I love being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). I really do. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely have my struggles with it and it presents its own unique stresses and issues. But, when it comes down to the nitty gritty, it really does float my boat. However, this post isn’t about the joys of being a SAHM. It’s about the tongue-in-cheek woes of being a SAHM with a work-from-home-husband (WFHH).
For our readers who made it this far and are shaking their heads thinking, “What could possibly be that bad about both parents being in the house with their kids everyday?” – please, hear me out. There are many, MANY advantages to having my husband work from home. For instance, there’s always someone else around in a true case of an emergency. He can run errands or lend a hand in between meetings and conference calls. Sometimes, he even makes me lunch. Sometimes.
But more often than not, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. The following are the real life woes of a SAHM with a WFHH:
He’s not really here.
My husband set up an office in the basement. Even though he’s here all day, every day, the kids and I are supposed to act like he’s not here. I’m going to be honest, it took me a long time to fully grasp the importance of this. So, you can only imagine how difficult it is for our kids to follow this rule. A few years ago, when we had a 2-year-old and a new baby, I ran down those basement stairs more than I care to admit.
“Please hold the baby while I pee!”
“Please let the toddler sit down here with you while I try to get the baby to sleep.”
“There’s a poo-tastrophy upstairs. Come help me!”
While my husband did his best to help out in those situations, and I’m sure his colleagues got a chuckle out of my pleas when he was conducting conference calls on speaker phone, unbeknownst to me, it was (and still is) hard not to run downstairs during stressful situations.
And you bet, the second I walk into the bathroom or turn my back to wash a dish or make a snack, the kids shoot down those steps like lightening bolts and cling to their daddy.
He’s always here.
On the other hand, he really is here. All. The. Time.
Any SAHM will tell you that there are approximately three (separate) minutes throughout the day during which she actually gets to sit down for a breather in between cleaning and cooking and wrangling and diaper changing and butt wiping and chasing after kids. And wouldn’t you know, my husband comes upstairs during all three of those minutes in our house. Every. Single. Day. He never says it, but I swear, to him, it must look like all I do is sit on the couch.
He has conference calls all day long.
My husband’s job involves multiple conference calls throughout the day. These calls always take place when my kids decide to have blood-curdling screaming battles or when I start running the vacuum. It never fails. So, whether I’m in the comfort of our own home or in public, I’m always paranoid that the kids are going to have a meltdown in front of an audience. We don’t ever truly have a place to “let it all hang out” – so to speak.
He’s a local celebrity.
Every time he comes upstairs to use the bathroom or grab a snack, our children tackle him like they’ve spotted a celebrity. He can’t sneak past them. He’s tried. Our kids can’t hear me when I’m talking to them an inch away, but they can hear that basement door creeping open a mile away. I honestly think the poor guy holds out as long as he can to avoid the tackle and answering the question “Are you done working yet, Daddy?” a million times a day.
He has a 5 second commute.
At the end of the day, most SAHMs are counting down the minutes until “Daddy-O-Clock” so they can hand over the kids as soon as their partner walks through the door and decompress for a bit. Since my husband works from home, he doesn’t get that commute time to decompress from a long day’s work himself. His commute is literally the five seconds it takes him to walk up the stairs, right into our beautiful little house of chaos.
So, the bottom line is, whether you work outside of the home, are a SAHM, or both you and your partner work outside or inside the home, there are always benefits and there are always stresses. Judge not, fellow mamas. It’s all chaos, one way or the other. But in the end, isn’t that what makes our world go ’round?