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SAHM Wants to Get a 9-to-5 Job ... Or Does She?!

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Michelle Kemper Brownlow:I was taking a walk after dinner with my 5-year-old, and he started noticing the different numbers of cars in our neighbors' driveways. Our conversation led to a short chat about how some mommies work, and how sometimes it's even the daddies who stay home with the kids."I want Daddy to stay home and you go to work ... all night long!" he said.

woman daydreaming
At first, I was hurt. I'm better at letting him play at bath time, and I can do a killer Skippyjon Jones read-aloud. Why would he want ME to go to work? As we walked, I started to let this sink in. My schedule would be cake! Get up, shower (Holy crap! I'd get a shower every day!) and walk out the door (no packing lunches, no last-minute homework help) to a quiet car ... uh, a quiet car?!

Luckily, my little guy hopped out of the stroller and was checking out a bug, because I don't think I could have walked any further. My brain was trying to wrap itself around this AMAZING secret my husband of seventeen years had been keeping from me: He's got it made!

The bug went on his way, so we continued on ours. All right, so my husband gets to work. Some meetings, some employee issues (it's not like I don't do those two things every day, too -- and I bet his employees don't spit at him) and then lunch with the coworkers. Another bug, and I stop to daydream. Whole days with adults and conversation that doesn't include a bodily function as its focus! That would be better than the spa!

We round the bend as my secret-keeping husband rides by on the mower -- a vehicle so loud that you can't hear the shrieks from two tweens fighting for bathroom rights. I AM SOLD! Sign me up! He turns off the mower to greet our little man, and I ask if the other kids are inside. "No," he says. "Some guy just stopped by and asked them if they would help him look for his lost puppy. They went that way."

Forget it. He'd never keep them all alive.

next: 11-Year-Old Dies from Asthma Attack
33 comments so far | Post a comment now
Nikita September 3, 2010, 11:37 AM

I dont think we’re bitter (being a working parent) I think we’re tired of SAHMs being unrealistic when it comes to what the duties of a REAL working mom are. Either your husband is a lazy POS or you are dense in believing he does nothing all day. So you have a special needs child - I understand the “daydreams” about days where work is the only priority but get real. What most of these women have said is spot on. My day starts at 5p and ends at 10p - THEN i get to have that worshipped shower.

Anonymous September 3, 2010, 2:37 PM

Okay, I hope this can be a real question and not an angry debate, but seriously, why do two parents need to work non-stop from 5:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.? That’s 3 hours before work plus 5 hours after work and a lunch hour for a total of 8 or 9 hours per person. I know what I did as a SAHM and it didn’t add up to 16-18 hours of housework/day. I worked all day because I was taking care of small children. I realize parents with paid jobs come home and take care of kids after work, but at-home parents don’t stop taking care of kids either. So why if you have two people splitting the unpaid work, does it add up to so many hours?

Lisa J September 4, 2010, 4:04 PM

I’m a SAHM (I never imagined I would be, but then I had a child and knew I couldn’t let strangers raise him). We’re seriously struggling financially, so everyone around me thinks I should go back to work, but I don’t intend to until he goes to school. If I need to move into a smaller house or make even more sacrifices, so be it. Does that mean everyone should make the same choice? Of course not. It just happens to be the way I want to parent my child. I’ve been seriously astonished at how working moms have judged my decision, though. There’s a lot of bitterness and a lot of anger for some reason. Some say I’m “lucky” to stay home, but I don’t think it has anything to do with luck. It’s a decision that I’ve made. I know working moms have it tough, and so do SAHMs. Why is it a competition? It’s just different choices. I honestly don’t understand all the anger.

Anonymous September 7, 2010, 6:02 AM

“I know what I did as a SAHN and it didn’t add up to 16-18 hours of housework/day”. EXACTLY becaue you only have 1 job taking care of kids/house. Wehn you work you have all of the kids/house work PLUS a full time job. You couldn’t possibly understand having to maintain a schedule where you get up at 5 am to take care of housework, make lunches, get kids prepped for school/preschool and then have to go to work because SAHMs don’thave any set schedule. They do what they want when they want.

“but then I had a child and I knew I couldn’t let strangers raise him”
NO working mom is letting strangers raise their child. If you feel that way you better never let your kids go to school otherwise “strangers will be raising them” or you better never have a sitter or go away without your child because “strangers will be raising them”. It’s ridiculous comments like that that start these mommy wars.

Additionally anyone who talks about “sacrifices” staying home - most working moms are making those same sacrifices and have it just as tough financially. The only reason you do have the LUXURY of staying home is because you can afford to -period.

NYMama1 September 10, 2010, 11:18 AM

Hi everyone,
I totally agree with ag…why do we as Moms continue to battle the SAHM vs. Working Moms. I have done both. I tried going back to work with my 3rd child. I was always sick with infections prior to leaving my job and just having my 3rd baby. Luckily, I was home, otherwise I would have never found out why I couldn’t keep up with working and being a Mom. I was diagnosed with several autoimmune disorders that needed immediate attention. Was it a hard decision…YES! Now I find myself 5 years later with my baby girl going off to Kindergarten. I have to say it was much harder to be home at times but yes I could lay down if I had to. Sorry for the long post but like someone said here, You just never know what the reason is behind someone’s life and choices. Everyone has a choice in life…it is difficult all around being a parent these days. Stop blaming each other.

NYMama1 September 10, 2010, 11:19 AM

Oh and I forgot…my husband who is a great guy would sometimes run out of the house when there was too much commotion in the house with the kids. Yep, you guessed it couldn’t wait to get into a quiet car and go to work!! He would even say, HA HA…

Rita September 16, 2010, 11:18 AM

Wow, some WOHM’s seem bitter and angry. Why?

Anonymous September 24, 2010, 12:20 PM

Because imbeciles Rita like you attack without logic or reason

Anonymous September 26, 2010, 5:45 PM

@Anonymous - But my question was about someone who said that her husband was doing as much as her and she still had to work 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. When you subtract out the paid work, the two of them are doing 16-18 hours of housework/day. How? If two parents pitch in, why does it add up to so much?

Hazy October 4, 2010, 7:13 PM

My daughter started kindergarten this year. I just went back to work after being a SAHM for several years. I am glad I spent those early years with her, but it was time for a change. I was depressed, bored, putting on weight, and low on funds. I’ve always believed unhappy parents make for unhappy kids.

Anyway, the positives: My daughter loves her school & extended day program. I get to be part of an all-adult world for 8 hrs a day and it’s not so bad because we still talk about our kids! My brain is working harder and I’m losing the Mom-Fog. My metabolism is kicking back in. We have extra money that opens many fun doors for us.

The negatives: The days go by too fast. We are tired at night. It’s dinner, bath, story time, bed. She can’t participate in extra activities unless it’s offered at school. I’m unable to volunteer at her school, though I do contribute monetarily when there is a need (which is often). My husband and I share duties, but if his job needs him, I hope my employer will work with me when I have to make special arrangements.

If we become a miserable family, I will quit. As long as there’s enough in the budget to buy lotto tickets, I’m okay with that.

And to working moms who have to work but have no support, I totally understand because I’ve lived that life before. It’s tough and thankless.

TRB October 9, 2010, 11:12 PM

I am a SAHM, and I laughed so hard when I read this. I totally understand where she is coming from.

I understand that for a lot of working moms, their husbands work too. But that’s not what she was saying. She was talking about switching places with her husband.

My husband is wonderful. But you know, he really doesn’t do any housework. And that’s ok. It’s my job to cook and clean for our family, and his to go and make money for our family. Sounds old-fashioned? Maybe it is. But it works for us. And to be honest, my husband doesn’t have to do anything when he comes home. Sure, he plays with the kids, but pretty much anything else is done. So if that’s the case with a SAHM, then why would the situation with a SAHD be any different? If she comes home from work and nothing is done, sure, then she’ll be up for hours probably trying to do it all. But realistically, he should be doing what she did.

Sheesh. Some of you working moms are awfully critical of a blog post that you don’t seem to even understand completely.

maria November 26, 2010, 8:58 PM

Michelle DO NOT care what any of these ladies are saying.. Thank you singlemom for defending her.. Michelle, it is great to daydream..Keep on doing it. That is what keeps us sane. God bless and take care…

tabletki na pryszcze April 3, 2011, 7:37 AM

Very interesting info, i’m waiting for more !!! Keep updating your website and you will have a lot o readers

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