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Today, I Sat on the Couch and Ate Bon Bon’s All Day

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Yesterday I went to a birthday party for a little girl.  Her mom is 8 1/2 months pregnant and happily snapping photos while the dad videoed everything and made sure the mom did not have to do much of anything.

I watched my kids play and eavesdropped on several conversations…  it’s what I do.  There was the typical, “When I had my baby.” story circle, the, “Oh he is so out of control!” complaints and the “What we did/ are doing for Spring Break.” conversations.  It was all very pleasant and nice.

But as I was walking my girls out to the car, I overheard a few of the moms sarcastically saying, “Yes, that is all I do honey!  I sit on the couch and eat bon bon’s all day!”

Image borrowed from Facebook Share. Original Author unknown.

As I drove home and the chatter in the back seat focused on the goody bags and not on questioning me, I started to think about the value of stay at home moms today and the stereotypes that come with being one.

I think there is a blanket misconception of what we do during the day and how it adds an irreplaceable value to our children’s lives, our spouses lives and to our lives.  I, myself, have had to answer the listed questions of what I did and why I did this and why I didn’t do this more than once.  And not all of it is from my spouse, believe it or not.  I find that I have to justify staying home with my kids more than I ever – EVER – imagined I would.

And it is no wonder.  I would have to say that, at least from things that I have seen, society and the media are quick to devalue our roles.  In satire, in seriousness, from lack of experience and more.  I have heard news reports basically say that if moms would get off the Internet, their kids would be better taken care of!

As if we all get up in the morning and ‘play on the computer’ all day while our kids run around in dirty diapers, hungry and with no imagination play.  I, for one, understand the confusion.  We do seem to be on here a lot.  But please note…  we have smart phones that can post to our multimedia instantly – we don’t even have to sit.  We have iPads, Kindles, tablets and more that keep us connected in, what truly can be, a very lonely job to have at times.  Bloggers have the ability to schedule posts throughout the day, schedule messages on social networking and more.

Is there anyone that really thinks that our kids are going to let us sit on the computer all day, every day?  My kids follow my every move and I am lucky if I can get 30 minutes with all of them busy long enough to post anything substantial!   I work at night after everyone is in  bed.  It is my “me time” these days.

I love the comedians that talk about stay at home moms.  Especially the male comedians.  I heard one the other day complaining that his wife, a stay at home mom, could not even bend down to pick up his pants off the floor. “What is so hard about picking up my pants?  You bend down… you pick them up!  How hard is that?”

My answer to him would be, “Well, you can’t seem to do it so…”

Didn’t he have a mother?  Who probably picked up his pants?  Would he joke about her this way or is it only the woman who brought his children into the world that he sees fit to mock?  Funny?  Probably.  Feeding into the downgrading of the importance of the job – even a little? – absolutely.

And then there are the generational pressures.  The women who came before us – our mothers – who never had a dirty house, a load of laundry that was not folded and put away, a sock that did not have its match. The ones that walk into our houses and immediately start inspecting, without probably even meaning to.  I don’t know how they did it, I’ll be honest.  I know they had to be just as busy as we are and under just as much pressure to be as perfect as we can be.  I want to be that kind of mom, I do.  But I have failed more often than I have succeeded and when I ask for advice, I get. “Well your just to busy with other things to worry about it.”

Huh?

I suppose, in the end, that the stereotypes will change as motherhood changes.  And the girls we are raising now will come back and ask us how we did it.  And there will always be studies and news reports telling us how what we are doing is so wrong based on information that is also, so wrong.  And the jokes will change but the punchlines stay the same.

As for me, I will go on, working and striving to be the best mother I can.  The best person to set an example for my children.  The most honest one that shows them trust.  The teacher of the importance of being taught.  The arms that make it all better.  The believer that they are my gifts from God.  The sturdy back that holds them when they fall.  The reason that they believe in themselves.  The support that gives them confidence.  The cheerleader that never misses a game.  Their everything. Their Mother.

And everyone else can just keep thinking that today, I sat on the couch and ate Bon Bon’s. 

Find more Motherhood Posts at My Recent Writings

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  • LeAnn

    Amen to that! And good for you, I think its a lot easier to go outside the house and work, I stayed home too, and wouldnt change a thing!

    • Lori P

      Thank you LeAnn!!  We work hard so there!  ;D

  • mother of 2

    Maybe it’s because I’m an older mom, (2 girls, one 23, and the other 11), but really, I do not feel the need to justify my life and mothering decisions with anyone except myself. A long time ago I made it perfectly clear to the friends and relatives who decided to try and critique my homemaking/motherhing skills that while I appreciate their opinion and “helpfulness”, I would ask them if I needed any “advice”, thank you very much. End of topic. Now how about a glass of sweet tea? : )

    • Lori P

      LOL – I’d love a glass, thank you!  Oh wait…  ;D  You GO girl!

  • Hollie

    That was wonderful! I have always wondered why stay at home moms get such a bad rap! I have a college degree, and with my husbands support, I choose to quit my “good paying” job to stay at home with our 3 children so they would be raised by us and not daycare. It seems people continue to give me “things to do” because I “don’t work” like everyone else, however I’m not sitting around doing nothing all day long. I have, over the past 9 years of being a stay at home mom, realized “MOST” people are not cut out to stay at home with their children all day everyday. Being a stay at home mom is a lot harder than that “good paying” job I had, and it comes with no pay, no vacation, no sick days and no holidays, but I wouldn’t trade being at home with my kids for the world!!

    • Lori P

      Thank you Hollie!  Maybe someone reading it will think twice about what they think stay at home moms do!  ;)

  • Bexx85

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. What a great post to start my day to. I am a stay at home mom of 4. I love staying at home (much to my surprise) and think it’s best for our kids. And no, I don’t just get to sit on the couch and eat bon bon’s all day! It’s a much harder and more rewarding job than people really understand. So thank you!

    • Lori P

      You are VERY welcome!!  Power to the Stay at Home MOM!  ;D

  • Katie

    When I tell people Im a stay at home Mom, I always get the comment “‘Oh so you dont work?” An I tell them NO I work, I just dont get paid for it, but when you figure in the cost of daycare the money spent on fast food, transportation an other services a Mom that works outside of the house has to pay for sometimes its more econimical to stay home. Thank You for this article, for all of us stay at home Moms who wish we had time to sit on the couch an eat Bon Bons!

    • Lori P

      You are very welcome! Thank you so much for reading my post! 

  • http://twitter.com/AliciaShelley Alicia Shelley

    Being a SAHM is the VERY hardest job I’ve ever done, and I’ll be honest, it isn’t exactly what I expected.  You’re right, it can be lonely, can DEFINITELY be frustrating, but I also feel blessed to have the support of my husband to spend this time with our son as his FULL-TIME Mommy.  We only have one child, will likely only ever have the one, and I know that this is my only chance to have this time with him.  Soon he’ll be in school and will have other demands for his time.  I’m here to see that he’s well taken care of, that he grows to be curious and independent, and to know that he’s loved.   I pass no judgment on mothers who either have to or choose to work full-time outside the home, but I appreciate most those friends who don’t pass judgment on me for my decision not to during this most precious time of my child’s life.

    • Lori P

      Well said Alicia!  This post is certainly not intended to say that SAHM’s have it harder than working moms at all!  I was one, they are BOTH hard!  But the sterotypes that come with our job are meticulous and I wish we could have a different stigma!

  • http://twitter.com/CouponKristin Kristin Holt Duncan

    Awwww, Lori.  You seem so stressed.  Babies can’t wait.  The house can be clean after they’re all grown and gone.  Or old enough to bribe.  :)

    • Lori P

      LOL – I am overwhelmed, I will be honest… but I am also incredibly blessed!

  • jess

    honestly, i have the time to sit and eat bon bons if i wanted to. my house is always clean and the  laundry is always done. i cook dinner every night and i go to school all day while my 3 year old is at school. 

    • Lori P

      I am glad you do!!  ;)

  • Jess

    Thank you Lori!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! As a fellow stay-at-homer, I just want to say that we have a job that few are cut out for!!
    I worked as a nurse for almost 15 years. I made around $65,000 a year. It was a nice job. I loved the people I worked with. However, I missed nearly all of our daughters activities for the first 10 years of her life and she was in daycare a lot of those ten years. Awards ceremonies, concerts, sports, other activities, etc etc. Most important though, I missed quite a few family dinners. We had tried for almost 5 years to have another baby and our doc said “too much stress equals no baby”. I went in and gave my two weeks notice. A week after my last day we found out we were expecting, and we decided that it was a blessing in disguise!! I missed my co-workers, but that’s about it lol 

    Five years ago next Saturday we made the best decision of our lives for me to become a full time mama because we now have a healthy happy family that included a 15 year old, a 4 year old AND a 2 year old!! I hate being chastised for choosing to put my scrubs up in favor of my yoga pants, a t-shirt, and bon-bons (hahaha) Especially by my s-i-l who is also a nurse with a 2nd baby on the way who believes that I’m a bon-bon-eater.  I’ve started writing on my blog again, I run three home businesses and I make sure that by the time my kids go to bed I know that I’ve done my best, to be the best mom I possibly can.

    No, my house won’t always be spotless. I try but hello, have you met my two boys who go 24/7?? My boys might have dirty faces from time to time. The beds might not get made every morning. But you know what, as a SAHM, we have the BEST job in the world and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I haven’t missed an activity. I didn’t have to ask for a month off to take care of my dad his last two weeks while losing his battle to Melanoma or two weeks after to help my mom out. I didn’t have to fight for two weeks off a year later when my mom suddenly passed away to take care of everything back home. I don’t have to ask for time off when a kid is sick, for a graduation, for anything ever again!!

    As you put it, we’re the ones that make everything better. We know who’s raising our kids, feeding them, teaching them, playing with them, and making sure that our kids will be alright!! I apologize for the long reply LOL

    • Lori P

      Talk away Jess!! I LOVE your comment!!  And it is all perfect!  THANK YOU for taking the time to read it and comment!!!

  • http://twitter.com/familyfrugal Heather Shaw

    Okay, I linked to it before I read it, but now I’ve read it and bravo! I totally agree with you on all of it. Especially this: ”
    The women who came before us – our mothers – who never had a dirty house, a load of laundry that was not folded and put away, a sock that did not have it’s match. ”

    Seriously though, HOW did they do it? I’m glad it’s not just me thinking that!

    • Lori P

      I have NO idea, Heather!!!  I wish I knew their secrets!!!

  • Donna

    SAHM’s sitting on the couch eating bon-bons isn’t remotely realistic. Every mom knows that if you’re going to eat candy when your kids are around, you have to hide, not sit out in the open on the couch!!! Mama loves you, but she’s not sharing her chocolate…. ;)  Good post!

    • Lori P

      Thank you Donna!  I don’t this it is realistic either!!

  • Tlram6254

    I actually don’t have time to even sit on the couch! Lol.

    • Lori P

      LOL – me neither – good thing too -that is where the laundry goes!  LOL

  • christina

    Amen Sista! I’ve worked as a mother and I’ve stayed home as a mother. A stay at home mom does it all! And it is definitely harder then a good paying job, but definitely more rewarding. I agree that not all women are cut out to be stay at home mothers. I personally enjoy raising my own children. The Daycare/Preschool that my daughter spent a lot of time at when I worked full time was wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but I’m so happy to have quit my jobs and now am able to stay at home with them and be there for them when and where they need me. Thanks for the article, it gives us stay at home moms some hope that not everyone thinks we do nothing all day long. -Christina

    • Lori P

      Thank you Christina!  I, too, worked the first part of my older daughter’s life and, though I loved the in home care she was getting, I love being home with her more.  I work on this blog late at night to make sure I can be home with my kids.  But I, too, was not prepared for how much harder this could be! Thank you for reading!

  • Sandy

    I am a 50-something, SAHGrandma and, like most posters, I worked and then decided to stay home with my children and now my grandchildren.  Assuming that most of you are younger than me as you are raising children but I know the mothers of my generation had it easier because of their stay at home moms and mothers-in-law who helped out with the children.  Now, most of us are “sandwich” generations, taking care of children and aging parents.  Our moms went through the women’s liberation movement to fight for their independence and the opportunity to have a career all the while having a generation ahead of them that helped out.  It makes me sad that, having won their fight, some of the same women do not give SAHMs the same respect a career-oriented woman would get for doing the job of THEIR choice, somehow this is lost in the fray.  Instead of supporting each other and supporting our decisions of choice and respecting our sisterhood, we are still defending our choices.  Forget about the women who would love to be SAHMs but cannot because of financial reasons.  The whole “eating bonbons” makes me laugh. Don’t we sometimes joke about wanting “mandatory breaks” and sick days afforded by a “real” job?  Maybe it really is just a case of the “grass is always greener on the other side” because I know I *think* I have the harder job and the more important one but I also think it makes me just as guilty as they are.  Great post!!

    • Lori P

      Thank you SO much Sandy!  I agree too – I do not have outside help at all!  I don’t live near my parents and my husband’s mother is ‘living her life’ so it falls on me 24/7.  I wish sometimes it were different and that I had that help…  but then sometimes I am glad they are not involved!  LOL

  • Stepkylebeau

    I love this post! I am also a stay at home mom of four children. We live in a split household with ten people total. My husband and I chose for me to quit my life of working for the time being to care for our babies, and to help take care of the house. We live with his parents, his dad is in his sixties with health issues. I try my best to keep up with things and have everything as comfortable as possible for his parents. My hubby loves that I am able to look after his babies and his parents while they pay the bills. And so far, I haven’t gotten any negative feedback on what I do, thank goodness! His friends have made jokes about me being of fb all day. Honey quickly took up for me and told them what happens to this house if I do decide to leave for a day. Thank YOU!

    • Lori P

      WOW!  I can tell you from experience that is is HARD to take care of another adult.  I did it for only a little while many years ago with NO kids and it was tough!  ((HUGS)) and KUDO’s to your appreciative husband!!

  • LuAnn

    When my two daughters were 5 and 3, I had a eye doctor  appointment and I took them with me, since I was a SAHM.  I had to fill out a questionnaire, since I was a new patient, and the doctor, after seeing it, asked me….so, you are a stay-at-home mom?  I said yes.  He said, so what do you do all day? watch TV and eat bon-bons?  i just looked and him in surprise, dumbfounded and irritated, to say the least.  My two daughters sat quietly during my appointment that took over an hour.  At the end of the exam, the doctor remarked how well-behaved my girls were.  I said- yeah, I don’t sit around watching TV and eating bon-bons all day.   

  • Joana Arteaga

    I love it! 

  • Cathy

    Loved this post.  My sister is a stay at home mom and does a great job!  However, I think there needs to be an understanding on both sides.  As a working mom, I get tired of the SAHMs that give the impression that my children are neglected and unloved because they go to day care.  I think there is too much judging and negativity already.  I say we let everyone decide what works best for their family and love them for it!

  • Stepkylebeau

    I love being at home with my four children and family! But, believe me, I would be just as happy to be able to bring in some more income. but it is hard to because of the cost of childcare! I save more money staying at home that trying to go to work

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