If you’re out there on social media, especially if you’re of child-bearing/parenting age, I’d be stunned if you haven’t seen this acronym before.
SAHM. Stay At Home Mom.
It’s funny how four letters seem to have the ability to blow a typically calm environment to smithereens.
It’s been a few years, but a SAHM post blew up my Facebook page back when the kids were little. It was so long ago that I can’t actually figure out how to find the post. But let me tell you, that thing is seared into my memory.
I can’t remember the exact comment I made, but it was probably something about life making me nutty. Because it did.
Staying home with the kids was my choice. (Well, technically it was a choice BrightSide and I made together, but you get the point.) We were blessed to have the option; not everyone is able to make it work financially, so I know I’m lucky to get to pick whether I get a W-2 or not.
I’m sure it was crazy-town, one of those days that make you pull out your hair and wonder how on earth you’ll ever make it until your husband gets home. Or, more specifically, how everyone in the house will make it until your husband gets home. So I probably was venting.
What I didn’t expect was the flick I got back from someone or the firestorm that ignited in the comments.
It seemed that my friend who earns a W-2 took offense at what she felt was an implication that SAHMs (there’s that acronym) work “as hard as” what I like to call W-2 moms. (Because, for real, I’m not getting into the issue of whether stay-at-home-moms “work.”) I partly blame youthfulness for her response – she may not have fully thought through the implications of what she was putting out there – but suddenly my Facebook feed was all GAME ON.
She noted that, while SAHMs work hard, it’s not as difficult as holding down a full-time j-o-b while also being responsible for the mom duties. That we have the luxury of doing household chores during the day and are free for doctor’s visits and such, whereas the W-2 moms have to do these things after work or coordinate time off.
Then, because I guess she hadn’t stuck her foot far enough into her mouth, she added that SAHMs of school-aged children certainly have no claim to feeling overworked since their children are out of the house for a large block of the day.
First of all, let me add my own two cents here. At one time or another I’ve told all my W-2 friends that I have no idea how they do it. Seriously. There are times when I’m treading water furiously, surrounded by kid- and house-insanity and staring down the schedule for school/medical/extracurricular/pet commitments. This sometimes evokes spontaneous tears of frustration as I wonder how on earth I’ll do it. I will never know how my friends go to a workplace all day and still get everything done. The laundry alone…sheesh.
At any rate, I’m sure it’s no surprise that her comment didn’t go over well. I try not to stir the pot on Facebook but there are some things I can’t really let sit, and telling me I don’t work hard because my kids are in preschool is one of them. My response included the above awe at everything W-2 moms do, but it also included a firm rebuttal.
And then the post blew up.
Comments came out of the woodwork from other SAHM friends, a couple of which were not worded quite as diplomatically as mine. And (again, youth) then my W-2 friend made the mistake of engaging what I’d have to call my “loudest” defender. This can only be described as a critical error in judgement as it led to something of a Facebook beatdown.
So somehow my little rant about whatever nuttiness was turning my hair gray that day exploded into some kind of SAHM vs. W-2 mom battle.
And if WarGames taught us anything, it was that pointless battles are a waste of time and energy. Since the only winning move is not to play, maybe we should all just chill out a little and appreciate the work we’re all doing in this life.