Why Being a Stay At Home Mom is Bad for Your Health*

*Caveat 1: Randy told me it’s too early for me to form this opinion. I was ready to agree until my doctor told me the urge to throw your kids against the wall doesn’t go away as they get older when I questioned the existence of not postpartum depression, but “my boobs hurt and the laundry WILL NEVER END” rage. Ahem.

*Caveat 2: Yes, I do think being a stay at home mom is bad for your health. I also think hamburgers aren’t good for you. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy hamburgers. I do. I just enjoy them in moderation and with relish. Not the pickle kind; I prefer slices. Rather, I sit down and savor every moment of my sandwich. I look at my future as a SAHM the same way. I will enjoy those moments when it’s just me, Eggroll, and my ratty yoga pants, but I’m also reading the business section of the paper and getting as much freelance work as I can. More power to you if this is your gig, but this mama needs a professional agenda to feel complete.

So why do I think this is a job that should come with hazard pay?

Relationship Health

With Your Significant Other

You harbor a ridiculous amount of frustration and jealousy that he gets to go to work everyday and still appreciates the weekend.

Maggie Smith What is a Weekend?

This drives a wedge between the two of you and makes you unfoundedly stabby when he signs up for a softball league since nighttime is your time “off” since he gets off time during the day. (See also: you now think going to work is fun. It’s not.)

It’s OK that there is a wall of pissy smoke between the two of you, because if he could see through it, he’d see that you now have dress yoga pants for the days when you’re feeling fancy or flannel pjs you’ve been wearing for the past four days straight if not. Mascara? Combs? Toothbrush? Ah, pishaw. Baby doesn’t care if your breath smells or you aren’t wearing a perfect smokey eye, so why bother.She’s only going to get milk, formula, poop, and/or spit up all over you anyway, so no sense in putting on a clean shirt. Or makeup.

Oh, and when you finally do get baby to sleep and have a chance to talk one-on-one, he will totally tune you out when you talk about your new cookie recipe, the only non-baby-related thing you have to report. And honestly, you can’t relate to his conversation on CPS reports, so you both just watch TV while sleeping with your eyes open. You can talk again when the kids leave for college.

With Your Child

Absence makes the heart grow fonder and y’all are attached at the hip (or the boob, as the case may be) 24/7. Need I say more? Yes, I do. I have a lot more to say on this topic. Stay tuned for it next week.

Mental Health

-Lacking a water cooler, you forget how to make small talk. Also, you have no professional projects in the works leaving you with nothing to talk about but baby poop and your Zumba class when you do interact with the stranger at the grocery store. Oh, poor stranger at the grocery store that I just talked to for 15 minutes. Don’t you wish you picked a different aisle?!

-You watch the fourth hour of the Today Show on a regular basis. Yep, this is now your life.

-Crying. Oh my lamb, the crying.

Baby Crying

Physical Health

-Actually, I think being a stay at home mom could be really good for your physical health. You’re not sitting at a desk all day. Instead, baby probably demands you do laps around your house bouncing her to sleep. The issue – you get great arm muscles … on one side. Just like you write with one hand, you carry a baby on the same side every time.

-One day, you find yourself watching The Chew and realize “I have got to get out of the house!” You go to the gym since that’s the only place you can get free child care and talk to grow-ups. And then somehow, you find yourself going every day. And staying for an hour and a half – as much time as you and baby can be away from the house before you need to hurry back home for the next nursing session. Cool, right?

When you get home, you jump right back into diaper duty, keeping you from a hot meal until dad gets home from work (unless its softball night, then you’re eating cereal one-handed, getting one out of every four corn flakes in your mouth as you balance the spoon from bowl to mouth over a squirmy baby.) You tell yourself “hey, I’m not eating much and working out a lot, I can afford this cookie.” You then proceed to shove six cookies (and a glass of chocolate milk) in your maw, undoing all the good work of the day.

-Sleep. Remember that novel concept? Why do parents whine about teenagers sleeping late? I’m so looking forward to those days!!

Financial Health

-Even if you go to the gym everyday, you can only go for so long. (Damn afternoon break in kid care!) So what else do you do to get out of the house and/or talk to humans? You go to Target. You go to Target, pay the $50 entree fee, and load up on more dish soap, diapers, $5 t-shirts, and house brand fruit roll-ups than any one family needs. Cartwheel be damned, it’s at least $115 every time you go.

Another meeting on CPS reports would be a much cheaper way to interact with humans. And the donuts would be free.

-There is no pay at all. Lame.

So what do you think? Can you be a stay at home mom without losing your sanity?


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