I’m a stay-at-home-mom full of free time! Said no stay-at-home-mom ever.
Working people do two things that really bug me.
1. They ask me: “What do you do all day?” And it’s not the question itself that bugs me, but that I can hear the demeaning tone entangled between the words and I can see the egotistic glare of self-justification as they try to lower my self-esteem because I don’t pay someone else to watch my kids while I go to work. I can’t blame them for not knowing the answer, though. I mean really; what DO we do all day? The answer? Everything. Every. Thing.
And 2. “You’re just a mom.” That is probably the worst thing you could ever say to a stay-at-home-mom. JUST a mom? Excuse me? Whoa. Take a step back and think about what you’ve said. Yes, I am just a mom. That makes me a cook, maid and waitress, I’m a nurse and a boo-boo kisser, a diaper changer and a butt wiper, a therapist and a story teller, a teacher and a role model, a laundry doer and the toy picker upper, the teeth brusher and hair dresser, a bather and an outfit organizer, a walking milk machine and a human tissue, a taxi driver and an ATM, cheerleader and sports couch, a referee and a translator, an alarm clock and a monster slayer. I wash the dishes and the toilets, the clothes and the sheets. I buy the groceries in our fridge and the clothes on my kids backs. I do breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks everyday. I get up in the middle of the night when the kids are scared, hungry, or if they decide to start the new day at 2.a.m. I don’t get holidays or sick days. I don’t get breaks or days off. I work day and night; 24/7 for the rest of my life with no paycheck. It may seem silly to you, but I’m everything to my kids.
I’m tired and sore. Sometimes crabby and irritated. My head is full of a million and one different thoughts and I can not process them at the same time even though I have to. My house is a complete wreck no matter how much I clean it. The days I select as my “days off” consist of not bending over to pick anything up; except for that leaking juice cup.
While I’m responsible for all of these things they don’t always get done promptly. The dishes devour the counters the majority of the time. The dirty laundry pile covers the basement stairs as we just toss them down. The clean laundry piles up and overflows onto the floor before I get to folding and putting it away. The toys end up in every corner of the house. Fruit snack wrappers and crumbs are found stuck to bare feet as you walk along my hardwood floors. I don’t even know how old some of the snacks are in the way back of the pantry because I can’t see that far in because it’s crammed with junk and more junk and crap. The cats start pooping on the bathroom floor if I forget to clean it every two days. My husband sat on the couch yesterday and felt something hard. He pulled out a long lost sippy cup with moldy milk in it. Yum. I can’t even remember the last time I vacuumed my bedroom. But, it’s so messy in there I couldn’t vacuum it even if I went up right now. My house is a pigsty. And it’s not because I never clean it. I do slack sometimes, however. We all do. Working or stay at home. There’s just not enough time or energy to do everything, every day. And for those of you who manage to keep up on house cleaning, please teach me your ways.
While I understand not every family can financially support themselves without two incomes, I feel like society views us stay at home moms in the wrong light. With out being a stay at home mom (or dad, can’t forget stay at home dads, too!) you really can’t accurately visualize what it’s like. We probably work harder than [most] standard 9-5 job-goers.
So, to those who have said either of these things to me or any other stay-at-home-mom, I’m sorry if I offended you with my 24/7 non-paying job. While you’re paying a stranger to enjoy precious moments with your kids, I’m not missing any of it. I get to see every milestone, smile, frown, giggle fit, tantrum, first words and first steps. I get to see it all and know I had the impact. It was me that did all of this. My sweet children are who they are because of me and I got to watch it all unfold and evolve into something miraculous. It’s not easy, but every moment is worth it because being called Mom is my greatest blessing.
Take a moment to watch this video that explains what I’m trying to say perfectly.