SAHM as a Misnomer

There are plenty of blog posts out there discussing how stay-at-home-mom is not really very accurate when it comes to what we do with our lives. A lot of them are about the running around a mom has to do because of errands, food, practices, etc. Often the running around is lamented, and some actual time at home is hoped for.

My kids are two and one and a half. (If you don’t know why that math is off, read here.) There aren’t any practices. Errands are mostly just groceries and Target. So I could spend a lot of time at home, especially since it is requires several bags and all my patience just to get out of the house.

I do not like being home all day. My kids are fun, but interaction is on a toddler level. Plus, at home I have to do all the housework that screams at me from around every corner. I hate housework, and being someone who doesn’t work outside the home, I feel like it is my job. If I don’t do my mental list everyday, I am a bad employee. Thank goodness I don’t get annual reviews. When I am out and about, it is way easier to ignore even if that would totally get me fired.

Thus, I try to get out of the house almost everyday. I work one morning a week at the Y, and every Friday at the library, so that’s two. Mondays and Thursdays, I go to the Y to spin and swim (That should be an actual class!). Thursdays also mean Mother Goose time at the library and blissful Chinese buffet lunch with John. Thursdays are awesome. I am gone almost all day, and there is Chinese food and usually Starbucks and my wonderhubby involved. Then I bully my sister into hanging out with us in the evening when John is at band practice. (It doesn’t take much. Thi Thi is mad in love with her nephew and niece.) Wednesday is the day I stay home if I end up staying in all day.

Are you seeing a pattern here?

Yeah. I hate to be alone. And, while, I love my kids and love being with them, their toddler company while comforting is not always stimulating. The dogs and cat aren’t any better. (While the kids were younger, the pets were in fact more adult company. That balance is starting to change.)
I use to be embarrassed by my lack of wanting alone time. It seemed to be such a holy grail for other people, especially moms. I think it’s the Greek in me. We don’t do alone. There is no one to yell back at you. Loud talking is only not insane fun with someone else.
I am also not fond of my alone time thoughts. They have a tendency to lead to guilt over what I should be doing or sometimes they go to dark and morbid places of worry. Even if I have alone time, you will not find me enjoying quiet time. My dementor would be quiet loneliness. I am so made for the internet age.
So even when the kids were way little, I got out as much as possible even if it took more time to leave the house than the time I was out. And I think it’s been good for them too. When it’s the Y or a play date or MOMS Club, they get to be with other kids. They are really good car nappers. We listen to audiobooks. Even running errands I talk to them the whole time and try and make it as much about exploration as shopping or mailing a package or cashing a check.
Sometimes I worry that this all comes from a great insecurity, a massive emotional chasm, but mostly I’m too busy and having fun to care.

Back to the subject. What should my job title be?

4 thoughts on “SAHM as a Misnomer

  1. “Family Social Director”

    The Hispanic (and the Jew) in me understand your hatred of alone time and need to get out. It’s why I work part-time, even though I stay at home full-time. Important for my mental health to have some time to get away and miss my kids and my house.

    • Totally. Some Friday mornings I am almost skipping to the library. Then by the end of the day, I am running home to hug my kids. It’s a good balance. I am lucky to have my reference job.

  2. Oh Duffy, while the title may not fit with what you believe you are doing, the job description you have given is spot on. You ARE a sahm. You do exactly what we all do, and that’s why we are so strong and so tired. It’s a struggle to justify either way; you’re out and not doing the “at-home” stuff that needs doing, or you’re home so you must have oodles of free time. Don’t worry, you’re doing what works for you and your family, so you’re doing it right. I am in BoyGenius’ school almost every day volunteering for one thing or another. Or I’m off to breakfast/tea/lunch/television viewing with my bestie. On the other hand, I could stay at home and not get anything done, either.

    Mmmmm … chinese buffet. BG won’t stay at school for lunch so we don’t get to do that. What I wouldn’t give … 🙂

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