Acronym of the Week: WOHM, WAHM, SAHM, SAHD

Bonus – 4 acronyms for the price of one!

WOHM – work outside the home mom
WAHM – work at home mom
SAHM – stay at home mom
SAHD – stay at home dad

Strangely, I’ve never seen a WOHD!

I only have 6 weeks of maternity leave left so I guess it is time to start talking about this; the good and the bad.  I’m going to be a WOHM and I have to admit it isn’t my ideal choice.  I kind of feel like this is an extra punch that infertility gave me and it really pisses me off.

You see, like many women who can’t get pregnant, I played the “bargain with God” game.  You know, where you think you aren’t getting pregnant because God thinks you need to accomplish x before you have kids.  So, I spent many years filling in the x.  It kind of went like this:

  1. Maybe God wants us to get out of the military first?  = no baby
  2. Maybe God wants DH to get his college degree? = no baby
  3. Maybe God wants us to move back home to Ohio? = no baby
  4. Maybe God wants me to go to graduate school? = no baby
  5. Ok, maybe a second masters degree? = no baby
  6. Maybe we need to buy a house? = no baby

Of course then we realized we needed God and some modern medicine to bring us our beautiful daughter.  Don’t get me wrong, I really think waiting so long to have a baby and the ups and downs of infertility will make us better parents (and a better marriage).  The down side is I now have 4 college degrees and a pretty darn good job to go with them.  When we started the game DH was a much higher earner than I was even though I had my bachelor degree in education.  It would have been perfect for me to stay home.

I once asked my mom “didn’t you want to be anything?” (sorry mom).  At about age 17 I started researching homeschooling and realized it was what I wanted to do.  Needless to say I began to realize that my mom did something amazing and I wanted to do it too.

Now I am the primary earner and it only makes sense for me to work to support our new family.  I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t admit this makes me want to cry.  I want to mother full time.  I want to bake, garden, build things, read, hug, kiss, sing, and love my baby ALL DAY.  I don’t want to let someone else do it!  I don’t want to come home tired and get a few hours before bed time to spend with my baby.  I want to be a housewife to my husband.  Frankly, since we’ve both worked I’m not exactly the paragon of domestic cleanliness.  But, that doesn’t mean I can’t be.  I want to love my family by cooking nutritious meals and keeping a clean and orderly house.  I want.  I want. I want.

The thing is that game I was playing with God?  He wasn’t playing with me.  This was his plan all along.  He has brought me here and I certainly can’t complain!  Look what he’s given me:

  • a strong marriage
  • a wonderful family nearby
  • a nice house (especially in this market!)
  • a good paying job
  • a rewarding career
  • a beautiful baby daughter!
Do I want to give it all back to have what I want?  Of course not.  I just need to adjust my attitude.  It has been a long process and I still have bad days.  I figure putting it down in writing will help me along the way.  I have no right to be feeling sorry for myself – I have it great.
  1. I have a fricking job – in this recession?  I’m darn lucky.  The news said that 300 people lined up for a single opening for a janitorial job at a middle school.  Wow, if people are clamoring for a crap job like that then the job market is bad, yes?  I have a decent paying job with relative job security.
  2. I honestly like my job – The reason I kept going to college (again and again and again!) was I didn’t want a “job” I had to go to but hate every day.  I wanted a career – a calling – and I wasn’t going to quit till I found it.  I started with a B.S. in Physics because I love science but I didn’t really want to work in a lab.  So, I got a B.A.Ed in Science Education and taught for a while.  I loved the kids but hated the bureaucracy.  Back to college!  I realized it was the learning I liked and what job lets you learn every day?  Librarianship!  I got my MLIS and enhanced it with an MS in Information Architecture and Knowledge Management (holy mouth full batman!).  These two things gave me a unique skill in the world of human/computer interaction.  It got even better – I landed a job at NASA so I get to combine my love of information/learning with my original love – science.  It is honestly an exciting place to work.  I get to learn about terramechanics one day and nuclear propulsion the next.  I work in an atmosphere where I am trusted as an expert in my field and given a lot of freedom to create the vision and direction for information services.  For the most part, I work with people I like (with one soul-sucking exception).  The government has tons of red tape that makes you want to bang your head against a really hard but super light aerospace material.  But, I also have the joy of working for a “cause” instead of a bottom line which appeals to me.  All in all I’m really very lucky.  I achieved my goal of finding a calling instead of a job.
  3. I am a strong, highly educated working woman!  Hear me roar!  This will be an amazing example for my daughter.  Growing up with a SAHM was so amazing (we came home from school to prepared snacks like apples cut into shapes) that it is easy to think that is the only way to be a good mom.  I realize this isn’t true.  I can be a good mom without being home all day and add the benefit of Aellyn realizing she can be anything she wants to be.
  4. I am extremely fortunate to have a husband willing and eager to be a SAHD.  That is a real man!  My misgivings about not staying home have nothing to do with the alternative.  Pete will be an awesome SAHD!  And how beneficial is that for Aellyn?  How often do little girls get to have such a close relationship with their daddy?  I get the amazing gift of not having to worry all day about if my daughter is being loved.  I know daycare is a necessity for many families but there are so many bad situations out there and even good situations can’t give your child the attention that you would.  I think this is especially true for attachment parented kids.  I’ve worked in daycare and even with the best ratios babies are left to cry for a while.  They just have to be.  When I go to work on June 1st I’m going to cry like a baby but it won’t be because I’m afraid my baby won’t be well cared for.
Hmmm, maybe God knew what he was doing?  I will strive to embrace my reality and count my blessings.  
In the meantime, an ode to SAHDs!  Dedicated to my wonderful husband, father of my baby girl, and forever my sweetheart.
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7 thoughts on “Acronym of the Week: WOHM, WAHM, SAHM, SAHD

  1. oh, after waiting so so long for a baby? oh my, I would give it ALL up. That stuff was THEN, what you have been given is NOW. You will miss all the developments and regret it. I’m only saying this b/c of how much you wanted the baby. What if god was saying – let’s see how much she’s willing to give up? My baby’s first two years went by in a heartbeat. You get only one go at it.

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  2. I love your blog – your are so inspirational and positive

    God bless you and your wonderful family

    love SuzanneinAustralia
    Hannah’s Prayer

    I’ve sent a pm – private message for you there too

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  3. It seems as though God knew exactly what he was doing. I can’t wait to see what wonderful things you both will do with Aellyn. Apple shapes are so last millennium.

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  4. to Katy – I can’t believe that God would give her a human life to teach her a hard lesson and watch what decisions she might or might not make with that life. God gives us intelligence AND emotion. Doesn’t God expects us to use all our gifts.

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  5. Great post. It’s funny how we think we have this great plan, and then life happens, God happens, and we don’t have the same plan. I hope the transition of going back to work will be smooth for you. I’m sure you’ll do great as a WOHM!

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  6. I think most moms these days feel the way you do. At least you are able to intelligently explore what you are feeling.

    You are so very intelligent & verbal & write what you’re experiencing with such pathos & detail.

    Thank you.

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