Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I got a cape with an 'S'......

I feel lazy. And spoiled. My husband has a good job and I am one of the lucky moms who gets to stay at home with her children. And have done so for quite a number of years. Now that my children are all in school, I feel even more lazy and spoiled.

I sometimes complain when my family leaves their things laying around after I've just cleaned up or after having to clean the kitchen 3 times a day, but that's essentially what I have chosen to do. I have chosen to stay home and do everything domestic. Clean, cook, clean, raise children, clean, etc.

It gets monotonous and annoying to have to clean the same things over and over day after day. Some days it makes me crabby. Didn't I just wash clothes? How many dishes do we need to use? More dog hair!?!?! But again, it's the choice I made.

If I were a working mother, these chores wouldn't go away. I'd still have to do them. I'd just have to do them after working 8 hours. I honestly don't know how working mothers do it. I have so much respect for women who do it all at home plus have a career. So much.

The choice to stay at home with the kids was not made because I felt that leaving the kids for someone else to look after during the day was a horrible alternative. I don't think that children who grow up with a stay at home mom are any better off than children who grow up going to day care. I haven't read up on any studies or anything, that is just my own opinion. I'm sure it's beneficial for the parent and child to get to spend that time together, but there comes a point that I think it's possible to spend too much time with your child also. They get too used to having you with them 24/7 and scream when you try to leave them with other people for a short while so you can recharge.

There are parents who will boast about how they never spent a night away from their child in the 18 years they were home. Good Lord! Is that really something to brag about? I love my kids and I love being with my kids but let's face it, they aren't going to be scarred for life if I let go of them and spend a night away with my husband. You aren't a bad parent if you take some time for yourself now and then. Sure, being a parent is a full time job. But even full time jobs get vacation time.

I remember when my parents would go away for a week now and then without me. I had to stay with the neighbor. I hated it. And I would miss them terribly. But I don't think I grew up worse for wear because of it. If anything, it made me appreciate them more. Even their quirks that annoyed me when they were around.

I grew up in a household where both parents worked. My mom was a nurse and she worked "odd" hours so that when she was home, she was sleeping a lot. I remember once I made a comic and taped it to the cupboard in the kitchen that had a picture of someone lying in bed and a child next to the bed. The child said, "Mom, are you going to sleep all day?" and the mom in the bed said, "No, just 23 hours of it". And my parents thought I was crying out to them through this comic. That I didn't like the fact that my mom had to work nights and slept while I was home. While I did wish she could have been home with me more, the comic was just that...a comic. I was trying to be funny. And I was a child proud of her drawing so I taped it to the cupboard. I always felt loved and cared for enough. My parents both worked. I didn't know any other way.

I am a stay at home mom because it works for us. Everyone does what they can with what they have. I know my husband appreciates coming home to a clean house and dinner on the table when he walks through the door after a long day at work. That's why he allows me to stay home. But some days he won't walk through the door to a sparkling clean house. Some days I just have had enough. And that's when I feel lazy. Because I have no excuse other than 'I didn't feel like it' to not have made the house sparkle. I had the time, but I didn't do it. And some days I devote to running errands or cooking or doing some other thing so I legitimately don't have time to get the house in order. I don't always make the beds. I don't always pick up the toys. I might notice the desk getting dusty but don't dust it. There are a million things I could do, because I have the opportunity to do them.

I don't like when people assume I have all the free time in the world. I don't have more hours in my day. I have to plan and schedule and prioritize my daily duties, same as anyone else.

I don't know why I decided to blog about this. Maybe it's because I have so much on my "to do" lists every day and I'll be lucky to get through half of them most of the time. And maybe, today was one of those days where I didn't get much done on my list and I felt defeated by it all. I kept busy. But I didn't do it all.

I didn't feel like a supermom today. But you know what, some days, it's ok to leave the cape hanging in the closet ;)


Christine said...

Our house is NEVER clean and sometimes I daydream about the daycare we almost chose instead of me. Being a mom is monotonous and tedious and I'm sure more grown-up time would be helpful on the mental health front. On the other hand there are a few moments every day that I would miss if I wasn't home. The years do seem to zip by. We demean our families if we let ourselves or others act like keeping the house running isn't important. Let the to-do list go once and awhile. Just being available for your family is so valuable!

Carin said...

well said my dear friend...there are days I wish I was a stay at home mom...they are usually days like saturday when I cleaned for 6 hours to finally get the house totally cleaned, dusted, vacuumed and scrubbed like it needed instead of the "good enough" it usually is in, yesterday when I came home from work and rushed some waffles and fruit on the table for supper so we could catch some light outside to bag leaves and clean the garage. However I enjoy working outside the home and would never have the patience to deal with the constant demands of my kids and house as well as our wonderful Kathy does. We working moms need days to ourselves too and I admittedly don't take enough. Nobodies world is perfect but we work with it. I am taking a mental health day on saturday..massage, hair appointment and I may go for the trifecta of indulgence and get a pedicure too. If you are in need of a moment away I will be in Fargo starting at 9am that day and will not go home until my mental health has been restored. Give me a call. Miss you my friend!