The Unapologetic, Stay At Home Mom

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I remember when we came home from the hospital with Sophie, I had help from my mom during the nights, and Justin was also able to help on a few occasions since he had taken the week off of work. After my mom left and J’s paternity leave was over, I felt it was up to me to take on the care and nurturing of our child. I was a stay at home mom, so obviously it was my job during the day to look after her and surely, I thought, I must also do it all through the night seeing as how Justin has to get up for work in the morning.

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It was exhausting, isolating, and I couldn’t take it anymore. Not seeing an obvious solution, I turned to the internet (I think you can guess where this is going…) Like many ventures to be consoled by the internet, this one also failed. I turned to a forum of moms and simply asked how stay at home moms (or SAHM’s as they are abbreviated on the forums,) split responsibilities with their working husbands. To my dismay, the majority of women answered that they took on 99% of the responsibilities noting that it was the “least they could do” since their husbands all worked and they got to stay at home.

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So I continued, struggling to handle the responsibility with our new child. If other moms were doing fine without the help, then their must be something wrong with me, and I’d have to learn how to do it solo. I felt guilty for even considering the possibility that my husband should be helping me. After all, I was indebted to him for the privilege of staying at home. Then one day it hit me: I work just as hard as J does. He gets up and goes to work, and I get up and work from home. Yes, caring for children is work, and anyone who tells you it’s not, must not have kids. In fact, I think I work harder as a mother than I ever did working as a groundskeeper and landscaping assistant. Anyway, that was my first revelation. My second revelation was that it took 2 people to create this child, therefore it should take 2 people to care for it. Yes, mothers are predisposed to being nurturing caretakers, but that shouldn’t make them slaves to the children.

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I was sick of apologizing for being a SAHM. I was sick of justifying to people why I needed help. If I had come home from a day at the office and said I needed help, people would respond without question, but as a SAHM I felt like people didn’t understand my need for assistance (even other moms!) Well I do, I need help. Once I expressed these concerns to J he was eager to help me. In fact, he admitted wanting to help but not knowing how. I breastfed the baby, so I thought I was the only one who could get up to feed her. Sure, J could help change diapers, but why wake him up if I was already up? As logical as that thought is, the truth is, I needed the support from my partner in the middle of the night and I needed to know that I didn’t have to feel guilty for asking for it.

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Now that we’re on baby number 2, I have had better sleep, little to no depression, and J and I are closer than ever. He is the first one to roll of of bed and get Cora. He changes her diaper, brings her to be me to fed, then either burps her or waits for me to be done burping her so he can rock her back to sleep. He takes them off my hands almost the same second as when he walks through the door after work. I cook dinner, then we put  Sophie to bed, and I’ll take the newborn back from him so he can unwind and do the things he wants to do. We trade off. If he’s had a hard day I don’t mind taking on 80% of the parenthood to allow him to relax, because I know when I have a hard day he will take the 80 and let me be the 20. It’s a partnership from conception until birth, until we die, or at least that’s what I’m counting on. I’m not exempt from needing my husband’s help just because I stay at home and he goes to work. I need help because I’m a human person who is raising 2 other human persons and I get tired.

If you’re SAHM and you feel like you need help, don’t feel ashamed, don’t apologize, and don’t feel like you can’t ask for what you know you need. I spent way too many nights crying myself to sleep wondering what the solution was. The solution is to ask your partner for help. Whether he works 8 hours a day doing manual labor or 12 hours a day at a desk, you are allowed to ask for help.

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10 comments

  1. momtessorilife · April 7, 2016

    I’m so glad you have the supportive husband that you need! I don’t understand how some women are able to do it all by themselves. When I had my first child, I thought I had to do it all, also. I felt guilty whenever my husband got up at night, so I pushed myself past my limits and suffered from postpartum depression. With my second child, we had finally figured out that I just couldn’t do all the night stuff by myself. My husband has been more than happy to take over at night, and he has never made me feel like I was being a bad SAHM.

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    • mrssamantha · April 7, 2016

      Yes! I know exactly how that feels, and I’m glad I’m not alone! It was really discouraging to hear so many fellow SAHM’s tell me that we should take on all the responsibility… that just wasn’t working for me. and that’s ok!

      Like

  2. To Arizona......and beyond · April 7, 2016

    Sounds like you have a great partnership. My husband and I are aiming for something very similar. We’re only 2 weeks in but so far so good. I feel very lucky to have such a supportive, involved husband! Your photos are beautiful, do you have formal training or do you just have a good eye for photography?

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    • mrssamantha · April 7, 2016

      Thank you! My father was a professional photographer but he didnt have a lot of time to train me. However I tried to mimic his style and also got a lot of instruction from photography blogs online 🙂

      Like

  3. AnneMarie · April 8, 2016

    This is utterly awesome!!!!!!!!!! Our little baby #1 is still in my belly, and after he pops out I fully hope and intend to stay at home with him. Hearing your perspective is so refreshing, because I have met so many SAHMs who subscribe to the belief that everything at home has to be the mom’s job all the time. Honestly, though, this bugs me because of the way it treats the husbands/fathers. Sometimes, the SAHM seems to take complete control of the home, and seems to think that she has a special privileged of ownership over the child that the dad doesn’t have because she feels the need to do every single thing (sorry if this sounds too harsh, it’s just something that I’ve noticed. Obviously, not every SAHM acts like this). I think having the perspective of the parents/spouses working together in the partnership that you talk about is much healthier for marriages and families.

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    • mrssamantha · April 12, 2016

      Yup, it takes 2! Hubby has been so helpful and he is so skilled at being a dad! Now, I’ve given him plenty of opportunities to exercise those daddy skills lol

      Like

  4. JustMeOMaya · April 8, 2016

    Thanks for not apologizing! I was raised with the notion that the man works and the mother does EVERYTHING else. So, when I had my first child, I did everything to the point where I was completely unhappy and snapped. So, we created a schedule of who does what on particular days. I still wake up at night with baby number 2, which I am fine with as long as he gets our 2 year up and breakfast. This schedule irks my traditional Mom! But she is not in OUR home 😊

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    • mrssamantha · April 12, 2016

      YES. It’s all about balance and what works best for you and your significant other!

      Like

  5. crazy grad mama · April 10, 2016

    Love this! You are ALWAYS allowed to ask for help.

    Like

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