5 Common Misconceptions of Stay at Home Mums

Before Christmas my husband and I were chatting with some good friends of ours at a birthday party. She is a stay at home mom and he works from home, traveling a few days a week. In his travels, he meets and works with people who… think differently than we think… I live in the Midwest, so let’s be honest – choosing to stay home with your kids is not necessarily a crazy idea. I’d venture to guess that we SAHMs are still a minority, but people seem to realize we aren’t crazy, mystical creatures that only leave our homes for grocery shopping and doctor appointments. (Although typing that out makes me realize that those two reasons, along with going to worship and seeing family, are my typical trips out! haha!)

ANYWAY, my friend works with a lady who does not stay home. This is her choice completely, but she was obviously baffled by the whole idea of women choosing to leave the workforce to stay home with their kids. As she went on explaining her bewilderment of stay at home moms to our friend, whose wife is a stay at home mom, she said she had heard of “one” who knits! The very idea! She went on to say that while she was on maternity leave, she started becoming one of “them” by going to Trader Joe’s and the gym in the mornings and then home everyday.

stay-at

We all got a good laugh out of this, but it made me realize the disconnect that seems to be there sometimes. One thing I really hate is to feel misunderstood or be perceived as incompetent, which are two things that seem to go along with being a stay at home mom. I’d like to take a minute to clear the air about some common misunderstandings.

1. I couldn’t cut it in the “real world.”
Simply not true. I started working when I was 15 years old, have a college degree, and got a full time job, which I kept up until 2 weeks before having LB. I don’t know any moms that chose to stay home because they are lazy. I chose to stay home because I want to spend as much time with my family as possible. It has nothing to do with whether or not I could hold a job down – I proved I could do that that for 10 years before becoming a mom.
2. I have an infinite amount of time.
Yes, I do have free time as a stay at home mom, but everyone who works a job has an end to their work day as well. They get a break from their job when their shift is over, while my breaks may be in the form of nap time or waking up before my boy. In my opinion, people tend to forget that kids require attention. When they drop them off at a babysitter or daycare each day, what do they think goes on? Those caregivers are doing just that – they are giving care and attention to the children. Kids never run out of needs during the day.
3. My house should be spotless, after all, I am home all day.
Yes, I am home all day, but so is my boy. He doesn’t care that floors are done on Tuesdays – he throws his food on the floor during every meal, although we are working on that. 😉 He loves exploring his house, and that always comes with pulling toys out, getting out my Tupperware, and spreading books all over the floor. Kids=messy. I do try to tidy, straighten and keep things somewhat orderly, but if all I was worried about was having a clean house I would lose my mind! It really is impossible to have a spotless house with kids around.
4. I am/my life is boring.

I get this one all the time…”are you bored yet?” Nope. Just because I don’t work outside the home doesn’t mean I am boring or that my life is boring. Many times I get dismissed as being uninteresting because I choose to stay home. I worried that I may be bored before becoming a SAHM, but now I look back and laugh at that.  Maybe I think your life would be boring to sit behind a desk all day. 😉

5. I’m competing with you on who is the better mom, who has the more well behaved kids, and who is busier.

Maybe there are some moms out there, working or stay at home, that thrive on this competition. I’m not one of them. My husband and I always say “keep your own house clean,” which basically just means focus on your own life. Don’t worry about when other kids started walking, when their babies started sleeping through the night, who can get the most done in the shortest amount of time, or who’s kid is quietest during worship. Kids are all different and reach milestones on a different schedule. When I focus on other people’s lives, I lose sight of my own. I’m not competing with you – we’re all in this together!