Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hello, Nice to Meet You, I'm just a SAHW

Today after playing around with Feedjit while continuing to avoid cleaning the disaster zone that is my desk (and my dresser, and the chair which is piled dangerously high with clothes, and...most everything else), I realized that I actually get non-IF related visitors! Of course they don't comment, because they probably quickly realize I'm not what they're looking for at all.

Out of courtesy to all those visitors who want to know what being a stay at home wife is really all about, I thought I'd do a post to share just that.

Once upon a time, I had a dream...of being a teacher. (I have dreams of being a mother too, but I'll avoid talking about those for this post.) I went to school and worked super hard and double majored in early childhood and special ed. I graduated early and was too young to start teaching, so said my parents at least, and they encouraged me to go back to school for my MS. Which I did (thank you parents for the good advice!), and during my final semester, I started teaching.

Thus began one of the loves of my life. I taught first grade at our university's campus school - the school attached to the campus where all the cool educational research takes place. My school looped, so I had my kids again for second grade. I don't even know how to express how much I loved teaching, and how much I miss it and my kids. I put in 12 hour days at the school and would bring work home to work on for the few hours I had before I fell asleep out of exhaustion - and I loved every minute of it (well, most).

Then I got married, moved to Canada, and realized that Canada is a different country and I couldn't just get a job until my immigration went through. And that folks, is as exciting as it gets - I'm a stay at home wife because I couldn't legally work here for the last three years.

I named my blog "Just" a Stay at Home Wife because that's what I hear all the time these days. "So you got a masters and now you're 'just' a stay at home wife?" As though being a stay at home wife is so...lowly and unworthy.

People also don't realize that I've worked from home for the past two years (just quit last month so that I could enjoy true SAHW status - well, actually because I was getting overwhelmed with working and studying), and I'm enrolled in a full-time online religious studies program. So I'm not just a wife who sits at home and twiddles her thumbs and obsesses about having a baby (um, though I do obsess...occasionally...;).

So the meaning behind the blog name is two-fold - I'm not just a stay at home wife, there's so much more to me. I hate it when people make a snap judgment based on outward appearance, though unfortunately many people are very wont to do that. And secondly, even if I were "just" a stay at home wife, so what? What's so wrong about not working and enjoying being at home?

I do enjoy being home, though I miss teaching terribly. But because I'm a restless-type, I probably wouldn't want to be at home if I weren't studying or working - if I had neither of those (nor children) on my plate, I'd probably go crazy being at home. I just never pursued my work permit that actively in the beginning after coming here because I was so certain I'd be a SAHM by now.

For any other SAHWs who are home not by choice, I would suggest taking up a part-time job or course online - the options are endless. Just don't get yourself in too deep, like I did - because I'm almost as busy as when I used to work full-time. Alternately, you can look at this as the time you have to indulge in your hobbies and pastimes, time that will mysteriously disappear when you return to a "real" occupation.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming...of obsessing about the arrival or non-arrival of AF on Friday (thanks for bringing me back to my senses friends, I'm not testing. :)

16 comments:

Just Me. said...

I had a dream *music cue comes in* to buy many bags, shoes and clothes..and my job paid well for me to do that...

I'm a SAHW too now.

Friday's tomorrow!!!! I have everything crossed for ya!!!!

Mrs. Spit said...

Hey,

when we were first married, I was a SAHW. I loved it. I had time to cook and clean and bake bread and volunteer with church. . .

Lost in Space said...

I say "screw you" to anyone who wants to judge what you do. Every family is different and if it works, it works. I hope you are able to get back to your love of teaching soon and all my best to you on Friday.

Deb said...

I am one of the visitors who does not (usually) comment, but that is mostly because I dont feel like I have anything I can offer never having been through the experiences you are going through. I worry that my simple "sorry for what your going through" would sound to trite. I do, however, have you on my blog roll (and you have been for some time) because I anxiously await the day your status changes to SAHM from SAHW. The day you get the BFP, well then I will know what to say. So although I am always checking in on ya, I hope you dont mind my just lurking until I feel I have something to say that will really mean something.

(I hope that came off the way I intended. I worry sometimes that we Non-IVF's might say something we know nothing about-and I dont want to do that)

Hope AF does not rear its ugly head tomorrow though....and not again for oh say.....9 months would be good. :)

loribeth said...

I was a SAHW for the first six months that I was married. I moved to my dh's hometown & was unemployed while I looked for a job & collecting umemployment insurance (I would never be able to do that today under the current rules). People would ask me what I did with myself all day. I didn't know any/many people, but I was never bored. I did the housework and had dinner waiting for dh when he got home. I went for long walks, exploring my new city. I went to the library & read a lot. It was nice.

All of us have the same 24 hours, & whether we work outside the home or not, they somehow mysteriously keep on filling up! Enjoy this time & ignore the ignoramuses.

Echloe said...

I secretly want to be a SAHW. I was one for a year and then started teaching (college) part-time. Now I'm back to full time and miss my at home status at times. I hope to be a SAHM for some time. And I hope you can be one too very soon. As in tomorrow. Good luck.

~Jess said...

I would love to be a SAHW, alas, it hasn't happened yet. Someday....

Gibson Twins said...

I read your blog quite often, and I am not allowed to classify myself as IF or TTC anymore because I am now "JUST" a SAHM.

I was a SAHW for about 8 weeks and every day I think I looked for a job but was waiting for the right one since we had just moved out of our hometown to a new city/state. I found the "right" job only to get pg 3 months later. Some irony to that...

People say to me all the time so you get to stay home all day everyday? Thats nice. Really? Is it nice that I have to pottytrain 2 kids and feel like a single mother while my husband is gone 14 hours a day for work? I have less free time being SAHM than I ever did before as a nurse or secretary etc. But having 2 at once makes childcare a fortune so it financially makes more sense to be home.

I don't want to come off as resentful because I know, somehow it could always be worse. I hope you can get back to teaching soon, our children need teachers like you that love their job!

Well I hope I didn't send any unwanted twin vibes to you- good luck and enjoy your weekend :)

alicia said...

wow that is to bad you can't teach here! how much longer to you have to wait still? so hard, but good for you for standing up for yourself. And I know soon you will be a SAHM!

☆ Loren ☆ said...

Thank you for sharing this, i had no idea :). ...

InfertileMadWoman said...

You know, I think that being a stay at home anthing is hard, so don't let people get you down!!!

I am pretty sure your gonna get a raise and title change soon!!

Jodi said...

I'm in the same boat as you. Can't work for immigration reasons. Can't leave Canada at this point, so I can't go home to Seattle (only 2 hours away) for visits.

I wish I had a way to work from home. I haven't found one yet. It would be nice to bring in money that is not from my rapidly depleting savings account.

sara said...

I loved your explanation! I'm keeping every last thing I have crossed for you to have a good result tomorrow. And for what ever reason people stay at home - no one should ask why, they should know that everyone has their reasons. Even if their reason is just "because they want to." That's good enough reason to me! I hope you get to return to teaching very soon, it's great to love what you do.

J'Ollie Primitives said...

"just" nothin'. Tell folks you're "enjoying being a SAHW" and be inscrutable. Inscrutable works wonders.:)
BTW my MIL (mind you this is OVER 45 years ago when medicine was a little prehistoric...) dealt with a number of autoimmune diseases and infertility. They adopted in their 30's ~ and she had her first and second biological children when she was in her 40's. Both Surprises. I'm just sayin'.

@ Home said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
@ Home said...

Thank you so much for your blog. I really do love the title. I'm new to the whole SAHW role. The hardest part for me is figuring out how to define myself....I get the "just" a stay at home wife now a lot. Granted I would have had the same reaction when I was a working girl and someone told me they didn't work. I had created a life that revolved around work and everything else didn't matter. It was my identity.

Now I'm finding joy in other activities and they keep me BUSY. People are surprised when I tell that I never watch t.v. during the day. Do they think I'm just sitting around all day waiting to cook dinner for my husband?