Working Me: I’m thinking of becoming a stay at home mom-
Fake Future Stay-at-Home Me: If you’re going to join the club, you need to start learning the proper lingo. The commonly used abbreviation is SAHM. So, you’re thinking of becoming an SAHM?
Working Me: Do people really say that? It doesn’t seem any shorter.
Fake Future Stay-at-Home Me: It is. I would know.
Working Me: Okay, so I’m thinking of becoming an SAHM.
Fake Future Stay-at-Home Me nods appreciatively. She is very good at listening. Also, her hair looks pretty.
Working Me: But I worry that staying at home is going to send my daughters the wrong message. I want them to know that women can have fulfilling careers outside of the home.
Fake Future Stay-at-Home Me: I think the real question is, do you want your children to know you love them? Isn’t that the most important message?
|I thought I would be a stay-at-home superwoman.
Turns out I already was one.
Working Me: Good point. So anyway, when I see stay-at-home moms dropping their kids off at school, they are almost always wearing yoga pants or some other variation of workout gear. That’s because they are super into fitness, right? And they have more time for it?
Fake Future Stay-at-Home Me: That’s exactly right. Now that I don’t have papers to grade and lessons to plan, I have more time for everything. Whenever I go out in public, I’m either on my way to or from the gym. I feel great. Have you seen my abs?
Working Me: I have. They’re impressive. Do you eat healthier now that you’re staying at home? Lots of salad and light, home-cooked meals?
Fake Future Stay-at-Home Me: When I worked, my kids hated vegetables. Now they love them. It’s probably because I’m finally able to execute those ideas I see in magazines and on Pinterest. Just last night I made a plate of broccoli look like Oscar the Grouch.
Working Me: How many Pinterest projects have you done since becoming an SAHM?
Fake Future Stay-at-Home Me: Oh, gosh. 400? 500? I lose count.
Working Me: And your sex life must be great.
Fake Future Stay-at-Home Me: Obviously.
She convinced me, this confident, put-together version of myself. And I don’t hold it against her, even though everything she said was a lie. Maybe I knew it even then, that it was too good to be true. That a woman with three small children is a woman with three small children, regardless of whether she works 9-5. The exhaustion, the frustration, the feeling of being totally overwhelmed – none of those things would change. I’m still not on Pinterest. My abs are non-existent. My vegetables are boring. But I get to watch my baby sleep on the back deck on a Wednesday morning while leaves spin to the earth and little green lizards soak up what they can of the sun.
In a few minutes we will have to go pick up her sisters. They’ll climb into the car and tell me about their morning, and the afternoon will stretch out in front of us, daunting as ever. So much time to fill. It’s a good problem to have.