6 Surprising things being an SAHM taught me

Stay at home moms have become a breed of their own now. So many of our parents generation were the same, just categorized as “housewives” back then. Now though, it’s a choice, it’s an option and it’s something that a lot of women end up doing for the first few years of their child’s life. With my PhD completed, I just sort of slipped into the role rather than actively do anything about it and along the way, I have come across some surprising revelations that I’d love to share here –

1. You may have help from cleaners, but you still clean. It’s like a disease. Once you realize that you’ve had a baby who’s immune system isn’t that developed yet, you’re a constant porter of disinfecting wipes, sanitizing hand gel and what not. And even after they grow a bit, it’s a habit that’s hard to shake off.

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2. Naptime is “me” time. Whoever said you should nap when the baby does was living in some other world. In the real world, this is the only free time, the only chunk of time where your senses aren’t tuned into the schizophrenic hearing of un-cried crying, unheard babbling and what not. This is your time where you catch up on Silicon Valley on Netflix or just some good old MIL-DIL bash on some TV channel. Nope, there ain’t gonna be any napping going on in here.

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3. Unfinished business. When you take care of a child at home full time, suddenly everything becomes unpredictably mysterious. Started a new book? Who’s to tell when you’ll finish it? Did you start the dishes and hear your baby wail? When was the laundry folded the last time? More things are uncertain than ever before and that’s a mark of how little time there is.

4. People assume, you just fume. What do you DO all day? You mean you can’t even go to the parlor? The questions all mean the same. They are sometimes unassuming, sometimes ignorant, but all the time constant reminders that unless you’ve done it, you don’t know what the job entails. And no matter how well you explain what goes on, no one really gets it. And with possible sleep deprivation and lower caffeine, it’s only a wonder if you’re still walking and talking. Total Mombie!

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5. Your performance evaluator is your pediatrician. This is a strange one to understand. But because you are the primary caregiver for your child, every pediatrician’s visit becomes like an evaluation for you. Your parenting, your care, your food, everything. And you take pride in milestone accomplishments, percentiles and what not and find other things you have to improve upon. And anything he hasn’t done soon enough – delayed weaning, potty training etc. is a poor reflection of you. Strange but true.

6. You strive for a new perfection. Your visions of being an SAHM might’ve been colored by various advertisements when you must have envisioned craft-filled days, content kids, Colgate-smiling you, but sometimes the reality is far off. But that doesn’t make it any less perfect. Slobby wet toddler kisses, the smell of baby cream, the fact that you got dinner ready AND got you kid to nap to have enough time to dunk those biscuits in your chai already mean that the day is perfect!

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