Two new followers of Magical Chaos recently swapped guest posts and answered some questions regarding staying at home with their kids. Both live outside of the United States in different countries and it was interesting to read their take on things. (See them here and here if you wish.) I just love both the survey format and the topic so I decided to steal the idea for myself. The idea of being a stay at home mom is quite the hot topic here in the US. Working moms think SAHMs are lazy. SAHMs think working moms are neglectful. (NOT my opinions. I’ve been both type of mom and I have a huge amount of respect for both as well. I can honestly say I’ve walked in both shoes and one is not easier than the other.)
Anyway, this is my opportunity to just have a little fun with the topic, make it lighter and not such a big deal. Because it’s not a big deal. It’s just my life. I don’t stay at home to make some political statement about womanhood or motherhood or feminism or whatever. And trust me, when I was working, the idea that there was an entire mommy community of stay at home haters didn’t even cross my mind. Both positions were/are exactly what I needed to be doing for this time in my life. Period.
1) Do you like being a SAHM? Yes. Long before having kids, I thought about being a SAHM and never thought I could do it. With Orange, I worked 30 hours a week. We had a couple of girls days each week and weekends at home with daddy and it just seemed like the perfect set up. When Pink and Purple arrived, the decision to stop working was primarily based on finances. It costs more money than I made in a day to put all three of them in daycare. The first year of staying at home was HARD. But I honest to God love what I do now. For more details on quitting my job, read what I had to say over at Amateur Parenting.
2) Would you be a SAHM forever? Yes and no. I will stay home as long as my children need me to. My mom went back to work when my youngest brother was in kindergarten. Once daycare costs are out of the picture, I think a part-time job where I could still drop off my girls and be there to pick them up would be ideal, bonus if I had flexibility to take off or switch shifts easily for field trips and special school events. I have no reservations about working full-time again down the road once all my kids are grown as the extra income would allow us to save better for our future, for college, and for traveling the world. (Vacations are really important to us, here’s why.)
3) So what does your husband think you do all day? He watches the girls by himself pretty often. He knows what it takes. He is extremely supportive and doesn’t give me any trouble about my days. He respects that I can have days that are just as stressful and exhausting as his.
4) What do you really do all day? I’ve made two public posts about this on Mumbling Mommy both recently and about a year ago. They are pretty hilarious reads. Feel free to go check them out. My days consist of laundry and dishes, diapers and playing. My oldest does not nap. I do both paid and me-time blog/writing work during the youngests’ two naps. Since it is summer, I have no time full on quiet time. Yes, I am VERY excited about preschool starting again in August even if it means packing up all three kids twice a day, four days a week.
5) How often do you get out the house? Alone? A few times a month. I volunteer in the NICU my daughters were born at. I am also a member of our local Moms of Multiples club. With kids? I am a secret shopper so I take the girls out with me a couple of times a month for that. During the school year, I just go when the van is already full. It’s much easier. We don’t do a ton of walks although I really do want to get out more. We are in a tricky place with naps right now. Once I get the balance and schedule figured out, we’ll do more. As for errands, we do them as a family on the weekends.
6) How often do you socialize with other adults? Having a smart phone has really made the transition to staying home much easier. I feel “connected” to other adults all day long by being able to talk to my friends via iMessage and Facebook. I am not one of those moms staring at my phone instead of my kids all day long but I do use my phone pretty often during the day: little bathroom breaks here and there, grab it when I hear a new message if I’m not actively in the middle of something, etc. I don’t have any local friends so online communication and casual conversations at club meetings is about all I get. (Obviously not including interacting with my husband and family.)
7) Do you go to any mother and baby groups? No. I really want to but I have horrible anxiety about being able to handle all three girls by myself, especially in a setting like a playground or water park where the littler ones need constant supervision. I’m hoping to get to a few lap time events at our local library in the next few months but right now they are held when my girls are napping.
8) Do you run errands? See above. I can run errands if needed but typically we save our errands for the weekend and do them all in one outing, all together.
9) How much does your husband do? I am extremely lucky in the department. My husband comes home from work and immediately is my partner for the evening. Like I said before, he gets that my days are just as hard as his. We work together to get dinner on the table. We go on family walks, runs or play in the house together. He handles half of bath duty, half of bedtime duty, half of cleanup duty, etc. We truly are equals outside of the standard 8 hour day.
10) Will there be any more children? The jury is definitely still out on this one. During my pregnancy and the first year of the twins’ life, I was pretty adamant about being done. Neither Princess Daddy or myself believe in permanent birth control though which is good because 18 months postpartum, we are in discussion of what the future may bring. It would take a lot of trust and prayer after dealing with preterm labor and so much bed rest not to mention a month-long stay in the NICU but we are researching the details of what happened and why, how to prevent it again and what a future pregnancy may look like for us. Don’t get excited yet. But never say never.
I hope you enjoyed!