Nov
23

SAHM

By

Stay-At-Home-Mom.  That’s what that stands for, in case you didn’t know.  And someone please tell me you didn’t, because I don’t want to be the only fool who didn’t until I had a child and started reading mommy blogs.

Now I am faced with being a real SAHM myself, and I’m scared.  Scared I just won’t know what to do with myself, or with my daughter now that she’s a busy BUSY toddler.   Scared I will become too bored, frazzled, impatient, or just plain depressed.  Scared that I’m just not up to the task. Yes, yes, I know I have been home with her in the past, but not like this.

I stayed home as long as I could when Muffin was first born. I was a teacher, and Muffin was born in late January. I stayed home with her until May, and only agreed to go back to work because there was only six weeks of school left, and then I would have two more months with my infant girl in the summer time.  Plus, at the time, I was leaving her with her daddy, and it made the most financial sense to suck up the six weeks until summer. When the new school year began in late August of 2008, we left her in the care of someone else for the very first time.  She was only seven months old.   It was difficult, but I was ready.

I worked the next school year part time, which, while not great for my checkbook, was ideal for my mommyhood.  I had extra time at home with my daughter, but I also got time away. I got to go to place  that gave me enough adult interaction to keep me sane, and a job that gave me a sense of purpose beyond motherhood. It made my extra time home with Muffin more appreciated and more enjoyable.  I was a better mom because of it.

Fast forward to the next school year (now) and I no longer have a job (not my choice, really, but that’s a whole other post for another day).  Muffin is a toddler and has to be watched every second because she is curious and strong-willed and fearless. I kept Muffin in daycare because I did not want to give up the coveted spot hopeful that I would actually NEED it someday. Even though I haven’t been working, it was nice to have a place to bring her when I needed.  I have no family around, so keeping her in daycare gave me time to get things done around the house without having to make sure she wasn’t drinking bleach or using plastic bags as head gear. Having her at daycare gave me time to look for a job or make needed appointments sans screaming toddler refusing to hold mommy’s hand in a parking lot, or be buckled into the car seat one more time. Having her at daycare gave me time to myself.  It saved me from judgmental looks from strangers.  It saved my sanity.

Muffin enjoyed it too.  It gave her structure and routine, it gave her friends, and it gave her a break from mommy.  It was nice, but it was a luxury– a luxury that we simply can no longer afford, so we made the tough decision to take her out of daycare.

Now I’ll be an official full time SAHM with a toddler.  What to do.

I’ve never joined or had a desire to join a mom group or a support group.  New people and new groups are intimidating to me. I don’t make friends easily or quickly. Oh I’m not a total social misfit or anything, and I get along with lots of folks, but I don’t make real honest-to-goodness-there-for-you-through-thick-and-thin friends easily. I suppose I’m kind of fussy. I expect a lot of my friends, I guess because I give a lot. I was fortunate enough to have a few friends who had babies around the same time I did, and they were my mommy group.  I have my mommy blogs that I read regularly, and that was plenty good enough for me. But now I’m not so sure.  One of my mom friends moved, another works full time, and here I am at home.  Alone with the Muffin.

I feel like I owe it to my Muffin to give her something more than just, well, me.   I mean seriously, how many mall trips can one make in a week, especially when I really shouldn’t be buying anything?  How many Baby Einstein videos can we watch before my IQ drops in attempt to raise her? And how many tantrums can I face alone without feeling like I want to leave her on the neighbor’s doorstep?

I guess I’d better step up. Find places to go. Things to do.  For her sake as well as mine.

Comments

  1. Pam says:

    You’ll figure it out… really… but maybe not all of it in the first week. So give yourself a break. Be okay with the fear; because it is normal and it will force you to join a group or talk to the other mom at the mall that you might normally just have smiled at. And then you will find someone else who is home with their little one feeling just like you.. or maybe you will just find that you don’t really need to find someone, because you and your girl find your own routine and your own structure in each day.
    Whatever you find… just remember that sometimes the days may drag when you are home with your child. But the years fly.

  2. Lisa Kelly says:

    It won’t shock you but I had no idea what SAHM was! Now I do and I know you will be great at it.

  3. LeeWee says:

    First of all, SAHM is new to me. Second, you’re a great mom and you have a lot of patience and plenty smarts. You’ll be fine for the next few months until you move back to Jersey. :) (I had to sneak that in there) I suggest checking out the library. It’s free, and they usually had programs for kids and moms alike. Love you and miss you both. You’ll be fine…better than fine, you’ll be a fantastic SAHM.

  4. Irene Landon says:

    Are you sure SAHM isn’t some Afganistan word? Having been with you recently and witnessed Charlie’s shanigans ..and BOY does she have them!!! I will say you spend more time playing with her than taking advantage of time for yourself. At this point where you are planning on returning to Jersey, I don’t see the sense in putting yourself out there to make friends. However, there is nothing wrong with making playdates with other moms . They don’t have to be your bestest friend! And Lee Ann is right – the library is a good place to not only take advantage of their programs, but meet other moms. And put the Muffin in the play yard for an hour, and then write, write, write! I was never much good at being a “SAHM” – I really preferred to work part time when you guys were little. It is good for the soul (as well as the pocketbook). So I DO understand – just take it one day at a time right now – and like Pam says – the day might drag but those years just fly. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  5. Helenie says:

    I have not a CLUE what SAHM is…. nor do I think it necessarily has to apply to you — at least not permanently. I think because you were a bit “older” when you had her, it may make you think you have to play CATCH UP on this mommy thing. I’ve learned through raising two AMAZING kids of my own (yes, even JJ has become AMAZING!!!) and watching one of those kids travel her own road to raise a kid herself, I really think you have to go a LONG LONG way to screw it up. Based on what I’ve observed and read of your parenting style, SAHM or Working Mom (is there an acronym for that too… there must be but not 25+ years ago!!) the love you and Greg give your little Muffin, as well as modeling behavior that you won’t cringe at when she emulates you, is the BEST thing you can do. Oprah always says that moms have the hardest job in the world, I think we make it even HARDER because we are so damn afraid of doing it wrong. You will survive this stay-at-home period, because you know it’s not forever. I went to work part time when JJ was born because the business I was running from my house, along with 2 kinds under the age of 5, made me NUTS. Get out there, meet moms at the library or wherever, and you will have a mini-network of people to call on if you absolutely MUST get some time A*L*O*N*E. I was never big on PLAY DATES, I figured that having to watch someone else’s kid along with my own, for the sake of having mine entertained? NOT WORTH IT!!!!!! But then again, you know how I feel about little people days!!! So once you meet some more moms and establish yourself in some temporary “group” you won’t feel so alone. And like others have said, you do NOT have to figure it all out at once…. my mantra? If you don’t know what to do? Do NOTHING. The right answer will reveal itself when it’s the right time. LOVE & MISS YOU BUNCHES!!!!!