I have been a SAHM for almost 19 months now and I am definitely getting used to it. It's nice. My days are open to take care of all the errands, so our evenings are free for us to hang out as a family. I've enjoyed getting reacquainted with my kids and getting my house back in order. I really thought I was comfortable being a SAHM and everything that goes with that, and then my son started preschool. My husband usually drops him off in the morning, but when he's out of town I do. I show up at the same time as all the other parents, only they are dressed in suits, scrubs, skirts with heels and I'm usually in my workout shorts and top ready to take the dog and baby for a walk after my son is dropped off.
The first day I didn't think much of it. Maybe they would think it's my day off and I'm hitting the gym. By the third day I thought, "These people are going to know I stay at home!" Like it was something to be ashamed of! I couldn't believe my own mind. Then I thought, "They think I'm just a SAHM that can't handle her kids, so I drop them off at daycare while I go work out so I can eat bonbons the rest of the day." Seriously, these were my thoughts. I felt judged, but the only person judging me was myself.
Yes, I was going to get some exercise, but not so I could eat bonbons. So I could spend part of my day doing something active that did not involve a broom or rag or chasing a kiddo. I can absolutely take care of my children without sending them to daycare, but our son is old enough for preschool and we want him to be prepared for kindergarten next year. It doesn't make me a bad SAHM because he goes to preschool!
I have been having this internal dialogue with myself for a few weeks now and I have come to the conclusion that I am terrible. Everything I was thinking is what I, at one time, had thought about a woman I saw dropping her kids off for preschool in work out clothes, or able to run errands during the day, or going to lunch with friends. And the truth is, I was just jealous; jealous and clueless! Sometimes a mom is wearing work out clothes to drop her kids off because even though she's been up for 3 hours she hasn't had time to shower, so instead of wearing PJs to drop off her kids, she's done the more sensible thing and put on something more decent. And yes, there is time to take walks and go to lunch with friends, but those things are necessary to have adult conversations. Sometimes the other people walking on the trail are the only adults I'll see ALL DAY LONG! Lunches with friends are nice because a person can only eat so much PB&J. After preparing 3 meals a day, day in and day out, it's nice to have some one else have to worry about all that.
It's amazing, 19 months in and I'm still judging myself. I guess I'm just jealous.