About Me

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Concord, California, United States
I am a sometimes-writer, everyday mama, creative failure and experimental cook. I am interested in living a beautiful life, spending time with my family and making things that I can feel proud of. When I'm by myself I'm usually outside. Don't bother calling because chances are that I didn't bring my cell phone because I couldn't find it. If you see me walking, it's because I lost my keys and if you see me with only one child... I'm probably in big trouble.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Being A Stay At Home Mom Is A Real Job

I have been thinking a lot about my role in our family lately.  And I've been thinking a lot about my role in life as well.  I've said in this blog before that I've never been a career driven person.  I actually went to college for an education rather than job training and as a way to pass the time while I figured out what I wanted to do with my life.

I had very little experience with children when I fell into momming.  Though I had always wanted kids and always considered/ prided myself on being something of a nurturer, I didn't know that it would be my calling in life.  I couldn't have predicted how satisfying I would find this role in my family.  I'd never suggest that a mom who also balances a career finds motherhood less satisfying than me.  That would be ridiculous, so I don't want to misrepresent my opinion.  The difference between she and I is that motherhood is my career.  I don't make any money, but I sure do save us a bundle.  I can't imagine how much it would cost to pay for before and after school care every day, pay for a tutor to help with homework, pay for someone to drive my kids to after school activities and sport events and pay for someone to provide breakfast, lunch and snacks.  I think that's probably very expensive.  But if you have a career that you love and fulfills you, it's likely worth it to shell out the dough for someone else to provide excellent care for your children.  I don't have a career that I love and I don't have any job that I am interested in doing...  so, why the societal pressure to do something different than what's working for me?

Why in the world do people feel the need to pressure and guilt stay-at-home mom's to get jobs when their kids go to school?   No one has EVER asked my husband if he was going to get a second job to fill his down time.  Why am I expected to?  It boggles my mind.  People say these rude, arrogant, demeaning things like, "Oooooh.  I would just be so bored..."  Guess what?  When you have two little girls who are barely 16 months apart in age and are 7 and 8 years old... folding laundry, washing dishes and scrubbing your floors in peace and quiet is not boring, IT IS LUXURY.

Pardon my tangent, but it's like this:  I work my fucking ass off 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and I have for the past 8 years.  It took Bunny 7 years to sleep through the night.  7 YEARS.  Jay is a great dad, but when my girls are sick/cranky/tried/needy/upset/fighting or sad, I am the one that they come to and need.   I always have been. I am the one who disciplines.  I am the problem solver. I am the one who does our grocery shopping and am responsible for everything that goes into my children's mouths.   I work tirelessly creating healthy meals that take me hours to make.  I take them to sports and sit through (excruciating) practices.  I take them to school and I pick them up and I sit at our kitchen table with them for hours upon hours every afternoon working on homework, making sure that my children understand each and every new concept that they've been taught.  Usually as they do this they are eating a healthy, homemade snack.  I am by their side, sleeping in their beds when they are sick.  Any opportunity to be in their classroom- I am THERE.  Any opportunity to help out in the school in any capacity- I take it.  I am in the front row at every performance (even the performances that just happen in our back yard.) that they have.  I am crafting with them.  I am joking with them.  I am having deep heart to hearts and mending their hurt feelings when someone has made them feel badly.  And on top of that, I run a tight ship and keep a pretty clean home and keep our pets all alive (for the time being).

I work really, really, really hard.  I mean, REALLY hard.  And I love the work that I do.  I don't find it mundane.  I don't find it tedious.  I understand that other people have or would.  People are always very quick to loudly express how unfulfilling my job is.  But parenting is my career.  Someday my children will go to college and I will semi-retire, but for the next 11 years, this is what I want to do with my life.

I am very lucky because Jay has a good job.  I appreciate this so much because at one point we were really struggling financially and I had to go to work.  I loved my job but I was exhausted.  The fact was that I did everything that I do now, and I went to work for six hours a day while my girls were in school and missing time with them on the weekends.  And I ended up feeling incredibly stressed out and emotionally and physically taxed...

So, why, when I have a few hours a day to work alone, in my home and enjoy life, should I be expected to get a job?  I am a person not just a mother.  I have interests.  When my girls are at home I don't' have the time to peruse those interests or do much but parent my children- which is the way it should be.  But I would like to be able to do other things as well.  I mean, Jay has hours upon hours upon hours of down time on his days off when we are all sleeping, but no one suggests that he should fill this time with some money-making strategy.  It's just so sexist.  And it pisses me off.

1 comment:

  1. Go you!!! Parenting is the hardest unpaid job you'll ever love. I don't understand why people can't just live and let live. It would be different if your kids were starving. In fact, when things were tight, you DID go out and get a job. I've had to do the same thing over the years. I love my job as a stay-at-home mom, even though I also try to balance school and my own business along with running a household.

    It really irritates me when people assume that I should get a job outside the house just because my kids are at school. I've been surprised at how many people think that stay-at-home momming is only for moms that have pre-school age children.

    As much as I would have loved to get a higher education when I was younger, in the long run, now is the perfect timing. By the time I have my degrees and I'm working with clients, my kids will be done with school and off in the world building their own lives. In the meantime, I'm enjoying my job as mom.