Stay-At-Home Moms

Issues That Many SAHMs Face

  • Why do I keep hearing that "me time" is so important?
  • Some friends/family members keep giving me a hard time about my choice to be a SAHM.  Is this normal?
  • My husband brings home the paycheck, does this give him the right to give me an "allowance"?
  • I can hardly keep up with the chores around the house!  Can you offer some tips on good time management?

 

NOTE - As this wesite is still under construction, I hope to organize this particular board a bit better.  Ideally, what I would like to happen, is you click on the issue you'd like to read about and it would go down the page directly to what you want to read.  Since I don't have the technical skills to pull that off yet, for now you will have to scroll down to your topic.

Why do I keep hearing that "Me Time" is so Important?

Becoming a Stay-At-Home Mom is a huge undertaking.  Besides staying home with the children, many SAHMs choose to take on the household chores as well.  With so much to get done during the day, it's easy to forget to take some time out for yourself.  Having time for yourself during the day is not only a good idea, it's imperative towards your overall health and well being.

 

We should all do our best to have a little time to ourselves each and everyday.  Perhaps you can take a break while your child is napping.  Maybe that free time can come when your significant other is home to give you a break.  Whenever it happens, dedicate that time to YOU.  This doesn't mean catching up on the dishes or mopping the floor, it means doing something to help refresh and rejuvenate your body, mind and soul.  What should you do during this time?  Anything you want!!  Read a book, take a nice hot bath, indulge in your favorite hobby, head to the gym for a work out, go for a walk, listen to music or (my favorite) take a nap.

 

It's important to remember that YOU are important too.  If you don't take care of yourself, then how will you be able to properly care for your children and family?  If you take a little time for yourself each and everyday, you will find that extra energy you need to get through your days.  I promise!

 

Some friends/family members keep giving me a hard time about my choice to be a SAHM.  Is this normal?

For many stay-at-home moms, unfortunately this is true.  It is a very common stereotype that unless you have an "actual" job (one that brings in money such as a nurse, foreman or a manager) then you are not being a useful member of society.  It is my opinion that this manner of thinking is largely due to misinformation and a general lack of understanding.

 

Some people seem to think that being a SAHM means you get to lay around all day long and do whatever you want all while living off of the salary of your significant other.  This simply is not true.  We all know that children do not raise themselves.  The care of a child requires 24/7 attention and dedication.  It takes a lot of work to keep a child cared for, to keep them happy and occupied throughout the day and to educate them in the early years (0-5).  On top of that, it's even more work to keep a household running.  There are dishes to be done, a house to dust and vacuum, groceries to be bought, meals to be prepared and laundry to be done.  There are only so many hours in the day and the majority of those hours should be dedicated to your child(ren).

 

Added to the fact that being a stay-at-home mom is a lot of work, many women in this situation aren't there just because they want to be...they are there because they have to be.  The cost of child care in this day and age is very expensive and in many cases, one income would be completely consumed in childcare costs.  Rather then having to pay for someone else to raise their child, the family will choose to have the Mother stay home to take care of this important task.

 

While you do not "owe" anyone an explanation to the details of your personal family life, if you feel the need to try and help those close to you understand your decision, I say give it a try.  My husband was always supportive of me becoming a SAHM, however it wasn't until he had to take over for me (I was sick in bed) that he really understood what I go through each and every day.  So if talking doesn't work, why not suggest your friend/family member wear your shoes for a day or two.  Whatever happens, as long as you and your significant other are happy and ok with the decision, that's all that matters.

I can hardly keep up with the chores around the house!  Can you offer some tips on good time management?

I sure can!  Are you overwhelmed when it comes to messes?  Do you sit down and stress about those messes when you have free time rather than taking care of them?  That was totally me!  Let me share a few tricks I've learned.

 

One of the optimum times to get some work done is after the children went to bed at night.  I know many parents, including myself, are ready to check out for the day once the kids are in bed...but rather than take a few hours to yourself, not really enjoying them because you're so stressed over a mess or a big chore, it's best to bunker down and get some work done...even if it's just an hour.  This night time catch up time will allow you to complete a few small chores (such as dishes, sweeping, etc) or a large chore (like laundry) and thus, keep stress levels down.

 

A few nights ago, I was beyond overwhelmed.  The dishes needed to be done, the dishwasher needed to be unloaded, the floors needed to be swept and mopped and there were six loads of laundry to be either washed or put away (I was trying to do laundry throughout the week).  Once the kids were in bed, bam, I started.  I sat down with my baby's laundry, folded it and put it away (snuck into the kids' room while they were sleeping).  Then I sorted, folded and put away the clean clothes while the dirty clothes were washing and drying.  All the while, I put on some music.  I hate laundry...trust me...but that night I really didn't mind doing it!  While the last load of laundry was in the dryer, I went to the kitchen and cleaned it all up.  By midnight, I was done everything!  The next morning, it felt SO great to NOT be faced with a ton of laundry and a huge pile of dishes.

 

Once you've caught up on all of your work, some light house maintenance during the day will help to keep chores minimal.  After breakfast, there are perhaps 4-5 dishes which have been used.  I take 3 minutes (because that's all it takes) and either wash them quickly or put them in the dishwasher.  Bam...no more dirty dishes again!  When my kids went down for a nap, I was actually able to sit down and enjoy my alone time!  That night, I was so motivated that after the kids were in bed, I scrubbed down my bathroom.

 

You don't have to do it every single night and you don't have to stay up for hours and hours.  You'd be surprised what you can accomplish in 15 minutes when the kids aren't around.  Once you've caught up on the majority of your work, you'll only have to make use of the night time hours once in a while for big chores if you wish.

My husband brings home the paycheck, does this give him the right to give me an "allowance"?

This may just be my opinion, but no...it does not.  A marriage is supposed to be a partnership, 50/50.  Everything is supposed to be shared equally and that includes the finances.  Think about it...just because you spend the majority of time in your house, does that give you the right to tell your SO where he can/can't go within the house?  If you prepare a meal, do you have the right to tell your SO when he can/can't eat?

 

I believe it's a good idea for both husband and wife (or husband and husband, or wife and wife!) to be involved in the family's finances.  Both people should have access to the family's bank account.  Should there be a limit on what is spent for recreation?  Most definitely.  After your bills are paid and money is put aside in a savings account, then it's fine for you and SO to give yourselves an allowance.  This money should go towards anything personal for yourself (designer clothes, going to the movies, etc).  Larger ticket items will have to be saved for, if you really want them.

 

Bottom line, if my husband were to be insistant upon giving me an allowance, I would feel more like his employee rather then his wife.  That is why it's best to treat a marriage as it should be - a partnership.