I've been a stay-at-home-mom for a little over two years now. I used to work full time, outside of the home, and now I work from home while I take care of my three daughters. Many people think that stay-at-home moms have the easiest job in the world. After all, they have nowhere to be all day long. In fact, they probably spend all day lounging around or watching TV. They don't even have to put real clothes on if they don't want to. It's a cush job, really.
While it might be true that I can stay in yoga pants all day long, there are some things I'd like you to know about this "easiest job in the world." I think other stay-at-home-moms will agree.
1. We are a little bit jealous of you. This doesn't mean we hate staying home. That's not it at all. It's just that we would really like to be alone (like really and truly alone) for the 20-minute car ride you take each morning. We'd like to enjoy an after work happy hour once in awhile. We'd like to be able to do an errand sans children. Heck, we'd even enjoy an adult-only break room conversation sometimes.
2. It's really hard. It might seem like we just get to lounge around and play all day long, but that's far from our reality. Many days are filled with whining and crying. Kids get sick. They get bored. They fight naps. They throw fits. They make messes. And all of that really adds up. Just like any job, some days are amazing and other days are downright awful.
3. We don't think we're better. Just because I choose to stay home with my kids doesn't mean that I think every mom should. Moms should do what they want to do and what's best for their family. There is no shame in either situation.
Even when we complain or sound less-than-thrilled, we are happy that this is our job for right now.
4. We don't have a lot of money. There's a perception out there that if we stay home, we are wealthy. A lot of times, the opposite is true. Because we're living off of one income instead of two, things are usually pretty tight.
5. Our No. 1 priority is our children. This means that sometimes cleaning and laundry and other household chores just don't get done. Just because I was home all day doesn't mean that the house will be spotless or that dinner will be on the table by 5. In fact, I'm pretty sure my house is a mess because I've been home all day.
6. We get lonely, too. Even though we're technically surrounded by mini-humans all day, it can still be a lonely gig. We need adult interaction and brain stimulation more than you might think. If we talk your ear off every time we're together, that's why.
7. We need a break. We desperately need a break every once in awhile — a hot bath, an hour to catch up on reading, 30 minutes to watch our favorite show, etc. Even a trip to the grocery store by ourselves feels like vacation. To be the good moms we want to be for our kids, we need to take care of ourselves, too.
8. We are really grateful. We are grateful to be able to stay home with our children. We are thankful that we can spend our days playing, reading, singing and making messes with our kids. We are. Even when we complain or sound less-than-thrilled, we are happy that this is our job for right now. It might not be the easiest job in the world, but it certainly is the best.