Lately I’ve noticed that a few of my extremely lucky Facebook “friends” are making the perks of their SAHM situations look like hardships…and I’m sick of it. Like, it’s really starting to bother me. Because their humblebrags aren’t fair to the mums who are living the true reality of what it’s like to stay home and take care of children all day. Let’s face it, most days at home with kids involve mind-numbing cartoon music, peanut butter smears on all surfaces, and no personal space whatsoever. There were times when I was a stay-at-home mum when I couldn’t wait to play hide and seek just so I could catch three minutes of peace in the darkness of my closet. But some of these mums seem to have different “hardships” than most.
For example, I was recently standing in line at the supermarket, scrolling through my newsfeed, when I noticed a photo of two long legs stretched out, a cup of coffee balanced on one thigh while a notebook and pen sat on the other. In the background, a toddler played with a pile of blocks. The caption read, “No such thing as a coffee break. #menuplanning #sahmlife” Off camera, I knew a nanny was busy preparing the mid-morning snack for this particular acquaintance’s child (thanks to her posts about her nanny). Thinking back to my days as a SAHM, when I barely had time to drink coffee let alone sit down and savour it, this looked like a coffee break to me!
I kept scrolling through my newsfeed and a little further down, I noticed that another mum had posted a gym selfie, with the caption: “Fitting in a spin class before school pick up. Doing what needs to be done. #sahmlife.” This wasn’t a one-off; she routinely posts about her three-hour workouts and how she credits her sweat sessions for her amazing body with the reminder that anyone can have her body if they want it enough (uh, thanks). Amazing for her, but most mums I know squeeze gym sessions in at the crack of dawn or late at night (or never).
Of course, these snapshots are just a glimpse of how these mums are spending their days — certainly there are times when they’re dealing with temper tantrums. I have no doubt their favourite blouses have been destroyed by raspberry jam handprints or mud, and I know we’re all in the same boat when it comes to the relentlessly noisy toys with broken volume controls. But, of course, they’re not posting photos of those moments. And to those who don’t have the money to be a stay-at-home mum and a member of a yoga studio — or even to those of us trying to juggle work and motherhood — it’s incredibly frustrating to see someone pass off the perks of being a SAHM with money as trials of the gig.
Parenting is tough – no matter how you slice it – but come on, ladies. Admit when you’ve got it good and stop trying to turn a twice a month massage into another item on an overwhelming to-do list. And if you think it’s a trial, pass it on to me. I’ll take that hardship any day!