I've decided I really like being a SAHM. I like playing with my kids and being a real part of their lives. Last night I was talking to an elementary school teacher and she made a great point. She spends more time with other people's kids than the parents do. It's true. When I was working I barely got to spend 3 hours a night with them and much of that was spent rushing around getting homework done, dinner made, getting to activities and bath time. There wasn't much time to BE with my kids. Today I got to make a pretty bad ass tent with my son. It's awesome, I can't lie. But I never would have been able to do that while working. I wouldn't have done it on a weekend because I wouldn't want to clean it up. Now it's not such a big deal.
The other side of being a SAHM is the work part. It's not for the faint of heart, the wimpy, the needy or the prissy. It's the ugly part. The part where your hands get more than dirty; they get disgusting. It's the part where your mind goes numb from the endless repetition. Where there are no Thank yous, pats on the back or promotions. There is no ladder to climb when you're a SAHM. Where you are is where you'll stay. I know not everyone likes their job, but at least those people see a paycheck. On days when I don't like my job, there is often no visible reward. Sure my kids love me, but they loved me when I worked. They didn't always appreciate me when I worked and they don't always appreciate me now that I'm home. That stuff hasn't changed. What has to change is where I find my self worth. It used to be that if I was having a hard time at work I could find solace in my family. If the family life was rough, I had work to escape to for a few hours. Now, if my work sucks, so does my family life.
A SAHM has to be able to push down her pride and say, "Yes, I will clean up the dishes for the third time today, I will change my 10th diaper, I will clean up those toys (again), even though no one will say thank you, smile or even notice. I'll get screamed at, whined to and stepped on. I will do all this because I am a mom and I love what I do!".