There's give-and-take in any family's childcare situation. A stay-at-home mom (SAHM) or dad (SAHD) gives up income and career advancement in exchange for time with children. But there are many lesser-known—if not lesser-felt—compromises an at-home parent makes each day.
Kids seem like insatiable eating machines when you're the one doling out every meal and snack (and wiping fingers, washing dishes, and triaging the crime scene, er, table and floor; lather, rinse, repeat).
So you skipped spin class because you stayed up late watching Peaky Blinders in a desperate bid for some downtime. Or you couldn't bring yourself to corral snacks and diapers and despondent offspring who think you are abandoning them at the gym nursery. The good news? When a doctor asks a tot-toting, child-chasing, stroller-pushing SAHM how frequently she exercises, she can confidently answer, "Every day."
In a social setting, don't be surprised if a SAHM blathers on a bit; she's home all day with the emotional cross between a puppy and Kim Jong Un. But come naptime or any blessed break when she might sit down at the computer or shower or stare at the wall in silence, please don't call or drop by.
You can kiss pudgy cheeks a hundred times in a morning, take the kids on awesome daily adventures, and be there for every milestone. But you're also there for every dirty diaper, every tantrum, every request to have a tea party or get out the Play-Doh. It's truly the babysitting gig that never ends.
Not everyone feels this way, of course. But make no mistake: Just because a SAHM vents about her exhausting, isolating, often thankless work doesn't mean she would have it any other way.