Note on What A Stay At Home Mom Does

These “notes” are ideas for essays/longer posts. If you see one that you think would make a good essay/post or that you just want to see what I would do with it, please leave me a comment or send me an e-mail!


I took Manchild to the doctor last week for his 5-year checkup. The receptionist noticed my interest in the Rachael Ray show, which was on while I was filling out the paperwork.

“You’re a real stay-at-home-mom,” she said. “I could tell because you’re interested in the cooking show. You cook for your family.” She went on to tell me about another mom she knows like that, who lives in Park Slope. She cooks all their food and doesn’t hire anyone to help her around the house while she is home with the kids. The receptionist had noted how, unless Micah was home, I always came to the doctor by myself – no babysitter tagging along. This other lady said that if she’s going to be a stay-at-home-mom, she’s going to be a stay-at-home-mom. Meaning she’s not going to hire any help or order out for their all the time.

I was a little surprised. Isn’t that what a stay-at-home-mom does? She may not earn any money, but she makes up for it by not hiring help, by preparing her family’s food, by learning how to make the most of what they have, by being the person who is there to answer the kids’ questions and take them to the park.

What does being a stay-at-home-mom mean to you?

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  1. I find this a little odd… I cook, I clean, I go to my child’s doctors appointments…and I work. I understand that the difference was meant to be SAHM versus those that are home but not present, but…just struck me oddly.


    lizzie Reply:

    Yeah, I did mean to make that distinction between stay-at-home and work-at-home, which is an entirely different set of circumstances. But apparently there is a sub-culture of SAHMs in NYC that I didn’t know about that hire a nanny to keep themselves company as much as the children. I thought that was what friends were for.


  2. A friend of mine in Houston wanted to work for a few hours at Restoration Hardware in the evenings so she could get an employeee discount. Unfortunately, they didn’t need her in the evenings, they needed her in the middle of the day, after brunch and tennis, but before school got out.
    She told them she couldn’t work then because she had children at home. The HR person looked at her and said, “So do those customers.”
    At that moment, she knew she was living in a different world from those women. Not better or worse, just completely different.


    lizzie Reply:

    Yes indeed. I often wonder how these things work in other families. I think it would be interesting to just shadow a bunch of moms — SAHM, WAHM, working moms, etc. — just to see how their lives converge and diverge and how they handle the same things in very different ways.


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