I Do Not Do Anything

Posted 08-13-2012 at 12:03 PM by HollyRay

I’m a stay at home mom, it’s partly by choice, but there is no way I could afford to work outside of the home. My husband’s job has very little stability, his shifts are constantly changing, he deploys for months on end, and we really can’t afford child care unless I got a high paying job, something not easy to find when your resume is a plethora of performance art. We decided it’s best that I stay home.

My husband feels I work hard, I do everything around the house, and I try my best to make some money here and there too, but at the end of the day I look at my life and realize I don’t do anything. A few work out of the home moms have pointed out they do everything I do AND bring home a paycheck, they accomplish something everyday, I merely do the laundry, dishes, and take care of the children. Even if I don’t watch tv all day I suppose I have that option, and that option means that I live a cushy life. I understand where these moms are coming from, I should be thankful I am home all day, after all they have to be to work at a certain time, they have to juggle career, husband, children, and personal lives, and yes I think those women who take that challenge have a very different and often times very hard situation that differs greatly from my own. I think those women do a lot, in comparison I do nothing, as so many of them have pointed out.

What is a SAHM to do? Right now I guess I will have to settle to not accomplishing anything, if motherhood is a trial and a blessing, and I do it every day, all day, why do I do nothing? What am I doing so wrong that the women who are supposed to be supporting me tell me how worthless I am?

On the flip side I’m not saying that all WOHM mom’s are like this, and that all SAHM are angels, because I know that SAHM sometimes attack the WOHM. After all those women must not love their children, they must care more about themselves. Never mind that every person and every situation is different, sides must be taken and we must tear each other down for the good of….hmmm…I have no idea what would be the good.

I am a stay at home mom, I cook, clean, and raise the children. I garden, sew, teach, make soap, spin, crochet, and a number of other things. Many moms will (and have) point out that they hold down a job and do these things as well, everything I do they view as down time or hobbies that they would enjoy doing if they had the time. Someday’s I struggle to make the time but I do those hobbies so that we need less. When we don’t need clothes because I sew them I save us money, when we don’t need toiletries or laundry soap because I make them, we save money. I know this won’t change the mind of the WOHM who thinks I’m not doing anything, I don’t even think it changes my mind. I wake up in the morning and realize that today I will not make money, today I will only clean and cook and raise…..and everyone does that….so I must not do anything.

Before we pass judgement can we first look inward and realize that our judgments do no good? Every woman and every situation is different, we cannot blanket statement each other, don’t we just want each mom to be the best woman she can be? Who are we to say that WOHM’s are better or worse? Who are we to say that SAHM’s have no struggles or live nothing but a cushy life, like the housewives of orange county?

Today you told me I don’t do anything. Today I did nothing, and today you told a momma she is nothing.


Filed Under: General


25 Responses to “I Do Not Do Anything”

  1. amb2j on August 13th, 2012 1:19 pm

    I agree! Itd be great if we, as women, stopped comparing and instead started supporting. I think “contribution” and “worth” are very subjective and relative terms. If a mama is applying herself whole heartedly with the intent of improving the well being of her family, it doesnt matter if her “contribution” is in $$ or not! As mamas, we work HARD both inside and outside of the home-period! I think it does women (as a whole) a dis service to denigrate the contributions of SAHMS or WOHMs. The work women in general do is priceless (i.e., raising kids, being wives, working inside and/or outside of the home) and Id love if more wome could support each other in this :-)

  2. MrsHappyGoLucky on August 13th, 2012 1:42 pm

    I’m a WOHM mom, but not by choice. I’d give just about anything to be able to stay at home with my baby, but that’s not an option for us. Moneywise it’d be tight but possible, however our health insurance is through my work and completely unaffordable through my husband’s work. I think SAHMs work very hard and deserve a lot of credit! You go mama and don’t let the negativity get to you! You’re doing the best for your children :)

  3. omahonycm on August 13th, 2012 2:40 pm

    I can’t think of anything worth more than raising children. And I mean raising them – pouring your time, teaching, conversation, faith, values, joys, pride, into them. You are shaping the future culture. You are creating the future! What is making money? Money comes, money goes. It’s nice to have. We have to have it, but more of it just means more convenience, not more WORTH.

    And it’s not just cooking and cleaning – it’s creating a home. My mom refused to call herself a “stay at home mom” or “housewife”. She called herself a “Homemaker” and that is what she did, still does.

    Both my mom and I have college degrees and have had careers, and we both are proud to have sacrificed for our children. I am so grateful she was there, and I am so grateful to be there for my baby girl.

  4. omahonycm on August 13th, 2012 2:41 pm

    That said, I have no idea how WOHM do it. I had a part time job for a while, and that was crazy hard. Being a mom is hard, and no matter what else you do, it is important. You are doing what you can and have to do for your family. Be proud no matter what!

  5. melilo on August 13th, 2012 4:24 pm

    I definitely think it is important to look at all sides of the issue. Every woman must choose what is best for her and her situation. There’s no way mentally I could be a SAHM. I need time away from my family, and I need to accomplish things outside the home. This keeps me sane. I love my family and by working outside the home, it helps all of my family to be better off. “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

  6. thekuligs on August 13th, 2012 4:57 pm

    It’s laughable that people who have child care out of the house don’t realize that kids make more of a mess when they are home all day. I’ve been WOHM, a SAHM, and now I work at home. None of it is easy and no one gets a break–parenting is constant. Life is constant.

  7. New cloth lover on August 13th, 2012 8:26 pm

    I absolutely agree that fellow women are our hardest critics. You would think we’d build each other up, not tear each other down. I couldn’t imagine working full time out of my home and away from my children. I couldn’t parent the way I feel is necessary and keep my home functioning successfully. My mother would would say the opposite, and I would agree that being a WOHM is best for her family (she is CRAZY when she stays home). A SAHM does SO MUCH that other moms (even some SAHMs) may not see. Those that tell you SAHMs do nothing are giving you a glimpse of their mothering style, not yours. Just because they would sit on the couch, watching TV and vegging-out all day, doesn’t mean you do. More than anything, it shows their insecurities. Keep up the good work Mama! Trust me, you do PLENTY and one day your babies will thank you!

  8. Immortalc on August 13th, 2012 11:33 pm

    Interestingly, I have the opposite opinion. I have nothing but respect for SAHM. Firstly, as a family, you’ve made it financially feasible to SAH. Thats not a simple task. And secondly, being a SAHM isn’t as easy as it seems especially when you have multiple LOs.

    I work full time about 60 hours per week and both my kids are in daycare. I didn’t have to potty train my first born, my daycare person did most of it. I didn’t have to worry about juggling supervision while cleaning the house because they’re away. Whenever I do have both kids at home with me by myself I am always amazed at how other moms manage. The level of chaos that happens just baffles me when you have an infant and toddler. So, from my experience, being a working mom is tough but doesn’t seem quite so hard as others want to make it out to be.

  9. jaks on August 14th, 2012 9:43 am

    I am a working mom, and I personally do not want to be a SAHM, but I still support the right of other women to choose. There is a really great book called The Mask of Motherhood that talks about this issue among other things (how WOHM attack SAHM and visa versa). Apparently the statistics say that the less a women works out of home, the more she works at home. Meaning that whether you work full time, half time, or only at home, you spend the exact same amount of time working, just the type of work changes. For example I still cook, clean and take my kid places, but I don’t spend as much time doing so as a mom who stays home full time. Different things are right for different families and we would all be better off if we just stop judging each other.

  10. Lisa921 on August 14th, 2012 2:10 pm

    I have both worked full-time and stayed home. Both can be rewarding and difficult in different ways. When I was a WOHM I earned a paycheck and also received some external validation for a job well-done. I had a cleaning lady and grocery delivery. However, I had a salaried job that did not end at 5 pm, and constantly being on-call became too difficult to juggle along with my husband’s career. So, I chose to mostly stay home for the next few years. I WOH 1 day a week, just to keep my resume up-to-date.

    WOHMs don’t do what a SAHM does plus have a job. It’s totally different to leave the house clean in the morning and come home with it the same way. I could justify buying take-out for dinner if I didn’t feel like cooking.
    Now that I’m home, I do a lot more cleaning, tidying, etc. Plus, I work hard to keep my kids engaged in playgroups, dance classes, and other activities so we’re not just sitting home all day. Taking care of kids all day is hard work, and when WOHMs make that statement that they do everything that SAHMs do plus more, they are negating the fact that SOMEONE is watching their kids for 9-10 hours a day while they work. They are not giving enough credit to those caregivers, because caring for babies and preschoolers can be tough! So, I think that we all have to give each other a little more credit. Daycare isn’t evil and SAHMs don’t sit around eating bon bons all day long. I would really like for everyone to learn to respect and support each other instead of bad-mouthing each other all the time. Being a mom is hard enough as it is.

  11. motherofall35 on August 14th, 2012 2:28 pm

    Anyone who would criticize a fellow mom is clearly insecure about her own choices.

    There is no wrong choice, only what works for you and your family. All moms should be appreciated for all the hard work they do regardless.

  12. shouldbedoinglaundry on August 14th, 2012 4:33 pm

    I quit my job to become a stay-at-home mom and at first, it was hard not to see any results at the end of the day since I was very objective-driven in my career. I started to see things differently after awhile. There are so many values and personality characteristics I wished I would see more of in the world: patience, love, conservation, faith, care for others. Now that I have children, I am doing my best to cultivate those values in them so I will see those good things in the world. There isn’t a big paycheck at the end of the week, but there is a tacit satisfaction when I see my son pick up a piece of garbage off the sidewalk or say a prayer when he hears an ambulance go by.

  13. Xythnia on August 14th, 2012 5:24 pm

    My husband is a SaHD. He works twice as hard as I do much of the time. Cooking, cleaning, teaching, engaging, child-rearing, dealing with our nearly 5-going-on-15 year old’s volatile personality. I am so blessed to have such a caring and hard-working husband. But SOO many people have commented on HIM staying at home. When is he getting a job. Oh, he can work part-time from home too. Why, if you have a penis it suddenly doesn’t count as work if your at home with the kids??

    I was the @Home parent the first 2 years of our daughter’s life. It was incredibly rewarding. It also SUCKED a bit for me. So much work! No pay, no one thanking you for your contribution, dealing with a screaming baby alone while running off 2 hours sleep for the 5th night in a row. And feeling like your worthless because in our American society, your worth is tied to your paycheck. Period.

    Sad how disconnected we have become as a society to what is important and that what works for one family may not for another and visa versa. But I only see it getting worse as more countries become “modern”…

  14. Jessica on August 15th, 2012 1:12 am

    I think it’s those who pass judgement who have the problem. I don’t know why some people feel better about themselves by being competitive and passing judgement. I am also a SAHM and I do not do a lot of what you mention you do. Some days, with just taking care of my two kids and cleaning, cooking and taking a shower, I realize I don’t even get but like a few minutes here and there to “relax”. My husband will come home and “relax” for hours lol. So at least I know I am being productive. I just tell myself that later when the kids go off to school I can go back to school or get a job. But right now I get to be a mom and it’s great!

  15. MaMaJodiapers on August 15th, 2012 6:51 am

    Let me tell you something- there is NO way that a mom who works out of the home 40-50 hours a week does what you do. No way. I can tell you from experience as I have been a SAHM for the better part of 7 years and now am returning to work.

    My kids get a lot of stimulation from me, get their emotional needs met, the summer is jam packed with activities, etc.

    A child who is in daycare all year/ summer camps and comes home at 5pm every day is not getting the same family life. I wont say it is worse, better- i wont comment- but it is not the same’

    We dont eat out. But the other day I took my 2 year old for an ice cream after dinner- to go play at Mc Donalds. It was a tuesday night- not the weekend- and at 6pm the place was packed with little kids and their mothers. The 2,3, 4 year olds were all drinking soda and eating nuggets and fries. i thought to myself- they would have been better off going home and eating a bag of chips. Same fat, same salt, same nutritional value but less chemicals.

    My kids eat organic- eat all home cooked meals. They are in bed by 7pm and sleep 12 hours a night. They are not allowed to watch any TV and play outside alot. Sadly, i know a lot of this will change when i go back- i am not deluding myself

    My children have it good now- but I am exhausted. My boss told me when i came back pregnant 4 years ago, she said ” it will be nice to come here to rest” and I thought she was crazy. Working is so much easier than chasing toddlers all day.

    You are everything and do everything, in the eyes of your children. And what, may I ask, is more important than that???

  16. Krista on August 15th, 2012 8:41 am

    I have worked full time for years…sometimes having two jobs. There are many days I’d go back to that rather than be the stay at home mom that I am which I think is HARDER!!! Hugs!

  17. Jomoma on August 15th, 2012 3:10 pm

    I have been a WOHM and a SAHM mom. They are both really hard…equally as hard. The mom’s that I admire most are the WAHM. How do they even DO that?

  18. ReturnMeHomeAgain on August 15th, 2012 7:12 pm

    If sahm doesn’t do anything and my child care lady does everything that I would be doing but with 12 then why on earth do I pay so much money? And why does she need an assistant?
    I work it isn’t by choice but necessity. When I was a sahm it was hard to cook, clean, teach, play and make sure everything is done. I’d give anything to be able to be a sahm but it just isn’t possible.

  19. Lthrnchic on August 16th, 2012 9:28 am

    I really hope you don’t actually feel that you do nothing. You do realize that WOHM’s let daycare raise their kids for a majority of the day, right? It all has to do with influence, and the amount of time you have with your child. YOU are raising your children and giving them MUCH more love and attention than a daycare could give them. That is worth much more than a paycheck. I could never even compare the two… I’m not saying that WOHM’s love their children any less, I’m just saying that they entrust the raising of their children for 75% of the waking day to daycare. And that’s not ok for my kids.

  20. ngil0910 on August 17th, 2012 7:51 am

    I work in the school system so I am off in the summer. I worked part time before that. It turns out I work only 20 more days than I did when I worked part time all year around, it’s just all bunched together differently.

    I definitely don’t understand the attacking. Parenting/raising children is hard, PERIOD. It was a hard decision for me to go back to work. But, I found amazing childcare where my children thrived. Yes, my babysitter is likely going to potty train DD. Honestly, I’m ok with that. We instill values in my children, that my babysitter also holds. I am more in tune with it takes a village to raise a child. DD LOVES her babysitter and I LOVE that! She watches kids because she loves babies and toddlers. I love my kids but I also love working as a counselor. In all honesty I feel I’ve got the best of both worlds–my kids get to come to school with me and I get to spend summers with them.

    I totally and completely respect SAHM’s. I knew it wasn’t for me. Like another poster said above–when mama ain’t happy, ain’t no body happy. I wish we could just respect eachother’s decisions rather than bashing one another. I always think, well this may be the decision I make for now, but I may be forced to make a different decision later in life (due to unexpected circumstances–like what if something happened to DH?) I don’t know what decisions other mama’s have had to make or the challenges they have had to make. Who am I to judge what’s best for them?

  21. mskalinin on August 17th, 2012 10:38 am

    I think one of the major problems in our society is that we are STILL using male roles as a reference for worth. Traditionally, men worked outside of the home to support the family, while women worked inside the home to support the family. Instead of raising our perception of the value of that traditional role for women, we have lowered it. In our eyes we must aspire to work outside the home (traditional male role) in order to have obtained equality.

    And indeed women who choose to work in the home to raise the type of family they desire are looked down upon as not contributing. To their family, to society, whatever. What they contribute (raising well mannered, good people; facilitating their family’s income by picking up the slack at home, etc) is just not valued by many people. And its because it is a traditionally woman’s role. Sexism is still alive and doing well in western society, we just like to deny it.

    When we start looking at the role of a parent who supports the family by making money outside the home as the same value as a parent who supports the family by running the home, then things will be more equal. Until then, validation will mostly come to those working outside the home. Even if its not what a parent feels they should be doing, they will choose to do it because of the perception of value; they want to be valued by other adults. In this case they will have some guilt associated with their choice and act out that guilt by attacking those who are in the role they would really maybe rather be in.

    And it is mostly about choices. Having one parent at home is totally possible in most situations, but you have to choose to scale back in other areas. One parent home should = rarely eating out, no child care expenses, more time put into planning of consumer purchases (ie: coupon and value shopping), less gas used, maybe even only one car, etc etc. There are also all the modern technologies pulling at us, cell phones, $200 cable and internet bills, HUGE houses and cars that many of don’t need. These are all choices, not necessities.

    Women need to learn to be proud of their choices. If you want that big lifestyle and need two incomes to obtain it, own that! If you want to raise your kids hands on instead of leaving it to a third party, own THAT! I really wish people could learn to stop being judgmental, but I also wish women could learn to be more proud of the choices they have made for their family.

    Sorry for the book!

  22. magooken on August 17th, 2012 4:43 pm

    It’s rare for me to even read posts like this. I have realized that avoiding the “Mommy Wars” makes me a happier mom. With the internet, we’re always bombarded with parenting articles and blog posts. I just ignore them now, unless they seem genuinely helpful. I am a WOHM and that is the best choice for me and my skill set. I have much admiration for SAHMs because they have strengths that I don’t have. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, but we all work hard and are the best moms we can be. Trust a mom to make the best choices for her family.

  23. momofcutebutts on August 17th, 2012 5:23 pm


  24. Pixi6s on August 18th, 2012 10:39 am

    I’m not sure I could stay home with my children 7 days a week and be sane. I think it’s harder. Even staying home an extra 2 days (I only work 3) is hard enough. I don’t have any extra time to get stuff done – I just raise my son.

  25. neonalee on August 21st, 2012 10:39 am

    I cannot believe this even has to be a discussion at this point. I am a WOHM, kinda by choice. I could NOT possibly stay home with my 2 year old (yep, just the one) day in and day out without going crazy. SAHMs don’t do nothing, they are raising a child, 24/7. I am raising a child … however many hours he isn’t in daycare ;) And I’m OK with that.

    All our choices are valid. We all love our children. Why do we feel the need to shut down others when they make difference choices? Live and let live!

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