The day-to-day life of a SAHM is one of noise and chaos and overstimulation to the hilt. You can try to have a routine, a schedule, a way to reign in the inevitable catastrophe, but more often than not the pandemonium becomes the norm, and it’s all you can do to keep yourself calm enough so you refrain from ripping your ears right off of your head and hurling them into traffic.
My life is the epitome of this anarchy, and I’ve learned the secret to maintaining my sanity.
It is capturing the moments of zen.
A minute, a few seconds even, where everything is in harmony and you don’t feel the insatiable urge to pull a Thelma and Louise. When you’re a SAHM, you’ve gotta look for these moments, search for them high and low, and seize them or else you’re doomed. Here are a few to get you started on your quest:
1. When the dishwasher’s running and you walk by it and it’s just loud enough to drown out your kid’s screeching.
2. When your kids are too caught up in their stupid TV show that you actually get to pee without an audience or the offer of wiping assistance.
3. When you kick your kids out of their room under the guise that you’re pissed off because it’s such a mess, but really, you know that they’ll stay away from you as long as you’re cleaning up their toys and you can ease your OCD-induced anxiety by straightening things up.
4. When you’re at the park and no one is clamoring for your attention and you can just sit on a bench and breathe before your son launches himself off the swings.
5. When your child masters something they’ve been struggling with for days and the joy and pride in their eyes stops time for just a second before all hell breaks loose again.
6. When you’re at the store and tear open a bag of cookies and your kids are finally quiet for three seconds so you can congratulate yourself on finding the shopping list in your purse when you thought you left it at home.
7. When you hand your kid a new toy (or one you hid a long time ago for just this moment), and they get so excited that they forget their number one job is to drive you batshit crazy.
8. When you walk into the bathroom after a kid has used it and discover that all the pee actually went into the toilet and not the wall or the floor or the towels or…
9. When your kids go to sleep. The house is so silent and still, and you find yourself just staring at a wall and the moment is so euphoric you could cry.
10. When everyone’s curled up on the couch watching a movie together—not bickering, not screaming—and you realize that maybe this motherhood gig isn’t too bad.
You may only have one moment every day, but dammit, it’s yours to cling to and cherish and relish in until it fades. These moments are short, but they are precious—much like your kids.