Ever since my first son was born most conversations with people over the age of 20 begin with “So are you working?” When I initially left my job behind to stay home with my oldest son I would quickly respond with a simple “No, no I am home with my son.” It was usually met with a: “Oh that’s so nice.” As time passed I found it harder and harder to feel like I fit in with adults in the “working world”. I started wondering all sorts of things like, why did I bother to go to college, will my children respect me, or think I know anything about real things going on in the world besides how much laundry we have, and what do I have to add to a conversation with people who work? Who am I?
It’s been almost five years since my first son was born and while I don’t regret the choice to leave the working world behind I sometimes still struggle with the whole who am I part of it. Let’s face it the only people who truly empathize and understand stay at home moms are other stay at home moms. I know I will get many arguments about that but I bet most of them will come from moms who stayed home for a little while and then went back to work. To be honest I have more friends who work than stay home so I am definitely in the minority. I respect my friends who work and often think wow how do they balance it all? I mean if we are being honest I find it hard to get the laundry done most days let alone hold down a career and run a household. So it leaves me with the question that won’t go away: Who am I?
1. I am a wife.
2. I am a mother of two beautiful, amazing, energy zapping boys. They are 4 & 2 and they require all of my attention.
3. I am the CEO of our household.
4. I am the event planner. (Our days, our months, our years) birthday parties, playdates, our dates (not very often) girls nights, and everything under the sun.
5. I am the chief purchasing agent and no I don’t mean exciting things. I mean stuff like groceries which we require to live and diapers which we require to survive.
6. I am the head chef. I plan breakfast, lunch & dinner and the 5,001 snacks in between. I usually provide snack and juice and when spills happen I call the housekeeper. She gives me the finger A LOT!
7. I am the head teacher. Our daily activities include numbers, letters, sight words, math, books, library trips, art projects & baking.
8. I am the housekeeper. I vacuum (daily), scrub the bathrooms (biweekly), mop the floors (more than I should admit) , change the sheets (weekly, more if we are having diaper leak issues or stomach bugs) I do the dishes 106x a day. I clean up after the flipping head chef provides WAY TOO MANY snacks and said snacks are spilled all over the floor.
9. I am the house vet, feeding the yellow lab three times daily, giving him his Gas X, Pepcid and yogurt just to keep him healthy and letting him out to go take a crap. Sometimes on a bad day I chase him down the street in whatever embarrassing ensemble I wore to bed as he decides to chase the latest smell.
10. I am the head nurse providing band aids, ice packs, children’s Advil & splinter removal when necessary. I am on 24 hour call when the kids are sick.
11. I am the head hygienist providing floss and teeth brushing twice daily. (ok let’s be honest sometimes only once daily don’t judge)
12. I am the taxi service to and from preschool, music class, story time, soccer, and playdates.
13. I am the emotional rock for all my boys to lean on when there are mishaps at school, the playground or the actual workforce.
14. I am up with the son (no that is not a spelling mistake) and like a horse out of the gate it is go time from the first “MOMMY” yelled from the crib.
15. I have our day down to a science from breakfast until my youngest goes down for a nap. After that it’s outside for play time with my 4yo.16. I am the bath/shower provider on most nights (although my husband does help a lot), diaper changer, pajama applier, book reader, PLEASE GO TO BED BEGGAR!
I finally figured out I work my ass off. I am a working mom. I’m not really sure why the term Stay At Home Mom even exists because I would like to meet one mom who is actually able to stay home all the time. It’s a dumb description meant to dumb down the women who lovingly do it. I will admit before having kids being home sounded like a walk in the park…now that I’m doing it I know it’s more like a run in the zoo without cages for the animals. Whether you are going into an office all day or taking care of your kids all day we are all working moms. We are all doing our daily things for our kids and I salute you all. The moms who wake up at the crack ass of dawn get their kids ready & themselves presentable for an office or teaching environment: BRAVO! The moms who wake up wander the house with baby shit on their foreheads, coffee in their
IV’s hands, and a question of when their last
shower was: BRAVO! The moms who finally figured out who they are and are proud
of it: BRAVO! We all deserve to feel like we have a purpose. We are all working moms and we are all doing a great job! Much love mama's.
The other thing about being a full time Mom is that we are masters of adjustment in an environment where almost nothing goes as planned. Somehow we manage our responsibilities despite whatever surprises each day holds.ReplyDelete
And we take the time to nurture friendships,and familial relationships.
And every now and then we even get to polish our nails or put together a blog post.
Oh how true that is! No matter how much we try to plan out the day something always changes that plan and we need to roll with the punches.Delete
I LOVE this piece. I'm at the other end of the spectrum right now, as my day job has me working obscene hours right now. I often feel like I'll be consumed by the guilt for not spending more time with my son. I love to think that the grass is way greener on the SAHM side, but I need to be reminded that it has it's challenges too. Thanks for this piece, Mama! I really needed it!ReplyDelete
Thank you! I think we all need a reminder every once in a while that #1 we are way too hard on ourselves and #2 nothing is ever easy. Seems to me like you are doing a great job with your little guy. :)Delete
I'm a single working mom of a 12 year old and 3 dogs. I might get a minute to myself around 7:53, but then I'm back at it at 7:55 ;)ReplyDelete
Your children will absolutely respect you!! You're giving them the rare and exceptional gift of time. I wish I could've stayed home with my son while he was little - embrace your gift!
And, just so you know, on the other side of the coin - I feel like I get the (complete with patronizing head tilt and condescending tone) "Oh, so you don't stay home with your son?" look from my "friends" who don't work outside the home. I think it's all in our minds, sister! We're all good moms - whatever our circumstances. We make the best of our situations and we raise our babies to be good, loving people. And that's all that matters.
You are so right. I think it's all in our minds too. We are our worst critics. Making the best of our situations and raising our kids to be good loving people really is all that matters. :)Delete
This is so rad.ReplyDelete
Well thank you. :)Delete
I love this. Love love this.ReplyDelete
I am a brand new mommy...and a (sadly) temporary stay at home mommy! I love your post and I am most of those things (if only for a few more days before heading back to my job as a pre-k teacher). I envy your job and would give anything to do it daily (no matter how poor the pay may be - the reward is worth it all!)ReplyDelete
Nearly five years have passed since the birth of my first son, and while I don't look back on my decision to quit my job, I still occasionally have trouble figuring out who I am.ReplyDelete
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