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Friday, November 21, 2008

Dear people who think staying at home with your children is "easy,"

I know you may think that your job is soooo hard & that us Mommies that are fortunate enough to stay home with our kids "have it easy." We have all this time on our hands and just sit around the house all day getting to do whatever it is that we choose. Well, guess again my friend.

I've lived the "working mommy" life & it's stressful! Having to get up extra early to get the kids ready for school or daycare & make yourself look half way decent so you can go work a full day to only come home and have to cook dinner, help with homework, rush the kids to their activities, give baths, cuddle, get the kiddos to sleep & give your husband attention on top of all that. Not my idea of a "Good life." Don't get me wrong, I know it's hard and has to be done in some situations. At that point in my life, that was the case & I just had to make the best of it. But I just prefer to stay home and raise my own children if at all possible. I try and make that possible by staying home and also making money.

Now, I'm THANKFUL to be living the "stay at home but still have to make money" life...which is still stressful not knowing your exact income that month! I don't have to wake up extra early to get to a corporate job anymore. But I do have to get up extra early to get three children fed and dressed for school & their day. I only have one child in school so that leaves me with two home & an extra one that I babysit. Count em' up and that makes three children to keep happy and entertained all day.

Yes, we get to take trips to Chuck-E-Cheese, pumpkin patches, grocery stores, & run errands during the day. But that doesn't make it fun or exactly "easy" to do those things with all the kids by myself. Some of them just need to be done...some of them I do for the kids because they've been good...and some of them I do to give the children experiences and chances to learn fun things outside of the house. ALL of them, I know how lucky I am to be able to do so! But NONE of them, I think is easy & I can't imagine that anyone would.

The fun actually starts when my oldest gets home from school & we have homework to do, and activities many nights of the I'm kept on a pretty tight schedule which isn't all fun & games. Not to mention, I have a husband to keep happy so I plan and cook dinner (okay, not every night but most of the time, although he is the cook of the family :-) and try to keep the girls entertained some in the evening so he can also have some wind down time from his busy day at work.

And YES, I DO pay my own bills! I'm always coming up with new ways to try and make money...anywhere from running an in-home daycare to being a consultant for a home clothing company to making homemade goodies for my Etsy shop.

Yes, I have the most supportive husband on the planet but we have an agreement that I'll pay my I do. So even though I get to "stay at home," doesn't mean that I'm off scott free doing whatever I please during the day and not "working." Because I am. I make money to pay my bills. I watch my children and others all day and that is WORK. HARD WORK. And until you do it yourself, I don't want to hear comments about how "easy" I have it, or how much time I must have on my hands.

My "time" comes from staying up all night, doing what I love...which is blogging and making paper goods and crafts for my Etsy shop. And that's in between feeding my baby every 4 to 5 hours. So no, right now in my life...I don't get much sleep. Because If I didn't stay up late after the kids went to bed to have "my time," then I wouldn't get any, & that's just what I have to deal with right now.

So for the people who think that's "easy..." please keep your comments to yourself until you have lived that life. Then you can tell me how "easy" it is to be able to stay home. Having children is NOT easy! It's the life we've chosen and I LOVE IT!

And NO, I'm not taking away the "hard" life that you may have by working full time either because I've been there and know it's not easy. That's why I'm not making comments to you about it.

I usually don't rant and rave like this, I try to keep things positive...but it's been one of those days.

My mother-in-law just had surgery to remove a large tumor and I'm worried sick.

My daugher is NOT a morning person and hates waking up in the morning to get ready for school so mornings are always difficult.

My dogs just got back from "boot camp" for two weeks and now act like they haven't learned a thing.

I feel like my house is so cluttered right now and I need to organize but don't know where to start.

My head is splitting open...oh, what's that? I can't call in sick or go in late? Bummer...

I'm going to leave you with this article which I hope you read because it shows that we could make $134,121 with all of the things we do as SAHM's (which I've never actually considered myself, but I guess technically I am). Maybe that'll help you people understand!


Your friendly "working SAHM"



Megan said...

Uh yeah.... I have just one thing to say to your letter.


lol happy Friday!

Margaret said...

Great post! I stay at home with my three month old and go to school full time(two classes on campus, two classes online). One of my friends had the nerve to say,"Well, I am so busy. I have a full time job AND go to school full time." I like to think that taking care of a child all day, keeping the house picked up, and trying to cram research papers in with all that counts as a full time job! Loved the article you posted!

Zen Ventures said...

I'm here with ya sister! I have gone thru being a WOHM to SAHM to WOHM mom. There's no easy way in between it. For peeps who think its' easy, they're lucky!

Midwest Mommy said...

I think if all moms just support each other and know that working or staying home are both hard the world would be great. Being a mom is hard no matter what your role is. This week with my kiddos being sick all I can think is I don't know how I could do a full time job and handle all of this.

sandy said...

Oh, I here ya! Working for fifteen years caring for a room full of screaming toddlers was a walk in the park compared to my current life!

cynthiaa said...

Over from SITS.

I've always disliked the title "stay at home mom" I feel as if it portrays something 'easy'.

It's rewarding, but tough.

Great post!!!

Robin said...

Rock on, sista!
PS- OMG, your Santa embellishments are SO freakin' cute. Sigh. I sooooo wish I could hang out and play crafties with you. :)

Lynette said...

Hello fellow SITS-er. Enjoyed your Dear Letter. I am right there with you on that. I am a SAHM who has ran a home daycare for the last 3 years and a phone answering service for a local plumber. There is never a day off. Work from 5 am til bedtime 7 days a week. I know you understand that one. Come visit me at:

Heather said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you!!! I wish I could find a way to make a dependable income while staying at home but there just isn't enough hours in the day! And the look from my husband when I tell him I'm stressed..

Kathleen said...

Amen - From a WAHM to WOHM to SAHM, which I consider myself since I just work part-time a couple evenings a week. None of it is easy but people who haven't lived it, always think the grass is greener on the other side.

workout mommy said...

i'm late to the party on this one but AMEN!AMEN! and AMEN!

and you are also a great friend who goes out of her way for people, especially your weirdo friends that send SOS text messages and then seem to disappear. (leaving you to drag around several kids to find her!)

PS: can you watch my kids tomorrow? LOL! Just kidding!!!!

pss: you forgot your Jockey business too! :)

Aubrey said...

Another Amen coming your way!
I just started staying home about 9 months ago and it's not all gumdrops and sunshine. It's harder than when I worked outside the home!

Anonymous said...

That doesn't sound too bad. What's the big deal?

Jamie said...

Anonymous, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH...and that is why you're anonymous!

cherry tree lane said...


The Anderson Family ;) said...

Goodness knows the three of us are very, very thankful for you and at least two of us know how hard you work ;). Being a mom is wonderful, rewarding, and hardwork and I don't believe anyone has it easy - stay at home mom, working inside the home mom, or working outside the home mom. Its too bad that we as women don't support each other better whatever our lifestyle is. Hugs to you.

KRISTI said...

Great rant, Jamie! When I was a stressed out power corporate mommy and times got tough I would sit in my office thinking...what am I doing HERE instead of with my kids? Now I'm a stressed out stay at home mommy...and times get tough...but at least now I know what I'm doing HERE with my kids! Two different stresses but one has much better rewards. On an aside...I got a voice mail last Tuesday morning that went something like this, "I know both kids are in school this morning so I figured you were just sitting at Starbucks and we could talk". Um, yeah. That's what I was doing. Mind you, I did NOT call her back.

Anonymous said...

I hope my one blog comment didn't set you off. i know you're crazy busy. I couldn't do it, i mean, that's why i have three jobs and not kids....

paula :: plays with mud said...

I think no matter what you do or where you work, when you're a dedicated mom and wife, your life is never easy or simple. Your life is never really your own, whether you work out of the home or in the home. While I work outside the house, I've never thought the phrase "Stay at Home Mom" was accurate; unless you ACTUALLY have a nanny to watch your kids, a chef to prepare the family meals, and a maid to clean your house. All for free of course!! :)

I applaud you for finding the time amongst your family obligations to follow your passion and create such wonderful items, as well as create cherished memories with your kids.

Brenda Jean said...

I thought all of us work at home moms just watched Soaps and ate bon-bons all day. Yea, in my dreams:) I hope your weekend was good and that it goes better this week. I know how it is!

ButterflyGem said...

I AM SO GREEN WITH GREEN-NESS you actually get sleep ROFL alone sleep without kids in the bed OH HECK NO! lol i swear to sweet jesus this is what kills me and your gonna crack up "My husband the brave buissness man...who is a phd and teaches over 80+ students per class" Asks me Hey ALicia where are you going and i will reply to walmart ....he then replys ALONE *Gasp* ROFL as if i am going on a vacation to the hawaiian islands mind you....this man this scholor who is AFRAID of 5 kids LOL lord help me! I give him the whole honey diapers have been changed,bottles are in the fridge, blankets and nee-nee's are on the counter and yes dear you will survive if not there is always 911..... i love you and good-bye! He literally looked like he wanted to cry ROFL

huge hugs and omgawd we have the hardest job on the FREAKIN' Planet! LOL

ALicia mother of 5 plus a woosie husband LOL