SAHM, Minus the H

When I lived in Greenville, there were so many SAHM's.  It was the norm.  You had a kid (or 2 or 3 or 6) and stayed home with them until they were ready to go to school.  Sometimes at that point, you STILL didn't go to work... you just transitioned into becoming a housewife/ taxi service.  Like I said, that's the norm... the culture.  Of course there are still those moms that have to work, and they do, and it's fine... they're not shunned... much.

But here in Miami, the culture is the COMPLETE opposite.  Here, most women go back to work once their 3 month maternity leave is over...  The cost of living here is much higher and they have to go back to work for financial reasons.  So, they have their Abuelita's help take care of the baby or put the baby in a home care or daycare.  When moving here, I was really worried that I'd be one of the Only Lonely SAHM's in Miami and that I wouldn't have any friends.

Well for the most part, I was right.  The SAHM scene is scarse.  Most all the SAHM women who I know are trying to find a job or at least part time work to help with the responsibilities.  For this reason, our MOPS group has had a very hard time taking off.  We have very little consistency.  But I digress, that's not what this post is about.

In Greenville, if you met a SAHM, you'd immediately exchange information and set up times for your next playdate at the park... especially if your kids were around the same ages!  In Greenville, women are constantly calling, texting and facebooking each other, making plans for their kiddos for the upcoming week.  The kids stay busy, the moms stay social, everyone is happy.

The SAHM's here are different than the ones in Greenville.  They're private.  They're flyin' solo.  They want to be left alone.  I can not tell you HOW many women I've met, that we exchange a few words and no conversation ensues.  Or HOW many women I've told, "we should get together sometime" and they give me a weak smile and say, "oh, we just don't do that sort of thing".  Am I missing something?!  What "sort of thing"?!

Here's what I see about Miami SAHM's.  They think that just because they're a Stay AT HOME Mom, that they have to STAY AT HOME!  What!?  They rarely venture out of the house.  They don't want to meet up for play dates.  They don't want to leave their kids at any form of childcare or take them to activities.

We stay busy.  We have something to do EVERY single morning of the week.  And, if we don't then we have a few activities that I insert here and there.  Here's a run down of our typical week:
Monday- Mall play area OR Library Toddler time  (both options are free)
Tuesday- MOPS (cost $25 for the year.  Free childcare)
Wednesday- BSF Bible Study Fellowship (free with free childcare)
Thursday- Doctor Appointment day OR Library Toddler Time
Friday- Music Time class ($200 per child for the semester).

That's our mornings.  Then we come home for lunch, nap and our afternoons are usually watching a movie, playing, reading, cooking, etc.  As you can see, my activities are mostly free.  The only activity I splurge on is the MusicTime class for each of the boys because music enrichment is important to me.  But other than that, it's all free.

Did you notice, I leave the boys twice a week in "childcare"?  *GASP*  Once at MOPS and once at BSF.  And can I say, they don't mind one bit.  They love it.  They love that they have the opportunity to play with "new friends" and with new toys.  They need to be away from me a little bit... and I need it too!  And during that time, I am receiving an enrichment for mySELF that I wouldn't otherwise be able to receive.  You know, this SAHM thing is HARD... I need a break for ME too!  And if I didn't feel 100% confident that my children were being left in a loving, Christian, happy, friendly and safe environment, I wouldn't be leaving them.  And when I tell you that they love it... LOVE it.

I just can not understand how some moms can just stay isolated in their homes or with their errands all day, every day and not take a time out for the enrichment of their children.  Enrichment INCLUDES socialization!  Children NEED to learn how to play with other children... especially when you're NOT there!  Can't you see that by doing this, you're giving them the BEST of both worlds?... personal focused time with you AND enriching activities that offer social stimulation.

Maybe we should change the phrase SAHM to SBM (Stay Busy Mom) or SFEM (Stay Focused on Enrichment Mom).  I mean, if you're staying home from work, then your NEW job should be focusing on your children and their enrichment.

So with that, I tell you...

Edit: After I wrote this, we headed out to the library.  And case in point... we were the ONLY ones there.  As in, me Marco and Jonas... that's it.  Why!?  Why aren't people taking advantage of these FREE services?
And, I know some of you live in the coooold weather, so I give you a pass, but us?  We're in Miami... no excuses.


Shawna said...

Great post! Sometimes it's like that around here too---pulling teeth to get people together. I often end up thinking "hey, I'm a SAHM too---I *know* what you're doing at home all day and there is no possible way you aren't dying to get out of the house for awhile!!!!" :-)

Danielle-Marie said...

I'm a SAHM ...and pretty much everybody here in Ontario, Canada stays home with their child until their 1 year maternity leave is over. After that it's fairly standard to return to work, especially if you have only one child. Often, when people have more than one child it seems like most moms just stay home until their kids go to school. Any additional income wouldn't be worth it since the cost of daycare for 2+ kids is astronomical. But for the moms who do stay home there is a sense of unity. That said, I do need to get my butt out with the kids more often to the EYC and such. I've been using the weather as an excuse since I don't drive and we just got snow dumped on us.

Thanks for the motivation!

Callie Nicole said...

If I stayed at home full-time I'd be out doing MOPS and all that! The only reason I don't now is because I work on the day that all of the MOPS in the state seem to meet.

I will say that I live in one of those areas (or at least run in one of the circles) where it seems like everyone is a full-time stay-at-home mom except me - and I feel left out because I do work, even if it is only two days a week. :-/ It's weird how it goes both ways and changes from place to place!