The Stay at Home Mom Complex

There seems to be a general attitude that your average stay at home mom does not have very much to do during the day. She is a lazy creature, slovenly in appearance, who lives in a messy home and lets her children run amok. She spends most of her time whining about how tired and unappreciated she is. Little does she care that she was the author of her own undoing by having all of these children in the first place! Doesn’t she know that without children she could be dining with her friends, gossiping about men and wearing Louboutins? But I digress.

We who are in the trenches of stay at home mom-dom fight this stereotype ad nauseam. It doesn’t matter if it is true! It is the principle of the thing. Here is how I see it. In every other occupation, there is a delegation of the work that needs to be done. You have a certain set of responsibilities, and anything you are unable to do due to time constraints or lack of expertise is done by someone else. This way, there is an assurance that everything that needs to be accomplished is done. Why aren’t stay at home moms offered that same courtesy?

In other words, once we have children, our primary goal is to care for them and raise them. But there is also a lot of work that needs to go into maintaining the home. Even more so with small children because they can wreak havoc on a house! However, we are customarily denied the same efficient delegation of the work that occurs in every other work place (including day cares!) If we hire a house cleaning service, or a cook, or even a nanny, then we are automatically classified as a lazy, wasteful slacker who couldn’t fulfill her extremely simple duties. Because anyone who has small children at home knows how relaxing and carefree our days are, right? I mean, if we had someone cleaning our house for us, we just wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves! I had a (childless) couple once marvel at a woman they knew who had a cook and a nanny for her four children. They shook their heads at her and wondered what the heck she did all day. Um, I don’t know, take a shower?!! Go to the bathroom?! Run an errand that doesn’t involve a drive through?! Go to the dentist?!! The list is endless, people.

It seems to me that many stay at home moms have just resigned themselves to living in a depressing disaster area that used to be their home because if they hire outside help, everyone will consider them to be a failure. And yes, I know that some simply can’t afford it. This obviously doesn’t apply to them. I just can’t understand why delegation is so vilified when it comes to domestic duties. Stay at home moms need help in completing all of our daily tasks just like anyone else.

And if stay at home mom duty involved such minimal effort, then why the heck do daycares cost a small fortune?! (Seriously though, why do they cost so much? What is this, baby Harvard? Will she be fluent in six languages after this?)



About sylcell

Wife, mom of four girls, Catholic, insatiable sweet tooth
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15 Responses to The Stay at Home Mom Complex

  1. The Practical Conservative says:

    Yeah, having household help as a SAHM is traditional and normal, even for much of American history.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sylcell says:

      I’m telling you, every time I suggest outside help to a SAHM, she acts like I’m a crazy person. Even if it is something that will be easy and cheap like dry cleaning! No mom has time to iron all her husband’s shirts, and dry cleaning literally costs me $5 a week. But nope, the preferred solution is always husband goes to work in wrinkly shirts. What. The. Heck.


      • morgan says:

        … wha…? 5$ a week? Oh my, that’s really really cheap. Around here you *might* get offers like 10 shirts for 15€ but only in the bigger cities. And that’s only for mens shirts. Women’s blouses is at least 4€ a piece, because they have to iron them manually. Our dry cleaner is located a the post office and their opening hours just suck. And they only send it in somewhere else and you have to wait at least 5 weekdays to get your stuff back. So that’s nice for stuff like duvets or anything you don’t need immediately back like a tux or an evening gown…

        Liked by 1 person

      • sylcell says:

        To clean and press Scott’s shirts it is $1 a shirt. Pants are probably more like $5. My sweaters and dresses are about $10-$15, but I don’t do those as often. We have drive-through dry cleaners everywhere here in Atlanta, but maybe out in the rural areas there aren’t any? I really am at a loss as to any other reason why people would not take advantage of it otherwise. They even will pick up and deliver your dry cleaning directly to your house every week, but that service is expensive. About $70 a month.


      • sylcell says:

        Oh, and your stuff is ready the next day! (Excluding Sundays.)


  2. Pingback: What Do You DO All Day? | Kernels of Wheat

  3. Gay Hammond says:

    I spent years feeling insanely guilty because while I think I was pretty good at the mothering/raising incredible human beings part (and I kept people fed and hosed down periodically), I was HORRIBLE at the maidly duties — my house was generally a disaster, and I couldn’t handle those “call the plumber/electrician/bug guy/cable guy” stuff. When I FINALLY hired someone to clean my house once in a while (and only after I went back to work part-time), I was so much happier and competent with the rest of my life, I couldn’t believe it . . except for the GUILT that I had hired someone . . .
    Great post.


  4. morgan says:

    HELL YES! I broke down after 2 years of being SAHM and thankfully found a great (but also expensive because it’s neither under communal nor parrochial management) daycare/kindergarten for my kids. It brought a LOT of peace to our family.
    Being a (part time) working mom is not more respected. At least not here. You always have to defend yourself against accusations that you are an uncaring mother who is just too lazy to take care of her kids on her own until they reach the age of 3 when it is magically accepted (and expected) that your precious little ones start kindergarten…
    Well, if you have no idea about electrical wiring, would you rewire your house by yourself? No, you let an expert come and take over.
    But you are expected to raise your kids into great beings without having had proper training. And no, if you call in an expert, than YOU FAIL.

    I can rant about that for hours on end! It sucks! Being a mom is a 24/7 job with HUGE responsibility and the worst payroll ever. At least when it comes down to money.

    Every mom (and dad) who can do this as full-time has my deepest respect! I don’t know how you manage it, at some point I called in the experts. Making everyone involved in this happier.

    So all you critics: shut it.


  5. I read an article nearly a year ago in a similar vein. It was a husband’s response to his wife’s apology that their home was messy (heaven help me if I can actually find the blog post now though). He commented that her job was to be a mother to their kids, not stay-at-home mom/maid/chef/general lackey. I really appreciated that, much like I appreciate your post today.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. yogapace says:

    There should be a “love” button for this post!


  7. yogapace says:

    There should be a love button for this particular post!


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