There was some Internet forum I stumbled upon recently and I was taken back at the snide comments people made about SAHMs. Like, "what do these privileged bitches have to be stressed about" and "I'd gladly go to the playground all day if my wife wants to support us" and so on.
Yes, being a SAHM, at least in my case, means spending an inordinate amount of time at the playground. This is fun for about an hour. Children are awake approximately 12 hours per day. You do the math.
I am grateful every day that I get to stay home with the girls, at least for now. And it is fun in many ways. But it is also the most stressful and isolating "job" I've ever had. And trust me, I've worked for some wackadoos under some rather high pressure circumstances.
Men (and perhaps I'm generalizing here but, hey, I like to generalize) take care of the kids for one day and think, "What's the big deal? This isn't so hard!" Because you're doing it for ONE DAY by yourself once in a blue moon. Not the majority of the time 365 days per year.
It'd be like playing President for the day. "Wow! I could get used to this! I'm sitting in a big swiveling chair in the Oval Office and people are bringing me gourmet food like I'm the King of Brunei, I've got my own plane and I'm getting invited to all kinds of cool shit!" But it's only for a day and so you avoid that Aging President Syndrome and even if you aged during that one day you could go get Botox unlike the President who would probably get mercilessly made fun of on the late night tv shows (ask Joe Biden) and all the tabloids would show your before and after photos and plastic surgeons would come out of the woodwork to comment on what you had done. See what I mean? (Don't answer that.) My point is, doing anything just for one day every once in a while is not as stressful as doing it all the time.
Am I comparing the stress of being a SAHM to that of being the Leader of the Free World? YOU BET YOUR SWEET ASS I AM. Presidents and mothers age at exactly the same rate! And nobody is bringing me food and I don't even have a desk let alone a nice cushy chair that swivels.
(It's a wonder I was not on the debate team in high school. I mean really.)
PS -- Why the photo accompanying this post? I originally meant to detail what I did all day so as to make a point but then I started thinking about how if you're president you probably get really stressed and you can't even get Botox and I lost my train of thought. One thing I do with the girls that illustrates the sometimes mundane nature of my day is walk back and forth and back and forth and back and forth over the bridge in Millennium Park with them because they think this is big fun. It's fun the first 50 times and then it becomes mind numbing.
PSS -- I know being a mom who works outside the home is stressful too. This is in no way a post meant to flame that "mommy war" phenomenon which I actually think might be made up by the media.