Sunday, October 2, 2011

Portrait of a Stay-At-Home Mom's Uniform

Disclaimer: I have the highest respect for stay-at-home moms or SAHMs (as I will refer to them now.) Besides 'Deadliest Catch' crab fisherman and Bachelor contestant screener, they have one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Their job is 24/7 except for the occasional 'girls night out' and even then, they get 4-5 calls from their inept husbands asking where to find the diapers or the third child. So if you are a SAHM please don't take offense to this blog but know that I understand the high demands of this job keep you from the luxuries of life like showering and brushing your teeth everyday. And I also want to give a shout out to my wife who is able to put herself out there. She is an amazing wife and mother and I love her dearly especially for allowing this picture and blog.

1. Disheveled Hair - The standard hair style of the stay-at-home mom is the loose, greasy pony tail with wispies in the front and half of it falling out. The loose ponytail is the best hair style to put up quick because one kid is punching the other while the third is walking around with the toilet plunger. Its also the best style used to hide the roots, split-ends and inevitable grey hair that you know is coming too soon.

2. Glasses - Because you ain't got no time for contacts. What is easier: moving your glasses from the top of your head to your eyes or searching for an hour through a laundry basket of random toys for a contact because your 3 year old hit you in the face with a pillow knocking it out.

3. The Obligatory Thumbs Up - Because when all is going wrong, and it will go wrong, you must still put on the happy face and thumbs up to show that all is still OK. Because if you lose it, the children will lose it more. And you must not show weakness. They can smell weakness and devour it.

4. The Baggy, Black Sweatshirt - One of the 3 standards of every SAHM's uniform. It must be baggy because no mom wants to wear something tight or uncomfortable. When the child grabs onto the baggy sweatshirt, you need the ability to slip it off and run away before they even know you are gone. And it must be black to hide all the stains you will acquire during the day. (not 'might' acquire but 'will' acquire.) If you wore a white sweatshirt you would look like a messy painter or bad chef, more than a mom. (if you look close enough at the picture, you will see the stains.)

5. The Baggy, Black Stretch Pants - The 2nd standard of the SAHM uniform. Baggy and black for all of the same reasons for the sweatshirt. Another reason is that you can wear them for multiple days in a row before smell or guilt causes you to wash them. They are the most versatile item in a SAHM's wardrobe because you can sleep in them, wake up, keep them on through church, wear them to the gym, take a shower and put them back on to lounge in them at home, go out with the girls at night and then go back to bed with them on, ready to go for the next day. My wife informed me that she has officially lost count of when these were last washed.

6. Socks - unknown of when last changed but surprisingly matching. The typical sock pair of the SAHM needs to be one long, white tube sock and one yellow anklet with holes in the toes.

7. Dog at the feet - If it is not a child, there is always a dog at your feet. They especially like to be around your feet in the kitchen when you are carrying a heavy pot of boiling water or a giant serving platter full of 'time-consuming' appetizers for that dinner party your husband signed you up for bringing appetizers but forgot to mention until that day. And yet the dog is never around when you are 15 minutes late to said dinner party and you need to let them out before you go.

8. Attached child at the hip (not shown) - The 3rd standard of every SAHM's uniform. Every mom has at least one child touching them at all times. Either carrying the baby around cause its easier to carry than to repeatedly pull them off the kitchen table or the toddlers who want something to eat for breakfast, who could easily get cereal for themselves but once they start looking, they grab hot dogs or chips and you think, "Well, hot dogs are protein and from a pig just like bacon and chips were once potatoes and they make hash browns out of potatoes so hot dogs and chips sounds like a great breakfast and I want to avoid the fight and whining that would ensue once I take it away and its only 8:00 and I have been up for 3 hours already because the 3 year old needed help in the bathroom at 5 in the morning and refused to go back to sleep and was too loud so he woke up the other 2 kids, so now my day begins at 5:00 a.m. and my husband isn't even awake yet who starts work at 9:00 so now I will be pulling a double shift today when he gets home from work at 6 and yet I will still have to do the bedtime routine because 'He will be tired from a long day at work' and then after all the kids are down and it is finally 'my time'..... he wants sex. So hot dogs and chips for breakfast are just fine by me."

So if you are out in public and you see a SAHM, please do not judge.  You now know the reason for the black sweat suit combo, frizzy hair, and screaming child.  Tell her "thank you for all you do."  They are the most under-appreciated employee out there.  And she probably wouldn't mind the adult interaction either.  A conversation not about Dora, poop, hunger pains, sybling unfairness, or general whining would be a welcome treat to any SAHM.

Thank you stay-at-home moms. Wear what ever you want,
The Joyful and Tired Dad.


  1. An addendum to #4 is that once the SAHM gets really good, the baggy shirt is one from her husbands closet because all of hers' are too stiff and hard to actually put on!

  2. I am no longer a SAHM, since our 5 had the audacity to grow up!! But, I remember those days (all except the dog), and would joyfully go back--IF I would magically be younger again! I could never "do it all" at the age of 60!! However, a day or 5 with grandkids is wonderful!! :)