Assuming the SAHM Role: Salary or Not

Whatever the transition may be, becoming a stay at home mom (SAHM) can be extremely difficult and overwhelming. I had a hard time finding my place and figuring out what needed to be done on my end, but slowly and surly, I am figuring it out. And I’m sure we all know someone who thinks being a SAHM is an easy job. I won’t lie, before coming one, I thought half your day was spent watching reruns and singing nursery rhymes. But boy was I wrong. I now spend my days running around doing the laundry, cooking, pureeing baby food, getting stains out of things and trying to get Lucy to sleep for more than 10 minutes at a time. It is NOT easy. At the end of the day, I am exhausted! And I just have one kid. Can you imagine, let’s say, 3 or 4? Those woman are saints, that’s for sure! But whatever you may think about SAHM’s, just take into account everything we do, every day.

I read some article (that now escapes me) that made me realize; when I took on this SAHM role, I was agreeing to all those duties and responsibilities. That means keeping the house clean and up kept, keeping the fridge stocked and the daily meals planned & cooked, running all the household errands and finishing all the chores. I was upset at first, thinking it wasn’t fair that I had to do all those things on my own. But then I realized, my husband goes to work, day in and day out. That is HIS role. And when deciding together what roles we would play as parents, we both agreed on our roles. Meaning, I had agreed to take on all these things, whether I liked it or not. Once I got myself in the right mindset, I found it much easier to abide by these standards. I now truly enjoy taking on all these roles and allowing my husband to do his. I take pride in providing a clean and lovely home for him to come home to, as he does providing for his family.

My days are looking much different now then back in my modeling days. I use to spend hours in hair and makeup, but now I’m lucky if I get a chance to even brush my hair. A typical day for me now looks like this:

  • 7:00am – Wake up | Clean up and get Lucy ready

  • 9:00am – Breakfast | Solids/bottle and then baby led play time

  • 10:00am – Nap time | This is when I do laundry, dishes, vacuum, clean up her toys, try to give attention to the cat, work on my blog, check in on social media, make phone calls and anything else I may need to get done for the day. I’m usually running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off.

  • 12:00pm – Lunch | Solids/bottle and then we go on a walk or run errands for the day.

  • 2:00pm – Nap time | Another time when I try to get everything done. And yet, my to do list never seems to get any shorter. Funny how that happens.

  • 5:00pm – Dinner | Solids/bottle while I start our adult dinner and clean up the house a bit before my husband comes home. Then he plays with her until bedtime.

  • 7:00pm – Bed time | We start the bedtime routine (and don’t you dare mess up the routine, not even a little, or so help me god!). We change into our pj’s, read our bedtime story, pray and get tucked into bed for bed night kisses.

  • And for the rest of the night I run around like a crazy woman finishing dinner, cleaning up and getting myself organized and ready for the next day. Phew.

And that’s a good day. One thing goes wrong and the whole day can be ruined. Unfortunately, being on a schedule has never really been my thing. I have never been a routine person. I am the type of person who usually just wings it and goes with the flow! And I like it that way. But babies thrive on routine. Keeping Lucy on a strict nap schedule is so important and she won’t let me get behind on feedings. Between trying to take care of Lucy and keep up with the housework, the days can get away from me quickly. Even when I think I have everything in order, I find myself struggling to get it all done. You would think that during her 2 hour naps I could get so much done but it’s hard to get everything finished when there’s so much to do. (Maybe that’s just my poor ability to prioritize and terrible time management skills, but what can I say.)

Lucky me, Lucy eats SO much food. Most babies this age only eat one meal of solids a day. But not my Lucy. She’s suffered from severe reflux/GERDS from the beginning and has never really had any luck with breast milk or formula. Nothing seems to settle her tummy and prevent her from spitting up almost everything we feed her. She barely gained 4 lbs in almost 3 months. So when we finally started solids and she started steadily gaining weight, the pediatrician told us to go ahead with 3 solid meals a day. Since then, she’s been gaining weight at a steady weight and seems much happier and content, with much less spit up (thank god!). However, on the flip side, that’s just that much more solid food I have to prepare for her. I know I don’t HAVE to make it myself, but I enjoy it and it’s much healthier for her. Did you know most baby foods (even the nice organic kinds) have 7+ grams of sugar PER SERVING! That’s crazy. So needless to say, I spend a lot of time making food for little Lucy.

Then you’ve got massive mounds of laundry to do, literally every day. Especially with the way Lucy spits up (and man, does it smell terrible!), I find myself doing laundry every other day, if not every day. I would give my soul for an in unit washer and dryer. We do have one in our apartment complex but it’s such a pain in the but to have to go down and get everything finished while Lucy is upstairs alone. Between spot cleaning all her poopy onsies and rinsing out all the brightly colored bibs, I spend a lot of time in the laundry room. (Word of advice, invest in a silicone bib with a pocket at the bottom. It catches all the food your little one drops and spit out and it’s super easy to clean by just rinsing it off and letting it dry. No laundry needed. Anything that saves me laundry time is a good investment to me!

And once all the housework is finished, then you can start thinking about the errands you need to run. You have to coordinate your outings with nap times and lunch time, make sure the diaper bag is fully stocked and try not to forget the important stuff, like keys or your wallet. Whether it be dropping things off at the dry cleaners or running out for groceries, you always have to prepared for anything. And I just have one baby. I can’t even imagine how much more difficult things get once you have ballet class and softball practices to taxi everyone around to. It hurts my head just thinking about it.

Becoming a mom has been such a great experience and I’ve learned so much in just a few short months. It’s taught me things about myself and pushed me to places I never expected to be. I’ve gotten myself to get into a routine and have gotten Lucy and I on a good schedule. It’s gotten my husband and I to start living healthier lives, eating better and taking better care of ourselves. It’s helped me become a more clean and tidy person around the house and it’s just made me mature in ways I never expected. I’ve now got another life to take care of and keep alive, that really helps you grow up quickly.

I also really enjoy spending so much quality time with Lucy during these precious years. We are so blessed that I am able to stay at home with her, especially in this city. I really try to get the most out of being in the city and I try to get us out of the house almost every day to do something. (Look out for my post on things to do in San Francisco with your baby and Baby Classes in the city.) There is so much to do in this city and so much for Lucy to learn and explore. Watching her soak in the world around her is the cutest thing ever. I look forward to teaching her how to read and how to be a decent human being. I’m excited to see her little personality blossom and can’t wait to see who she becomes. After all, raising her is the number one job of a SAHM.

One woman went as far as to add it all up and see how much a SAHM would really make, if it were a real salary paying job, and the results are astounding. You can read the Parent’s Magazine article by Melissa Willets here.

So the next time someone tries to make the argument of how easy being a SAHM is, just remember how much mom’s really do, every day. And if you need proof, just ask your mom. I’m sure she would love to tell you all about it.

If you’re a SAHM, would you say this is accurate? How much do you think you would make with everything you do for your family everyday?




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