There is a common misconception when it comes to being a stay at home mum. For some reason, there seem to be people who confuse being a stay at home mum with having an “easy” or “stress free” life. We are often put into the category of “not needing to work because we can afford it”, and we are often undervalued by society.
Thought patterns about being a stay at home mum seem to go along the lines of being able to sleep in, relax all day and pretty much just fart arse around to our hearts’ content. People often categorise being a stay at home mum as easy, because, well, we’re at home, right?
Generally speaking, a day in the life of a stay at home mum goes something along the lines of professional flapping about like a headless chicken when baby sleeps, while trying to get the house in order after the last 2 hours of trying to entertain and stimulate an 8-month-old. You’d be surprised just how messy things can get. Crumbs on the floor, broccoli under the couch, spew on the blanket, toys scattered everywhere for tummy time/play time.
In between dodging certain obstacles, namely play chairs, high chairs, bouncing chairs, and play mats, comes the daily adventures of trying to teach baby how to crawl, stand and play. While doing this, come the tasks of making fresh food from scratch, dealing with tantrums, soothing a screaming teething baby, trying to remain level headed when your house is upside down with an occasional trip to Turkey (tripping over things) because you didn’t have enough time to pick up the damn sippie cup, before a certain pair of eyes resurfaced after a 10-minute nap.
As exhausting as this may sound, the majority of this happens before 9am because our day starts at 6am. Oh yes, bright eyed and bushy tailed! And heaven forbid you’ve had a “sleepless” night before all of this, waking up every hour because of your little one’s sleep regression. Tough luck pal! You’re in for a real treat today!
Along with being a stay at home mum, comes a sense of essentially running the household. This means doing chores that you once thought you’d escaped when you were 16 years old. Balancing the laundry, a clean home, dinner, happy baby, and my absolute favourite – “popping” out for the weekly shopping trip. Yes, this is all part of adulating, BUT when you have a little one, doing these become a priority every day, otherwise you would be kicking yourself in the foot, being in an unorganized house. Basically, it is essential that you have your shit together. Survival is key, my friends.
Potentially speaking, all of this resembles feelings similar to the ones when you realise that you’re possibly lactating in public – a moment which could be somewhat soul destroying or soul building. Very similar feels to motherhood, yes. There are fabulous days where everything runs as smoothly as your favourite peanut butter, or where things go absolutely balls to the walls and gives the term “tits up” a whole new meaning.
This all comes before doing anything for yourself, might I add. My personal favourite is trying to balance daily exercising to lose my baby weight, because let’s be honest, a few kg’s lighter could possibly make one a little more aerodynamic for mentioned household chores and moments of wild flapping, trying to get things done.
And just when you finally thought that your little one had nodded off comes the horror of hearing a squeak subtly loud enough to let you know that “I’M STILL AWAKE” or the long winded nap time tantrums. These are always fun when you’re at your wits end on a tough day.
When I do very rarely have a moment of silence, I try my best to blog and study for my final year of university. I absolutely LOVE being a stay at home mum for now. I have no idea how I’m going to feel when I have to put Harper in day-care when I return back to work.
Being a stay at home mum teaches you so much about yourself. You get to know the exact amount of coffee it takes to get yourself feeling like a Fabulous Fred, ready to take on the world, a baby and a household. You learn that it’s okay to be in your pyjamas for most of the day while sprinting around the house to get shit done. You understand that it’s okay to answer the door in one sock, child on your hip and hair funky enough to hold chopsticks in place when mail arrives.
The truth about being a stay at home mum is that it is the furthest thing from easy. As with any day job, it tests your patience. It can be tiring, and it is challenging. We often don’t get a break during the day and we generally walk around like zombies, but my oh my, do we get to experience and take in all of the new things that our little ones learn and do in a day.
A loving moment of sharing a cuddle with your bub or making them smile is so valuable. Being there at hand for their first-time experiences are indescribably rewarding in so many ways. There are days where running around seem endless, and the feeling of accomplishing nothing can sometimes get you down, but our purpose of being stay at home mums for the stage of life that we are in is enriching and precious. And to the mums who are doing this with more than 1 kid or who are single working mums and working mums, you are such bloody heroes.
We are all doing our best. We are all warriors. And our kids love us. They look forward to seeing our faces, first thing in the morning and they know hard to push our buttons.
But most importantly, they love us hard. And we are appreciated.
Well done, mamma! Keep doing an amazing job!
Until next time,
Mycaila – Jade