Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Beating the Stereotype

I am a stay at home mommy (SAHM) of 3 kiddos. Yes, Alivia goes to school, so my role at home should be easier, right? I have been accused of many things, but today I was accused of not doing anything. Sorry, but I think someone may have hit a nerve, a big one. Unfortunately, I get accused of doing nothing a lot.

As a working person - I got paid, and paid quite well actually. Rarely did they thank me when I went above and beyond - so I got used to not being thanked or appreciated. I also had to wait a long time for doctors, who then told me they did not have time for me today. So again, I got used to being underappreciated. But, I could ignore it more because I got paid. Now I get paid in hugs and kisses, but not from those who call me lazy.

The SAHM stereotype is of some frumpy woman who has no interests other than her kids. I have interests other than our kids, thank you. I like to run and love, love, love home design and HGTV. But, I am not sitting around all day running and watching HGTV as some believe that I am doing. I run during naptime or at night, and I rarely turn on the TV during the day (unless it is Dora while I make lunch). Our kiddos are the priority. I am not frumpy, either, and try to work on maintaining my non frumpy status.

Those who think SAHMs have it easy, they clearly have not stayed at home. Our home does not have a self cleaning button, although I wish it did. When you are at home with 3 kids, the home seems to have a self dirty button that is stuck in the on position all the time. I am constantly following kiddos around cleaning up. We sing the clean up song 100 million times a day. Oh, and the laundry. That's right - SAHMs have a maid to do the laundry, right? Wrong again. My wash machine and dryer are stuck in motion. I am sure they are going to die soon out of sheer exhaustion. I buy almost all the gifts for people and wrap them. So, if you have said that I am lazy and do nothing - you will be gifted accordingly (My cousin Wade once wrapped up poo and gave it to my Dad as a joke. Humm...that's an idea. :) ). I strive really hard to have it all done and taken care of for Chris when he returns from work. Yeah know, laundry folded and put away, bed all make, house looking clean, Chris' slippers laid out for him in the laundry room, dinner in the oven, happy kids waiting with hugs. To get all of that done some days takes many miracles.

So, what do I do here all day, when we are actually here that is? Well, there is the laundry, the dusting, the vacuuming, the cooking, baking, the toy picking up and rearranging, the stocks to buy and trade and the money to manage. I am proud of the fact that although Chris and I do not make a wealthy man's amount of money, that we probably have more than the average wealthy man does in savings and invested and our only debt is of our home. We have no credit card debt - period. Why? Because I am not out spending what my husband earns all day. I pinch every penny, clip every coupon and catch every bargain I can. Then there are the books to read, the crafts to do, and the dolls to play with. There is hide and seek and playing kitty cat. There are the explanations as to why color can not be placed on the walls and poo all over the crib. Need I say more? 

That is another stereotype: SAHMs go out shopping all the time spending all of their husbands money. 1. If they do - I am not one of them, and 2. What money? We live on one income for crying out loud! I do upon occasion go to the Mall. But, let me tell you about my last 2 visits to the Mall. Last Tuesday Asher and I went to Oakview. I ran through the Gap Stores before going to the play space to play. I spent no money. Thursday Asher and I went to Westroads while waiting for Addison to get out of preschool. Again, we went to the playspace and to Von Maur so Asher could play on the trains. I spent $2.60 on cookies for the kids and for Chris. Boy, I think I may have broke the bank. The only thing we brought home from the Mall was a bad cold.

Obviously, I already broke the stereotype that we stay home all day. I take the kiddos all over the place: museums, libraries (love Saddlebrook and still drive over there every other week while Addison is in preschool), the zoo, etc. I also drive Addison 40 minutes to preschool 2 times a week. One would be hard pressed to find a lazy person to do that (or a sane one for that matter) because that is a lot of work and noise. Addison and Asher are so noisy that I rarely get home without a raging headache. But, I love the time I get with Asher while Addison is in school. And, I would have hated to disrupt Addison's first year of preschool. So, in the end, it is worth it - even for this lady who does nothing all day long.

On most days, I do love staying at home and would not trade it for the world. I get to enjoy every moment with our kids. I am very thankful that I am married to a man, a real man, that works hard to support his family and provides for us. There are not many real men out there anymore. With that said, my only break from being a mommy is the 2 times a year I get my hair cut and going to work on a psych ward a couple times a month. I'm sorry, those are not breaks! I would love to get a vacation where I can just sit around watching HGTV, scrapbooking, in a quiet environment. Maybe I would take a jog DURING THE DAY, go a store without anyone whining or without having to go in the middle of the night, or maybe, just maybe, I would treat myself to something. Maybe I will get to do that one day when my kids are 30. Until then...

...I better get back to doing absolutely nothing, right? Too bad nobody has volunteered lately to fill my shoes for a day. Nothing must be too much work. :)

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O'Toole said...

Krista - You can tell those who think you are lazy or don't do anything that I work so that I have an excuse becuase doing your job is too hard!!!! Seriously, I try it every summer and by the time August comes around, I realize I have failed miserably, and I better start back at work so that I feel better about not being able to keep up at home. I envy you and am amazed at what you do!! Dont let those people get you down!!

Austin Family said...

The funny thing is, Kelly, that I thought the homes of SAHMs WERE clean before I stayed home! I could not understand why they needed a break from their kids, either. Don't get me wrong, I miss our kids when I am away. But, I do like the silence! Ahhh. is so relaxing. :)