I enjoy every second of mamahood. From day one, it has been something so natural and wonderful that I would do it ten times over (ok, only 3 times, and now that’s only 2 times more). It ain’t easy. Both my husband and I spend 40 hours a week outside of the home working.
In one week, there are 168 hours minus the weekend for 120 hours Monday thru Friday. A 40 hour work week leaves you with 80 hours. Subtract from that 40 hours for sleep, assuming 8 hours of sleep a night (and this counts whether or not your kids sleep through the night since inevitably they will be sleeping much more than you will and we’re counting actual time spent with kids) which leaves you with 40 hours. Personally, I will subtract 10 hours from that to account for travel to and from work, getting ready in the morning and other time spent away from Baby D. For me that leaves 30 hours Monday thru Friday, a little over a day’s worth of time to enjoy my daughter during the week. On weekends, with 48 total hours minus 16 hours for sleep equaling 32 hours and subtract from that the total hours spent napping by Baby D and I’ve 24 full hours to spend with her. So total, in a 7 day week with the potential for 168 hours, which is actually only 112 waking hours, I only really get 54 hours with the light of my life.
And that’s a calculation for me who works 10 minutes from the office. The hubs has it a bit rougher with his 2nd shifts and half hour commute. Bottom line: working outside of the home sucks. I’m not complaining about our good fortune- steady jobs in a not so steady market that provides us with food, clothes and shelter, and the occasional luxury. With all this in mind, I wonder quite often how the moms of yestyear did it on one income. I envy the SAHM’s of those gone by days who knew that once they were with child, their days out of the home were numbered. I don’t know that they were all excited about it but I’m sure some were. I know I would have been.
Would I want to be in their shoes? Yes and no. SAHM, totally. 2nd tier citizen in my household? Never. And I’m making wildly huge exagerrations knowing that not all men were male chauvinists and that some women had very 50/50 marriages. But if I’m going to go solely on stereotype, then I’m saying the SAHM of yesteryear was truly a homemaker. Her duties were to make of a house a home. Raise children, make dinner, vacuum, sew. I’m sure some SAHM from back in the day hoped that their daughters wouldn’t endure the same fate as them. I’m sure they feared their little girls might give up her professional dreams and follow in mommy’s footsteps. They probably dreaded wanting more joy and happiness for their little ones.
What I’m sure no mom imagined was that some of those little girls, no matter the amount of opportunity, would actually want to stay at home. They would gladly hand over a fast rising career to spend a day in the park or just frumping around in bed. I’m one of these women. Had you asked me earlier in life what I wanted to be, I’d have said this or that or the other, something lucrative and well-established with a definite career path. Never in a million and one years would I have said I want to have a family and raise babies.
Now, that’s really all I want to do. Hand me a winning lottery ticket and I’ll drop my job faster than you shake a stick at it. It’s one of those surprising things about myself that I’ve learned along the way. Kind of like how I don’t totally hate the Ocean State. How I don’t totally want to vomit at the idea of living in suburbia for the rest of my life. These have all been pleasant revelations of adulthood.
When I grow up I want to be a stay at home mom. I hope the ladies of the future can be confident enough to say that. To say, yes I am capable of achieving greatness in the boardroom or the operating room but would rather spend my days cultivating the next generation in the playroom.