Whether you stay home out of desire or out of necessity, there are parts of being a stay-at-home mom that only those living the all-day parenting show will understand. If you’ve done it, you know: It’s not easy. Here are some of the humorous realities we SAHMs face on the daily — and yet, despite them, we still manage to make it through the day alive.
1. Sick days don’t exist.
Your kids won’t ease up if you feel like garbage. If anything, they will make sure to shower you with extra screams and destruction to keep your mind off your raging fever. If Mom takes a day off, the whole house goes to hell. Sick or not, the show must go on.
2. Multitasking is your middle name.
You have managed to learn how to cook a meal while breastfeeding, tie shoes with one hand while zipping coats with the other, and answer important phone calls while deflecting nerf darts. You pay bills while you clean the house, and you make grocery lists in the shower. You plan kids’ birthday parties in your sleep — that’s how good you are.
3. You spend most of the day silently begging for peace and quiet, but you know it’s bad when it happens.
Because if the house finally goes quiet, something catastrophic is going down. And sometimes, even knowing that, you’re willing to let it fly anyways because you just NEED. A. BREAK.
4. Your best friends are named “dry shampoo” and “perfume.”
You might spend your entire day at home, but that doesn’t mean you have time to waste on petty activities like showers or personal hygiene. You slap on some tinted moisturizer and your “good leggings” if you’re feeling fancy, but most days it’s your fuzzy socks, stretched-out yoga pants, and that sweater with the hole in it. Your kids are just going to get boogers and food all over you anyway, so what’s the point?
5. Unlike your working-mom counterparts, the more you get done in a day, the LESS money you have.
You killed it as a mom today. You went to the grocery store, you caught up on all the bills, you stocked up the toiletries and got your kid a new pair of shoes. You signed your toddler up for tumbling and you picked up your partner’s dry cleaning. You were ON. YOUR. GAME! So why, after a long day “at the office,” is your bank account suffering from withdrawal symptoms? Ughhh.
6. Your “corner office with a window” is mobile.
And it’s usually littered with goldfish crackers, dried-up french fries, carries a questionable smell, and is coated in something sticky. Yes, it’s a family car / archaeological dig. And yes, you frequently find your boss sleeping on the job and staff insubordination is rewarded with Happy Meals and Dum-Dum suckers.
7. Trips to Target alone count as self-care.
You pamper yourself with a venti coffee and stroll the aisles of pet supplies (even though you don’t haven’t owned a furry friend in years) just to delay your checkout a little longer. You deserve this vacation, and you’re going to soak up every minute in the dollar aisle if that’s what it takes.
8. Bodily functions are part of your daily routine, and you’re not even a doctor.
Your “boss” asks you to wipe his butt, or claws at your breasts to nurse — and it’s completely acceptable. You frequently step in something wet and have to ask yourself if it’s water, juice, or urine. And you’re not completely grossed out regardless.
9. Your friends who work outside the home don’t understand your job — and you don’t understand them.
Your partner doesn’t fully grasp it either. You hear comments like “if you had a ‘real job’ you would know” or “what did you do all day?” You feel misunderstood and underappreciated, and it’s not just because your day-to-day “coworkers” haven’t mastered fine motor skills yet. You yearn for adult interaction, but when you finally get it, you are so used to speaking toddler through Disney movie song lyrics that you end up saying something completely inappropriate and awkward. You can’t remember what it’s like to have conversations with adults. It’s been that long.
The best part of your job, though, is that your bonuses come in the form of tiny hands wrapped around your neck, little kisses on the cheek by tiny lips, and giant “I LOVE YOU”s shouted by miniature lispy voices. And when those come, you realize: You don’t care if you laugh at yourself all day. This is the only place you ever want to be.