Role Reversal–How Green Is It on the Other Side?

This is a two-part posting to our blog, wherein Yin Mama and Yang Mommy dream about trading their Jimmy Choos—until the other shoe drops!

YIN:

I never get a moment to myself. I’m either at work having to talk to others or I’m at home with my family. I keep saying that I’m going to get a hotel room by myself one night but so far I haven’t.

So I keep daydreaming about how much free time I’d have if I were a stay at home mom (SAHM). And here’s what I’d do:

Take naps!: When my daughter is taking her afternoon nap I’d recharge myself and take one too.

Do laundry: I never get a chance to do my own laundry. My husband does his own and when I do have time I do my daughter’s. So I’d wash my laundry and never run out of underwear again.

Cook more and experiment in my cooking: Right now I get off work, pick up my daughter from daycare and come home and cook dinner. Kind if. It’s hardly ever what I’d call a well rounded meal but most days I prepare a meal or my husband grills something for us. If I were a SAHM I could really get back into cooking and experiment a little more.

Join a Mommy/Baby Group: Honestly this one doesn’t sound like a ton of fun but I’d do it so I could meet more women with children the general age of my own.

Relax: My job entails working a lot with the public and sometimes it can be stressful. Even though being with my daughter can be stressful it’s no where near like dealing with an irate person who didn’t get what they want.

Take my hobbies back up: I realized today I haven’t sewn anything since I got pregnant because I took my sewing machine down to set up a baby room. So I’d make an effort to start sewing, finish that latch hook that I started for my daughter’s room and a few other things I’ve put aside.

That’s my idea of what it would be like to not have to work outside the home. So all you SAHM’s savor what you have and enjoy la dolce vita ; )

YANG:

Boy, I had to laugh when I read Yin’s visions of what life as a SAHM would be! After I had a good, hearty chuckle, it occurred to me that long ago, I had different ideas about what staying at home with a child would be like, so I really can’t blame Yin for her fantasies.   But let’s take off those rosey-colored glasses and face the hard facts.

Take naps when the baby naps: Hardly! Those are the times when I get the laundry done, or clean the house, or better still, work. Just try to meet a work deadline with a wee one tugging your hand off the keyboard to get her a snack/ a drink/have a nose wiped/flash that enchanting smile so you’ll play with her. No, no, nap time is for work, not sleeping.

Laundry: See above.

Cooking more/Experimenting with food: Ah, a genie would say “your wish is my command!” Because by default, a lot of SAHP do cook more. They’re home, they have little mouths to feed around the clock. Yes, I’m totally in love with my new non-stick Ramsay skillet, but more often than not, the inner Julia doesn’t show up until the weekend when my husband can play at length with our daughter and I’m not so already exhausted from my own work day.

Join Mommy groups: I have to say, I absolutely love the fact that I can go to mom-centered activities during the day and not have to wait until after 5P or the weekends. That is one freedom of being a SAHM that I take advantage of whenever I can. Plus I’ve made some excellent friends in the process.

Relaxing: If I’m really, really lucky I get to relax when my girl naps, but see above. Toddlers aren’t the most cooperative beings on the planet (“wait until she’s a teen,” my dark side mutters). Otherwise, relaxing at any decent length of time comes after she’s in bed. A glass of cab and I’m a happy Yang.

Hobbies: Well, what parent of a young child(ren)  really has time for hobbies? I got a great sewing machine for Christmas and have yet had time to  even read the manual (a strict rule I’m adhering to lest I break the machine on my first go. Not to  mention it rather intimidates me, too). Some of my hobbies I can follow through on though, like this blog or taking nature walks, wherein my girl comes along with me. But again, finding quality time for  hobbies is like making a patchwork quilt–it’s in segments.

As a SAHM, who also works from home, I’m not only my daughter’s #1 playmate, but also her cook, maid, nurse and general all-around cheerleader. And when one of us, or worse yet both of us, are sick, the work only gets harder.We’re blessed to be able to do this and I wouldn’t change our situation overly much. But I too would like some relaxation time–like an hour’s long bubble bath and a good book to stick my nose in. The caveat being not to have to then cook dinner/clean up toys/wash the dishes afterwards, etc. So next time I get a few precious minutes, I’m going to dream about going back to work in an office and having adult conversations…getting real vacation days…heck, getting paid for what I do…ahhhh…..

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tracy on October 9, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Oh this is a great post! As a working/SAHM I don’t get the best of either world. I never get to escape, or go to playgroups AND I work. But aside from that, the best part about staying at home is being able to work at my convenience and spend time with my daughter. I was walking around Michael’s thinking “there are so many potential hobbies, who has time for those?” But the reality is, infancy and toddlerhood is such a short period overall (though some days seem like forever) and once the little people are more independent, we will miss those days. That is the time to indulge in our hobbies and our former lives. For now, I love spending time with my 2 year old when she comes home from daycare and my littlest who is now already 4 months old, and i’ll put aside my cooking and karaoke until they are independent or can join me 🙂

    Reply

    • Posted by yangmommy on October 9, 2009 at 11:50 pm

      Excellent outlook on motherhood, esp for a mom who both works and works at home w/ a little one around!

      Reply

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