A SAHM stands for Stay At Home Mom. Many SAHMs sacrifice things family and friends do not realize. Every family is unique and so are their circumstance. I became a SAHM out of necessity. We moved to a new area, and we went from a family of 3, to a family of 5 in a year! I left a good job to stay home for what I thought would be 6 months to take care of a 9-year old, 18 month old and a newborn. After returning to work and paying daycare for two babies, I barely brought home a salary. So, I ended up coming home. I found jobs and went back to work when things got tight, but still ended up coming back home. It just made sense.
12 years of being a SAHM, off and on, has taught me so many things. To me, it is the most rewarding and most agonizing position and lifestyle. It takes patience, ingenuity, flexibility (as your schedule is not your own), perseverance and dedication, just like most things in life. This isn’t to take away from other types of moms, I’ve actually experienced each. From the single mom, to the professional and stay at home mom. Let’s face it, each one comes with its own set of circumstances, trials and rewards, but here is what I believe are the 6 main sacrifices of a SAHM:
1. Adult interaction
While we love our children, endless days of PBS kids and Sprout can be mind numbing. After a while the ability to speak in full sentences become a lost art. My husband and I still find ourselves telling our kids to go baffroom… eat your pannycakes and referring to McDonald’s as “Mickey Donald” … so sad haha
While I do not believe this is done intentionally on either end, friendships seem to unravel and suffer. Invites to events are few and far between and the things you are invited to you seem to end up having to cancel. This ends in an alienation between you and your once close friends.
Anyone with toddlers knows the planning involved in a trip to a grocery store. I would plan trips around naps and also try to beat the morning and after noon rush that happens at the store and banks. Eating out we didn’t do very much of but when we did choosing a family friendly restaurant was essential.
This is true for any parent but the level of exhaustion for a SAHM is off the charts because the feeling that the walls are closing in on you is very real. Many moms fight depression and loneliness without telling anyone.
5. Parents and relatives who just don’t understand
Finally, some may deal with relatives who don’t understand or misunderstand your lifestyle. They may think you are complaining when you say things like “I need a break” after all, you don’t work outside the home so what could you possibly need a break from? Many times they just don’t understand
Whenever an income is lost adjustments have to be made, in our case not only did we lose an income we added additional people to our family. Expenses grew such as grocery bills, utilities and then there is that little issue of needed a bigger space to live in and a larger vehicle to drive. All of these things took time to adjust to and lots of discipline. Learning to budget is a must. I will add we don’t really take vacations.
This post could easily be called The 20 sacrifices of a SAHM and it originally was called something else but I think I narrowed it down to the main six.
My kids are getting older and I am wishing for some of those days back. Time crept by and now it’s flying so here I am free to find myself and I am sharing with you. I am also remembering how hard and lonely those days were back in 04, 05 and 06.
I am meeting more SAHMs now and I wish I had someone at that stage in my life who really understood me without judgement and who lived close enough. Looking back.. those were bright but rough times and I hope to share some things that helped me get through them. Maybe in the future I’ll write about How to deal with the 6 sacrifices a SAHM makes haha… much love.