Show Your Stripes!
What is the perfect life for a mom? If you could figure this out, then bottle it up and sell it because I’m pretty sure you could become a millionaire. From my experience, stay at home moms miss adult interaction, full time working moms feel like they miss out on stuff with their kids, and part time working moms feel like they are being pulled in too many directions and not doing anything with excellence. I think when you’re a SAH (stay at home) mom, then you dream of the life of a working mom. When you’re a working mom, you dream of the life of a SAH mom. When there is a school function, then the stay at home moms get all dolled up and the working moms are coming in their work clothes, checking out the SAH moms thinking, “Lord! Why’d you get so dolled up to come to a kid’s school function?!” Well working moms, I can tell you why…because the SAH moms are SO excited that they have a reason to get dressed, put make up on and dry their hair, that it doesn’t matter that it’s a function for 3 year olds, they are so pumped that they are going to see other adults that they can hardly stand it! I can see how the SAH mom slips into the slippery slope of not getting ready every day…or any day…you’re just hanging out with kids all day…they don’t care if you have make up on, or dry hair…shoot they don’t even care if you have clean hair! Kids are just going to snuggle you, probably throw food on you or spit up on you, more than likely wipe a bugger on your sleeve or sneeze on you, so what is the point?! OR if you are the SAH mom that enjoys her work out time because it’s a break from the kids and a chance to do something for yourself, then you go and work out (without make up because who wants to work out with a ton of make up on and their hair all did up), and then after your work out you’re halfway through your day, so what’s the point of showering at 3pm in the afternoon? Just ride it out and shower at night…or tomorrow. SO, the kid function is a GREAT reason to get all sassed up and enjoy some adult time looking all fancy pants in something other than yoga pants and a t-shirt.
Okay, so what about the working mom? She’s so tired because she’s up all night with the kids, waking up early to get herself ready and everyone out the door to get to school, daycare or the sitter’s, and then off to tackle the working world. The working world doesn’t really care that you got little sleep because a toddler was crawling into your bed and kicking your back all night. You have a long working day, then you have to pick up your kids, run any errands that still have to be run to get home and try and feed your family…that Wendy’s drive thru is looking REAL good about right now. You are getting to your kid’s function only because you either A) took off work B) took a long lunch or C) rearranged your entire schedule to squeeze in a function just to hear your kid sing 3 songs. You’re exhausted and then wondering why you didn’t take the time to dry your hair today because you’re seeing all these SAH moms rocking their latest and greatest outfits.
Let me tell you- it’s not easy…either way. I have had the opportunity to be a working mom, a part time working mom, and recently I’ve been feeling better enough to glance into the SAH mom life. None of the scenarios are perfect, but they are all great! I think it’s best for every mom to do what’s best for her and her family. A close friend of mine says she would not be happy being a SAH mommy…she loves to work and get that break from her kiddos…it gets her refreshed. Another one of my friends thought she might want to be a SAH mom, but realized that part time work is the way for her to feel at her best. Another friend found that staying at home with her kids was the less stressful route for her and her husband. It’s funny though because when you slip into one category, it’s hard to always relate to the other. Just today I talked to a friend that was talking about playdates and said it was hard for her kids to play with other kids because she was a SAH mom while the other mom was a working mom, so when they needed play times they were opposite of each other. It is true- when you are trying to find times for your kids to play you do tend to hang with people that have a similar schedule.
While I have been out dealing with my health nonsense, I have had a sneak peek into the life of a SAH mom. One day I got the kids to school without getting ready myself, ran an errand or two, then got home and had the debate (with myself, mind you, because it was just me and Baker at this point) about whether or not to get ready…I mean, if I didn’t shower, put make up on and dry my hair then that’s an entire HOUR that I could do something around the house! Hmmm…to get pretty or not get pretty…that was the question. I could completely understand how many moms would say, “screw it- I don’t need make up today…I’ll use this hour to finally knock out that pile of laundry, dishes, ironing, vacuuming, etc…ahhh…what you can do with an hour, right?! BUT (either I’m too vain or I just really like getting ready) I chose to shower and get ready. I completely understood how a new stay at home mom could quickly lose herself though and stop focusing on herself and just turn all of her attention to the kids and home.
Another interesting revelation I had was how SAH moms can run errands…during the day! Yes. Crazy, right?! They can go to the grocery store or Target in the hours of 10- 12. If you go during these hours you’ll see lots of other stay at home moms toting their carseat carriers in the buggies, or their toddlers are hanging onto the carts. So, when you can go run your errands during the day, pick up the kids in the afternoon, then guess what? You still have part of the day left…CRAZY, right?! I know! It’s insane! Shopping during the day?! Who has ever heard of that before?! I was even able to get some Christmas shopping done without having to hide toys in the cart while they were sitting in it! Mind blowing!
Okay, okay, so now you’re thinking, “yeah! That DOES sound amazing!” but look- where does the time go?! So, you drop your kids off at school and you think you are going to accomplish MAJOR things today…then you go to one store for only God knows what, you try to stay focused because you ARE living on one income, so you’re not trying to buy every little distracting item, then you go to the grocery store, you get home, unload the groceries, look at the clock and you only have 45 minutes until you have to go back to school to get in line for carpool! What the crap?! Where did the day go?! I have nothing to show for it! Now, I have 45 minutes so the debate becomes “to shower or not to shower?!” That is the question.
I say, “Cheers to all, and Amen!” Look mommas, being a mom is a job any female can do, but being a GREAT mom is the hardest job in the world! It’s tough to be great at raising tiny humans! Most days we are just surviving from day to day! If you are a SAH mom or a working mom, then just try to enjoy the time you do have and don’t wish a phase away. Once our kids are grown, they are grown and there is no getting that time back. We are all doing the best we can, so let’s help each other out and lift each other up!