Being a SAHM rocks, especially if you're lucky enough to be married to one.
"I wish I could go to work," I whined.
We had a newborn and a toddler. I was sleep-deprived and completely overwhelmed.
My husband encouraged me to go back to work. "But financially, it hardly makes sense," I countered. Ever the optimist, he responded, "I don't care if it costs us money. If it makes you happy, it's worth it."
"It's not just that I want to go back to work," I explained. "I want your life." He stared at me, not understanding. "I want to kiss the kids goodbye, leave for work, and come home nine hours later without worrying about anything else, like you do."
The logistics of returning to work — even part-time — overwhelmed me. I didn't want to arrange childcare, leave notes detailing feeding and nap schedules, or pump at work. I didn't want to rush home with full breasts and write the sitter a check while the baby wailed, waiting to nurse. Also, I still couldn't fit into any of my work pants.
Whining aside, I'm grateful to have the chance to stay home with my kids. Being a SAHM is a great gig — for me and for my husband. Going back to work would feel a lot more manageable if I had someone like me to manage all the details required of being an adult.
Here are some of the perks of being the lucky partner of a SAHM:
1. He never worries about dinner.
My husband spends exactly zero minutes per day wondering what's for dinner. He has never sat down with Pinterest and a cookbook and created a grocery list. I take care of dinner, and I generally make sure it's something he likes (nothing too spicy, and no repeats of the chicken dish I tried to impress him with on our third date).
Shortly after he comes home from work, we sit down to a balanced, nutritious, home-cooked meal, and it's delicious (most of the time).
2. He has a personal shopper.
I know my husband's favorite soap (Ivory) and I know when we're running low. I know his size and what he likes (medium shirts, 9.5 shoes, button-down short sleeve shirts). I don't mind buying him a pile of clothes online, reminding him a dozen times to try them on, and returning what doesn't work. Actually, I enjoy it.
3. He has a live-in maid.
The house may not sparkle and shine every day but I make it presentable for company. I find and toss whatever is rotting in the fridge. Occasionally, I vacuum the couch cushions. And while I know he doesn't notice whether the house has been freshly mopped and dusted, my husband notices how much money we save sans cleaning lady.
4. His personal assistant is on call 24/7.
My husband has emailed me as early 5 AM, reminding me to please call a plumber or to follow up with the accountant. I bake cakes for my mother-in-law's birthday, I meet the electrician, I take the kids to their doctors' appointments, and I deposit checks at the bank.
At library story hour, I retrieve my husband's books from the hold shelf, and I grab a DVD or a magazine he might enjoy. When flooding destroyed our basement, I coordinated the remodel. I'm proud to say I was fully responsible for negotiating an insanely low price on our minivan.
5. His nanny is priceless.
No one in the world loves our kids as much as I do. When our four year-old cries because her friend refuses to play with her, my heart breaks a little as she presses her tear-stained cheek into my hoodie. I watch our rambunctious toddler at the park from a distance, but carefully, to make sure she hasn't found any of the (many) foods to which she's deathly allergic.
And when I make mistakes with the kids, I tell my husband. Usually he helps me find the humor in the situation. Sometimes he agrees I've royally screwed up. No matter what, I'm honest about the day's events; I'm not afraid he'll fire me.
Having a stay-at-home partner is a luxury for everyone involved.
For all the seemingly invisible tasks I do, I'm paid in giggles, smiles, hugs, and random irreplaceable moments with my kids. As for my husband, he's a smart guy. He knows he could never afford to replace me.