I have been a SAHM for 6 years now. I actually enjoy being at home with kids and quite frankly, i think it is easier than being a FTWM (don't throw eggs at me). It is not like i am threading on roses everyday. In fact, i am rather a snappy, temper raging, annoyed and shouting mother. I have been labelled by my husband as an angsty mother AND wife. -_-While i know it was said in a jest but i guess there is relative truth in it. I ain't the most patient and sweet talking of moms, probably right down at the bottom of the scale.
Still, i enjoy motherhood. I enjoy being at home and i must honestly say, it isn't as hectic as most SAHMs' lives and i get to enjoy many breathers in between. I think i am really bless because i get two quiet times a day and during one of them, i get to enjoy a nice afternoon nap like daily. I don't think i can get that if i were a working mom.
My fellow SAHM friend said i make being SAHM look easy. She said she is up to her neck despite having a helper. I have another friend who has a set of elders AND a helper but she still says she can't cope with her two kids. I don't have a helper, yet i don't quite find my life as hectic as chaotic as breathless as them. They don't understand how i manage, and like wise, i can't comprehend why they still can't cope with so many help.
After some not-so-in-depth thought, i think perhaps it boils down to our priorities as a SAHM.
I was comparing notes with my friend and it seems she cannot tolerate messy and untidy house. Chores must be done, none must be delayed. For me, chores are secondary. I don't stress myself with housework. I do the minimal. I do what i can. I don't do housework when the kids are sleeping or away at school. I only do it when they are awake. The rationale? I want my quiet time. I take that chance to earn my sanity back. When they rest, i rest. I refuse to lift a finger to do any chores during this time. So, the laundry is mounting, the dining table barely has space for us to eat, the floor/cabinet/'windows are dusty, a sink full of unwashed dishes- i don't care. I allow myself physical, mental and emotional break. I think by not stressing myself over housework lift alot off my shoulders. I see my 'working hours' as during the time when the kids are awake and at home. My 'off hours' are when they are napping. Chores are a no-no during this time.
I am very clear that my role as a SAHM is to be involve in their learning. That is paramount to me. So everything else comes in second. To me, as long as i clock in homeschooling time- i have accomplished my purpose as SAHM. Who cares if the floor is littered with toys, hair and dust.
Neither do i drown myself with daily activities a day like grocery shopping, cooking two meals as day etc. I take 'short cuts' whenever i can. Grocery is done only once a week, i buy a week's supply so that i save myself from daily trips to the market. I cook one standard meals for lunch AND dinner (just re-heat the remaining portion for dinner). Even cooking, i don't trouble myself with frying multiple dishes. I aim to do just all in one dish which i merely steam over the rice cooker along with rice. Even re-heating, i just re-heat them all in the rice cooker.
Yes, i am rather slack, I know some moms would shudder & cringe at my 'short cut' ways. But i guess, to each their own. Everyone has different goals, different objectives. This is how i do it, i first identify what are important to me as a SAHM (one of which is teaching my kids) and what are not. Those that are important, i give more time & attention, those that are not, i try to take the shortest possible 'route' and cut myself some slack. Ultimately, as long as nobody dies, we are all okay!
I personally think some SAHMs are drained out because they want it all. Grocery must be done daily because they want their food fresh, meals must be cook twice a day with new dishes each meals, they want to be involve with their kids education, they want to spend minimum hours playing their kids, they want the house to be in tip top, sparkling clean condition everyday etc. I don't think these are all possible without ample help. Otherwise, something's got to give. We can't have it all. If we want it all, with little help, that the 'thing' that is going to give is us, moms.
I am very glad that my husband and i are well 'trained'. We have learnt to live with over due chores and acknowledge that a messy house is no biggy- as long as our family are in good health, we've got food on our table- we are doing absolutely fantastic!