At 34 I fell hard on motherhood. I wanted all in. I wanted to do all the things I believed defined a "good mom." One who doted on her kids, was available for a hug and ready to give a personal affirmation at any given moment. One who would make three meals a day and keep a tidy house. One who would be a cheerleader to and an advocate for the kids.
This felt like a complete contrast from the world I grew up in. I was a child of the 80’s and our house was complete chaos. Think of the ABC sit-com The Goldberg’s, but Catholic, with an intense career-driven mom, who was far less attentive to her children’s needs.
In our house, we were treated like mini adults. And because of a carefully honed skill of my mom coined as ‘benign neglect’, we became self-sufficient at a young age. You can see here the stark contrast between Beverly Goldberg and Noel Anderson.
So now that it was my turn to be a mom, I vowed to do it differently. I wanted to be a Beverly Goldberg kind of mom. And when the opportunity arose for me to leave the corporate world and stay home, I jumped ship.
I admit, in the beginning, I was lost as a stay at home mom.
I had never known myself not working. I worked from the moment I could, paying for college, buying my own house, paying for our wedding. Not working was never on my radar. After all, I had been raised by a mom who loathed domesticity and all the accompanied traditional mothering.
Out of the Corporate World into the Mom World.
I found out quickly that being a SAHM mom entails much more than I ever learned in college or my professional life. At any given moment of the day, and often time simultaneously to one another, I would cover all aspects of the my corporate life. And all of this would be done without earning a penny.
Yet there is this perception that stay at home moms don't do that much — that we have all this time everyday. That's what prompts the most hated five words a SAHM hears.
What did you do today?
Most times, I feel like stay at home moms are caught off guard by this question. That's why — far too often — we respond, "Not much." But that's not true at all.
Here are just some of the job functions a SAHM mom covers in a day:
- Legal - review all documents and handle all negotiations, including advance directives, wills and trusts, but also including medical, educational, financial, etc.
- Social Work - identify and advocate the social, health, and learning needs of my children and coordinate with a variety of providers to fulfill requirements.
- Finance - manage income and expenses including, daily bookkeeping, budgeting, and forecasting.
- Logistics - coordinate schedules and transportation both immediate and future. Develop networks of carpools to get kids where they need to be.
- Facilities & Procurement - maintain building and grounds, including interior goods, negotiate contracts as needed, purchase all household goods and services, negotiate and contract everything from babysitters to toilet paper, provide meals 3x365, and more.
- Marketing - responsible for all individual and family communications, events, and press releases.
- IT - provide all technology hardware and networking, including maintenance and repairs.
- Executive - provide for spiritual and emotional development and wellness of each individual family member and unit as a whole.
There is no job description or salary that covers everything done by the most important position on earth, Mom. That's why, when someone asks me, 'What did you do today?' I scratch my head and think, "If you only knew."
And when I need help with the logistics portion of my job, I carpool. Sign up here to be the first to get the Who's Driving app.