SAHMs work hard

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2011
SAHMs work hard
7
Wed, 07-02-2014 - 12:03pm

This woman I know through friends contacted me desperately wanting me to babysit her child all week long. She said she heard that I was a stay at home mother, so she knew I could watch her child all day long. She has to work, and her other childcare fell through. Now her child is 4 years old. (I would have thought, that after 4 years, she would have made all kinds of arrangements for when childcare falls through, such as having other babysitters on hand or be registered with a drop-in daycare she could use). She seemed to labor under the misapprehension that because I am a SAHM, I was ready, willing and able to take her child into my home all week long .She did not even offer payment. I have never even met this woman and know nothing about her, and likewise, she knows nothing about me except that we have a mutual friend and that I am a stay at home mom. 

Now, this may come as a huge surprise to many people. Here is the bombshell.

Even though I am a SAHM, I actually have lots of work to do during the daytime. I'm not actually sitting at home all day long. Imagine that! I run lots of errands in my car, have to fax and mail things to my insurance company, go grocery shopping, pick up prescriptions at the drugstore, wakeup, dress, feed and take my child to the dentist and swim classes, take pets to the veterinarian, take myself to the doctor or dentist, return stuff to the library, visit the bank.  The only time I am in the house is when I am doing laundry, cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, tidying up, cleaning the litter box, feeding the cats, cooking and preparing meals, cleaning out the fridge, mopping the kitchen floor, cleaning the toilets and bathtubs and showers, making up the beds and taking out trash.  I am insulted that people think I would just let working women drop their kids off at my house all week long, and I would just watch them for free. If you are working person, please don't assume you can take advantage of SAHMs. Its also amusing to me that many people think SAHMs are "lazy", but we are often the first people they call on when they are in a desperate situation and need help. Also, for those of you who work, please make responsible child care arrangements for your children. A total stranger is not someone who should be watching your child, even if you know someone who knows them. It is also inappropriate and rude to assume someone can do this. A polite way to ask is "I know you are probably very busy yourself, but could you help me or do you know someone who could". Rather than simply making a demand.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2011
Sun, 07-06-2014 - 9:17pm

When you judge someone else, you open yourself up to being judged by them.

Total strangers have no business asking what she asked. There are worse things I could say, but I will refrain. So I am actually being very kind about her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 07-03-2014 - 10:35am

I would certainly not expect someone to watch my child for a week without paying them.  My kids are grown now but a had a variety of arrangements when they were young.  Your comment that she should have arrangements in place in hand is not always realistic and you are also being judgmental to her (which is what you don't want her to be to you, assuming that you have a lot of free time).  When my 2nd child was in a home daycare, the daycare provider had an illness (can't remember what it was now) where she was actually not able to provide childcare for a couple of week, I think.  At that time, I was only working part-time.  Luckily I knew a SAHM who was able to take my child for this short period of time--and of course I paid her.  Another time, I had enrolled him in a daycare center--I went to pick him up one Friday and found out that the daycare was closing--with no notice at all!  Luckily I called the house where he used to go for daycare and that woman was able to take him for a week or so until I found a new center--he was really too old for the home daycare.  But when you enroll your child in a center, you figure you are all set.  Imagine now you have maybe 50 families now all suddenly with no daycare all competing for maybe a small number of available spaces.  Not everyone has "drop in" childcare available or relatives around.  I had no relatives in my area or anyone around to take my kids on short notice.  So unless you have actually experiences what it's like to try to juggle work and having your kids in daycare, don't be so harsh on someone else.  I don't think that SAHMs are in any way "lazy,"--it's a different kind of challenge to be home watching your kids all day since that is a job in itself, but for all the things you listed that you do, remember that WOHMs have to do all those things too--after work or on lunch hour, etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Thu, 07-03-2014 - 9:32am

jyladvik wrote:
<p>This woman I know through friends contacted me desperately wanting me to babysit her child all week long. She said she heard that I was a stay at home mother, so she knew I could watch her child all day long. She has to work, and her other childcare fell through. Now her child is 4 years old. (I would have thought, that after 4 years, she would have made all kinds of arrangements for when childcare falls through, such as having other babysitters on hand or be registered with a drop-in daycare she could use). She seemed to labor under the misapprehension that because I am a SAHM, I was ready, willing and able to take her child into my home all week long .She did not even offer payment. I have never even met this woman and know nothing about her, and likewise, she knows nothing about me except that we have a mutual friend and that I am a stay at home mom. </p><p>Now, this may come as a huge surprise to many people. Here is the bombshell.</p><p>Even though I am a SAHM, I actually have lots of work to do during the daytime. I'm not actually sitting at home all day long. Imagine that! I run lots of errands in my car, have to fax and mail things to my insurance company, go grocery shopping, pick up prescriptions at the drugstore, wakeup, dress, feed and take my child to the dentist and swim classes, take pets to the veterinarian, take myself to the doctor or dentist, return stuff to the library, visit the bank.  The only time I am in the house is when I am doing laundry, cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, tidying up, cleaning the litter box, feeding the cats, cooking and preparing meals, cleaning out the fridge, mopping the kitchen floor, cleaning the toilets and bathtubs and showers, making up the beds and taking out trash.  I am insulted that people think I would just let working women drop their kids off at my house all week long, and I would just watch them for free. If you are working person, please don't assume you can take advantage of SAHMs. Its also amusing to me that many people think SAHMs are "lazy", but we are often the first people they call on when they are in a desperate situation and need help. Also, for those of you who work, please make responsible child care arrangements for your children. A total stranger is not someone who should be watching your child, even if you know someone who knows them. It is also inappropriate and rude to assume someone can do this. A polite way to ask is "I know you are probably very busy yourself, but could you help me or do you know someone who could". Rather than simply making a demand.</p>

I wonder if the mutal friend said something that would indicate that you were available?  It's not a huge surprise to me, I'm a wohm and deal with a lot of that stuff on top of working.  I also agree with you that a total stranger shouldn't be watching one's children.

PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2013
Wed, 07-02-2014 - 2:39pm

Dude, even if you weren't doing anything at all besides sitting on the sofa, eating bon bons and watching TV, you have the absolute RIGHT to tell some essential stranger, "No, I can't watch your child this week; I already have plans."

I've been a WOHM since 1982 (although admittedly, once John graduated high school in 2000, my parenting dropped off some ;) ), but there's NO WAY that you, as a SAHM are obligated to provide child care if you don't want to.  You don't owe anybody (not the woman asking and certainly not us) an explanation of your time.

Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Wed, 07-02-2014 - 1:04pm
Maybe you were described as a willing SAHM that has all the time in the world... Quite the understatement I know but it does go on.

 


 


Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Wed, 07-02-2014 - 12:15pm
I have to agree with Bordwithyou, I am wondering if your friend implied something. I am a working mom and while I have a back up or two, we don't know many people in town, but if my child care falls through, I stay home with my kids, I would never pass them off on a stranger, or a friend of a friend. And not every working mother assumes SAHM's aren't busy or are lazy. Heck, even if I take a day off, my day is packed with a ton of stuff that I don't have the time to get done while working, I think any sane working mom knows that a SAHM is a full time job also, but maybe that's just me.
Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Wed, 07-02-2014 - 12:07pm

That all seems very odd.  Perhaps your friend implied to her that you are in the habit of babysitting or something?