Sometimes I still get caught off guard about how people see stay at home moms, even other stay at home moms. There’s this assumption that you aren’t really doing anything that happens all too much. I dealt with this problem recently with a fellow stay at home mom at my children’s school.
I was telling her how happy I was to finally have a way to get my volunteer hours in at the school with my toddler in tow. To get guaranteed admission for my kids into this new charter school, I had agreed to do 50 hours of volunteer work at the school. This has been a bit of a problem as she’s not allowed to be with me if I volunteer in the classrooms. However, as the school has a room for parents to work for the teachers while watching their younger children, I decided to see if I could do reading with individual students. Happily, they gave me permission to do that, so long as I don’t leave my little one alone in the room. She’s two, so that much was obvious to me.
The other mom congratulated me on having a new way to keep busy.
Busy? I thought I was busy. I’m raising 3 kids and have a reasonably successful online business. My life isn’t exactly quiet. Adding in reading with my son’s classmates makes my life busier, sure, but it’s not the only way I do that by a long shot.
I always wonder if these attitudes come about because so many stay at home moms don’t see their own work as work in that sense. It just has to be done, as though that makes it less valued than other sorts of work, and it’s certainly not enough to keep you busy.
I also don’t consider this sort of volunteering to be social time. I won’t even get to speak to the teacher much, since we’ll be in separate rooms, she’ll be busy with the kids in the classroom and I’ll be busy with each child she sends to me, plus my little one. I’ll be more interested in how many kids I can get through each day before my youngest gets too frustrated with the whole process. She loves listening to stories so I hope she won’t be too difficult, but she’s two. It happens.
I’m not a big believer in stay at home mom boredom. I don’t think most moms who really chose to stay at home are bored. If you are, it’s probably a good time to find something to add to your day, just don’t assume that I’m bored too. I have too many things I’ve chosen to add to my days for boredom to be a major part of my day.