You know, I read these viral blogs over and over again about SAHM’s not feeling appreciated and feeling under valued and every time I say to my self “oh, I hear ya”. Its at the point that friends see me running myself so ragged that they are now tagging me in the comments of these posts. Every time I read them and every time I feel like they must have been a fly on my wall telling the story they viewed of my life lately. However now it’s my turn.
I have been a SAHM since our youngest was born simply because it is more cost efficient for me to be home with him. Then there are also my older two from a previous marriage and all they require. Even before our youngest was born I was one write up away for being late or needing to leave early or needing a day off from losing my job. I had to miss school events, teachers meetings, doctors appointments and the biggest was my middle child’s kindergarten graduation. That one still stings.
So I have now been home for a little over two and a half years and most days I am grateful. One – because I don’t know if I could handle a work day running on so little sleep and so much stress and two- I am (for the most part) not missing anything and am getting to be a present mom. But then there is the parts that really eat at me. The feeling unappreciated, the feeling under valued and most certainly the feeling of loneliness. Thankfully I have never been one that needs to get out or needs a big group of friends to survive but my main conversations these days are with my kids, my animals or even on Snapchat. However never for one second am I ungrateful for how hard my husband works, ungreatful for this beautiful roof over our heads and never once do I complain when money gets tight, like really tight. I always find a way to make it work but the feeling unappreciated and feeling undervalued really eats away at me. The main thing is referencing how “I don’t work”. Personally, I consider what I do as work. I consider what all SAHM’s do as work and I don’t for one second agree that because I may not be able to financially contribute that means I don’t work. See, no one pays me for what I do or it would be considered work.
My husband travels for work these days and has a very inconsistent schedule so it’s just me. It’s me running all over the place for these kids, it’s me up all ours of the night, it’s me making sure everyone’s homework is done and it’s me teaching the toddler everything he needs to know so when kindergarten comes around he isn’t behind. Its me chasing the toddler through the stores, it’s me changing the nasty diapers, it’s me trying to potty train and it’s me making sure everyone says alive, including my husband. That’s right, it’s me who is there every up and down of his medical journey and its me having to multitask kids while trying to stop a seizure from happening. Its me who cares for these animals (except the cat box which I am reminded of constantly) and it’s me who holds in the stress of co-parenting with my ex. Does anyone actually think I like not having my own money? Do you think I like not knowing how I am going to pay for my talented hockey player son to play next season? Or how I’m going to pay for my gorgeous teen daughters braces she so desperately needs? Or the fact that my ex husbands insurance sucks so bad that my daughter’s meds cost triple this month? These are things that eat away at me, day and night but I don’t talk about them. I just start off every day being grateful and trying to make the best of it.
My hopes in writing this is that anyone else feeling this way knows they are not alone and any husbands of a SAHM to see this to appreciate all they do and how hard they work because at the end of the day many are keeping this struggle from you because they love and appreciate everything you already do.