SAHM vs. Couch Potato Mom

[deleted account] ( 21 moms have responded )

First off, let me say that I have 100% complete respect for SAHMs! It is a job that I could never do.



This week I have spring break and am off of work. However, my son's preschool is open and I get charged weekly tuition, so I decided to send him for 3 days this week. On Thursday we're going to a museum, and on Friday a spring training baseball game.



But for the next 3 days, I plan to be a couch potato! So it got me thinking. What really defines a SAHM and what really defines a couch potato mom? My house is semi-clean. Garbage is out, but I also acknowledge that cleaning is my weak point! Just curious on your opinions.

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LaCi - posted on 04/16/2010

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Unfortunately I don't have time to be a couch potato mom lol. When my son FINALLY takes a nap and I get a break I work out or do homework. I frequently check the web, and while he's awake I'm usually running around trying to balance my sanity, housework, and playtime. As soon as the boyfriend gets home and we've eaten dinner I morph into couch potato mode, unless he has another agenda like yard work ;/ By the time Nico would allow me to be a couch potato I won't be a SAHM anymore :(

Joanna - posted on 04/15/2010

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hope no one minds me bumping old topics... it's midnight and we have people who are moving with the moving truck right below our bedroom window... so I can't sleep. Blech.

I am a stay at home mom who definitely has couch potato moments! I've never been a super active person, I wouldn't say I'm lazy, but I love vegging. Granted, my daughter is 2 1/2 so I don't get to veg a lot, but when I have a moment to sit down, I take it! Spending all morning running errands, going to playgroup, playing... after lunch, I'm beat, so sometimes I'll sit on the couch and watch a bit of TV if my daughter is playing good, or we'll just hang out in bed and read books until her nap time, which is also MY naptime. And same goes for by the end of the night... all the running and playing and cooking and cleaning, and so when my husband gets home, I need my half hour to relax and watch a short program on my own.

I don't put off chores or errands, I don't neglect my daughter or make her second to me at all, but if she's being good and is happy and taken care of, sometimes I NEED that half hour to myself to just... do nothing!

Charlie - posted on 03/16/2010

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LOL Lea i think my partner thinks the same , although he is a great help when he is home from work he does like to make sure i know he washed the dishes , cleaned the lounge room ect as if it was some amazing feat LOL , i just let him feel special about it haha .

Adrienne - posted on 03/16/2010

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Sometimes I feel like I am a couch potato...mostly when I get depressed and overwhelmed. I have a 4 month old son, a dog, and 3 cats. I manage everything at home. My house isn't always perfect, but you can always see the floor. My son is in a phase where he doesn't want to be put down at all. For awhile, I put him in a carrier and worked with him that way, but I have nerve damage in my neck. SO...some of the time I end up sitting with him in my lap and doing not much. I do however, intereact with my son and try to make most moments educational.

Does that make me a couch potato?

Lea - posted on 03/16/2010

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This is funny - one time my husband thought that the dishes he put away 3 days prior were the same dishes that were in the cabinet. I had to explain that they had been washed and put away 3 times since then.

Christy - posted on 03/16/2010

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for me, being a SAHM is all about teaching my daughter. that includes interacting with her AND getting her to play on her own because she is quite clingy. i do admit that my house could be cleaner but i think that once she's older and can actually play on her own for more than 15 minutes at a time i will be able to keep up with the housework better. my living room looks pretty good at any given time because that's where we spend all our time but i have to be creative to get anything else clean. i sit her at the table to color when i need to work on the kitchen but since she's by herself it only lasts 15-20 mins. i try to clean the bathroom at least a little while she plays in the bathtub (my bathroom is only 4x6 so i'm never out of arm's reach from her). our rooms never get too messy either because she is content to play in them when i clean upstairs.

as for activities, we color, play with blocks, read tons of books, watch Sesame Street and play with her babies and Little People. i'm sooo thrilled that it's getting warm again, we have been at the park every day that it was nice and now that the rain's over we're going there again today. also, now that she's getting older we'll be able to play with Play-Doh and start experimenting with painting.

i am like Lindsay in that i turn on my facebook in the morning and check it here and there throughout the day. i try not to spend more than 10-15 mins on it at a time but sometimes Lexi will hop up in my lap to look at the pics of herself on my page and of my friend's babies =). basically i try my best not to be a couch potato but i know there are times that i could get more done if i didn't hop on the computer or sit down to read my book or watch an episode of Grey's Anatomy on DVD while Alexia naps.

Lindsay - posted on 03/16/2010

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I'm a mix! I'm definately on here more than I probably should be, but everything still gets done...



My days start around 5 am....That's when my alarm goes off and sometimes I'm actually out of bed before one of the kids is standing beside me! If I don't get up and in the shower before they are up, I will fix them a light breakfast (they also have breakfast at preK) and jump in the shower and then get Madeline one. And I even let them watch some morning PBS while we are getting ready for school and the day. At 8 am, I take them to school and head home to get things done around the house. I start my 1st load of laundry and clear out the dishwasher if I didn't unload it the night before. I turn on my facebook which stays on most of the day and I stop between things throughout the day here and there. I make all of the beds, and generally tidy the house before the kids get home to destroy it again! lol

Around 11 am, I go pick up the kiddos from school, come home, check folders, talk to them about their day and get their lunches fixed. After lunch, they are usually a little tired from the morning so they go have quiet time in their rooms for about an hour. They can play, watch a movie, nap or whatever. It's their chill out and alone time that's much needed. And at that time, I usually look over my books for whatever class i have that evening. Once they are up, we run errands, go to the park, or just play at home. They don't really want me too involved in their play anymore so I'm the referee! At some point in the afternoon, I start dinner and again tidy up the house. Josh comes home. We have dinner and then I rush out the door to class and he manages the cleaning, bathing Cooper, playing and bedtimes (Mon, Wed, and Thur.). Tuesdays I take the kids to KinderMusik and Josh actually gets to relax and chill-out. And on the weekends, we just go with the flow. Once I get out of class (10pm), I stop at the grocery and do some shopping or head home to spend some time with Josh before he heads to bed. He's up around 3-4am each day so hits the sack earlier than I do. Once everyone's in bed, I pay bills, shop online, get on facebook and do some homework. I typically give in and go to bed around 12-1 am to be back up in a few hours and repeat! =)

Sarah - posted on 03/16/2010

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I work 3 days a week (though only 3-4hr shifts) so technically i'm not a SAHM.
I get up and get them both ready, tidy up, do the washing up (no dishwasher here! lol) iron a few things etc etc. My eldest goes off to school (my Dad takes her) i try to get myself ready, while also running around after my youngest!
I'll sit down for half hour, have breakfast, check my FB and COM's. Shia then goes to the childminder, and i go off to work.

After work, it's straight to get Shia and then straight to get Cadence, we walk so i don't get back home til 4pm. Then it's more tidying up, getting tea ready, quick coffee, do homework, play games, bath and bed!

I'll admit on the days i don't work, the day is a little more laid back! I'll play with Shia, and give myself a little more computer time! lol! In saying that, it's also a chance to get some more cleaning and washing done.

If every day is a couch potato day, then i think it's getting to the lazy side. The odd day where you just think, "Sod it! I'm gonna sit in my pyjamas all morning, put a dvd on for the kids and lay on the couch" then i think that's what is ALMOST equivalent to a day off! ;)

Ez - posted on 03/16/2010

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I only work two mornings a week at the moment, so I am predominantly a SAHM. My days are scheduled around my daughter's nap time, so we generally go out in the mornings then spend the afternoons at home. We get up around 6.30 (7 if I'm lucky lol) and once Milla has had her breakfast I log on and have mine while I catch up on FB and COMs. I swear I do more laundry than should be humanly possible for 2 people, so I throw a load in before we head out. Our mornings are spent shopping, visiting or playing at the park. After lunch Milla has her 2-3hr nap and I generally tidy up then relax either on the computer, watching some tv, or reading. Afternoons are pretty random. Sometimes we just play in the backyard with the dog. Other times we go next door for a playdate with my neighbour's girls. And ofcourse there's always the laundry!

My daughter is also very good at amusing herself, and can sit for 30mins 'reading' the same book. Some days she wants more interaction with me than others. If she is having a Lil Miss Independent day I take the opportunity to catch up on paperwork, or if I'm particularly tired after a bad night (molars suck!) I will sit and read or watch tv while she plays.

I really just think it's about moderation. If a mother spends ALL DAY on her ass while the kid just runs riot in a shitbox of a house, well obviously something needs to change. But I don't see anything wrong with having the odd 'lazy day'. Nobody can run at full steam 24/7.

Amie - posted on 03/15/2010

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I'm a SAHM. I was a SAHWM but last month made the decision to not go back to work. We don't need the money and our lives have me flying by the seat of my pants most days anyway. I do however jump on here as time allows. Since it's warmed up too we're outside a lot more.

Every morning I'm up by 7:30 at the latest, depends on how often I hit the snooze button. LOL! I turn on the coffee pot then I get our youngest set up with her breakfast, get our oldest up and get her fed. Get lunches made, make sure she's brushed her teeth and hair. While she's getting dressed I get our baby cleaned up and dressed then let her run around. Then I get our oldest her meds, get her ready and her bus is here by 8:15 (or supposed to be anyway). Then I get our son up and do the same thing with him (except I pick out his clothes). Usually by this time though I jump online to catch up on my games. LOL. Then I get the girls dressed and take him to school. If it's nice enough we walk, if not I drive.

By the time I drop him off and get home it's 9:30 so time for babies nap. Our toddler watches some cartoons while I clean up. Generally takes a half hour. Then we get things set up for supper and put it in the fridge. Play for awhile, either outside or in depending on the weather. Make the girls lunch (other two eat at school) and I come on here again usually. Then it's time to run errands. Some days it's short and easy so we'll head to the park or down to the river. Other days it takes right until we need to pick up the other two from school.

Then those two head outside for a bit while I do another clean up and get supper started. (If baby is really cranky she'll have another short nap at this time too) We generally eat about 5. Depending on which day of the week it is we take one of the kids to one of their activities in the evening. If Ryan's working his mom comes to watch the rest of them for me while I do that running around. Our baby is in bed by 6-6:30. Middle two at 8 (except Scouts night then it's 8:30) and our oldest goes to bed at 9 (except cadet night then it's 9:30). Even our weekends are run this way (minus the school bits LOL) I imagine they will be for some time.

If Ryan's at home he helps out. If he's working days he's not home until 8, if he's working nights he leaves at 6:30. If Ryan's home we generally spend our nights together doing something. Whether its a stay home date or we go out, either or works. He goes to bed way before I do though, I'm here most nights catching up and currently looking for reno deals. The world is at my finger tips! hehe.

I really don't mind it though. Sure I only get 6 hours of sleep a night but it's a sacrifice I make for my kids and myself. If I don't get my down time each day I am a horrid person to be around. My kids know no different since I'm always right there and if I do need a sit down during the day or evening, they are perfectly happy to occupy themselves.

This doesn't factor in our dogs walks or trips to the dog park or our "dates" with our kids either. Not to mention doctor, eye, dentist, etc. appointments. Meetings with teachers and leaders. My volunteer work with their cadets and scouts. Our nights out with friends, solo and together. My garden which I need to start seedlings on soon or the other various things that we squeeze in that isn't part of our daily year round schedule.

Even I have my couch potato moments though. =) There's nothing wrong with it so long as your house, your kids and your life is not in chaos because of it.

Sharon - posted on 03/15/2010

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My kids are all older and in school. Being a stay at home mom under that circumstance, left me with A LOT of time on my hands.

I have the farm outside, but once chores are done - feeding, watering, raking - done. Come inside, do the dishes (ooohhhh dishwasher!), start a load of laundry, reheat my coffee for the 4th time.... I have TIME on my hands. Or had.

But when my kids were babies & toddlers, we were always in motion. Shopping, play areas, the zoo, hiking, .....

Now, I'm trapped by their hours. I don't have enough time in between chores and their schedules to go off and do "stuff" so I sit at home.

But while I was hanging out on line after my kids went to school I met plenty of moms who were just screwing off online. they had babies and toddlers and they spent hours online doing jack crap. I was too but I didn't have a small child who needed to be engaged and entertained.

These are the same moms from the 70s who spent hours watching soap operas and yakking on the phone while their kids f'o'd and raised themselves.

[deleted account]

I fully admit that I compltely SUCK at laundry! It's hubby's job. But, "yay Me!" I did some laundry this afternoon. Now, I have to actually put it away! I also cleaned out my car....oh it's such a nasty reminder how yucky my car is. I vacuumed the stairs. Now I have the start of a migraine but I am determined to put the laundry away before I have to go pick up Matt from preschool.

Charlie - posted on 03/15/2010

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Im a SAHM , my day involves block building , painting , kicking the football in the backyard chasing lizards ect ect ect whatever my little man is interested in and engages in .

We also go to the park daily and when he is working very hard building towers on his own or he is asleep i prepare meals and i clean my house and make it spotless although i like to do that the night before so its all shiny when i wake up having said that i get lots of help from my wonderful partner when he is home for work and he will often take Cooper for a bit so i can sit down and read a trash mag LOL.

BUT i know how emotionally and physically draining it can be to be a teacher and when you have time off you deserve every bit of relaxation time you can get , so go for it and veg out Sharon !

Tracy - posted on 03/15/2010

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I am a SAHM and keep my house in order and my son amused through educational play and just having fun. Before I had my little man I was a hard worker too. Their are people in the work force that do minimal work and SAHM that do the same. I think it has more to do with the person's attitude. Being a SAHM you have to keep yourself motivated and set goals like any other job, otherwise you might find yourself gravitating towards the coach...LOL

Krista - posted on 03/15/2010

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I'm sort of in the same boat as Jocelyn. I play and interact with Sam for much of the day, but if he's in his exersaucer or playing on the floor with his toys and is happy, I'm not going to get in his face just for the sake of proving that I'm interacting with him.

Most days, I sweep the floors and tidy the various rooms that we use, and wipe down one of our bathrooms; feed, burp and change Sam; play peekaboo or pattycake with him; go for a walk outside with him or run errands; get dinner started while he plays on the floor and watches. When he naps, or if he's just playing quietly and happily by himself, I come on here. So I'm a bit of a couch potato, and could probably get more exercise or keep a slightly tidier house, but screw it --- my couch potato moments are how I decompress and unwind, and we all need that.

Jocelyn - posted on 03/15/2010

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I am a SAHM who has her couch potato moments lol. Most days I wash something, do a load of laundry, read some books (today I've read the atlas twice, my sons pick, not mine lmao), play some cars, wash his face a few times, and I try to go swimming or to the park once a day. But if my house is clean and the kids are fed and they are sleeping or playing by themselves, I sit on my ass (most likely on facebook :P) I think the difference between the two is that SAHM try to keep their house and children in order, and a couch potato just doesn't care.

[deleted account]

You are being a couch potato, but girl, you deserve it! Every teacher/mom needs a break and a time to just veg.

I'm a SAHM an my days are never the same. Cook, clean, grocery shop, budgets, bills, etc. But the most important thing is making sure I'm there for my daughter. We play with her toys and learn numbers, colors and shapes in the process. We go outside and learn about nature. We go to the toddler programs at the library to socialize. I teach manners all through the day. All the other stuff (clean, etc) gets crammed into nap time. I'm lucky that my daughter enjoys helping me with chores, but some things are just easier to do when she's not "helping!"

Enjoy your time off Sharon!

Tah - posted on 03/15/2010

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i have seen moms with one child at home that just sit the baby in front of the tv while she talks, sleeps, eats, and does everything but engage the child, i call that, just not having a job. I see it so often where i live, house never clean, kids look a wreck, and watching themselves..sahm includes, teaching, engaging, stimulating, i'm not saying your house to be spic and span but can i see your floor, if my house is cleaner than yours and i have work, school and activities..and this is all the time, your prob a couch potato mom. I know it can be hectic...but when the kids arent in any activities and besides food shopping with you, doesn't do anything....may as well be in daycare and you at work....i started a post like this in military spouses circle and i received so many emails from moms saying, i used to sit all day and play on the computer and talk on the phone, now i don't feel right if i'm not playing with the kids, have a semi- clean house and the husband doesn't have dinner ready..

Krista - posted on 03/15/2010

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I'm a SAHM. To me, this means that I engage my child in fun and educational activities on a daily basis. I do not just sit my pregnant butt on the couch and watch him play. I take him places and do things with him. In the winter this could be just as simple as going to the mall. However, while at the mall, I try to make it an educational experience as well. We're always pointing out letters and numbers and talking about colours and what not.



To me, a SAHM is MORE than a babysitter who minds the child. She's teacher, disciplinarian, life coach, nurse, maid, accountant, cook and anything else that might come up.



It's fine to sit your butt on the couch once in awhile. I'm prone to that when my depression hits. But, what makes me happy is when my son is happy and having fun.

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