I am not sure who coined the term "SAHM," but I would like to know if that person has kids. Because I have four (not that anyone would ever ask me about anything in regards to parenting - Octomom seems to be more popular). I am just wondering what made Stay At Home mom a seemingly acceptable title to describe us collectively. And, while I'm at it, what made an acronym even better (I hate acronyms and rarely think they make anything better - ROTFLMAO being my prime example because it reminds me of barfing rather than laughing)?
So, I've not worked in a formally titled location full-time for about eight years, and I find myself paralyzed when faced with the my four kids' hundreds of school forms that ask for Employer. I have been known to jot down something vague (home organizer???), illegible, or "N/A". I am sure that whoever reads these countless forms has a good snort at my expense.
This year was no exception. I found myself unable to actually put my employment status on the line. This brings me to why I am writing this post today: Sometime during 2010 I became familiar with the acronym 'SAHM'. And, it might be fair to say I hate it.
I didn't know what SAHM stood for for a long time. Since I would rather admit to a regular case of dandruff than not knowing what is going on, it did not occur to me to ask someone what it meant.
Illustrating a Point by Way of Actual Conversation:
Girl Child - Mom, what's that white stuff in your hair?
Me - Dandruff.
Girl Child (later that same day) - Mom, did you know that these pants I am wearing are called Jeggings? And, that jeggings is jean leggings???
Me - Um, yeah. Who doesn't know that/???
Soooooo, when I started seeing SAHM on various Twitter bios, blog profiles, parenting articles (not that I actually read those), etc., rather than try to find out what it meant I just pretended I knew and carried on. I had a fun time making up stuff that SAHM could stand for (usually I am far too busy to have time for such nonsense). I am not sure where this term originated (possibly another planet), but since I live in a city that is regularly abbreviated S.A., I invented many meanings for SAHM. My personal favorite: San Antonio Home for the Mentally Incapacitated (forget that the "I" is missing from the acronym).
Now, I hate to tell you, but when I found out the true meaning of SAHM I was disappointed and bewildered.
My disappointment sprung from not being able to mess around with funny names anymore (not that I regularly have time for such foolishness). My bewilderment, (which later developed into....hatred), was a little harder to pinpoint.
Well, I am writing this post today having hit the nail on the head. I find myself hating SAHM because it is so woefully inaccurate. Stay At Home Mom? Seriously? To define a woman who quit a Work Outside the Home (also, woefully inaccurate) job to raise children, maintain a household, and cater to a needy husband (Oh, wait - is that only me? Did I ask that out loud?) as a Stay At Home Mom just begs the question: Are we really all STAYING AT HOME???
If I was to name everything I do during the day - rare is the day that Stay At Home would even make the list. Which brings me to yesterday when I thought of SAHMs and how we really need to rename ourselves.
5:30 a.m. - My alarm rang waking me from a dream in which I was a famous writer and had thousands of Facebook fans and Twitter followers.
5:30 - 7:00 - I cooked breakfast, made lunches, and frantically scurried to get three over-sleeping, whiny small people on the bus.
7:00 - 8:00 - I contemplated working out and opted to surf the net instead.
8:00 - 9:30 - I went to the bank, the farmer's market, and HEB (not an acronym, but the actual owner's initials). By the way, this required me to Go Out Of My Home.
9:30-10:00 - I put all the groceries away, packed two more lunches, and hit the road again.
10:00 - 11:00 - I drove around town making deliveries for the business I do from home (but which requires me to leave home frequently).
11:00 - 11:15 - I went back home to pick up the two-year old's water bottle, cell phone, and purse in an attempt to squelch the screaming and whining emitting from the back seat.
11:20-12:15 - I ate lunch with my son. At school (which, in case you hadn't figured is...NOT HOME).
12:15 - I arrived back home. Read Goldilocks and put the two year old down for a nap.
2:15 - I woke up said two year old and prepared to Go Out of My Home again to pick up the short people.
3:00 - I was back home to peruse homework, sign papers (hopefully not asking for my Employer), do a quick clean-up, and cook dinner.
6:00 - 9:00 - I was out of my home again! I watched some titillating scootering, played some two-square, drank some beer, and hung out with the neighbors.
9:00 - 10:00 - I put kids to bed, talked with my husband, and finally got back in my bed to dream of becoming famous.
Does that speak Stay At Home to you? I know if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem, so here are some alternate titles I have coined (based on my own actual experience with four kids) for your review and consideration. If you, dear reader, are a SAHM and you like one - use it! Consider it my gift to you (thank me later).
Drive All Over The Freakin' Town (DAOFT) Mom
Cook Six Hours A Day (CSHaD) Mom
Listen Excessively To Whining and Fussing (LETWF) Mom
Not Working in a Formally Titled Location, but Rather Working At Home and About (NWFTLRWaHA) Mom
and, last but not least (what I'm using) -
Still Working On That (SWOT) mom
Changing the world one acronym at a time. :o)