So, what DO you do all day?

I can't stand the fact that there are still people who think stay at home moms sit on their butts all day watching television and eating bon bons. This isn't Married With Children, people. If you've never been a stay at home mom (or even a mother) then you have absolutely no idea how much work it is. Seriously. While being a stay at home mother is the most rewarding job that anyone can have we need to be cut some slack.
Every day I wake up tired from lack of sleep the night before. Why lack of sleep? Well, Elijah is a pretty good sleeper, but he still gets hungry at night, so I feed him. Sometimes he gets fussy and wakes up, so I comfort him back to sleep. My husband? Well, he gets uninterrupted sleep from whenever he goes to bed (usually around midnight) until sometimes 6, 7, or 8am. That's 6, 7, or 8 hours. I get broken sleep, and 5 hours straight is a good night.
So anyway, I wake up, tired. The rest of the day is not determined by me, it's pretty much up to Elijah. If he gets hungry, he eats. If he's tired, he takes a nap. Sometimes he doesn't nap at all, which means I don't get a break. When he does nap I try to do things like eat lunch, maybe shower if I think he's going to stay asleep long enough, or sometimes I just rest. When Elijah is awake it's a full day of me keeping him entertained. I play with him, sing and talk to him. Sometimes I can do something like wash some dishes or sweep the floor, sometimes I can't. A few times a week I usually have to make a post office run, like today. I go after Eli has napped and eaten so I don't have a fussy baby in tow. As soon as I get home from any errands we are both tired and need a break. A lot of times during the day Elijah just wants to be held all the time. If I put him in his exersaucer or bouncy thing in the doorway he will start fussing and want out. Now that Elijah is more mobile I am constantly chasing him around the house, so whatever I am doing gets interrupted about every 45 seconds so I can go grab him before he starts chewing on the vacuum/cat toy/dust ball.
Since I stay home all day with virtually no adult interaction aside from the internet in spurts and my quick errands to go get coffee or mail packages at the post office, well, I deserve a break. Anyone who stays home all day, isolated, will eventually go crazy, so if anyone ever tells me I don't "do anything" it really strikes a nerve.
Because Elijah is still exclusively breastfed and I practice attachment parenting means I have even less time in the day than stay at home moms who let their babies CIO, and those two things are non-negotiable for me.
Using a stay at home mom salary calculator I determined that my annual salary would be around $160,000. Here is a chart of the national low, median, and high:

It's a hard job, being a stay at home mom. Next time you think that one of us SAHM's don't "do anything" just remember that we are. Always. On call 24/7. I would (and every stay at home mom) would appreciate a "thanks for all your hard work" or "you do so much, I appreciate it" instead of a list of things that I need to do since I have so much free time.


Jessica said...

I could not have said it better myself! I can't stand when people ask me what I do and when I tell them I have to hear, "Oh..." Someone once even made the suggestion, "Well, you can always go back to school." Go back to school?! I graduated! Schooling is not what I need. On the other hand, it is nice and refreshing to hear (and read) people who truly understand what it's like to be a SAHM. Again, great post!

TheGirl said...

don't forget no sick days, no vacation days. No one to say hey, good job, you deserve a raise.

Kim Hosey said...

Well said.

My husband sort of used to think that. Then he got a few days of duty on his own. He knows better now.

StrongFeather said...

thank you! This made me feel better just to read....

Beecher said...

I guess I'm a little fuzzy headed today. I posted a comment on the next post down instead of this one! Ha!
Reposting it here..where it belongs :)

It's unfortunate that if EVERYTHING isn't done to *someone's* specs then I might as well have not done anything. Grrrr....
Also, have you ever tried scrubbing tubs with a baby that grabs everything? Or sweeping? You can't sweep with one hand.
Ranting over...
Thanks for posting this. I needed to vent!

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