This week…I’ve been a SAHM for 40 days and it may not be going well.

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. So I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 40 days. The jury’s still out on how it’s going. It may be leaning more toward “she sucks at this,” although I feel like I’ve had a few winning days. Or hours. Or moments. Let’s keep it real and go with moments.
  2. The truth is I feel a little lost, like I’m not sure what to do with myself. I mean DUH I can clean and cook and take care of kids and all that stuff, but I’m used to getting up and going places and doing things and having forty-seven thousand things to do each day to torment and terrify me – and now, I have like a few very simple things. NOT EASY, simple.
  3. And I’m like WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING HERE and where am I going and what’s it all for and how do I pass my time? So, like a damn border collie, since nobody gave me a clearly discernible job, I made one up for myself. In the past few weeks that I’ve been off school (and pretty much work) I’ve replaced virtually all the body products I used with inexpensive homemade versions. It started out as a financial thing (read: we’re fucking broke and can’t afford $7.00 aluminum-and-paraben-free deodorant so I buy the regular stuff but then feel like I’m giving myself breast cancer plus that natural shit doesn’t work anyway) but as it’s evolved I find it so easy and fun that I’m pretty much sold, and frankly, feel like a bit of a schmuck for paying what I did for something I could make in my kitchen with very little brains or effort.
  4. Anyway, y’all expressed some interest in the recipes I’ve been using and such, so I think I’ll do like an 8-week thing where once a week I post a recipe for some granola shenanigans I’ve been up to.
  5. That way people who want to kill me in my sleep for writing a post resembling helpfulness (cause we don’t do that here, damnit!) can just ignore me on those days, and hopefully stick around on the other days to talk shit about women who throw baby sprinkles.
  6. Although I’m 100% convinced that one can be a shit-talking renegade mama AND make homemade stuff. In fact, I feel incredibly empowered by this whole process – like I’ve really said “fuck you” to the man in a whole new way. Like all the sudden I feel way less victimized by American materialism and marketing and its insistence that I need companies to make me beautiful and my house clean. More on that later.
  7. I suppose if we’re having a day of the week (please God let me actually stick to this) and a theme and whatnot we should have some sort of name for it: Crunchy Mondays? Hippie Hump Day? Wipe butts and make lotion? The Angry Amish? I have no idea where that last one came from.
  8. Help me. I’m struggling with the naming our little series cause it isn’t just about enviro stuff (conservation, chemicals, etc.). It’s also about finances and what I was mentioning before: becoming more independent – feeling a sense of accomplishment and ownership over more areas of life.
  9. So anyway, back to the week. You know it’s occurred to me that I think I really depend on the rushing to fill something in me, like if I’m moving super fast I don’t have ever really look at my life, or face anything. I’m just going, running at whirlwind paces, too damn busy to open my eyes. Do you ever experience that?
  10. And on the 28th I’ll go back to school, and undoubtedly I’ll feel a pang of regret that I didn’t enjoy my time with my kids more fully, hang back and chill out as all these things happened, with me around.

By the way, this blog will be two years old next week, on the 26th. Trip the fuck out.

I never knew when I started writing this thing that such an incredible group of people (women mostly) would come together and teach me so much and help me see that not only am I not alone in feeling like a bit of a jackass in this mothering world, but there are plenty of women out there who feel exactly the same as I do, and will admit freely!

I do love you people. I do.

Thanks for keepin’ it real, and for sticking around.

Anyway, here’s some pictures of what we’ve been up to the last couple weeks (since I didn’t write last Sunday – bad blogger!), featuring my kids doing cute shit, and my husband sticking his tongue out. Somehow these people ruin my life and make it perfect, at the same damn time.

Pretty fancy if ya ask me.


I took Ava to a “high tea” and it was amazing.

Last Sunday I took the kids to see a Tibetan monk do a sand painting (mandala).

Here was Ava’s prayer flag and mandala.

Georgie’s been reading naked under side tables…

and not being afraid of the water…

and melting my heart by making faces like this when I pull her against me.

Rocket’s been tying things together.

They’ve all been watching T.V. and eating ice cream at Nana’s house.

Lately this has been the sleeping arrangement.

and then there’s this fool and his damn beard.

The kids have been “sneaking around” together.

And I’ll never get enough of the cloth-diaper/wool nighttime ensemble…

No really, I won’t.

Have a great week, everybody.

24 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized | January 20, 2013
  • Erin

    I like Hippie Hump Day. or Damn the Man Mondays. Or Fuck the Man Fridays.

    I miss you. Write more. Let’s hang out.

    The end.

    • renegademama

      All excellent suggestions. Let’s get on it. Text me. We’ll make Kim hang with us too.

    • renegademama

      P.S. I miss you too.

  • Penny

    I swear this happens to me every summer and at the end of it, I feel like I failed because my kids have watched tv, played video games and fought with each other for two months. Being an at home mom sucks! I am a much better mom when I am working. I think I enjoy my children more and feel less guilty. Truthfully… If you’ve replaced all the funk in your house in the last month (and you know I’m the funk police) you’re doing a great job! And yes, those cheap deodorants will give you breast cancer! Feel free to stink in my presence instead of putting that crap on. 🙂

    • renegademama

      Penny it’s true. I feel like I have accomplished a lot, to be honest. I feel pretty empowered by the whole thing. My hair is still not normal, but I’m trying to wait it out…figuring one of these days it will be okay with not being inundated with chemicals every day. But for now, it’s greasy. HOT.

      So not hot.

      And it’s funny. The first time I did laundry with detergent I made for $5.00 for at least 100 loads, I was so excited – and THEN, when my washer didn’t blow up, I was like “I’m a fucking genius!”

      Start small, that’s what I always say. 🙂

      And by “small,” of course, I mean “obsess over it until you’ve replaced all body products except toothpaste.” I also still wear make-up. AND I plan on dying my hair until I die. Or close, at least. Those two things aren’t changing.

      Looking forward to seeing you.

  • Carrie Bacher

    Damn the Man Mondays. Fabulous.
    Your kids are super cute. But is Ava sleeping wih Georgia in a crib? Either way,it’s pretty much delicious and worhy of many pictures.

    • renegademama

      They’re both in Ava’s bed, though it does look like a crib! 🙂

  • Jessica

    1. Hippie Hump Day.
    2. Only two years? I feel like I’ve known you for forever and can’t remember what I did before i started reading your blog. took your kids to watch a monk do a sand painting. Now I want to rethink my whole life. Suddenly the bouncy house seems so insignificant.
    4. This proves that you are a badass momma, so stop being so hard on yourself.


  • Rach @ Mrs-Adventure

    I vote for Hippie Hump Day or Fuck the man Fridays. Of course I came up with the last one, I had a ‘winning moment’. I’ve been a stay at home mom for 5 months now and have no idea what I’m doing.

    My best advice, take off your shirt. I’m usually found in sweat pants and a sleep bra (I can wipe drool and god knows what else off my skin, but a shirt is just more laundry to wash). I’m am one sexy hot mess I tell ya. But damn I already do two loads between the diapers and the husbands clothes. XO.

  • Brenna

    I am a SAHM full time (until I feel inspired to be employed in what, I don’t know) and feel exactly the way you described. Especially the part where you say you have a few simple, but not easy things to accomplish each day and then you’re like WTF do I do with the rest of my time (life)? Looking forward to some body product recipes on Hippy Hump Day. Thanks.

  • Kathy G

    If you are bored and already stocked with made at home soaps and personal care products, do a huge shopping and make freezer meals. That way, when you are at school and are running around with the kids afterwards then get home and there is nothing frigging defrosted, you can throw a freezer meal in the oven for 45-1hr and its done and you didn’t have to chop an onion or hit a drive thru. Seriously works and will spoil you. Oh, and it is really cost effective. It’s a day of shopping and 2 days of cooking which is tolerated by listening to ipod and kids can help if you want them to and they are willing. There’s this chick who has a blog about it and wrote a book who I have never met but I like –Good Cheap Eats is the name of the blog.

    Anyhow, intense busy-ness is definitely a way to escape things that bother you or that you don’t want to deal with. If you want to look at it in a personal/productive manner, maybe sit down and review your goals–where you want to be in 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years. (and the whys, the hows etc.) and the really hard work is looking at where you wanted to be last year and if you got off course, how and why did you… it’s work best done after the kids are in bed. Also, understand that working outside the home or going to school is more organized than homemaking/mothering, gives us rewards we can measure instead of heartstring intangibles which boosts self esteem and we don’t get any guilt or have to make Sophie’s choices there, choosing between subjects to study for is not the same as having to decide which kid is lying. I always felt torn between my work and my home/family. I felt like trying to do both full time made me kind of suck at both because I couldn’t throw everything I had into one sphere and give it my all.
    I’m looking forward to your self reliance granola momma posts.

  • Corey

    I really enjoy your blog & love this post. I started making my own laundry soap & it’s so empowering!!! My husband doesn’t get it, but I do. I always say just one more way I can stick it to the man!! I feel the same way when I find something from target or justice for $2.49 at the thrift store & my daughter wears it all most every day.

    I also used cloth diapers @ night and my kids were night trained relatively quickly. I think b/c unlike pull-ups yhey feel the wet. Plus didn’t have to pay the man!!!! Bought ’em used!

    And we are lucky to have a big Tiebetan presence here & I take my kids to see the monks. It’s one of the highlights of my year! I love Ava’s prayer flags.

    Have an awesome week!


  • meagan

    The last pic is great, AND is exactly how I look right now in my flannel pj pants, is that bad?

    • Kim

      Haha. Love the last pic! Genius. Thanks for making me laugh!

  • Elaine

    Don’t worry so much about who and what you are, just being you is awesome. And I know about the need for busy. I used to joke that it quieted the voices in my head…now the voices say, “Go Woman! Goooo!” We have now become one, (maniacal laughter)

    BTW, I also vote for Hippie Hump Day. Go Woman! Go!

  • Candace

    I was a SAHM for just under 17 years. The first year was the most difficult. It takes ALOT of getting used to.. developing new routines, getting everyone on the same page and getting to the point where you have enough “coping mechanisms”, whether for when your rugrats start trippin’ out over nothing, or the whole B.S. from one’s mate “What the hell do you DO all day”…. Being a SAHM isnt easy. I’ve been back to “work” down for six months. It’s another huge adjustment, even though my kids are teens.. now the husbeast is the “problem child”, still wondering why the hell his dinner isn’t ready at 6pm, when I didn’t get home til 530pm..or complaining that dinner isn’t what it used to be. He needs a great big gulp of “suck it up, mofo!” and he, too, will eventually learn coping mechanisms. SAHM’s have my respect..because I’m finding every day life easier, working outside the home, then it was staying home with the kids.

  • Sarah

    I hear you. I just graduated, and now that I have all this free time on my hands, I squander it doing really terrible, mindless things. I’ve realized that I’m way more productive when I am busy, and I’m rarely busy anymore. Sucks!

    On another note, HOLY SHIT Rocket is awesome. When you say he ties things together, you aren’t kidding! I love it!

    Post your DIY recipes! Maybe you have a good one for shampoo? I’m seriously contemplating dreads and that scares me. Maybe a good alternative to $20 bottles of shampoo and conditioner will talk me down.

  • Catherine

    I vote for Fuck the Man Friday.
    Re: deodorant- google “why capitalists want you to wear deodorant”. Just for fun.

    The thing you said about your family ruining your life and making it perfect at the
    same time is brilliant.
    My husband prefers me to be a little stinky, rather than chemically scented.
    But he also claims alone time every day so he can exercise. I get alone time sometimes to put away laundry.

  • Niamh

    Please name it Fuck the man Fridays, it’s perfect! I laugh and cry in equal measure reading your posts, you are amazing! That high tea looked like such a special occasion, and a beautiful memory to share with your daughter. and I’m trying to entice my son away from spongebob with a ball of string and some scissors, but he’s not biting. and what’s with the crazy baby underpants? Brilliant, and you brought a laugh to this sahm’s day, thank you. xx

  • Amanda

    I love your blog! You keep it real and I can relate to you on many levels.
    I think you should call the series Frugal Fucking Fridays, but that’s just a suggestion.
    I am very lucky up here in Canada, and I got 1 year off with my maternity leaves, but I felt useless in them and couldn’t wait to go back to work. Actually went back after only 9 mos with my son. My brain was dying a slow painful death at home with the kiddies. Plus I felt like “gret my kids need me, but what else am I good for?”
    Your kids are beautiful and you rock! Jus’ sayin’.

  • Rachel

    Damn you, Woman. What’s this with making all this beautiful homemade stuff, going to high tea, visiting a monk and all that?!?! I am so jealous of all the culture and experiences you are getting to offer your kids during this time. I suck. I’m inadequate, Without time (although I did make a mean sugar scrub for Christmas gifts). Raising less cultured kids. That’s it. I’m going home tonight and gonna make homemade bread, and fresh squeezed orange juice, and then I’m gonna crochet a blanket and write my novel…

  • Marisa

    In regards to #6. I have been doing the same thing. You put it into the perfect words I have been thinking, as usual.

    I love you!

  • Tammy

    A few years back, I took my kids to see the monks doing a mandala- it was just about the coolest thing we’ve ever done! Might even have been the SAME monk…he looks awfully familiar. Or do they all look the same?!?

  • Mel

    Who are you?!! I mean, I read your introduction and your top 19 list. I’m so glad to be here. That’s all.