It was never my dream to be a SAHM. I always wanted to be a mom, just not a stay-at-home mom. I loved working outside of the home and couldn’t picture being home with my baby all day every day.
My mom was the quintessential stay-at-home mom. She was born for the role. Quit her job as soon as I was born and never looked back. She did crafts and baking every day. Hot, home-cooked meals for every meal, made our intricate Halloween costumes, came to our mostly Christian schools to teach kids about Hannukah and make latkes every year, PTO mom, soccer mom, dance recital mom…you get the point! She was amazing at it and I never even wanted to attempt it. Where she baked our elaborate birthday cakes, I knew I was the kind of mom that would rather outsource it. She was a Pinterest mom and I am an Amazon Prime mom.
Kane was born and I fell in love. I went back to work after 12 weeks of maternity leave (he was 10 weeks old), but negotiated a work from home twice a week schedule. At the time, my husband was working from home, so we never enlisted childcare. Perhaps that’s why leaving him home wasn’t so hard for me. I was great at being a working mom. I prioritized my day. Worked in a very efficient manner to ensure I left on time, came home and devoted all my time to my baby. I didn’t even change. Dropped my bag on the floor, gave him my undivided phone-free attention until his bedtime and then got my household chores/errands completed and hung out with my husband.
When Kane was 14 months old, I quit my job. My intention was for this to be temporary while I sought out a new job as the role I was in was changing and the people I worked for were unbearable…especially to mothers. At this time, we had a nanny that we had to let go. It was then that I realized how freaking hard it is to stay at home with a toddler all day! Kane was (and is) SUPER active, so there was no getting anything done unless it was nap time and I had to really focus if I wanted to get anything done during that time. I actually made decisions like, “Do I shower or do I do laundry?” To be completely transparent, laundry almost always won that coin toss. Then, Little Hoboken happened, so my home went to hell….fast! My free time was blog stuff. When he was awake, there was playing with him, keeping him from killing himself because he climbed on everything, walking the dog, and feeding/changing/bathing him. Things got CRAZY! I soon realized I SUCKED at being a stay at home mom. My kid was happy and healthy, but the house was never clean, we always needed me to do laundry, grocery shop, get the clothes I had left at the cleaners for a month, walk a dog who was begging me to go out, and he had way more screen time than I’d like to admit. I also admittedly, was not the best wife either.
So, after 15 months of being a SAHM mom, I returned to the workforce. I found an amazing opportunity in the field I love (events, duh!) that was only 30 minutes from the house and only required me to be in the office from 9-3. I can work, come home and do blog stuff for a couple of hours, pick Kane up at school (which he LOVES!) and give him my undivided attention again. We play with his toys and puzzles, read books, he doesn’t say “Mommy, put down the phone!” (which, PS, will break your heart!), and he isn’t glued to his iPad or a cartoon. My husband comes home and I talk to him and we eat dinner and watch TV together when Kane goes to bed. I’m still trying to get the house back in order, but give me another weekend and we should be in better shape!
I always hear moms want to compete over who has the tougher job…who works harder, who is more tired. They are both incredibly hard and as someone who has done both, I know! I am SO floored by what a SAHM mom does, but a working mom does a lot too. We all do our best and we make it work and keep our kids happy and healthy. It isn’t who does what better and who is a “better” mom, it’s what works best for YOU and YOUR family! To the moms who swear that you aren’t a “real” mom if you aren’t home with your kids all day, first, that is complete bullshit, but second, I am a way better mom by not being home all day!