When people ask me what I do right now, my answer is just simple and short – I STAY AT HOME with the kids, period! So yes I’m a SAHM (Stay at home mom) and honestly, never in my whole life I imagined that I would become one. Oh I could hear the 10-year younger version of me yelling “I studied for 16 long years, graduated with honors and definitely changing a baby diaper is not the job for me, blah blah and blah!!! Fast forward, it’s Friday, and I’m in our house tutoring Louise with her assignment while breastfeeding Martina. Am I sad? Hell no! Am I feeling sorry for myself? Nope, not one bit!
Honestly, there’s only one part of me that isn’t happy for being a SAHM, and that’s my pocket. And that is why I’m working part-time right now, working my ass off to experience again the feeling of earning my own money. So yes, apart from being a SAHM, I’m also a WAHM (Work at home mom). Does this mean my life’s perfect now because I’m with my kids while working? I’m a big fat liar if I would answer yes and here’s why:
- Being a SAHM/WAHM is exhausting
Going back to the years when I was still a corporate slave, I got to enjoy breaks and take a nap and even dine out after work. Right now, yes I can find time to lie down but taking a nap is as hard as hitting a 100% perfomance-based bonus! Why? Go on reading…
- I’m busier than ever
You think I can sleep early with kids and wake up anytime I want? How I wish! I couldn’t even remember the last time I’ve slept for 8 hours. You see, I stay up ’til midnight my friends, wake up after 2 hours for Martina and once my alarm rings at 5am, there’s no turning back. No matter how still sleepy I am, I have to stand up and start my routine as listed below:
5AM = Breastfeed my baby, give milk to Louise, cook breakfast and allot 10 minutes to bathe myself.
7AM = Working my ass off upstairs to finish deadlines and hoping Martina won’t cry for milk before my first 2-hour shift will end.
9AM = Bathe Louise and prepare her for school, watch Youtube with her (can’t find any way to convince her drink milk!) and all these while Martina is either watching us in delight or crying just because she can’t wait any longer for mommy’s milk. Wait, did I mention I still need to bathe Martina and clean the house?
10AM-12Noon = Even with Martina beside me, I still consider these hours as my “ME Time”. While breastfeeding, I check Facebook, eat snacks, watch Brother Bo’s Full Tank and by 10:30, I should be ready to work again – this is either blogging, checking our blog stats or working for a sideline job that I accept once in a while. Okay, so let’s be clear here, for 2 hours without Louise, only 30 minutes is allotted for “Me Time”.
12 Noon = Louise is back from school, it’s noisy at home again and oh well, back to taking care of her and breastfeed again my baby. Before I know it, it’s already time for another work.
1PM – 4PM = Supposedly working for 2 hours but most of the time, I need to pause my tracker by 3PM for another breastfeeding session and have snacks and then work again until I reach 2-2.5 hours.
4Pm = I am very very tired, lying down already while breastfeeding and really really hoping that I could take a nap… I’m already closing my eyes but wait, our TV’s on, my ears are like my eyes watching Teleserye. Oh and then Louise is talking to Mommy, either telling me something about school or her activities while I’m working. That is if she’s in good mood but if not, she’s crying by this time, forcing me to give her my phone.
5PM = Whether I’m feeling tired or not, I need to do the laundry. If it’s not my schedule, I’m in front of the laptop again for blogging or for sideline job. If I was already productive in the morning, I allot this time for some play and snuggles with my girls.
6PM = Fred’s home, eat dinner then if baby’s not crying, I wash the dishes while Fred’s having his quick but fun time with the girls before his part-time job starts at 7PM. Louise then bonds with mommy while having our night time half bath.
7PM = Work again. By this time though, while I try to hit my own deadline for our blog or a target from my sideline job, I take quick breaks once in a while to play with my girls, watch TV and prepare Martina for sleep (but she won’t sleep yet).
11PM = Tummy’s growling for a snack, drink Milo and brush teeth with my ‘feeling adult’ Louise, all these while Martina is crying because she seems eager to join us.
11:30PM = OK girls, time for bed (oh Hannah, they should be in bed by 8PM!!!). Fred should be joining us by this time and pray together as a family. If he’s not because he’s either busy making reports or having his own “ME Time”, the three of us go to sleep without him.
12 Midnight!!!! = Oh Please! I could already hear the roosters’ crow and usually by this time, I’m still awake! Fred, time to drop that phone and go to sleep!!!!
Time runs very fast and it’s 5AM again…
In case you’re wondering who’s cooking for lunch and dinner, I thank God we’re living with my mother-in-law. She also looks after the girls while I’m working upstairs.
- The phrase “I AM MY OWN BOSS” is a MYTH
As you can see from my schedule above, I have different bosses – 2 bosses from work and my 2 sweet and lovely girls for whom I am on call for 24/7. There’s no such thing as “Later my girls, let mommy sleep for at least 1 hour and then call me when you’re hungry or your butts need cleaning”. When you’re a mother at home, there are just no excuses, as simple as that.
- Usually trap in ‘Angry Mom’ mode
Relax friends, of course I’m not a bad mom but here’s a situation I deal with almost every day:
I’m busy doing work or house chores, glad that Martina’s sleeping and then the ‘Ate’ who’s very active (no matter what, I still thank God she’s very active) starts shouting and then booom, startles my poor baby. And then before I know it, I’m back again on the bed, feeding Martina who’s still scared and crying. The angry mother then would start scolding Louise, telling her things that either would scare her or cause her to start having her daily tantrum.
Before, when I was out for work for almost 10 hours, time at home is very precious where I just spent my hours bonding with Louise instead of being grumpy. However, life of being a SAHM/WAHM, especially with 2 kids, is more challenging and it’s harder now to pull myself together whenever things go wrong. I can’t just walk away and be back when everything’s okay.
- Less time for husband
With all the things I share above, honestly, there’s very little time left for Fred. He arrives home at 6PM and the only time left for us for some bonding is… zero during weekdays, Nada! Pretty the same when I was still working actually.
So do you think being a SAHM/WAHM is easy? The answer is a big NO, the struggle is indeed REAL my friends. It’s more tiring and realistically, time with kids is still limited. But at the end of the day, what matter most are the happiness and confidence that my daughters are feeling knowing that mommy is with them at home (even though busy) and the snore I hear from my husband who’s sleeping soundly because he has less problems in life (haha! Sorry Fred, I know you’re tired too).
Being a SAHM and/or WAHM is not for all mothers. The question “Can you afford it?” matters very much. Unless husband’s income can compensate your family’s lifestyle or you can still make money and be a WAHM (work online or run business while you have help from family or Yaya at home), then go for it.