While I most certainly don’t consider myself to be the most controversial person you might ever meet- someone is bound to get their grannies in a bunch when you make a colorful joke, especially when that joke refers to your child as coming from the depths of hell.
I have been criticized, attacked, and had more assumptions made about me than a woman wearing very little clothing standing on a street corner at night in a skeevy downtown area.
“What do you do, sit on Facebook all day?”
“I could be a stay at home mom, easy”
Even my husband has made comments like that after watching them for 2 hours while I was off FINALLY getting the rats nest on my head taken care of. Two hours is apparently an indication of how 24 hours a day 7 days a week for YEARS would go; and I know for a fact i’m not the only one who has heard these kinds of comments or received these kinds of questions.
I didn’t become a stay at home mom because I didn’t feel like working a regular job anymore. I didn’t become a stay at home mom so I would never miss daytime television. I most certainly didn’t become a stay at home mom because I thought it would be easy, or because it was the most financially sound decision for us.
My choice to be a stay at home mom wasn’t one I made to be righteous, it was just because I didn’t want to put my kids in daycare. Plain and simple. We all have our own reasons, and i’m sure SOME people choose it because they think it will be a cake walk, but for anyone who actually cares about their children- that’s not the case.
Is it as demanding as manual labor? No. Most days, no. But it is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining, and easily the hardest “job” i’ve ever had.
The life of a stay at home mom is full of worry, of stress, of frustration. What keeps us sane is the moments of happiness, even if they are few and far between.
We deal with tantrums and screaming and things breaking and booboos and sometimes blood. We have to be a negotiator, we have to threaten- and we’re the only ones home to play good cop AND bad cop at the same time. It’s not always easy keeping that shit straight.
We deal with vomit, wiping dirty asses, helping kids go to the bathroom regardless of whether they JUST went TWO DAMN SECONDS AGO or not.
We have to teach, but most of us have no teaching degree; we have to entertain but kids are picky as hell about what will keep them still for more than a few minutes at a time, and we have to constantly act interested in whatever they have decided is worthy of their attention. Even if it’s not interesting. At all.
We have to cook, and then clean up what we cooked with. We have to provide snacks, and clean up the crumbs that will inevitably come with the snack or the fighting that might occur over the portion of said snack. We have to serve breakfast and lunch alone, and most of the time get dinner started before our other half comes home.
We have to fix things that we would SO much rather remain broken, permanently, but we do it to stop the flood of tears that would be sure to come if we didn’t.
We don’t “sit on Facebook all day”– we’re lucky to be able to stop for a few moments, post something, respond to something else before keyboard pounding or screen hogging happens by the ones who think all of our attention all the time should be on them. Even luckier to be able to sneak in these drive-bys more than once.
Nap time? If there IS a nap time. We have to deal with refusal of naps and the intense attitude that comes with the refusal of naps. This time, we ARE the bad cop- and that’s not a hell of a lot of fun.
In between all of these things there is getting dressed, doing laundry, random chores and picking up that needs to be done, attempting to look presentable- to WHO? To ourselves, because we deserve it- that’s if we even have the energy to do so.
We don’t get breaks, not really. We don’t get a lunch break- we get lunch TIME where we spend most of it making sure food isn’t flung and meals are actually being eaten. We don’t get holidays or paid leave or sick days. We are expected to be there. Every day. On time. In sickness or in health, rain or shine, for better or for worse. It’s on us.
So no. Stay at home moms aren’t LAZY. We don’t spend our days watching soaps and eating bonbons while our demon children destroy the house and ingest paint chips. Our job is not “easy” nor is it simple- and there are a hell of a lot of moments that aren’t fun- but we don’t tolerate it in hopes of promotion. There is no promotion. We are MOM (or even Dad, depending on who stays home)-always- and that’s why we do it.
The next time someone opens their mouth and questions what you do all day while “sitting at home with the kids”…. remind them that you have a pillow and you aren’t afraid to hold their face down with it.
OR, you could be nice and just tell them to shut the hell up until they’ve tried it for a few MONTHS- not a couple of hours- and then come back and tell you how EASY it is sitting on your ass all day.
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