder than being a working mom, or a work-from-home mom.
I would never want to imply that any mom is less than another mom because of her career, or lack of one. It’s all hard. It’s hard for different ways and different reasons. Moms, you are allowed to want to have a career. You are also allowed to want to stay home with your kids. And I know there are lots of moms who have no choice but to work outside the home. I applaud you for doing what you have to do to make sure your family is taken care of. All moms are allowed to struggle and have hard days. Because being a mom, a working mom, a SAHM, or something in-between, is hard. I admire all mothers that work every day to ensure their children are leading healthy, happy lives, in whatever ways is best for their own families.
And Mom, thank you.