Recently, I took the week off from work to give my nanny a well-deserved vacation. It afforded me the opportunity to see what being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) is like by being with my kids full-time during the week. And what an experience it was!
In just the first two days of the week, we had one PT session, three camp drop-offs and pick-ups, one 5-year doctor’s checkup, a playdate, a trip to the vet and of course, the “regular” chores that somehow get done during the week.
Having the opportunity to spend time with my kids doing what they normally do during the week was wonderful; I got to meet my kids’ camp counselors and see where they are enjoying their summer, I took the kids to the pool, I actually spent time with my 2-year-old son (whom I rarely get one-on-one time with) and I even had a few minutes of quiet when my son was napping and my daughter wasn’t home from camp yet. Of course, that quiet was punctuated with loads of laundry, loading/unloading the dishwasher, making lunch and dinner and paying bills—but it was still uninterrupted nonetheless.
I have always wanted to try being a SAHM to see what it was like, and while this was a very small taste of it, it was a nice change from my usual work day week.
Could I do it full-time? I probably should not, as anyone at the vet’s office who saw me barrel in with my 2 year old, 5 year old and cocker spaniel can attest to.
While the time with the kids had its share of rewards, I think it takes a really special person to balance the kids’ needs, their own needs, the daily needs of the house and spouse, and still be a pleasant person to talk to. I might not be that person, but I certainly have a renewed appreciation for moms who do it without a break, a sitter or kids who take a 3-hour nap during the day.
There’s no question that working moms have a hard job, too, as I know first-hand when I come home from my 8 to 5 job and start my other job. And as any parent knows, the job is never easy, even when the lights are out and the little ones are sound asleep. But rough days aside, it’s all worth it when you walk in the door at the end of the day to smiling faces running to greet you or when you share a special moment in your child’s life at the playground. SAHM or not, it’s not as much about where you spend your time with your kids, but about how you spend that time. Surely that’s something any stay-at-home OR working mom can agree on!