Saturday, March 1, 2014

Life as a SAHM: Is this it?

A local mom asked me the other day, "What do you do for a living?"  I wanted to say, "I'm a Nationally Board Certified Teacher with a master's degree, but I'm taking the year off."  Instead I replied, "Oh, I stay home with the kids."

My pin to prove it arrived in the mail this week.
. . .

I've been asked by three different people today about going back to work.
"Do you miss working?"
"Are you going to work next year?"
"What do you do now that you aren't working?"

I understand what they're asking.  Really and truly, I get it.  But I want to scream, "I AM WORKING!"  I want to explain that I'm busting my ass every single day trying to entertain and educate Jackson, provide new experiences for the babies, cook healthy meals from scratch every night, run errands with a giant stroller full of children, keep up with the infinite amounts of dirty laundry, dishes, and trash, and on and on and on.  I want to convince them that the work I do as a mother is far more challenging and demanding than my work as a classroom teacher.  But I don't know that they'd get it.

I never feel like it's enough.  I have it in my head that staying home just isn't good enough.  I think it stems back to my opinion of my mother as a stay at home mom.  I've always had the perception that stay at home moms are lazy and spoiled.  Yet, I don't view myself or other friends that stay home that way.

I miss teaching.  I miss the sense of camaraderie and friendship I formed with my teammates.  I miss the recognition and affirmations that I did my job well.  I miss having students ask about my day and exchanging stories about our weekends.  I miss making SmartBoard lessons that I know will engage students.  I feel like so many aspects of teaching are changing and I'm getting left behind.

The monotony and lack of appreciation that comes with being a stay at home mom is difficult.  It's hard to go from managing diverse behaviors of 25 students to struggling to get a two year old to clean up the yogurt he smeared all over the table.  It's hard to go from effective time management navigating lessons and hallway transitions, to always being late because you can't find a pacifier or someone spit up and requires a wardrobe change.

I always feel the need to conclude any blog posts with some kind of feel good reflection, but the truth is, I feel constantly torn about where I am and what I'm doing with my life.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE spending time with my much so that I can't even fathom leaving them to the care of a nanny or daycare provider.  I'm not at all unhappy with my decision to stay home, yet I still mourn leaving the classroom and I wonder what my future looks like.  Am I living up to my full potential?  Am I just a mom?  Is this it?


  1. Bonnie, I still feel that way every single day. I ache to be back in the classroom but my heart aches at the thought of leaving my babies behind. When I was pregnant with Connor, I had 4 other coworkers pregnant too. One of us went back to work. I see the others regularly and they all feel the same tug. I'm not sure it will ever go away.

  2. I swear to you; mom's version of SAHM-ville distorted our own views. For what it's worth, you staying at home has given me courage, seriously.

  3. You are by no means "just a stay at home mom" would take "just a stay at home mom" a week to do what you do in a day! And forget a working outside the home mom! You have no idea how thankful I am that you are staying at home with the trio&Jack! You are an awesome mommie!

  4. I think people assume that because a mom has chosen to stay home, that it is just naturally easy for her, she loves every second with her kids, lives a little dream life at home with no where to go, etc...but truth be told, that couldn't be farther from the truth! I am home because I am devoted to loving and caring for my kids better than anyone else can. Hands down. They get on my last nerve some days. But I want them no where else. I feel like a caged animal some days. But I treasure the freedom of answering only to us as a family. I wonder most days how I will deal with the monotony. But I know they won't need me for forever...this stay at home business will produce fruit that I can not see right now and that's just plain tough. But Lord willing, one day my children will "rise up and call me blessed" and know that I poured every ounce of my being into them, and thru that, they will see more of Christ! Being home ain't no joke!