Last school year I was talking on the phone to my seven year old's teacher. We were setting up a time to have a meeting and she asked, "Would Wednesday afternoon work for you?" I answered "Sure. Actually it's perfect. I give myself Wednesday afternoons off to do personal things and I have no plans this Wednesday." She laughed, paused and then said to me "Oh. But you don't work. Don't you have everyday off to do personal things?" I can't remember what my exact response to that statement was, but what I DO remember is what I really wanted to say to her but didn't. I WANTED to say "Oh ya. You're right! I just have all day to eat bon bon's, watch soap operas, sit on my ass and do nothing. Sometimes I just call a random plumber over and go at it with him because I am bored. And that's what I do all day."
This brings me to the point of this blog. I am sure many SAHM/D's will find it reassuring that they are not the only ones who have these untrue misconceptions associated with them. It's time to set the record straight.
Misconception #1 We have all day to do whatever we want.
If you have school aged kids, kids are in school for approximately 7 hours. This gives you 7 hours to do all the things you need to do before they get home. Included in this time is showering, eating breakfast, cleaning house, eating lunch, running errands. If you work from home, like I do, this also includes trying to get all of the above done and then trying to get some work done for your business....in 7 hours. It is nearly impossible.
Personal things get done when everything else is finished. And nothing is ever completely finished. EVER!
If you have preschool kids at home with you then you basically have to do what they want all day plus all the house work and errands. Personal things seem to NEVER get done.
Misconception #2 We must be rich if we can afford to not work.
hahahahahahaaaaa! Ya, I wish! Many of us stay at home because have decided that being there for our children is more important than having money. I am sure there are a few SAHM/D's that stay at home because they don't have to work and are loaded. That's great! Good for them. Wish I was one of them. But most of us aren't. Most of us have to clip coupons and stretch our working partners paychecks as far as possible. Most of us go without family vacations and eating out.
* just a note... I am in no way, shape or form saying that SAHM/D's care more about their children than working parents. NOT at all! Most people must have both parents working to be able to pay rent and eat. Us SAHM/D's are fortunate to have a spouse with an income to support this lifestyle BUT that does not mean we are rich.
Misconception #3 Our Houses must be immaculately clean.
And that is answered with another "hahahahahaha"! If we are lucky enough to get the house even 1/4 of the way immaculate, it only lasts for a few hours until they get home from school and trash it again. Then we get to start all over the next day.
If you're are home with preschoolers then forget about getting anything clean at all! While you're cleaning up the kitchen they are trashing the living room. You start cleaning the living room and they are trashing the playroom. It's an endless cycle.
Misconception #4 We're bored so we have affairs.
Who has time for that crap? And who wants another headache? We can barley keep our eyes open at the end of the day to have sex with our spouses let alone trying to keep someone on the side happy as well. Sounds like waaayyyy too much work for me!
And if you're at home with preschoolers it is nearly impossible....after all, daddy might start wondering who this "uncle bob" is that his kids keep talking about. Kids can't keep secrets. And you're never alone when you're a SAHM/D to preschoolers. You can't even pee by yourself. Let alone have an affair!
Oh and I have also heard the rumor that SAHM/D's call repair men over for a "good time". Ya okay. Have you seen the local plumber? ummmm no thanks. And even if the plumber happened to turn out to be a strapping young buck with abs like a rock and a smile that could melt an ice burg, there is no way it would ever happen. Especially after he just snaked a hairball the size of Montana out of your bathtub while you stand watching unshowered in your bathrobe and your kids are in the next room fighting with each other over who gets the last eggo. Your greasy hair and screaming kids reminding him that "This all could be yours". Chances are he wouldn't want it. He'd run and he'd run away FAST!
Misconception #5 We sit home and eat bon bon's all day.
Bon bon's are expensive. Refer to the the truth of misconception #2. Most of us cannot afford to buy ourselves special treats when the kids have to have their snack and your husbands need to have their ice cream in the freezer at all times. For me, my special treat, my big splurge every week is Activia. Sad, huh? The other truth of the matter is, do you really think Bon Bon's would last 5 minutes in the house with kids? Even if you hid them, kids have this special built in candy radar. They'd find it and eat it all before you could blink an eye. I'd be lucky to get one bob bon. Never mind a whole box all to myself!
Misconception #6 We can babysit other peoples kids and run other peoples errands because we have nothing else to do.
We work harder now than we did when we were working. We have our own errands to run. Since we don't work it's up to us, not our spouses, to go grocery shopping, take the kids to the doctors, attend school functions, parent teachers conferences, get the oil changes, run to the bank, pick up the clothes at the cleaners, take the pets to the vet, clean, cook, do laundry, patch up boo boo's, get the kids to soccer, baseball, basketball, ballet, dentist appointments, gardening, clean out the goldfish and skittles from the cars, drop stuff off at goodwill and if there's time, spend quality time with our kids. We don't have time for your kids or your errands. So don't ask.
So these are just some of the misconceptions I have come across in my 7 years as a SAHM. I have a list of about 10 more but no time to write about them. The fact of the matter is, it has taken me 3 hours to write this. In between writing I have been doing laundry, dishes, getting the kids lunch, walking the dogs. Housework awaits! And maybe, just maybe I'll get a little sewing down for my Etsy shop today. If I am lucky. Speaking of which...here is some shameless advertising.... www.rhodacrookscloset.etsy.com
Well, folks back to the daily grind.. laundry, dishes, kids and cat boxes are calling me!
***Stay at home Mom's and Dad's....Please post a misconception you've run across in my comments section. I'd love to hear them! And if you're a blooger, leave your blog link too so I can check out your blog and follow you too! Thanks!