Friday, January 27, 2012

dirty job

Let me first start this post with a disclaimer.  I choose to stay at home and raise our kids.  I don't love my job every day, and miss "having a life" A LOT.  But, I make the best of it and know that I made the best choice for our family and that brings me great peace of mind...ok now to the nitty gritty...

This week I was up at 2am with one feverish, sneezing, coughing kid and let them climb into my bed.  I laid there while they hacked on me and wiped their snot on my shoulder and I thought, this is one dirty job.   I thought of that show, you know the one, where they talk about the nastiest jobs in America, well, is Stay at Home mom on that list, because it should be!  Jeremy left for sunny CA for "work" and yes I put that in quotes because to me ANYONE that gets to leave the house and DO ANYTHING other than care for children is on a vacation.  I know, I know that raises peoples hairs, pisses people off, but come on, there just isn't a HARDER, dirtier, more challenging job, period.  Think about it, my day began at 2AM and ended the next evening at 930 pm, no I am not exaggerating, I had ALL three kids home with no help, no husband for two entire days and that didn't include the 4 days total that he was gone, just the TWO that was 15 hours of snot, crying, cuddles, baths, Vicks, humidifiers, veggies and fruits, soups and juice, and lots of IBUPROFEN for them.  Not a moment that I sat, without someone needing something, sheets to be washed that were peed on, spit up on and bodily fluids encasing my home.  There isn't much worse in the life of a mom that stays at home, then a sick kid times three.  See, we can't say, oh well I get to stay home today, yeah!  No, it cancels any and all chances of outside human interaction, because no other stay at home mom will come NEAR you.  You can try and brave Target and be judged and gazed upon as your sick kids infest the building and everything they go near.  But, is it worth it to have your good name and reputation be destroyed around town for an hour of whining and screaming and really, who wants to get the little buggars dressed when every sleeve is covered in green slime.  It's nasty.  I am telling you.

So, I hear all the time, well as working moms we do all the same things AND work.  No you don't.  You get to pee alone at least once a day, that's a treat in mommy land, no joke.  You get to drive in a car ALONE, I don't know what that's like, it happens maybe every 2 weeks if I sneak off somewhere for a bit.  And it's heaven, I can't believe I used to hate my commute, I would LOVE one now.  If my husband ever complains about traffic I look at him like he's nuts, you can listen to your radio ALONE without interruption.  You can talk on the phone, ALONE without handing somebody goldfish, or finding a crumpled up piece of napkin to wipe someones nose with.  You may get yelled at at work and have demands, but guess what, you also get PAID and told your rock sometimes and you have an identity outside of, "mama!!!!!!!!!"  Your ego dies when you stay at home, you find yourself making up challenges to keep your sanity.  Like how many loads of laundry can get done before 11 today?  Bam, the answer is 4 if you wake up at 6!  You can stop at Walgreens or Target and get 10 things without children during a lunch break, or on your way home.  When you are sick, you can bring your children to daycare and stay home ALONE and REST.  We don't have a call in sick option or vacation option or holiday option.  Here's the thing.  I used to have a life, a career, I was a person who could make jokes, go to lunch with friends in the middle of the day, told that I was awesome for picking up slack, or feel like I truly helped a family through a crisis, I was filled professionally, and in a lot of ways it fulfilled me personally.  I went to 6 years of college, have my Master's Degree, I am not your typical stay at home mom, well, in the sense that most everyone I knew was SHOCKED that I was choosing to do so.  How could such a type A overachiever who worked hard to get where I was at such a young age give it all up, and for what?  But, I always knew it was what I needed to do, for my kids.  It wasn't for me, it really wasn't, but I knew if I was going to do it well, I had to find a way to be happy while doing it.  That meant meeting moms, staying social and active in my community, finding ways to still fill myself intellectually.  It's not easy.

The hardest part of staying at home truly is the monotony.  Wiping the same counters day in day out, same time of day, you really feel rather useless, bored and unappreciated rather quickly.  But, when you stop and see the magic you are doing, the joy you are bringing and knowing that with every single day that passes, I won't think ONE time, "wow I sure wish I didn't stay home", it's worth it.  So, when I go with my husband to work functions and get the judgmental looks from the moms in the group that work and have successful careers thinking I am doing less than, I think, "HA you wouldn't last ONE week doing what I do".  It is the hardest job on earth, and for the record, I haven't found ONE mom that stays at home and has worked too, that thought it was easier to stay at home, unless all their kids are in school all day, that would be amazing, but still plenty to do and fill my days with, again, it's what you make it.


  1. First of all...can I just say how much the soundtrack to this post ROCKS my world?!? Sick kids X3 is the ABsolute worst. I know, for I have been there too. And having your husband away for "work" while it's happening is the ABso-ABsolute worst.(Been there too!)Hope your family knows how lucky they are to have you. Never let them forget how they owe you...big time! :) Hang in there Grace!

  2. This is awesome! I've been doing the sick kid x3 thing this week.puke and fevers and poop everywhere while my husband goes to work. i haven't left the house since last monday and it's now sat. and the stupid SNOW won't let me leave today! But you're right...there's not a day i wish that i hadn't chosen to quit work. This is a difficult dirty job...but I'm here to do it!


Come on- spill it, share it, scream it, shout it, I want to hear it...really!