I am not SAHM Material.

Today I went back to work after a lot of unexpected time off.  After the stomach bug that hit us last week, I worked Wednesday and a snowstorm hit that night.  Thursday my office was closed, Friday daycare was closed due to the weather, and yesterday daycare was already scheduled closed due to President’s Day.  So I was home for 5 days…and you know what I learned from it?
I am not SAHM material.

I know, I know….it’s supposed to be the dream to be able to be a stay at home mom.  There are people that will disagree with me, but it’s been kind of glorified as of late.  A lot of moms I know would love to stay at home with their kids.  They would love to be able to be with them 24/7.  This may make me sound like a bad mom…but I don’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my daughter more than anything.  She’s an amazing little girl and I love that when I look at her I see both me and Chris.  She’s sweet and funny and (in my biased opinion) beautiful…but sometimes, she’s just a pain in the butt.  She throws tantrums.  She refuses to nap.  She gets into the pantry for the millionth time and brings me random things she wants (usually her animal crackers).  You know what I was thinking most of the day yesterday?  That I wanted to go to work.

I wanted to get in the office and tackle the to-do list I knew was waiting for me.  I wanted time without screaming and crying to think.  I wanted to eat my lunch at lunchtime, not whenever Abbie decided to give me a break.  I missed my coworkers, I missed the news of what was going on in the office.  I missed my drive to work, my morning coffee, and my to-do lists.  I missed work while I was home with my baby.

Before I had kids, I used to think I’d want to stay home.  I thought that was the dream – it’s so glorified nowadays as the most important thing you can do for your kids.  I think in the race to always be the best we can be, SAHMs and working moms have created a battleground about which is better.  On this side of the fence, it seems that SAHMs are often seen as more valuable…but isn’t a happy mom the most valuable?


Isn’t it more important that I’m genuinely excited to spend time with Abbie when I get home from work than it would be to be home with her and not putting my 100% into our time together?  Isn’t it more important that she sees a mom that’s happy and fulfilled at the end of the day?  When I come home from work, I always feel I’ve accomplished something at the end of the day.  When I have a day off, I often wonder where the day went (since I’ve spent it chasing Abbie around versus accomplishing things).  I thrive off completing tasks and adult interaction.  I work hard to be my best self each day, both at work and at home.  If I was a stay at home mom, I don’t know if I’d have the same drive.  I don’t know if I’d be my best self, my best mother, and my best wife.
Making mischief with her pal Justin at our playdate yesterday

If we won the lottery tomorrow?  I know I’d still work in some capacity.  I’d still need that sense of accomplishment that’s mine and mine alone.  One that’s tied to only myself and not my family.  People say you can’t have it all, and have been saying that for ages.  I disagree – I think you CAN have it all, but ALL is different for everyone.  You have to define what “all” means to you.  My all includes working, a family, and time for myself.  Yours might include staying home with your kids.  Someone else’s may not include kids but may include a houseful of pets.

And you know what?  THAT’S OK.  It’s okay that we have different ideas on what our all is.  It’s okay that we need different things out of parenthood, and that we have limitations.  It’s all okay.
This was yesterday’s meltdown…also seen on instagram.  No clue what she was upset about!


About Jess

About Jess

Jess Beer is a full-time working mom of two girls who writes about motherhood, wellness, easy meals and style.

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22 Responses

  1. So my opinion sans kids: I like working. I changed jobs when we were back in NC and continued that same job in GA, so I stopped working full time and started to work from home and travel. I get so bored being at home all the time. It’s nice to have some place to go and to make money while being there. I realize that with Mac being in the Army, I might wind up staying at home with any children we may have, but we can cross that bridge when we get to it.

  2. Well, I’d go crazy if we were stuck inside in bad weather for days on end too…. 🙂 But we go out and do things (and lots of free things!) pretty much every day. It’s rare when we are home for a full day. M and I both go stir-crazy quickly.
    I’m a SAHM and a (part-time) WAHM, so I don’t really fit in with strictly SAHM or Work-Away from Home Moms. I just do my thing and ignore blog posts, facebook statuses, twitter comments, articles, etc. that try to encourage mommy wars. I’m doing my thing, I’m happy about it, it’s what is best for my family and I don’t really give a hoot what anyone else thinks about it and I don’t need to defend my choice to anyone. I do wish everyone had a CHOICE (including dads), but that’s a different debate…
    Do what works for your family!

  3. I love the honesty of this post! I often get criticized at work for wanting to be a SAHM; they think I am crazy. Working is just what is best for our family right now, so I keep plugging away. There is so much criticism from both sides. I agree with Storiesfrommatx…no one should have to defend their choices to anyone.

    Also, hope you guys are feeling better. These colds and bugs need to stay away!


  4. This is amazing! I would love nothing more than to be a SAHM, but I know without a shadow of a doubt I would need to have either a part time job, a club, a group or SOMETHING to get me out of the house and give me “me time.” I definitely don’t think there is a right or a wrong in terms of staying home or working and I agree 100% that a happy mom is the absolute most important! AND, as much as I daydream about being a SAHM, I don’t know how mamas do it!!!!

  5. As a SAHM I love this post! I think the most important thing is what works for you and your family. We are all doing the best we can and knowing what’s best for us as moms is important too. I agree with one of the other comments about being stuck in the house — that is the WORST! We stay home on occasion but we have to leave every day to do something (playdates, gym time for mom, errands, etc). It would be different if you were always home because you’d have a different network and routine — so some of those feeling stuck or not getting things done feelings would be different. But like you said – you have to do what’s best for you!

  6. I have done both. I was a stay at home for a little over a year & a working mom work equal time. They are both hard but for different reasons. Being a SAHM was mentally draining & being a working mom with weird hours was physically draining. In the end I wish I could have stayed home but it is a lot of work. I thank god for the Kid’s Sports down the street from my house.

  7. Great perspective! I often wish I could be home but there are lots of fulfilling things about work, too.

  8. AMAZINGLY SAID!!!! I feel the same way – After four days off (STUPID STUPID SNOW!) — I was so beyond ready to go back to work. And that’s okay!!!

  9. Haha, true, and we could’ve gone out, but since I’m not home normally I didn’t have anything plan. I agree though – it’s best to just ignore the comments and do what works for you.

  10. I don’t think we should ever criticize each other. Whenever I meet someone with a different viewpoint, I try to understand their situation – they’re all so different.

    And we’re all feeling much better!

  11. I’m sure you’re right – things would be different if I was prepared to be home. I’m sure it seemed worse since it was unexpected, but I did learn from it that I need to be at work.

  12. It’s great that you got to experience both! If only we could choose based on what we wanted, rather than just our financial situation (as some families have to).

  13. I know, it’s so crazy to me! If I want to work and my baby is happy, what does it matter? We all get caught up in being the best sometimes and forget that “best” is different for everyone.

  14. Kudos to you for sharing your thoughts on this subject. So many people are like “being a SAHM is the best thing in the entire universe,” and you know what? It’s sometimes really not all that. Being a SAHM is tough and there are SO many days when I long to have a real job outside the home where I can have lunch on my own and have friends (coworkers) to talk to each and every day. I’m still not so sure I’m cut out to be a SAHM, but I’ve been with her every single day for almost a year that I don’t know how I’d manage without her (exaggerating a little bit…I’d do just fine). This comment is getting long, but I really liked this post!

  15. I’ve been a SAHM for almost 8 years now and this is so so true. Being a mom is hard work and some days my kids don’t see the best of me. I feel like if I worked, I wouldn’t be so overwhelmed with the kids when I got home. I would try to be the best of me and make the most of my time with them. Great post!

I’m Jess! I’m a working mama of two sweet sisters living in the DC area. This is my space to share inspiration, real stories of working motherhood, recipes, style, and more! I can’t start my day without coffee and always try to show the real side of motherhood – the good and the challenging. I’m so glad you’re here – thanks for following along on my journey!

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