Life Was Better When We Were Expected To Be A SAHM

I have 3 kids of varying ages, and am a work at home mom. I work from home as a freelance writer, in between changing diapers, slicing apples, and rescuing various household objects from destruction at the hands of my adorably curious littles. I am not the type who was “born to be a mother”, in fact I find that I more often than not feel completely out of my depth when it comes to parenting. Working is a no-brainer for me as I need something outside the realm of children to make me feel normal. That being said, I can’t help but feel like life may have been better when being a stay-at-home mom was expected.

Now, before you get your pitchforks ready—hear me out. In the days when being a SAHM was expected, there was a clear division of the realm of responsibility. As a SAHM your job was your home- parenting, keeping house, preparing meals and all those other things that ensure that the home and family is running smoothly. Although in my own perspective this sounds mind-numbingly dull, I can't help but think that this very clear division of duties sounds like a more efficient and less stressful way to operate than some of the alternatives we see today.

Very busy multitasking housewife on white background. Concept of supermom and superwoman
Credit: iStock

The financial pressures of the times make it so that it is very difficult to survive as a one-income family. Add on top of this the cost of daycare, and you end up with a scenario where many women end up having the responsibility of stay at home motherhood, plus needing to work outside (or inside) the home as well. I know in my own personal experience, this often leads to me doing it all- albeit poorly. Perhaps I’m out of the norm, but I have an immense amount of difficulty taking care of the kids, the home, and my own responsibilities as a worker. I feel immense pressure and stress, and often feel like I am doing everything a little bit wrong.

I feel like I am never there enough for my kids, and that I am never working enough to be successful. I'm constantly feeling like I'm in a stage of divided attention, doing everything halfheartedly and feeling the penultimate pressure from each. Although I feel grateful for the choice to work as well as parent my children, financial pressures make it so that it is less of a choice then it is an expectation to try and do both. I’m glad that my role as a woman can include life outside of mothering, and that society’s expectation of women has expanded so that we aren’t just expected to just be Stepford Moms, however, I can’t help but feel like life would be a bit easier if the home was my singular domain of responsibility.

Just as most things, I guess that it’s relative. I am grateful for my life and for the opportunities I have- while at the same time feeling sometimes overwhelmed with trying to do multiple things, without dropping the ball.

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