IDEAS: Getting a first-hand respect for stay-at-home mom’s routine

Gerrynn Snowcden (left) with her fiancé, Tommy Lambert. and their son, Urijah.
Gerrynn Snowcden (left) with her fiancé, Tommy Lambert. and their son, Urijah.

Gerrynn Snowden has a newfound respect for stay-at-home moms.

Not that she didn’t have that respect before. One of her best friends is a stay-at-home- mom with a 5-year-old and a 22-month old. So Snowden has seen the pressure up close.

But there’s nothing like doing it yourself.

Snowden was furloughed from her job in the incentive travel business in April of 2020. Her business, among other things, works with companies who arrange incentive travel for their employees. Exceed a sales target, get a trip; that sort of thing.

But with no one traveling, there were no incentives. With no incentives to manage, there was no work. That left Snowden at home with her 5-year-old son, Urijah.

“Once I found out I was furloughed, at first, I was stressed out wondering how this was going to affect our finances,” she said. “But with Urijah it was going to be a nice break. I’ve never been a stay-at-home-mom and it was nice to have that experience since the whole time I’ve had him, I’ve been a working parent.”

But after a while, reality sunk in.

“It’s tiring,” she said. “The days are a lot longer when it’s just you and your child instead of you and your workstation or laptop. They want a lot of attention; I can’t imagine a child that’s younger than him because he’s old enough to keep busy himself. But playtime, snack time, lunch, all these different factors of the day. It’s just go, go, go. You’re always busy.”

Ray Marcano
Ray Marcano

Even today, people dismiss stay-at-home moms as lazy women in yoga pants who have all the free time in the world.

That why watching your words can be one way to honor women during Women’s History Month. The Washington Post suggests that you don’t utter phrases like “only a mother” or “just a mother,” because these women are more than that.

“There’s a stereotype to stay-at-home moms,” Snowden said. “‘Oh, they’re at home all day, how hard could it be?’”

But mom still has to clean, pay bills and maybe cook. (In her case, Snowden’s finance, Tommy Lambert, does the cooking).

“I don’t think people really realize how hard it really can be,” she said. “The moms out there, when do they get their free time? You have to wake up very early before your kids or stay up super late, but then you have to get up and do it all again. There’s not really a balance.”

To try to create a little balance, she plans free time during the day but that often isn’t free for her. Urijah is too old for a nap, so they plan rest time, where for one hour a day he gets to watch a children’s show. But during that hour, Snowden finds herself tidying up the kitchen, making doctor’s appointments and doing laundry. If she’s lucky, she’ll get that one hour where she doesn’t have to do anything twice in five days.

After nearly a year off, Snowden was called back to work this month. She’s expecting her second child in May and is looking forward to going back to work

“I mean, I respect all the full-time moms who do this every day,” she said. “They should be extremely appreciated.”

Ray Marcano is the interim Ideas and Voices Editor for the Dayton Daily News.

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