I got the “inspiration” to write this post while I was trying to prep for tonight’s dinner and my 6-month old was in the background screaming his head off… Who would’ve thought that babies were so needy? I say that as a joke, of course.
I’d like to give myself the title of “part-time stay-at-home mom”, but I feel like I’m stealing the title from true stay-at-home mommies and daddies. Truth be told, I have no idea how stay-at-home parents do it! I barely have enough patience playing stay-at-home mom on the weekends. And I know that stay-at-home parents get a bad rap, I hear the complaints all the time at work. Honestly, I don’t think its necessarily fair for the “working” parent to complain about their significant other staying at home all day with the kids. Yes, it is a choice, but its also a big role to fill.
Why do I say that? For one, I seriously do need time away from my munchkins. As much as I absolutely adore them, it is such a pain to try and entertain a 6-year old AND a 6-month old combined. Oh yeah, and don’t forget our two fur-babies, who are special cases in their own ways. It seems simple to make sure the kids are fed, they’re well-groomed, and well-behaved, but what about the time in-between those tasks? Honestly speaking, being a medic is way more easier, because I know what to do with my down time while I’m on the clock. Being with my kids? Well, I know there’s a lot of activities I can nab off of Pinterest, but that could involve money, messes, and going places.
I’ve also mentioned it before in my first blog post (read it here) that I absolutely hate leaving the house on my own with my kids to corral. I mean, its somewhat of an easier task than, say, a mom of twins, because I just have one infant to lug around in a bulky car seat. My 6-year old is mobile, and for the most part, independent when to comes to going out in public. Anyway, so you have this problem – most stay-at-home parents actually stay home while the other is away at work. The only times I leave my house during the weekends when my husband is working is for coffee at a drive-thru Starbucks. I get cabin-fever very easily!
And because most stay-at-home parents choose to stay at home while their significant other is “getting the bread,” there is literally minimal “me-time” for them, if anything. Of course, I’m sure things get easier for them when their kids are school-age and they have a little bit of time to clean or do whatever. However, I know that some parents choose to home-school their kids, like my sister… I seriously have no idea how she manages that, while I struggle to remain calm when trying to help my 6-year old with his math (BTW, what is up with this core math stuff?!?? Its the bane of my existence!). She tells me she gets somewhat of a break on Mondays, when all the home-schooled kids in her area meet up to have some sort of socialization time with the other kids. Most of the time, I see her with her kids still. So, I’m assuming she doesn’t care about what little personal time she has to herself? I suppose you just get used to it, but by the time my husband gets off of work, I’m already shoving the kids in his direction. I know, thats totally unfair to him because he just got off of working 6-8 hours in retail. I try my best not to do that to him often since I know that I’d get an attitude if and when he does that to me.
Another expectation that I hear from working spouses for their stay-at-home spouses is that the house needs to be clean. I don’t think most of them truly expect to come home to an immaculate house, especially those with children. However, I know the expectation of a somewhat organized house is there. First off, my house is nowhere near where I want it to be, in terms of cleanliness. I mean, our house is clean in ways that the dishes aren’t piling and there’s not dried up poop from the dogs in random places of the house. Our house isn’t clean in terms of organization – we still have things packed up in moving boxes and we moved to Colorado in September… This kind of goes back to the fact that stay-at-home parents don’t have enough time to themselves, and that’s including cleaning up. It used to be a hassle for me with my 6-month old because he started getting antsy whenever someone put him down in his bouncer. He’s somewhat mobile now and we got a walker for Christmas, but I still have to keep an eye on him in case he decides to put his hands in the trash… I know stay-at-home parents do their best in finding ways to clean about the house or do little chores here and there. I just haven’t found those ways yet!
Lastly, the biggest complaint I hear about stay-at-home parents is that they don’t do their fair share in bringing in some type of income. This one really irritates me because, 1) if you really had such a problem with your husband/wife staying home, why didn’t you have that conversation yet or why haven’t you been on them a little more about getting a job, and 2) they’re actually saving you money… Well, I know there are some stay-at-home parents that blow their partner’s paycheck (trust me, I know that situation all too well with my ex-husband), but that is definitely a deep and personal conversation to be had. Anyway, its true, stay-at-home parents do save some money. First, by providing a baby-sitter for your children (with both kids, we fork out about $800 per month for daycare services). Second, most are apt for the meal-prepping and cooking home-made meals (no need to figure out what you’re having for dinner or even having to spend money on take-out!). And finally, most are extreme couponers! My sister is one of them, and I still have a lot to learn from her! In terms of couponing, the most I ever do is Ibotta or the Target app. Extreme couponing actually saves a significant amount of money, and you sometimes get great deals!
If you’re a stay-at-home parent, I seriously commend you for all my reasons and more! If you’re spouse is a stay-at-home parent, make sure you let them know from time to time that you appreciate their efforts and let them have their own time alone! They are truly something special in their own rights and ways!