If you’re not a mom and/or don’t frequent mom Facebook pages and blogs, you may not know what SAHM stands for. Soon after I had Aiden, a friend added me to a large group on Facebook, made up of moms, where you can ask for advice or really anything and you’re sure to get some feedback. I would read some of the posts and see things like LO, DH, SAHM, STTN, FTM…I felt like I needed a cheat sheet. SAHM, though, was one I picked up on quickly – Stay at Home Mom.
Growing up, I was always so envious of the kids who had moms that didn’t work. As a single mom, mine didn’t have a choice and while I spent most of my time with my grandma and family, there was nothing quite like the time I spent with just my mom.
My perception of these SAHMs has changed over the past year. When Andrew and I decided to have kids, I never thought I’d stay home with them, I always assumed I’d have to keep working. I always thought women who were able to stay home with their kids had husbands with very lucrative jobs and didn’t have the added stress of a tight budget. I’m sure this is the case for some families but what I’ve discovered is - most are like me.
We haven’t made any decisions about after this next school year, but for now I am home full time with the kids. This choice is both equal part gift and sacrifice. I take that back. It’s 75% gift and 25% sacrifice. Some days that balance feels different, but overall I see it as the best gift ever to be able to be with my babies as much as I am. I know there are moms who would do anything to stay home, but just can’t. My mom was one of them. I also know there are moms who love to work and that doesn’t mean they love their kids any less. I am absolutely aware that every family is different and we all have our own gifts and sacrifices.
Recently, for whatever reason, I’ve allowed my mind to focus more on the sacrifices than the gifts. I’ve gotten caught up in cute summer clothes, exotic vacations I see pictures of, remodeled houses…I start to feel like I need these things too. I start to feel like I’m missing out and stuck in a rut. The sacrifice of choosing to be home right now is real. We watch our budget very closely and I simply cannot spend without careful consideration. But I can’t seem to shove the “I want” list out of my head.
So here’s what I’m doing about it. Whenever this feeling creeps up, I look at my kids. Or if it’s a rare moment they are both asleep, I look at a picture. I literally count my blessings. I tell myself to stop acting like a spoiled brat and look at this wonderful life I am leading. Everyone always says…”If only I had (fill in the blank), then I’d be happy.” That’s such a lie. You only want something else. I only wanted a baby. Then I only wanted another. I wanted to recover from surgery. I wanted to be home with my kids. It’s time to stop. I have everything I could ever need, what a gift. While I still feel like I’m searching for some path that has not been found yet, I am going to keep counting my blessings and delete my “things I’d like to have” list on my phone. (Yes, I know it’s pathetic that I have this.)
Some days SAHM stands for – Sometimes Andrea Has Meltdowns. But most days, it stands for See Andrea Have Memories. Memories I am making with my kids, with my family, that will always mean more to me than anything else I'll ever want.