Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why Being A SAHM Is Like Being A Coal Miner.

Dear Stay At Home Moms (& Dads),

I am going to admit something that will make you want to punch me in my saggy boob.

I used to look at you from behind my corporate desk and think you spent hours doing yoga.

This isn't a farfetched conclusion because when spotted in your natural habitat (Target on a weekday afternoon), you were clad in yoga gear looking incredibly jacked.

When I signed on to join the SAHM club I anxiously awaited my Mom Yoga pass. I was nervous because I detest yoga, but it seemed like a requirement of the position. I was ready.

Months have passed and still I wait for my pass, yet frequently I find myself in Target on a Tuesday afternoon in yoga gear looking pretty strong.

"How is this remotely possible?" you ask.

Oh, it's possible because being a SAHM is like being a DAMN COAL MINER.

I've never mined coal, but I've seen enough of the dads on Teen Mom talk about the mines to be able to understand what it's like.
Into The Mine We Go!

First off, coal miners don't care about their appearance because SURVIVAL is the name of the game. Zippers, snaps, and "dry clean only" garments will slow you down in the event of a very possible explosion.

You may believe that mining explosions are much more dangerous than the ones I encounter, but don't judge until you've experienced a diaper blowout at 5000 feet or pushed a cart through the grocery store while your son screams for "crack" (crackers) and you sprint to the loading dock exit lest child protective services is in the next aisle. The coal miners and I need breathable cotton to survive the everyday.

Secondly, like my friends in the mine, I am pretty jacked because I engage in MANUAL LABOR for 12 hours a day.

Bending, lifting, cleaning, wiping, running, and chasing now take up a day formerly filled with motionless, yet strangely exhausting, corporate strife. Don't believe staying at home compares to backbreaking mine work? Here's a True Life story to prove it:

My husband has a Nike fuel band that uses magical wizardry to give him 
daily "fuel points." On days that he works out and then 
has a regular office experience, his number is around 4000. 

When I went away for a weekend my husband had to
care for the baby which meant working out didn't fit into the schedule. 
His fuel points on those days without working out? 
5000+

Analogy proven! Yes, I realize this would be a stronger case were my husband a miner during the week, so I've got a few more salient points. Read on.

Thirdly, like a coal miner I engage in work that is FREQUENTLY LOOKED DOWN UPON.

Let's all just agree that outside of Teen Mom, mining is the opposite of an aspirational career choice.

And oh, whatever, you would never judge a woman for her choice. I was, and still am, a Judgy McJudgerson. I rolled my eyes from my little ivory tower of corporate excess and thought things like, "She stays home? What? Can she not read?" and then laughed at my own wit.

Note: I am not making a social statement about the literacy of our coal mining population. It is purely coincidental that I used to say this and now live like a coal miner.

Lastly, the miners and me (Yes, I should use "I" instead of "me" but I like the alliteration of "miners and me" so don't start thinking I am one of those SAHMs I thought couldn't read) do a job that is UNDERPAID.

I know the Teen Mom dads are thrilled about "good mining money," but I'm guessing they are not adequately compensated for staring down death since nary a miner makes the Forbes "Richest People on the Planet" list.

Like the miners, I am not paid enough but, unfortunately, am aware of my sad economic plight. I think I should be paid triple my former salary because my valuable brain cells are being replaced with every verse of "The Wheels On The Bus." I would like to be compensated for bravely staring down the death of my brain.

So, SAHMs (& Dads), what do you have to say for yourselves? Pickaxes where yoga pants were promised? You're the ones who should be punched in your saggy boob.

This is the most egregious case of false advertising I've seen. I'm calling the FTC. The gig is up.

Sincerely,
annie

34 comments:

  1. I can agree. During break I routinely wore my Tai Chi pants (yoga pants, but I don't do yoga, I do Tai Chi) and a long sleeved thermal shirt. Now that I'm back in school I have to wear "real" clothes, like jeans, but man those pants are comfy.

    I've also gained quite a bit in the arm muscle arena. People have asked me how I've lost weight, or how I've gained muscle, and I just look at my son and say "I don't know. Maybe hauling around a 25# toddler, his diaper bag, my school bag, and a ton of walking between chasing him and going to campus?" Seriously, this child can walk and does most of the time, but there are still times he needs to be manhandled or carried because he doesn't want to walk in the snow. He needs to be lifted up and down off the changing table several times a day, into and out of his highchair.

    It's not easy being a parent at all, on either side. Both sides get slammed for their choices and it's ridiculous.

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    1. Agree. Being a parent is just hard!

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  2. I'll give SAHMs credit and I'm a working mom. I don't work because I have to. I work because I want to. As much as I would LOVE an afternoon trip to Target in yoga pants, you have to be a warrior to be a SAHM. Kudos to them all.

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    1. I've been on both sides and neither one is easy. While working and while on sabbatical I've felt like I am missing something.

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  3. I hear you. Staying at home is hard as shit. I thought it was going to be easy peasy breezy. NO.

    The biggest problem I have is keeping myself to a schedule. I have to do this in order to not feel completely worthless. Problem is, I am not very good at it.

    I live in my yoga pants and I rarely wear makeup. I actually had to get dressed up to go to a baby shower yesterday. When I got home in the afternoon I decided I would just keep my cute clothes on until my husband got home because I know he HAS to get tired of seeing me in yoga/pajama pants and hoodies. He was shocked when he walked through the door. Shocked.

    Sigh. I should schedule in more showers.

    Sigh...

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    1. I thought I would have time to myself when I quit my job. HA!

      I just bought more bronzer b/c I was tired of looking like a ghoul so now I force myself to put that on everyday.

      When I shower or don't have on an old gray hoodie my husband is psyched. Like legitimately thinks it's a special occasion.

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  4. I'm going to make my husband read the part about Nike band! I've been telling his this for 8 yeas.

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    1. My husband was SHOCKED at how exhausting a toddler is and I was thrilled the numbers proved it. PLEASE, share with all the husbands.

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  5. I'm astounded too at how hard it is to be home all day. All those dreams I had of actually doing yoga! and reading a book! are gone along with at least half my brain. I am the disheveled mom in yoga pants cruising through Target too. You're not alone.

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    1. No yoga and no reading. Just yoga apparel.

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  6. Oh Annie, you crack me up. I agree that being a SAHM is tough work. I am on maternity leave and can already see how challenging it would be. Thus I am going to be a working mom. I think the key here is that being a parent is hard work. Even those who work have to come home exhausted and care for a baby until they go back to work.
    Thank you for your continual humor and for pointing out that we all should never judge until we've been there.

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    1. Congratulations!! I am so, so, so happy for you and yes, it's just hard work no matter what, but worth it.

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  7. Oh, I love a good Teen Mom-Coal Mining reference in a mom blog! This is hysterical! PS: My yoga pants have never actually been to yoga.

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    1. Who doesn't love a good Teen Mom-coal mining reference?

      I think my yoga pants are actually pajama pants.

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    2. Omg...same! I knew I liked you.

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  8. Oh your posts always crack me up and make me smile!! :) So thank you for that. I'm a WAHM at the moment and lately... it's killing me!!! And it is way too hot for yoga pants here so I don't even have that luxury! :/ I do enjoy my maternity jogging shorts from time to time though ;)

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    1. You think it's the age? I just want him to be motionless again and unable to exert his will. Is that bad?

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  9. I couldn't get past punching you in the saggy boob~ You crack me up! I work 3 12 hour shifts so I get the "best" of both worlds. My husband has actually asked me to switch to 5 8 hour shifts because I am so much more pleasant when I get home from work then when I stay at home all day. Interesting!

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    1. I'm pretty sure I'm pretty awful when my husband gets home. 12+ hour days with a toddler aren't always bliss-filled.

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    2. oh no they are not. I believe our little guys are a week apart. I sometimes long for the days when all he could do is lay there. I did I wish them away so quickly!!

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  10. I never knew the guilt I would feel heading out the door every morning. Being a mom has changed me inside out and upside down and so my "climb-the-ladder-reach-the-top" self/voice is now in identity crisis mode!!! So, am I reading into this that you're crossing back over? Both sides... so hard!

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    1. I'm right there with you in the midst of an identity crisis. I'm not crossing back over just yet, but my resume is updated and out there. I honestly don't know what I would do if an opportunity came up. It would have to be the right one for me to leave the mine.

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  11. This is hilarious! I would have never come up with that analogy myself, but yes, as I read it, it is true. Being a SAHM is certainly not all that I had imagined in its glory! But, I love the good days! FOllowed you over from SITS. Love this post.

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    1. It's so hard! It looks so glorious from the other side, but no one really tells you what you're in for!

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  12. I was a stay-at-home mom for years, went back to work briefly, and than came back home. I'm a grandma now and my two grandkids live across the street. They're at my house a LOT. It's exhausting! I wake up in the middle of the night with the theme song from Team UmiZoomi in my head. I have toys in the bins under my tv. The days the kids are here I get 8,000 steps on my pedometer compared to the normal 5,000. How did this happen? I thought I was done? Seriously, though, this is a lot of fun. Grandkids are more fun because I get to play when they're here and then send them home.

    Sometimes corporate folks look down on stay at home moms but having done both, I think being a stay at home mom is the hardest job there is. But the most rewarding. I'm glad I did it. I'm glad I'm home so I can play with my grandkids.

    Visiting from SITS.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. My mom would kill to live across the street and I would kill to have her across the street. What a wonderful set-up. I'm finding myself a pedometer.

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  13. I am not a mom (unless you count my furbabies) but this was very entertaining!
    great post!
    Tabby
    http://www.shoppingwives.com

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    1. Thank you and thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  14. Loved this post. I'm a working mom but sometimes find myself fantasizing about yoga pants. Thank you for telling me what it's really like, you know, minus the yoga 12 hours a day.

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    1. I'm glad I can blow the whistle. No yoga, just pickaxes.

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  15. Awesome post. But. Can't believe you watch teen mom, is this a by product of too many loops of the wheels on the bus? No attention span left?

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    1. Best show ever! It's like a car crash that doesn't back up traffic!

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  16. LOL, yes, I was once a mom who didn't plan on being a SAHM... Yoga? That sounds like a wonderful thing, sign me up! (Too bad I don't have time as a SAHM to make it to the Y w/o the kiddos...and then they want to swim, not let me head to a class...)

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    1. You know, I think it's the kids that really cramp the stay-at-home lifestyle. At least, that's what my case study is proving.

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