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Stay at home motherhood is balls, y’all.

I just posted this status on my Facebook page:

“I question the sanity of a woman who frequently talks about how great being a stay at home mom is.”

A lively conversation is still going on there. I’m pretty sure I’ve offended half of my demographic. Whatever. I mean, sorry.  I have never been quiet about this: I dislike being a stay at home mom. It’s just not my thing. I see mothers who make shnazzy lunches and REVEL in toddler games and whatnot and I think, “Is this a woman thing? Did I miss that gene? Why can’t I do any of that without feeling immense amounts of hatred?”  Actually, I almost took a picture of Abby’s lunch today because it included fruit.  Then I did, because she dipped  her banana in syrup from her waffles and I was completely astounded that I had never in my 31 years thought of dipping fruit into syrup. She gets it.

I get that I’m lucky to be able to stay at home with my kids. That we don’t need two incomes to survive. Sorry, those last two sentences were crap. We do without a lot because I HAVE to stay at home. My car is 10 years old and smells of feet (the last part isn’t a money thing, it’s a lazy thing). Lance drives a Hyundai that he barely fits in. Even with Abby starting school part time, I can’t work. In the eight days that she’s actually gone to school (she just spent four days home sick) I’ve been called three times to get her because they were worried about her breathing.  These are the same days that I have to run a library book over to Casey’s school because he’s freaking out about not being able to get a new Titanic book or pick him up because he’s too overstimulated to ride the bus  home.   I can’t work. I want to. I need something to occupy my brain and honestly? I’m sick to freaking death of living on the edge of financial ruin. We will have moved twice in the last two years (and will move across the country again in August) to take representative jobs to pay off Abby’s medical debts. We’re going home to find a place to rent near a school that will take all four of my kids. But even now, I don’t know if we can afford to live anywhere near a good school that will do it. HARG. I get that working would only ADD to my load, but it would be so nice to not have to worry as much about money all of the damn time.

I do understand that there are women who would love to stay at home but can’t. I still think you’re crazy though.  Okay not crazy. I guess it all has it’s ups and downs.  I suck at playing with toddlers. I hate that I’m expected to have food in the house. But it’s super great to have the time to do laundry. I don’t know how working moms do laundry. Or groceries. Or really, anything. I’m in awe of working moms. But I’m jealous of your being able to make friends at work. To talk to adults- to anyone. Abby is super cute, but the girl doesn’t say a damn word. I’m not going to lie, it’s awesome lonely being home by myself all day long.

I guess what I’m really upset about is that this whole thing about motherhood being the greatest thing in the world seems more and more like a bunch of dudes got together and figured out a great way to trick us into doing the laundry for the rest of our lives.  It’s for that reason that I spend most of my time trying to figure out new and interesting ways to toy with my husband.  I do other things to spice things up. Today Abby and I went outside and verbally abused some poor unsuspecting birds. Tomorrow we’re going to harass the teenagers at the beach. I’m always looking for a new fun way to make home life less boring.

So, stay at home moms, what have you done recently to spice things up at home? What do you do to break up the BEAUTIFUL MONOTONY that is being a stay at home mother? I swear though, if you say, “create works of art for my kids to not appreciate in their lunch boxes” I will throat punch you- with LOVE.

42 thoughts on “Stay at home motherhood is balls, y’all.

  1. I am certain that a huge chunk of SAHM’s will agree with you, another will disagree, and yet another will boldface lie and say that staying at home is the best thing they have ever decided to do with their lives.
    I’d have to say that I have been lucky to get the best of both worlds with my career. I teach. By the end of the school year, I am ready for summer and fun with my little one. By the end of the summer, boy oh boy am I ready for adult interaction and some Mommy time away!
    I’m glad you are honest with yourself, but I think you will someday treasure the time you had with your little ones. You are brave to out yourself out here for all of us to see, either way.

  2. Yep. You nailed it. I don’t even blog anymore. I have nothing interesting to say or contribute. This is not an “oh, I feel sorry for myself moment”. This is truly, I got nothing to share except that I can’t be bothered to wash the grapes I just bought so I will let them rot in the fridge for a month and then throw them away. Who cares? Even if I wanted to get a job now, they would have to accept me in my notyoga pants, flip flops, bra optional attire.

    Anyway, to make things happy in my head while staying at home, I:
    A)Talk to my daughter in a variety of accents preparing for my new job as a linguistics coach for the Hollywood film industry.
    B)I add random garnishes to food plates and talk to studio my kitchen studio audience as if I have a food show (i.e. jellybeans on cheerios)
    C)Put lipstick on right when i get out of bed (with award-winning bed head) and sing like Carol Channing.

  3. Oh.my.God. I love this post. And you. Because I can’t work outside the home either. And. It. SUCKS.

    I invented a new game–who can put their laundry away the fastest and neatest. The winner gets a dollar. It is worth it. Of course, that game must have been too much like work because my clothes are the only ones put away right now. :/

  4. I have been a SAHM for 12 years. I never intended to be one at all. I started counting the days that my maternity leave ended immediately. I went back to work as soon as the daycare called and said they had a space. But my husband was in the military and we moved and moved again and it didn’t seem reasonable to keep getting jobs that I was just going to have to quit. I always intended to go to work again. Then autism came into my life. There is no way i could work now. I wish I could every waking hour of the day. Between the laundry, lunches, diapers and the supposed fun stuff, I just wish i could sit at a desk all day and do nothing but file or answer phones. But my kids are more important right now.

  5. I don’t want to work outside the house because the only jobs I qualify for are soul destroying retail sales. I, too, have no clue how to entertain a toddler, and child care would cost roughly twice my earning potential. I wish I had ambition or a career, but I don’t. The job I do is important, and I love my kids, but I sometimes that I could make a monetary contribution to the household.

  6. I have gone back and forth between stay-at-home and PT or FT work. Right now I am 95% SAHM but I am also a math tutor, which gives me professional stimulation for a few hours a week. I have also taken up several hobbies in my latest SAHM stint: Sewing, knitting, writing Hebrew children’s books, organizing a Hebrew playgroup, blogging, and organizing disability awareness in my congregation. I have never been more creative in my adult life! I love my life right now, but I think it is important to be very intentional about it. Make sure you have what you need while you take care of everyone else. Print out a copy of that flight safety poster: Put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then help the child next to you.

  7. This pretty much sums up how I feel. I won’t lie. Here. But I will in public! I have a 4 year old ASD son and a 3 year old NT daughter. As tedious and freakin boring as it can be, it is a full time job.

  8. I’m coming out of lurkdom (I’ve been reading you forever but am too lazy to comment) to comment on this post because I’m so glad you wrote it! I also have to be a stay at home mom, only it’s because I’m disabled. I would love to be able to work, but I can’t. People look at me in horror when I tell them I’d rather be working. I love my kids, but I need to hear my actual name spoken every once in a while. I’m glad to know I’m not alone!

  9. I totally relate!! Both on the $$ point and the toddler part I kind of went nutty when it was just me and Kaitlyn.

  10. Do you feel like part of the problem is being home with just one kid during the day? I remember being bored out of my ever loving mind when it was just me and Patrick, but the past few years have been such chaos with all three, it’s kind of become busier and more interesting. However, I anticipate needing to go back to work for my own sanity as soon as they’re all getting into school. Also for the monies, because yeah, sick of worrying about money. I think I probably hate SAHMing less than you do :), but I do hear you loud and clear on the downsides!

  11. I totally get wanting a life outside of mommy hood, but being a single mother of a three year old girl with autism and type 1 diabetes, I have to work my a $$ off to get things taken care of for her and juggle all her appointments Around my work schedule. I have no choice.I like getting to socialize, I really do because my daughter is non verbal as well, but i feel I would definitely be a better mother to my daughter without being bogged down by work and an hour commute. By the time I get home, I am too tired to be the mom Id like to be. I would feel more sane if I had less on my plate I guess is what I am trying to say…

  12. Aaaah, reading your post made me happy. I struggle with not being brutally honest about staying at home because people just start backing away from me. Now what I don’t get is how you can find time to blog: I wish I could have even one marker of innovative thought for these last 6 years.
    For me motherhood has been a crazy learning curve:I was trained from grade school to be a professional, no home ec, just college prep classes, and now I worry about just how to stretch the food budget till the next pay check,get the motherf-ing laundry out of the washer and into the dryer and blah blah blah.

  13. I totally love this post so much. I stay at home because I can’t afford daycare at what I would make in a menial job. I plan on working at least part time once my youngest gets in school. It is more interesting once they get older but being at home with an infant is crazy mind numbing at times.

  14. I get to be a stay-at-home mom three months a year. I love those 3 months. But the fact that I know it is going to end is probably why I love it. I think half-time would be perfect.

  15. I could have written this post. I love my kids, but I crave something of my OWN that will earn a few dollars and let me get all dressed up at least once a day. We make huge sacrifices for me to stay at home, but I remember back to when I was was working (with only Addison) and I remember how miserable I was trying to juggle everything. So back in March I tried again with a temp job. (http://www.deannajsmith.com/2013/03/smelly-mommy-gets-thriving-new-career.html) It ended badly. LOL. Part of the reason I stay at home is because my husband’s schedule is so unpredictable. The other reason was all the “extras” with Addison’s therapies and such. Anyway, this past month has been amazing because we’ve been planning one adventure per day (like harassing teenagers at the beach- perfect adventure). Probably can’t do that with the schedule you’re running, but make your own awesome- at least for a few minutes every day. I’m keeping track of them on IG with #creatingtoddleradventure. At the end of each day- the house is still a disaster, but we’ve had fun at least once and I feel like we’ve accomplished something. This month has been awesome for this stay at home mom as I realize I can’t do it all (ahem laundry), but I’m going to focus on what matters most and have fun with it where I can.

    1. I love what you’re doing so much. It makes me think about the things I can do with Abby that aren’t just the same old thing. Today we’re going to throw water baloons at abby’s brothers as they get off the bus.

      1. I’m chiming in here too – because I’ve joined Deanna on this challenge, and it’s been great. Our “adventures” have been random and sometimes REALLY simple, but I’ve been intentional to plan *something* for a little bit each day. The girls have been enjoying it and I have been too (except today, today I wanted to run away) – because it’s broken me out of the rut I was in.

        I didn’t get to “ease” into being a SAHM with one little newborn – I entered into this new job with a 6 year old and a 2 year old that are learning how to be daughters at the same time I’m learning how to be a mom!! Scary stuff!! It’s been wonderful and terrifying and the HARDEST THING I’VE EVER DONE. I cry more days than I laugh – and I want to change that. My kids are BUSY, the only time they stop moving is when they’re asleep – and not even always then! Emily has gone from being a baby to a full on toddler in just a couple of months time – seriously she made up a year’s worth of development in 4 months! And it’s exhausting. Dasha pushes buttons that I didn’t even know could be pushed. LOL There are days when I would kill to be able to leave the house at 7:00 and come home at 5:00 like my husband does. Today was one of those days. I’m SO thankful I can stay home with the girls, I don’t think we could put them in daycare at this point for sure, but I wish I could afford a nanny, so I could lay around eating bon bons for an hour or something. 🙂

        Once you’re back on the Best Coast, we HAVE to meet up.

  16. I’ve been staying home since my daughter was born 8 years ago and surprisingly have enjoyed it more than I would have expected. My son is starting kindergarten in the fall and I guess I always expected that I would do something with myself once both kids were in school all day. He was diagnosed with autism this past winter, and now all of those vague notions of work have been tossed aside for awhile. I can’t imagine finding a childcare situation that would work for him, and so I’m going to keep on staying at home for the indefinite future. To be honest, I’m feeling a little trapped. I’ve been a SAHM for 8 years and have generally been okay with it, because it was my choice. But now I’m going to be a SAHM because I don’t feel like we have any good options, and I’m not as crazy about it. I think feeling like you have freedom to do what you want, whether it’s staying home or working, is crucial to being happy with your family situation.

    1. I think that’s what it comes down to, really. I don’t mind being at home, I think I mind feeling like I don’t have a choice in the matter. Maybe if I fool myself into believing that this is my choice completely, I won’t be as frustrated with it from time to time.

  17. It’s the motherhood myth and thank you for posting this. We need to know that staying at home isn’t the most fulfilling thing ever done by some of us. I was really bored a lot and really lonely. But no-one ever told me they felt the same way so then I just presumed I was a big fat failure for feeling like that. We need to dispel the myths, the nonsense, the picture postcard ideal of motherhood and be honest.

  18. Complain, complain, complain. If you so badly want to work then do it. If you get to stay home be happy about it and do a good job. Is whining and insulting others really the best you can do?

      1. i find one of the things that happens in this world is that when people have made sacrifices for a thing (it does not matter what, although parenting pops up frequently), they perceive your choice not to do the thing or even your difficulty doing the thing as a personal attack on them.

        that boy who gave up a social life to get into an ivy league school will scorn your community-college diploma and he will hate you if you are not impressed by his better education.

        that woman who has to tell herself every day that trailing after a toddler is the MOST AWESOME THING EVER will not appreciate you wishing sometimes that you could hang out with grownups sometimes.

        your choices are important and the fact that you can be honest and ambivalent about them indicates a high level of both comprehension and dedication.

        you are not doing what is difficult because you have decided to tell yourself it is he MOST BESTEST THING EVER!!!!! you simply look at your choices and limits and you do the best thing you can and sometimes you see the sucky parts.

        good for you.

        and thanks.

  19. Being a stay at home mom to 2 kids with Autism is so very lonely and isolating. And yes, I get cabin fever all the time and go a bit crazy in my head. Especially since one of them usually wants to stay home, and the other always wants to go somewhere. I can’t win. But yes, I am not able to work, so I just suck it up like I am sure you do, and move on. We always planned that if we were going to have kids, that one of us would be at home with them and I have never regretted that choice. We have no money, but the time that my kids have me with them is invaluable. Had they not had Autism, I would still be a stay at home mom. I crave time with friends and with adults, but this is where I am supposed to be.

  20. I was always a single parent it seems like. The kids were really little when I got divorced and I had always been the only one supporting them ya know? I was on track to finish nursing school(finally)my Aspie was in a pull out classroom and we were fairly stable. Then all in the space of like six months it all went to hell. Spiderman was diagnosed, K was NOT functioning in the special classroom, Picasso was diagnosed and my brand new husband said “Quit. You have to quit to stay with them.” My kids for all their dx had NEVER been sick. Colds and such but hospital sick, long term serious illness sick? Nope. It’s been three years and I’m still reeling. I miss my job, my patients, my getting something accomplished. It doesn’t come easily for some of us. Had I been around when they were small maybe it would be easier. They were raised in daycare. I had a whole host of other peoples influences over them to overcome. It’s tough. Even on the good days. Figuring out how to teach Spiderman the stuff he used to know…it’s hard. I’m blessed my husband has a good, stable job. I don’t take anything for granted anymore. Nothing. It’s ALL a gift.

  21. I’m the worst part-time SAHM ever. I work 2 days a week. A third day, she’s with a sitter in the afternoon. The other 2 days, she’s at school until 3. And I STILL have a hard time finding stuff for us to do together that doesn’t bore one of us to tears.

    Anyway here are a couple of fallbacks I’ve relied on. Public pool – will kill an entire afternoon, good workout for your legs supporting a non swimmer in the shallow end. Frozen yogurt at this one place that has a playroom attached so you can hang out and watch them and eat yogurt. Join a mom group long enough to make some friends for play dates, schedule said play dates, quit the mom group. After you move, if you can splurge on something, have it be an annual membership to a kid’s museum or zoo — some cities even have membership packages where one pass will get you into a bunch of different places. So that way you can always fall back on someplace you know will be fun without having to worry about scraping together cash for it.

  22. I go in spurts. Sometimes I love it, other days I don’t. I do love my children, but there are days I need an adult to talk to! I did want to choke all the moms on FB that kept counting down the days until summer break and how many fun things they had planned. I’m not creative. My kids think I’m boring 🙂

  23. I love the concept of being a stay at home dad. I don’t WANT to go to work. I have to though. But that need aside, when I DO stay home with the kids, I get almost nothing done and spend the majority of my time doing…*shudders* housework or prepping shit or whatever, watching kids, bathing kids, etc until…DING…it’s over. And at the end of almost each one of those treasured special days I think, “I could never be a stay-at-home dad.”

    1. Lance thinks he could be a stay at home dad. I’d love for him to try. Just for like a month. It would be awesome.

      I need to find a way to make a shitton of money so that dream can come true.

  24. I love that you aren’t a fakey, pinterest-perfect mom. I love that you are real. I have one child and I almost lost my mind being home alone every day with him in a small town in the middle of nowhere with no friends and no life. Going back to work probably saved my sanity, while the long commute leaves me in misery. But you NEED to be with adults, even if just part of the day. You need to think outside of the house, even if just semi-part-time. I don’t know how you’d make it possible, but I am pretty sure you can make almost anything possible.

  25. Right there with ya. Except I work from home 15 hours/week (while taking care of the kiddos, so the 15 hours of work actually takes about 40). I can’t even go to the park with the kiddos now because Max is such an escapee runner. But last summer, when he was more willing to hang in his stroller, I made a chart that my then 6 yr old daughter LOVED. It gave us 5 things to do a week. Make it Monday (cookies, a craft – simple, like color a picture, or make playdough), Time to Read Tuesdays – trip to the library, Play date Wednesdays – invite a friend over, Thankful Thursday – do a service project, like take a treat to the neighbor, make Grandma a card, Fun Friday – an actual outing – to the park, the aquarium, the zoo. It got her to do her chores too, since they had to be done before the fun thing of the day. The rest of the day, the TV was on 😉 This summer – well, I haven’t even got my act together enough to make a summer chore list. What I don’t get is how do people take care of more than 2 kids?? I would love more kids, but I honestly don’t think I can mother more than the 2 I have, not to mention those moms who do laundry for 6 or more people – every week! Yikes.

  26. Ha! Love your honesty. I OFTEN wish I could be a stay at home mom but, as a school teacher, I change my mind halfway into June. When I stay home I get all lazy and sloppy and lonely and kind of gross. Get dressed today? NOPE. Pajamas all day don’t make me feel very womanly. I enjoy my grown up time. Actually I think women who work part time have found the magic combo of happiness. That’s what I would like to do someday.

  27. I dont have any advice to give you… cant relate much… but I just started following your blog and enjoy ( if i can say that) immensely. I used to work all the time and then my husband and I moved to brazil…. now im waiting for my visa to work and stay at home all day. I hate it. We have been trying over a year for a baby and when we get one I dont know how we will juggle that because financially it would help me to work too, but he would like me not too. perhaps this is the only way i can relate… i know how you feel about the artsy craftsy picket fence mommies… where its all lovely… anyhow. thanks for this!

  28. I can relate. I have gone down to part time in a less demanding office in my role working with juvenile offenders. Before then I was a crying mess in my bosses office, because studying, four kids (two on the spectrum) and full time work was a really stupid thing to do. I have now booked a year leave to finish my study and try to get my life in some order (the latter may be unachievable). Problem is, after this weekend alone, with my hubby at work I started thinking WTF (I always wanted to sound cool and hip like my clients)! I’m not bored but I’m definitely lonely. I have been a SAHM before, I’m pretty sure it is why I’m now in a position where I have to do something to keep paying my mortgage and my student debts. I’m dangerous when I’m bored!

  29. I love this post. I’ve always wondered why I don’t feel the same as the SAHMs out there. I don’t want to do it. Like…two days straight on the weekends with my children makes me feel like walking away from it all, every single weekend. And there are these moms out there that never get anxious, post all of these cell phone shots of their adventures, and feel no urge to not be a mom 7 days a week, apparently. I am grateful that I have a job (well, I have two, and I’m not grateful for that, exactly). But this is because my husband’s a realtor and can take care of a lot of autism-related appointments. I LOVE being at work and dread coming home. And I still love my children. Those two things can be true. I’m sorry to hear that you want to work but can’t, but I thank you very much for your honesty. It makes me feel less bad for not wanting to stay at home. And it makes the Interwebs a bit more honest out there.

  30. I don’t know why this didn’t show up in my feed, but…well, better late than never, right? You nailed it for me, too. I’m a SAHM of necessity and it’s not as easy as some people (*ahem, Beth above*) would like to think it is to change it. If you find the magic answers, please share them for the shitton of us SAHM’s who feel so much the same. Hugs.

  31. I’m going to right away understand a person’s really simply syndication because i can’t find ones electronic mail membership hyperlink or even e-newsletter assistance. Do you have any kind of? Kindly allow us identify to make sure that I could truthfully subscribe. Thank you.

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