Friday, December 7, 2012

ohhh that's so nice....

Ok..hang on it's a venting day around here...the thing about staying at home with kids, when you don't work outside the home.  I remember leaving my career and yes, I went to college for 6 years, so it qualifies as that, it was hard to leave.  Hard to imagine no identity, no tax forms, no pay stubs.  I checked my voicemail for at least 2 weeks after, I felt so empty!  And really I felt so unimportant.  Shortly after, I found out I was pregnant again, and soon enough I had 2 babies in 15 months and a husband that traveled a lot.  Gone were my days of high heels and pretty nails.  I had to say hello to the days of screaming, breast feeding, pooping, more screaming and repeat.  I can remember clear as day tip toeing out of the room of my new boss- a baby boy that screamed a lot, that wanted to be held or touched  It was exhausting, mind numbing, I felt stripped of every ounce of my ego that previously existed.  I questioned whether this was for me.  It surprised a lot of people that controlling, type A me- would choose to leave my career behind.  As a couple Jeremy and I have waited for dreams that we could have made come true much sooner had I worked, but still it was a choice I made in college.  That I would RAISE my children.  Not see them a few hours a day, but know them, hold them, be with them and I would have lived in an apartment to do that.  And yes that means that I tell my husband he isn't raising our kids, that's on me.  He of course contributes, helps, disciplines, plays, loves them to death, but  I don't think a couple hours a day do that- my opinion.  I was blessed enough to have comfortable surroundings and wonderful luxuries that a lot of stay at home mom's don't.  But, still I gave up something I worked many years to do, at a time that I loved my job and missed it terribly.  I pictured strolling along Grand Avenue looking in boutique windows while my perfect baby napped peacefully in his clean and beautiful stroller.  I hadn't pictured a raging, cheerio throwing maniac...with a sweet baby girl to boot.  It was a tough couple of years, managing the choas and my new roll as "just a mom".  I remember feeling at first that it was so important people knew that I had a career before I decided to stay at home, that I chose this life.  I wanted to live a life for people, our family, not for things and really a career is just that, it helps you obtain 'stuff" and I couldn't justify working.  Still, I had to get over my own ego and it's need to feel important and intelligent and the rush of deadlines and court dates...I screened people for commitments before I left and it was an intense, crazy job;  suited me well.  I felt accomplished and being a mom, well, I felt lost.  I couldn't seem to keep lines in the carpet like I imagnined.  I couldn't get a perfect dinner on the table for my husband when he got home, I didn't have ANY time to watch TV like I imagined.  The moms I met all seemed as frazzled, exhausted and over worked as me? So where was this imaginary land that 'stay at home' mom's get billed as living?  I needed to find it soon!

Most importnantly I discovered early on that I would need to do a few things to survive this gig.  Many working mom friends of mine have said, "I couldn't do it, I just couldn't."  I know what they mean, I felt that way for a long time, and then I decided, it wasn't that I 'couldn't' it was that I had to learn to do it differently to fit my very social personality.  I needed to feel needed.  So, I volunteered, I made dinnners for moms that needed them, I organized play groups and playdates nearly every day, I joined groups, I started running, I started cooking more, I pushed myself.  As with any career, it is what you make it.  For me, I knew that I had to make it something excitiing, challenging, and fun.  And so I did.  It isn't all the time, in fact the majority of time, I am overworked and puking children in the night aren't easier when you get up and STILL have to deal with them all day and can't leave them with a nanny or "take a day off" and your other kids are at day care.  We don't get vacation days or sick days.  There is no one to call in and ask to take on our roll, because NO ONE at least around here, knows what goes on and needs to get done.  My point isn't to bash working moms, its to say, stop with the "I am a mom AND I WORK."  You are a mom and you get to leave and have your ego fed and pee alone and have lunch with friends, stop for milk, drive in traffic ALONE, call in sick, make appointments without children attached to you and a list of other luxuries that stay at home moms do not have. 

I just am so tired of people coming up to me in a store and saying, "oh wow, how many kids do you have...and when I say 4 they follow it up with...oh well you must stay home, that's sooo nice."  NO it isn't.  It is a shitload of work and takes pure dedication if you are going to do it well and be productive and not yell all day, it is more work and more work and more work.  And no one is telling you thank you, or giving you a raise, or an award, there are no accolades, only deadlines and screaming bosses.  And others look at you like you have a cakewalk for a life, and you either lack motivation or intelligence and that's why you stay at home.  What happened to admiring a mom for being a mom, a good solid mom, that is there for her babies, that sacrificed her own life and ego to raise them in a loving home and it was her choice.  Disclaimer: Don't get me wrong, there are exceptions.... people with 1-2 kids who are in school...scratch that they did  HARD time to EARN this time now, so don't judge those mamas either. 


  1. OMG Grace I couldn't agree with you MORE! It's so true!

  2. Gah! It's like you're in my head sometimes. I'm constantly saying, "I'm a SAHM...but I used to be a teacher." Like I have to prove to people that I'm educated and worth something. And now I'm reaching a point where my kids will all be in school soon. Part of me wants to go back to work and find a purpose (and a paycheck) again. And part of me cringes at the thought of not being home when they get home from school, or having anyone else take care of them when they have days off. That's my job, I started it...I want to finish it. Love the honesty of this post, girl!


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