Motherhood Personal Posts

Mom vs. “The Man”

I know I probably was/am being overly sensitive, and I know this ended up kind of all over the place. I’ve been thinking about this lately for some reason and wanted to get it of my chest!

A year or more ago, my husband and I were somewhere (darned if I remember where) making small talk with a “businessman” type. Most likely somewhere along the way with all our mortgage business. It was brought up that I am a SAHM and y’know, how easy I have it and stuff. Uhh…yeah.

Well I made the mistake of (HALF-jokingly) saying hey, at least you get to go to work! He chortled, gave my husband a knowing, bless-her-heart-isn’t-she-stupid look, and said “yeah, ’cause we’re in here drinking martinis, har har har!” I know my husband at least smirked, if he didn’t actually chuckle, and it took all of my strength to keep from pouncing on the guy and strangling him.

Let me say this: I know that working moms have it hard. I’m not touching SAHM vs. Working Mom with a 10-foot pole! What I’m talking about here is “The Mom” (“stay at home,” “work at home,” “work outside the home,” whatever) vs. “The Man.” I don’t mean a man who gets up with the kids at night, empties the dishwasher, does laundry, takes care of the kids, publicly praises his wife and makes her feel loved, valued and worthwhile. I’m talking about men like this jerk who seem to think that SAHMs do nothing but sit on their butts and eat bon-bons, and that being a mother is no different than being a father.

I haven’t always been a SAHM. I worked (worked my butt off in fact) for years, took care of myself, lived alone and paid my own bills. I’m guessing that ANY Mom (working or not) will agree that the days of working full time and taking care of only yourself were a cake walk compared to motherhood.

Here’s something we’ve all experienced in one way or another. While my husband was out of town, I made the kids spaghetti, then cleaned up while still trying to make myself something to eat (I don’t like spaghetti, I know that’s weird. I like other pasta, just not spaghetti. I’ll eat it if there’s nothing else, but not by choice.) While hearing “shoesh ON, SHOESH ON! AH-SHIDE! ASHIDE DECK!!” (shoes on, shoes on, outside, outside deck to those who don’t speak 2-year old) I rushed and put my food on a (GASP!) paper plate to eat outside so the kids could play. Naturally, my son now wanted my dinner more than he wanted to play (my daughter ate half my chicken too.)

This is what was left:

so much for my food

(Sorry for the cell phone pic) So, I had to clean it up, hose off the chair and deck, and finally sat down to eat what was let of my cold food. It was then that Goldilocks (A.K.A. my son) decided the temperature was just right, and came back for round two. *sigh* P.S. Yes, I realize that a perfect mother’s children would be learning French while she prepared a 4 course gourmet meal, which they all would sit down and enjoy together, then they would patiently wait while she cleaned up the dishes (or they would do them, or she would leave them etc.) Yeah, guess what? I’m not that Mom. When Daddy’s gone, we make due.

I betcha 10 bucks that guy sat down and ate all his food (while it was hot) that day.

Now, I know there are some fantastic men out there who work high stress jobs to provide for their families, actively participate in their child’s upbringing, come home and help their wives (whether or not their wives also work) and so forth. Again, I’m pretty sure this guy wasn’t one of them. For “The Man” his life isn’t much changed by children, aside from expecting a ticker-tape parade if he happened to change a diaper!

In motherhood, there are no performance reviews, no bonuses, no paychecks, no awards ceremonies, no praising emails from a customer to your boss. Motherhood has to be the most thankless job on the face of the earth. (Naturally, a sweet hug, kiss or “Thank you Mommy” from a tiny person makes it all worth it.)

My husband isn’t lovey dovey at all, and is a man of few words, but I think that short times alone with the kids make him realize that it’s not easy. Especially since all he really does in that time period is keep them alive! Moms are also cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, dishes etc.

I don’t think some husbands realize what an impact small things make, to make their wife feel valued and appreciated. If my husband had said something as simple as “well my wife takes great care of our family and her job sure isn’t easy,” instead of appearing to agree with the jerk in question, it would have made my day (and probably his later, hee hee.) I recently read “30 Ways to be Intimate With Your Wife” on Going Green With Noah, and I think it should be required reading for all men.

I could be totally wrong…maybe the man’s wife was a working Mom and he thought she worked like crazy, so that’s why he thought SAHMs had it easy? Or maybe she had a nanny and a housekeeper and spent more time with her personal trainer than her kids. I don’t know.

My point is, no matter what the situation, motherhood is hard. It reminds me of a scene from S*x and The City 2 (a rare chick-flick scored from Netflix and watched after the kids were in bed!) when Miranda gets Charlotte to admit that motherhood is overwhelming and hard. “Perfect mom” Charlotte has an incident earlier in the movie when she hides in the pantry to cry after trying to talk on the phone and make cookies, while one child cries, the other makes a mess, and she finally melts down. Luckily for her, the nanny chooses that moment to arrive! While having cocktails with Miranda, Charlotte exclaims that she feels this way even with a full-time nanny, and she wonders how women without help do it (Miranda says she doesn’t know, but they deserve a medal!)

Don’t tell anyone, but motherhood is even harder than I thought it would be.

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Maria Moser
Maria is the mother of 3, writing about cloth diapers & going green. You'll often find her juggling her preschooler and typing 1-handed in between sips of cold coffee. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development and other services.
  • April 23, 2014 at 9:01 am

    […] to chat with another mom. (I tried a playgroup – not my thing. That’s another post.) Life as a stay at home mom is not what some people think; I sure wasn’t eating bon-bons and watching soaps. The days can seem never-ending at […]

  • August 27, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    I think my husband WOULD be a better SAHD than I am a SAHM but I cant’ earn as much money. My standards are a little bit higher than his, though, I’d be continually cleaning up once I got home, so it wouldn’t be worth it to me, even if I DID make as much money as him. Also, he would buy name brands, never clip coupons, and etc. etc. I make it work on less so we can ALL have more, and my husband knows it. I think if he agreed with someone, I’d yank his chain right then and there. I HATE it when people just assume my IQ is 50 points lower when they hear what my ‘job’ is. I’ve literally seen people slow down their talking and just assume I can’t keep up. My degree in psychology tells me that they are idiots. Ha!

    • August 27, 2011 at 7:47 pm

      Yes! I KNOW I’ve saved us more money with coupons than I could bring home working. I will occasionally figure out how much I “made” per hour couponing and it’s pretty crazy.

      My IQ is higher than DH’s and I’m a member of MENSA but yeah…I’m just a stupid woman who cooks & cleans. I HATE that!! Of course it’s even worse for me since I didn’t finish college. I get that from FIL, service people, salespeople etc. even though I’m the one who handles all our money and makes most of the decisions.

      Had a plumber over yesterday and I thought he was fantastic, and a huge part of the reason is the way he talked to me!

      Sometimes I do think my DH appreciates all I do, but it sure would be nice if he expressed it. I save where we can so we can spend where we like, if that makes sense!

  • August 24, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    I agree Motherhood is a hard job~but so rewarding..LOL

    Hope you enjoyed what was left of your dinner.

    • August 25, 2011 at 7:58 am

      I didn’t get much, but it was good…even cold. 😉

  • August 24, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    This is an awesome post! Amen to everything you said! Motherhood is the hardest job on earth…hands down and it takes very special women to do it! 🙂

    • August 25, 2011 at 8:00 am

      Sometimes I’m not sure I was cut out for it, LOL! Maybe if I got a couple vacation days, hee-hee. Though the times I go to the grocery store by myself, I always end up seeing kids and missing mine. (Except the last time when a family whose child had just discovered the joys of screeching was 2 steps behind me the whole time, LOL.)

  • August 24, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    this post is exactly what i need this afternoon. MEN.

    • August 24, 2011 at 4:18 pm

      Seriously, LOL!

  • August 24, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I’m in the position where my husband *still* doesn’t get it! Sure, I’ve done the whole “here, take your kids, I’m gone for a few hours” routine and it doesn’t have the appropriate results…

    He keeps the kids alive and fed. Meanwhile, NOTHING gets picked up, rather they create a bigger mess. More laundry, dishes and piles of toys/shoes/books/random clutter build in those few hours and I’m left with MORE to do than when I walked away. And of course, my (sometimes) idiot of a man beams and is reassure than he is in fact correct and I sit on my ass all day.

    • August 24, 2011 at 4:16 pm

      Sshhhh, when I wrote this, I originally included a whole lot of ranting about my DH specifically. 😉 Glad I’m not alone though!

  • April
    August 24, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    “I think that short times alone with the kids make him realize that it’s not easy. Especially since all he really does in that time period is keep them alive!”

    That made me LOL because it is so true! I make a point of going out for 2-3 hours on the weekend while my husband stays home and watches the kids. I leave when they’re napping, but they always wake up while I’m gone and when I come home daddy is sitting on the floor, looking harried, having done nothing but sit with them and try to keep them alive and out of trouble (I have 10 month old twins and a 3 year old). It makes him even more impressed that I do that 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, and get the chores done and keep them fed. Plus my littlest 2 are still nursing, which daddy obviously can’t do. 😉

    • August 24, 2011 at 4:17 pm

      The fact that he looks harried after a couple hours is good news, LOL. Thumbs up if he appreciates what you do (and GO YOU for nursing your twins!!)

    • April 27, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      I think I find this more frustrating than almost anything else, because it means that when I come back from being away, I now have to catch up on all the tasks that WOULD have been accomplished during that time frame. So not only did I have to work to prepare to be gone, now I have to do what I usually would have done when I get home, on top of the things that actually need to be done at that time (if that makes any sense at all!) 😉

  • August 24, 2011 at 10:01 am

    All I can say is AMEN! I don’t think most men understand what we go through, especially when we have babies and toddlers at home.

    • August 24, 2011 at 4:20 pm

      I asked DH once if he’d want to switch places if I were capable of earning the same $. He said heck yeah. I said really? You’d have to do everything I do…clip coupons, grocery shop, pay the bills, chauffeur, cook meals, laundry, clean etc…he changed his mind, LOL. So, he was OK with just keeping the kids alive during the daylight hours while I worked (and then I’d come home and do everything else) but I honestly think he would change his mind after a week of that!

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