The Hardest Thing About Being A SAHM

It had been a fairly good day, and I was almost to the end of it.  The kids were eating their macaroni in the kitchen, and I went into their rooms to find their pajamas.  That’s when I saw that at some point during the day the kids had bunched the covers all up on Wyatt’s bed.

I sighed, because it was just one more piece of work to do, and I climbed onto his bed as I tugged and pulled the covers into submission.  Before I knew it, a wave of that pregnancy fatigue crashed over me (it has just been intense this time around), and I collapsed onto the half-made bed - literally too exhausted to move.

I just laid there for a few minutes, and without even consciously letting my mind go there, the words “I can’t do this anymore” flitted across my brain.

It’s been several months since I quit my job and officially became a full-time stay-at-home-mom.  I pretty much considered myself a SAHM before I quit, because I have only worked one day a week for the last three years anyway.  The majority of the week has been spent like this for years - waking up when one of the kids stumbled into my room in the mornings, getting the kids dressed, feeding them meals, wiping faces, and trying to keep the house as presentable as is reasonable when I have multiple little ones seeming to be working toward the opposite goal.  And I have always loved it.  I love every minute I get to spend with these munchkins.

But in a way, I underestimated what that one day of the week of working outside the home did for me.  It was more than just the chance to keep up my professional skill set, or spend some time talking to adults. 

It seemed the whole week almost revolved around that one day that I knew I wouldn’t be home.  I knew I wouldn’t have that day, so I made sure all my other to-do’s got done before.  I knew I wouldn’t get to hang out with my kids on that day, so I made sure to do all the fun stuff I had planned for them on the other days.  If I was having a crazier day or week, it didn’t seem as bad because I knew I would head out on that one day, and I would spend most of my time at work missing my kids despite the chaos that sometimes comes with having so many littles.

That one day of the week gave me an anchor for the rest of the days at home, because it was like a reset button.  Having a hard week?  At least you are home with your kids today, because you won’t be on Friday.  Having a great week?  Soak it up, because on Friday you have to leave these little people you love so much and go to work.

The hardest thing about being a full-time SAHM is keeping perspective.

I thought it would be nice to not have to let the rest of the week revolve around that one day, but I am finding that it is harder to have the days and weeks blur into each other, today looking much the same as yesterday and the day before.  

When your work seems never ending, and you are crawling under the table picking up soggy Fruit Loops (those things are like rubber cement when they are wet), and it occurs to you that you are probably going to be doing this every morning until that indefinite future date when your youngest is proficient enough at using a spoon that they do not drop cereal on the floor. . . it’s hard in those moments to remember that these years are fleeting, and that this work is important.  

It’s hard to remember that I am not just breaking up arguments, I am teaching my kids how to love others.  

It’s hard to remember that I am not just disciplining my child, I am teaching my children lessons about God, and why He came to save us, and how He loves us, all by how I handle their correction.  

It’s hard to remember when I am lying exhausted on top of my son’s mangled covers that I am not doing this for nothing - God gave me these sweet little people.  These people are my ministry.  These days don’t just stretch into each other with no end and no meaning - what I do with these solitary days will string into months and years, and what I do with them will last.  I’ll account for every action and word, and my children are watching.  These days are eternally important.

When I take a minute to think about it, and with Jesus giving me strength, I can keep that perspective even when it’s hard.  Sometimes those exhausted moments when our hearts murmer “I can’t” are the moments when Jesus reaches out and reminds us that even when we really can’t, He can.  When we are weak, He is strong.  He can be my anchor.  He can be my reset button.  And I like that better anyway.

For you SAHM's out there, what is the hardest thing for you?
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Southern Made Blog said...

Amen, sister! Perspective is EVERYTHING! I wrote a similar post a few months back called "There Will Come a Day", and it's about how the days are rough, but time will speed by and we'll look back and wish we still had that pitter patter of feet running through the halls. We definitely have our hard days at SAHM mamas, but we don't miss a thing, and I'm thankful for that. Great post!

Daisy @ Simplicity Relished said...

This is really beautiful. I'm here on your blog for the first time and I already feel like I know you! Your perspective here is so on-point and inspiring: "God gave me these sweet little people. These people are my ministry."

I anticipate the day I become a mom with both eagerness and trepidation. My husband and I are not quite ready to start a family yet, but we hope to one day, with all its challenges and thorns. I pray that I'll be able to rely on the Lord as you do-- and to see motherhood as a unique form of ministry for the Kingdom! Thanks for your vulnerability and eloquence here; I'm encouraged!

Gina Booton said...

This is a wonderful reminder. Thank you.

Madison said...

I absolutely love this line: God gave me these sweet little people. These people are my ministry.

I'm expecting my first son in 9 short weeks and I'll definitely be holding onto that line for a long time. That is such a beautiful way to look at parenthood in general, but especially in the value of being a stay at home mom. Thanks for sharing your heart!

tpanariso said...

You hit it on the nose! The hardest part IS keeping perspective. I am thankful for being able to text a friend, or call the hubby so that they can bring me out of whatever place I put myself in and abide in the land of Joy and Faith. I am right there with you friend.

Rebecca Jalernpan said...

This is a great post. I'll have to share with the moms-to be I know and keep for the day when I have kiddos. Thanks for sharing and being so open and honest.

Megan Clark said...

Callie, I just had my first baby earlier this year, and I have had all of the feelings about being a SAHM. This quote really resonated with me: "...but I am finding that it is harder to have the days and weeks blur into each other, today looking much the same as yesterday and the day before." That's exactly what I have felt. Thanks for putting words to it and giving encouragement!

Keri Snyder said...

I would have to agree with this. I was thinking the other day about how it is the same routine, over and over. It can get hard to be faithful and positive in the mundane, but it is so important. I love how you said how you are teaching your child about God. I know without a shadow of doubt that I will look back and miss these years and be grateful I had this time. I think some days it is good to just acknowledge that it has been a tough day and tomorrow is a fresh day!

Stephanie said...

It's so easy to get so involved in the here and now of parenting that I often times forget that post the of time... often all of the time... it's just a phase or season of life. I also know that in the moments of "I can't do this anymore", God is bringing me closer and closer to Him.

Elizabeth said...

I did some blog posts about this (the frustration), trying to kind of disguise what was probably PPD. If I could pick the top hardest thing it would be the interruptions. As an introvert I have such a hard time doing things in spurts and not being able to concentrate on any one thing with a little one underfoot. Even when it came to my blog, I would break down sometimes just wanting to type my feelings out but not having the time or quiet conditions that I needed, except for 5 minutes here or there, or too late at night. Coming from a big family, I thought I would have no problem with chaos, but I guess as a child I always managed to sneak away with a book! Doesn't work that way when you're the mommy. Along the same lines, I miss being able to do things well or even to perfection. A baby is a human being, so you can't approach it the same as a project for work. I just remember trying and trying to get the breastfeeding just right, and it wasn't working out, and I couldn't just keep working at it like with writing a paper for class. And of course over time you have to let go even more as kids learn to assert themselves and form their own agendas! So I guess in my case I would welcome MORE routine since kids can be so unpredictable. :)

Elizabeth Spencer said...

Love this! An eternal perspective in the midst of the VERY day-by-day routine. :) I am finding that being a SAHM of older girls (one tween, one teen) brings the "what do you do all day" curiosity to a new level. But I truly believe this is one of the most important seasons for me to be on full-time mom duty. (And when I find 5 minutes when I'm not doing whatever it is I do all day, I'll make a list about it! ;) ) Blessings to you...stopping by from Moms Together on Facebook.

Julie Hood said...

I just found this post pinned on Pinterest, and I'm so glad to have read this!!! I'm 18 weeks and looking to give birth naturally in the hospital with my midwife. I was wondering, did the hospital staff care that you were watching movies? i think it's a great idea, but I'd be worried the doctors/nurses would judge me haha

Victoria Wilson said...

Oh gosh, I think you nailed it. Seriously. Perspective is so, so hard. Also the struggle of not having naturally built-in 'breaks'. Working full time, you can call in for a sick or personal day. As a SAHM, that's just not an option. And if you *do* need a day off, there's lots more juggling involved. Really great post Callie :) Encouraging to this SAHM!

Callie Nicole said...

The hospital staff didn't care that we were watching movies! Actually, they had movies available on their TV that you could select to watch, which was nice, but I was going to pull out my laptop and use that if we had to. It was a great distraction! I think a couple of the nurses actually liked catching bits of the movie themselves, haha! But even if they were less supportive, my thought is that it's your birth, so they should just let you do what you need to do!

Julie Hood said...

That's so good to know! I appreciate the perspective :D Now I just need to come up with a good selection (but I've got 22 weeks to do that, so.......) haha

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