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6 Unlikely Things to Embrace About Being a SAHM

So I’ve been in kind of a weird place to start this new year—at once conflicted about my babies growing up yet also looking forward to some of the benefits of moving past the baby stage in my life—and as a result, I feel like I’m living in some sort of mom limbo.

Part of that limbo has been acting like a stereotypical stay-at-home mom cliché and crying, “Woe is me! This job is so hard!” and honestly, I’m a little sick of myself.

Yes, there are hard parts to the gig, and yes, it’s challenging, but let’s be honest, it’s also not brain surgery or working as a garbage man in sub-zero temps or being one of those people who clean out septic tanks. Actually, on second thought, poop scooping is part of the gig, but you get my drift, right?

RELATED: The Secret to Succeeding as a Stay-at-Home Mom

I'd like to jump on the new year, new outlook bandwagon (a little late, but what mom isn’t?) and start focusing on some of the underrated perks of the job.

1. Weekday freedom

I went from being a college student to being a mom and a night-shift nurse, so I never really got familiar with the 9-to-5 grind—and if I can be honest for a minute, I love having the freedom to do things in the middle of the week that “normal” people can’t, like grocery shop on a Tuesday morning or take my kids to the movies just because I darn well feel like it.

2. Breakfast dates

Along that line of thinking, one of my absolute favorite memories with my kids have been those occasions when I have rallied the troops and wrangled them out of the door for an impromptu breakfast out. Somehow, even though my husband always dreads taking them out on the weekends, when I’m flying solo with the kids, they always behave beautifully. I know I will cherish those (admittedly, rare) mornings when I have sipped coffee in a booth and shared a plate of cinnamon raisin toast with my toddler—even that time when he fell out of the booth and I caught him by his ankles before he bashed his face on the floor.

3. The 3 o’clock slump

Moms who work in the home and moms who work out of the home are well familiar with the 3 o’clock slump, amiright? During my day shift as a nurse, when I would need a venti latte to power through the rest of my work hours, but at 3 o’clock at home, I can just snuggle with a kid who is awake, guilt-free, or lull them into a Netflix show while I rest my eyes “just for a minute.”

4. Pictures of completely random moments

I love that the magic at home can happen when you least expect it.

Every year before Christmas, I put together a family photo album, pulling special memories from our year into a book that we can all look over and enjoy without the lure of Instagram. And hands down, every year, those best pictures are the ones I’ve captured on completely random afternoons at home, when the kids put together a fort or we made cookies for no reason. I love that the magic at home can happen when you least expect it.

5. Visiting

One summer morning, I packed up what children I had (I honestly can’t remember how many it was at the time—that sort of memory loss happens with four kids in six years). And we headed over to my husband’s grandma’s house, where I learned how to make her famous homemade strawberry jam. I will never make it as well as she did, but every year when I smash strawberries with my kids and we pull out jar after jar of deliciousness through the winter months, I will remember that bright and sunny morning spent cooking in her kitchen. Staying at home gives us the opportunity to visit elderly grandparents, neighbors and friends in ways that just wouldn’t be possible if I were working outside of the home.

RELATED: The Real Reason Why Being a Stay-at-Home Mom Is So Hard

6. Snow and sick days

Honestly, every time sickness passes through our house (always an extreme crisis with four kids) or a snow day is called, I wonder how full-time working parents do it. Do they have a slew of babysitters constantly on stand-by? Do their bosses understand if they have to call in for a sick kid? How do you decide who makes the sacrifice? As a stay-at-home mom, snow days can keep the magic they held for me as a kid and not turn into a logistical nightmare that would leave me bitter.

OK, 'fess up with me, fellow stay-at-home moms: What benefits does the gig have for you?

Image via Twenty20/best_helen

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