When I started being a stay-at-home Mom (SAHM) after Asher was born, I had my idea what it would be like. I was wrong on a few (okay, several) accounts.
1. The laundry is always done & put away
This is not true of this SAHM. If it was, that would mean I did not play with my kids and just did laundry all day/night. Or, it could mean that I rarely sleep (& then how would I play all day with the kids?). It does get done eventually, and it takes about that long to get put away. Today I was trying to put away the laundry and Asher dumped the cat food (at least he was not trying to eat it). After cleaning that up, I went back to work. Then, Addison opened the big can of catfood and dumped it all out. Yeah, the laundry looks good in the baskets, don't you think?
2. The house is always clean.
Um, what was I thinking? We have 3 kids ages 4, 2 and 9 months. If our home was always clean, they could not play. Part of playing is to make a mess (and to clean it up). Alivia and Addison are still working on the cleaning it up part. It is also quite difficult to clean with 3 kiddos under your feet wanting your attention. Typically, I get 1 maybe 2 rooms vaccuumed before Asher wants me to hold him. Vaccuming while holding a nearly 20 lb baby is no easy task, ya know. Therefore, I have to be in the right mood with the right amount of energy to clean. Also, Asher wakes up over every little noise since his room is right above the entry way. So, I am in the basement or folding laundry during quiet time. The kitchen clean up is off limits as he always wakes up. I wonder if I will miss my messy house when the kids get older?
3. The kiddos are just automatically well behaved because I am a SAHM.
Well, in public they typically are well behaved (extremely shy and sometimes noncompliant in group activities. But to be fair, they are well behaved). I would love find out an effective way to stop the whining. Oh, that would be so nice.
4. I will be in the best shape of my life.
Also, what was I thinking? I do run about 6 days a week at night. There is only so far I will run within the confines of our neighborhood at the late, dark hour. I have to push myself through my entire circuit because I am simply wiped out by 9 pm at night. When I do run in the morning, I can run forever, or so it seems. So, I guess I am in shape in that regards. However, my diet is horrible. My body does not look like it did before and after Alivia & Addison, and may never look that way again. Afterall, I have had 3 kids within 3 1/2 years. THAT wreaks havic on a body, or at least it sure did to mine.
5. SAHM's are so lucky because they get to eat all their meals with the kids.
I do get to sit with them, does that count? I decided to not plan on eating with them because I always turn up disappointed. I still do, occasionally, think I get to eat with the family, especially when we order our favorite Midtown Mama's Pizza. But, it rarely happens. I eat breakfast on the run, lunch I eat during quiet time, and dinner I eat after my run (although I typically try to eat something during the meal with the kids if possible). I snack a lot since that is what I have time for, which is not a good thing.
6. SAHM's hit all the best sales.
I rarely go shopping unless it is online. If I do venture out with all 3 kiddos and just me, I typically get absolutely nothing accomplished. It will be interesting to see how I do with Christmas shopping this year. I will aim for one store with the gift I want in mind before leaving home.
7. I will have my free time at night to just sit.
When I was working, there was always busy-work they wanted us to do. I could not wait until I no longer had to do that. Well, after the kiddos go to bed, I usually go straight on my run (or I will never do it). Then it is time for a trip to the grocery store, clean-up, laundry, toy pick-up, bills, or whatever else is on the list to be done. After checking email, it is time for bed (between 10-11:30 typically). I rarely watch TV unless it is while I feed Asher at night or while folding towels or something. But, sometimes, despite the mess that surrounds me, I just sit.
8. I would rarely need a break from the kids. I love my kids, why would I want a break?
One has to stay home to truly appreciate this. Going to the grocery store at 10 at night is a treat for me. My run is a treat for me. They are times when I am away from the house alone in my own thoughts. This is rare. I did not think I needed this until I became a SAHM. I took for granted that I could just get my hair cut when I wanted to. Now, it is so much work to figure out when I can get someone to watch the kids, that I think I will just grow it out. :) Oh, and date night with Chris? We now have an ad in our church bulletin for a babysitter. So, maybe, just maybe, we can go on a date without it being for our anniversary or something (thankfully we have 2 wedding anniversaries!). I think the kids need a break from us sometimes, too.
Misconceptions aside, I love being a SAHM. I love being able to take our kids places that Chris and I would have had a hard time finding time for as 2 working parents. I love watching our kids grow before my eyes. I do not like the household clutter, and I am always trying to find ways to keep it under wraps. If our house is a mess, I feel like I am a mess.
So, now that I am done being a super hero (I make milk, what is your super power?), I am off to do some outdoor labor with the baby monitor.