A Rite of Passage for the Stay-at-Home-Mom

There are so many changes that happen when it comes to becoming a mother. There are the obvious: your body changes, your family dynamic changes, your financial status changes... Your day to day changes, and as you transition into motherhood, you may find yourself not wanting to go back to work if you had previously. Many mothers find themselves choosing to stay at home, changing their career path, and finding a new normal on the domestic side of the spectrum.

This path seems pretty straight forward: you stay home with the baby, enjoy all the coos, giggles, mountains of diapers, and navigate this uncharted territory. This was the path that I chose. I dove exhausted, weary, and overjoyed into this new life of mine. I figured out how to change a diaper before being forced a golden shower, how to sneak out of the nursery like I used to do my parent's house when I was a teenager, and how to bathe this 10 pound potato that had no head control but no less than four neck rolls.

However, I was not aware that there is a critical part to this path that, according to my Facebook Newsfeed, every single stay at home mom must succumb to.

I call it the Pyramid Scheme Rite of Passage, and I, too, fell into it.

A couple months after giving birth I was contacted by an old friend about losing all the weight I had gained. I know... It sounds mean-spirited. But it wasn't-- I truly felt as if this was a great opportunity to shed these extra five (read: 50) pounds that I had gained. All I had to do was buy a hundred dollar work out DVD and a month's supply of protein powder. (Let me also add- this person contacted me because of posts that I had posted-- truly, no ill-intent or malice meant.)

I was like a cheetah coming upon a wounded baby gazelle in the African safari. Pre-baby body here I come! Weeks later I could tell I was slimming down and was immensely proud of myself. But then I was contacted again. I was asked if I would like to be a coach and not only lose the weight but gain a paycheck as well. Again, brilliant marketing-- exploiting a post-baby bodied-woman who spends at least a grand on diapers a week. Sign. Me. Up.

I remember sitting down to the computer to start this lucrative venture. All I really had to do was convince my friends, family, acquaintances, strangers, and aliens to buy these products from me. And if I was really lucky, I could also convince them to become a coach as well. Do you see where this is going?

Pyramid scheme... Then it clicked. I "needed" these people to become coaches so they would sell this product and in turn make me money. It wasn't for me... I couldn't post, message, tweet, text, carrier-pigeon, or smoke signal every person over and over until they gave in. It just didn't suit me. Plus I had a brand spanking new baby whose sole survival depended on my boobs, and I just didn't have the time. I backed out graciously (read again: I went ghost).

I got pyramid schemed. I know for a fact I only made one sale; it was a pity sale from my husband's great-aunt. But at the time, it made all the sense in the world to have a purpose outside of this child while trying to transition into motherhood.

And so many other stay at home moms fall for these schemes. It is truly a rite of passage. In my honest opinion, or at least from my own perspective, I think moms need to feel like they are contributing to or finding purpose in the real world, especially if you're not working a 9-5 anymore. Sometimes you get stuck so far inside your own head, home, and child that you feel like you lose your place in the world. It's a tough feeling.

But it's also extremely annoying to be inboxed every single day about whatever product you're selling. If I could sell your company's mascara before they can even restock the shelves, then perhaps I don't need your product. Nor do I have the money. Because, like you, I am also paying for and supporting children. I'll keep buying my regularly priced Cover Girl and put the rest of my cash back into my pocket.

Let's also keep in mind the type of products you are trying to sell. You are essentially saying, "You are overweight, have ugly skin, need cosmetic help, your house stinks, you're unhealthy..." I can tell you that I felt like a straight up asshole when I contemplated sending somebody a, "Hey, you're looking a little pudgy these days. Buy my product, change your life, and pad my bank account." Talk about insult to injury... That is also a tough feeling.

Again, I've been there and sold that (one package). It is a rite of passage for stay at home moms. Once more, speaking from my perspective, it was a way that helped me transition a little easier and feel like I didn't exist solely as a milk carton. However, I cannot afford to keep buying your comfy leggings (although I kind of wish I could), your candles, workout DVDs, all-natural make-up, or other life changing products. This girl has pediatrician and summer camp bills to pay... Which is one more change that motherhood throws at you.


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