November 10, 2010

To all of you stay at home moms, past and present… what sacrifices have you made in order to stay home?

Personal, financial, mental, whatever. I’d love to hear from you! How do you make it work? What corners do you cut? What have you lost? What do you miss?


2 Responses to “Sacrifices”

  1. mamalooma said

    * Money. For sure Thanks to two babies — both surgically born, and cancer treatment/surgery, we are in debt that will take longer to pay off now that we are on one income. But it’s worth it because it made absolutely no sense to go back to a $12 an hour job and have daycare for one newborn, let alone 2 kids. We really just aren’t able to buy much, which is something we are still trying to come to terms with, honestly.

    * Mental stuff – it gets hard to have only the company of small children. Late winter is hardest. I really do have to get out as much as possible to keep my brain alive and see other people taller than my waist. I am thankful for the internet for that reason too, although it gets harder to deal with now that Finn doesn’t nap – I have to be willing to let him tear apart the living room, as he is doing right now as I type this. So it’s worth it but also leads me to a “Sigh. Now what” type emotion.

    * I also feel like a jerk when I pounce on Dan when he comes home with a litany of “I’m so tired! This was hard! La la la! I need a break for a second!” It just can’t be nice to come home to. That’s not that often, honestly. But can’t be good for him. Worse is when I CALL HIM at work to complain. Sheesh. I figure it’s healthier than yelling though.

    * Also, the whole Sisyphus thing, as I mentioned here:

    * It’s hard when people think your kids is too _______ and attribute it to “being home with ONLY mom, not in daycare/not being socialized.” I wasn’t expecting that one. Or just listening to someone say it about another SAHM’s kid, because you know someone’s saying it about you. Not to be paranoid, but it’s kind of true. D and I find it funny, but sometimes it hurts too. I think our culture is too obsessed with “independence” and “socialization” at too young an age, but many people disagree, so that clash can be annoying and take fortitude, especially as F gets closer to 3 and people start talking preschool.

    Really though, I love this job.

    • Thank you so much for responding to this. My sister is the only other SAHM that I can talk to in real life, but she still works part time and my parents have her kids pretty frequently. Still, her kiddos are 2 years apart and I know how hard it can be for her… it’s nice to have someone who GETS the sacrifice. I’m learning what I can from her, both in what works and what doesn’t, and how I want to be and how I don’t.

      Re: money… that really sucks about those bills. We have quite a bit of debt as well. Money is for sure our biggest stress. Some day we’ll be debt free, I swear! “We really just aren’t able to buy much, which is something we are still trying to come to terms with, honestly.” This is something we struggle with as well. Wants vs. needs. I think this is harder on J than it is on me. The stuff I want/need tends to be baby-related these days, but he’s having a hard time not spending money on more “fun” things.

      Re: Mental stuff… I have a feeling this only gets harder as time goes on. Right now I mostly struggle with the fact that 99% of what I think about during the day surrounds my child, which makes it difficult to relate to my friends. I feel like I’m boring them if I talk about G too much.

      Yes, when J comes home it’s hard not to pass G over to him right away. But J usually has to do more work when he gets home, and he complains about it a lot. So, more often than not, I don’t get much of a “break” or any real help. And when J DOES have G, I’m usually trying to do something like clean or shower or do laundry or whatever. Not exactly relaxing!

      I loved your Sisyphus entry. 🙂 Very relatable. My apologies for never responding to it… but you’re not alone. Some days I look around the house and go, “What the heck did I do all day?” because I am exhausted and yet the house is still a mess. There’s still laundry, dishes, diapers, meals, etc. etc. etc. We have to remember the alternative… not getting to stay home with these kids.

      “It’s hard when people think your kids is too _______ and attribute it to ‘being home with ONLY mom, not in daycare/not being socialized.’ I wasn’t expecting that one.” Oooh, thanks for the heads up. I’ve already gotten it mildly a couple of times (for example, because G doesn’t get to see other babies but kids at daycare do), but G is still so young that most people comment on how lucky we both are. I’ve gotten some comments from working moms, though… perhaps a bit of jealousy or guilt seeping in? I’m not sure. (Again, the working mom vs. SAHM battle. No one wins!)

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