Stay-at-home moms are the most misunderstood demographic out there. Most of us work at least part time, some of us own our own businesses, and still more of us volunteer in our communities, all while raising children. Those of us with four or more kids are, shockingly enough, the happiest of them all. It’s time to dispel the following myths about stay-at-home moms (SAHMs).
1. We do nothing all day.
This classic notion about stay-at-home motherhood is usually dished around by dads wishing they could stay at home all day. (Because when they do, we’re still there to cook, clean, and change the diapers.) Being a SAHM is an unpaid career that runs 24/7/365. Enjoy your vacation time and do tell me how stressful it is when you get an urgent email from your boss during dinner. I might not be listening, though, because my boss has had me up since 3 a.m.
2. We suffer from “perfect mom” syndrome.
Most SAHMs are so busy mothering that they don’t have time to worry about the latest science and statistics on good parenting. If we get five minutes of alone time we’re probably laughing at the neuroses of working women who spend their lunch hours obsessing over the right type of pacifier or soothing sleep technique. SAHMs know kids bounce, boo-boos heal, and a little crying never hurt anyone. Want to talk about the real impact of Baby Mozart? Excuse us, we have diapers to change.
3. Our uniform consists of a ponytail and yoga pants with mystery stains.
Far too many new moms give in to the comfort of sinking into the background while their child takes over every aspect of their life, including their ability to pee and dress by themselves. Smart SAHMs know that maintaining your sanity requires maintaining your style. We also blow the “women take hours to get ready” myth out of the water. With 15 minutes in the morning we can look fabulous on a Wal Mart budget.
4. We just don’t want to work.
The majority of women who identify as stay-at-home moms work part-time and/or do volunteer work in their communities. A slim minority of women actually devote their entire day to childcare alone. SAHMs have figured out how to fit work into the nooks and crannies of their schedule, whether it’s during naptime or playgroup, we never call it quits. And those of us not intending on homeschooling plan to return to the workforce at least part-time when our children are school-aged. “A man works from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done.”
5. We’re out of touch with the world.
Most working parents turn to the SAHMs in their community for the information that often flies over their heads: school schedules and procedures, upcoming events, deadlines and requirements for local extracurricular activities, etc. Overwhelmed working moms often rely on SAHMs for this important information along with the occasional ride home for their kids when they get stuck in work traffic. SAHMs aren’t just there for their own kids, they’re a valuable resource for the entire parenting community.
5. We just want to get drunk and party.
No, actually. We really just want to take a nice, hot bath and be in bed by 9 p.m. We still enjoy having a fun night out, but having kids at home doesn’t automatically put us in mid-life crisis mode or turn us into a Stepford Wife. Chances are if we do want a drink, it’s going to be a glass of wine with friends at a paint and sip, because hangovers? No thank you! We have plenty of opportunities to deal with puke. We don’t need it to be our own.