I know I'm going to get lots of hate emails for this (ha, just kidding, no one emails me that reads my blog). In case you are unfamiliar with the acronym SAHM, it stands for "stay at home mom."
Now, don't get me wrong, I know SAHMs do a lot... for the most part. (I've have seen quite a few "SAHMs" who think that means letting your child run rampant while they sleep all day, watch TV or drink/smoke.) Although I don't think we all need to play martyrs and say that we never have a moment to do anything... I'm blogging right now while my 3 kids play... but it's okay, because I'm caught up on the laundry and the dishes... right? Isn't that how I'm supposed to justify spending a little time on me?
But I hate being called a SAHM. For me, it feels like a punishment. I would rather be out doing a job that I love... do I love my kids? Of course, I do! Do they annoy me a lot? Of course, they do! Now, don't sit there saying, "oh, but there are people out there who don't have children who would love to be annoyed..." Gag me. I get it. Poor them.
So, here I find myself stuck at home with my 3 kids this summer and more than likely next fall as well. It is one of those moral dilemmas where I find myself acknowledging that no one else can take care of my children as well as I do, and finding someone I completely trust with Baby H is very difficult. I had someone pretty great last semester, but she had to move to Florida! The next person I found was a weirdo. (Daytime, not evening babysitter). So, I feel as though I must suck it up for the time being and accept this SAHM position, but I don't have to like it. My goal is to finish my MA, which all I have left is the thesis/capstone, so I can teach classes online and substitute teach during the day. But until my youngest is old enough to go to school or I find someone not weird and super reliable, I'm stuck.
I can give you stories from both sides of the coin. Mom A was a SAHM until her last went to school and as all her kids got older, they disrespected her, cursed at her, made her cry and have no real relationship with her as adults. Mom B was a workaholic. Her kids generally didn't see her until 5pm and when she was home she was busy grading papers, reading books... some of her kids were closer to her as adults, but don't remember her being present much as children.
So which is the way to go? Is there a happy medium? Honestly, I think it is all about how you treat your children when you are with them. Good parents are good parents, regardless of the number of hours in a day spent with their kids. I want mine to grow up to be smart, kind, hard-working, good citizens, who are productive members of society. If that means I have to sacrifice sanity and stay at home with them so they aren't subject to the outside influence of lackluster caretakers... then so be it.
Will my kids treat me well as they get older? Only time will tell, but at least I can say that I tried. And then they will turn 18 and I will be free.