I am, for now, a stay-at-home mom. Sure, technically I’m on maternity leave. But, other than FLY 92, I’m not working for a paycheck, which means I’m (at least temporarily) part of the Pinterest-loving SAHM club.
One thing I am doing during my career hiatus is spending plenty of time on social media (feedings every three hours will do that to ya) and I see so many stories debating the merits of being a stay-at-home parent versus a mom who goes into work each day.
Each, it seems, believes their choice is the toughest one. They lament and complain and get defensive and finish each diatribe with “but it’s so worth it” as if that disclaimer somehow makes the whining acceptable.
I’m going to dare to go the opposite direction and say my current situation is the easier one. Here are 11 reasons why.
11: I can wear comfortable clothes each and every day: Please don’t confuse “comfortable clothes” with “pajamas.” I try to be dressed by 9 a.m. each day. But, these days, my wardrobe is more lululemon than L.A.M.B., and I love it.
10: I save money on clothing/drycleaning: Comfortable clothing is not only less expensive, it’s machine washable. Our drycleaning bill has been reduced by a good $50-$60 a month.
9: I don’t have to drive in the bad weather (and we’ve had a lot of it this winter): Instead, I can hunker down with Little C, dance to Baby Einstein videos in front of the fireplace and be critical of people who post to Facebook that they’re entitled to a “snow day.”
8: I rarely need to check my availability: If a fellow SAHM friend wants to have lunch, or I need to take C in for a check-up, I can. When her doctor’s office asks “what time is good for you” I don’t need to look at my calendar, because any time (outside of nap time) is good.
7: The email/voicemail load is far less demanding: Sure, I still receive messages that need attention, but the rate is about 1/20th of what it was when I was working.
6: I can do laundry/clean the bathroom/pay bills/paint a room at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday: Working moms have to do all the same things I need to get done at home, only they’re limited to after work and weekends. I am not.
5: I can take a nap (not to be confused with “I nap”): Rather than napping, I choose to go to bed early (around 9 p.m.), but the point is I can nap, if I wanted to (although Little C isn’t a big napper). A working mom can’t snuggle up under her desk and catch a few ZZZs.
4: Time to cook: When I was pregnant and exhausted and constantly nauseated and working we relied pretty heavily on take-out and leftovers. Now I’m home (and healthy) and have all day to make dinner. (And sometimes it takes all day.)
3: I don’t have to “call in” due to a sick child or daycare provider: So many parents stress (understandably) when their daycare plans get derailed. I am daycare.
2: You can’t get fired, and there’s no annual review: Well, at least not yet. I’m sure other moms will surely give me mental reviews based on how Little C turns out as she gets older (or based on this blog post). And, well, I’m near-positive she’ll get plenty annoyed with me and yell “I hate you,” at some point, and try to fire me. But, for now, it’s all smiles and coos and happiness.
1: I don’t have to prioritize: Little C can be my priority.