Throughout this Lifehack series, I’ve tried to limit my SAHM pep talks and give concrete advice. However, this is the ninth post in this series, and it’s time.
People complain about the image of moms on sitcoms and dramas – and I do too.
People take offense to the moms on reality tv and talk shows.
People dislike the image that a mom is “supposed to have” – working or not.
Both moms are hard on themselves. When I worked, I felt like the mom who wrote the article, “You Know You’re A Working Mom When” that made the Facebook rounds. I understood that. In a weird way, society is maybe “lighter” on the working mom because she is doing so much! she cannot keep up! I hear comments like, “well she works.” (The other parent’s role in society’s view, that’s an entire other blog post/ series). She does, honestly. That’s why many SAHMs quit their jobs – doing it all sucks.
I think about those sort of ideas a lot, the mom and society and her own expectations. Even though I shouldn’t admit it and maybe shouldn’t do it, it sits on me. When I give myself pep talks, I remind myself that critics are on both sides of the argument – and that maybe the biggest critic lives inside each mom’s head.
So we moms have it coming from every direction, never winning. Failing before we even get out of bed.
I don’t possess the answer, and my ideas are plentiful about this, but somehow it’s connected.
I think that SAHMs get down on themselves when they don’t succeed. Most women worked outside the home before they stayed home. As a teacher, I was trained to organize a classroom and multitask. I sat in on multiple classes to observe what teachers did. I figured out what worked for me. I got a degree. I studied other teachers, read research, and received feedback from experts.
Despite all this training, I still messed up. I was not a perfect teacher. I still felt like I succeeded. Not all the time – but more than I didn’t.
(I promise I’m bringing these ideas together).
Most women today are not trained to be a SAHM. My mom did not work, but many present day moms had mothers who worked. Therefore – (here’s the togetherness):
Many of us lack on-the-job training or examples. Raising children has changed – bigger expectations, more safety, more knowledge about child development – and overall fewer examples as how to raise kids. The amount of moms working outside the home has continually grown. Those of us who are at home are often isolated – not just from other adults, but from ideas and examples and handed down knowledge.
So we go into this SAHM gig with these inflated expectations (society, tv) and little training, and knowing the feeling of success from our previous lives. Adding it all up must create a negative tally in our mom-minds.
As I clean and scrub floors and teach my kids and cook I think, this has to be easier. And maybe it’s not. Maybe every mom feels this way and maybe there is no manual. (If anyone has a manual, please mail it to me).
But as I close this one of (hopefully not that many discombobulated) SAHM pep talks, I want to state that even though we SAHMs are blessed to be able to stay home and raise our kids, we start with obstacle from others and ourselves.
As alway, I’m at my favorite blogs!!