This Is The Hardest Part About Being A SAHM (That I Never Expected)
A creative mind needs some structure. A creative mind needs opportunities for outlet. A creative mind needs…well, I don’t know what because for me, right now, my mind is exploding.
Since becoming a stay-at-home mom, my mind never turns off. It’s borderline exhausting.
I should open an Etsy shop.
I should blog. I should blog about mom things. No, minimalism. No, decor.
No, mom things. No, my life. No, minimalism.
Affiliate marketing sounds cool, let’s try that.
Let’s see what YouTube is all about. Maybe we need a YouTube channel.
I should open a business. A retail business. Maybe a service.
Just kidding I should just go back to school and work on my CPA. That’s the safe route.
Never mind, I want us to be debt-free and school is expensive. I’ll become an Enrolled Agent, that’s cheaper.
Maybe the kids need Montessori school. Waldorf school? Preschool? Seems expensive. Should I start homeschooling?
Forget it, let’s be in debt forever, I want to go to school for cooking.
No, cosmetology. No wait, photography. Then I can open a cafe where you can eat and get your hair cut while your kids have photos taken. Bet there is a market for that.
Let’s buy a business.
Oh, Target is hiring.
If I can make an extra $600 per week we can be debt-free like two years sooner! This lady on IG told me I can be my own boss, I just need this $200 startup kit and $50 worth of stuff I don’t really need every month but it sounds legit…
I could go on and on and on. I have this many thoughts run through my head before I finish my first cup of cold coffee.
To be honest, this is a side effect of staying at home that I never could have expected. I attribute it partially to the common feeling of…I want to say uselessness but that seems a bit harsh, but it’s something like that. I am no longer contributing to society. My resume is going stale. I apply to jobs only to be overwhelmed with anxiety at the thought of returning to the workforce and trying to keep up with my kids in between.
Then, I look for alternatives to contribute financially or to remain relevant in my field.
The other part I attribute to having what I have found to be called a “hyper-creative” mind.
According to Zen Copy, here are some Hyper-Creative Traits:
1. You get high on new ideas and you have lots of them.
2. You get impatient and bored with carrying through on details.
3. It’s hard to carry a project through to completion.
4. You start a new project with gusto but a few days into it you hate it.
5. You have strong gut feelings about your ideas.
I didn’t have this problem when I had a job. I had something to focus my energy on. Instead of looking for brand new things I would look for ways to improve in what I was doing. Ways to grow and climb the corporate ladder.
Either way, I have always been striving to be more and more and more.
How being a SAHM has changed that:
In short, there has been no climbing of the ladder. In fact, every time I feel that I am up a rung, motherhood comes in with a strong breeze and knocks the whole ladder down completely.
I search for ways to be better in the home. To be a better mom and homemaker. To be a better wife. And when those things don’t instantly give me some kind of results, I am stumped and give it all up completely.
There are no performance reviews as a SAHM. Okay, there is an occasional dinner plate thrown on the floor in disapproval or the “woah, the house looks great today!” and, even more rarely, the “you look beautiful, did you put makeup on today!?”
But I’m not earning any promotion or pay raise anytime soon.
As someone who has been working since the age of 14, I find it to be way more challenging than I could have ever imagined to not work.
I remember people telling me, in the early stages of staying at home, that they could never stay home with their kids. And I thought, who in the world wouldn’t want to be at home with their babies all day!? You don’t even have to put real pants on!
Fast forward a few years in and I would be very happy to have a reason to put some real pants on. Maybe then I could justify buying some new ones instead of squeezing into pre-pregnancy ones that are begging me to give up.
I can’t say it hasn’t been hard to see my former classmates and coworkers go on to have successful careers and flourish in their fields. I am so happy for them but I can’t help but wonder where I could have gone if I had established my career prior to having kids. My professional career was just beginning. I was working for a top accounting firm with a successful education to back it up.
Today I fought with a one-year-old because she wants to drink from the big-girl cup and she can’t yet.
Yes, I am blessed to be able to be home with my babies. Yes, I am beyond thankful to my husband who toils away to make this possible. No, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
This post isn’t meant to be whining and ranting and “poor me, I have to wear yoga pants all day and fix snacks.” This is more about being honest with myself. Recognizing the negative thoughts that are taking up space in my mind and standing in the way of me living up to my potential in this new role.
I am not useless. I am raising the future. I am responsible for giving our children a foundation to be successful and happy humans. It is a massive responsibility to help shape and actual human. One that I’m not sure my years of accounting and retail training have prepared me for, but I am left with no choice.
Whether you work or not, motherhood is no simple task. And that is the biggest understatement of the year. This beautiful challenge makes us recognize things we never knew about ourselves. It creates thoughts and emotions we’ve never experienced before.
I never in my life thought I would lay in bed dreaming up ways to work. Hoping to find a job that could drag me out of the house on a Saturday morning for some me time and minimum wage.
I’m sure I will return to the workforce someday. Maybe it will be soon, maybe it won’t be until my kids are grown and out of the house. Until then, I will just have to accept my hyper-creative mind and all of its
crazy new plots. I’ll have to accept not earning a regular paycheck for now and recognize that those energies that once drove my career need a different focus.
It has not been easy. It won’t be easy. This is one of those many instances where I just need to allow myself a little bit of grace and remind myself that it will all be so worth it.
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