October 21, 2014

Being a Stay-at Home Mom is Not as Easy as it Looks.

stay at home mom

I get the impression that people who don’t have kids or aren’t stay-at-home moms think stay-at-home moms eat bonbons, nap and watch TV all day while the kids play quietly in the corner.

I only have one child so I might not be one to talk, but taking care of baby is the most amazing and difficult job I’ve ever done and I’m only home half of the week.

Full-time stay-at-home moms have the hardest job in the world if you ask me and here’s why:

1. It’s a job that requires you to work the day and night shift.

And not just for the first six weeks. Not just for the first three months. I’m ten months in and still pulling the night shift more often than I’d like. If you have one of those babies who sleeps through the night from day one, awesome, sleep for me.

2. There are no sick days, vacation days or mental health days.

And when you want someone to cover your shift you have to pay them. Lately, I get what I call mental health hours, where I escape for a couple hours to hunt down warm soup and restorative yoga.

3. Your clients routinely throw up on you, hit you, bite you or scratch you.

I think the only other job this might be acceptable is as a prison guard. And they carry a gun and wear a uniform. I’m just in my pajamas with a diaper as my only weapon.

4. Your client accompanies you to the bathroom.

You’d think after laboring naked for 14 hours in front of strangers this would be no big deal, but I still find it a bit awkward.

5. There’s no formal training for this job but you’re expected to be perfect at it.

I don’t think they’d let doctors do on-the-job training with real patients but for some reason parents get to practice parenting on their kids. At least they can’t sue us when they grow up.

6. For the first three months you’re responsible for a human life when you aren’t even fit to drive a car.

I’d love to ask whoever came up with this baby thing why they decided to put a sleep-deprived, hormonally unstable woman who can barely walk in charge of a helpless, delicate infant.

7. You’re required to decipher a foreign language—baby talk—with no interpreter.

Some days waaa means I’m hungry. Some days it means I’m tired. Some days it means I’m bored. Just when I get one cry down he throws an extra aaa on the end and it means something totally different.

8. Your work day starts at 6:00 am even though your last shift ended at 4:00 am—even on weekends.

I wish I was making this up. I didn’t do much sleeping-in before baby, but now I wish I had. It’s like our little one can sense it’s a weekend and gets up even earlier than weekdays.

9. When your 13-hour workday is over, you get a three-minute restroom break and then start your other job as a housecleaner and chef.

I can’t be the only one who finds it challenging to transition from exhausted nursing mama to sane wife who is thrilled to make dinner. I’m getting the hang of it but it’s been slow-going.

 10. You must carry your 10- to- 25-pound clients around all day long, but if you get injured on the job there’s no worker’s compensation.

I learned this one when my right hip got majorly tweaked from hours spent carrying my sweet chubs in the Ergo day after day. I was unable to sit or stand without pain until my chiropractor figured out what was wrong and fixed me.

One perk of being a stay-at-home mom is the benefits.

I’m not talking about a sweet retirement or medical coverage. I’m talking about full-body giggles, drooly smiles, slobbery baby kisses, two little arms that reach for you in the morning and the sweet sound of the word mama.

It makes all the hard work and sleepless nights worth it.



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Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: flickr


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