Monday, February 27, 2012

Stay at Home Mom

My three reasons to stay home.
After I had my first daughter I stayed home from work for only ten weeks.  I was supposed to be out for twelve weeks, but my husband got laid off from his job and I had to go back to work early.  It was awful.  I missed my new little baby more than anything else in the world and felt nagging guilt for returning to such an obviously unimportant job when my sweet little baby needed her Mama.  About two years later, while pregnant with my second daughter, I got laid off from my job.  I decided to take that opportunity to become a Stay at Home Mom.  After about a year, I started volunteering and eventually accepted a part time job at my church.  But the church is not immune to the economic crisis, and my position there was eventually cut from the budget as well, landing me back in my full-time job as a SAHM.  (Typing out Stay at Home Mom every time is cumbersome, so I'm using the acronym SAHM.  It's killing me a little bit.)

There are people who will say things like, "Being a Mom is the best job in the world!"  I feel confident in saying that those people are delusional.  We can safely say that any job that includes being pooped on on a regular basis is far from being the BEST job in the world.  I mean, sure, it's probably pretty important in the grand scheme of things.  We're trying to mold young minds into civilized and productive human adults.  I would guess that Charles Manson's mom felt like she pretty much dropped the ball.  But being an important job, isn't the same as being the best job.  The men who take away the giant bags full of poopy diapers every Wednesday have a pretty important job in my book, but I wouldn't want to be the one riding on the back of that stinky green truck.

As far as SAHMs go, I'm really awful at it.  Television would lead us all to believe that the SAHM has tons of time to do the cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, organize play dates, host Sentsy parties (or what-have-you), and do it all with a trendy messy up-do.  I do, in fact, know a Mom or two that seem to have all that going on.  I'm almost certain they cry themselves to sleep.  More likely, they probably just collapse into a heap at the end of the day.  My carpet almost always has Pop-Tarts or crackers ground into it.  There is so much snot and fingerprints smeared across my windows that it looks like I own a pet llama with a sinus infection.  The dirty laundry sits in a schlumpy heap in the corner, and we're almost always out of milk.  I wouldn't even dream of inviting someone into my house that doesn't already have a deep appreciation for the fact that as I clean my house, I have three little tornadoes behind me and I never seem to make any progress.  And while my hair is almost always messy, it's never fashionably so.

The reality is, at least for me, that stay at home motherhood is a very secluded life.  The only people I ever talk to are under four feet tall.  These miniature people somehow manage to get my complete attention at almost all times.  I do for them constantly to the point that I neglect myself.  Now, I'm not one of those mom's who thinks I'm entitled to a day at the spa (although I wouldn't mind one!), but occasionally I need to do things like eat, and drink some water, and pee without someone trying to sit on my lap and read them a book. 

I find myself craving adult interaction and actively stalk friends on facebook to the point that I'm almost certain I am going to be blocked or unfriended.  (My computer doesn't like the word unfriended.  To be fair, neither do I.)  I was friended by someone whose blog I read and really like, and honestly, I was so excited.  My husband was really confused.  "But, you've never actually met this person, have you?"  No, no I have not.  But nonetheless, it was like finding out the really cute boy in high school has a crush on you.  I was giddy.  It was a little embarrassing and I sometimes fear my enthusiasm will be off putting.  So before hitting enter on comments to their facebook page I say to myself, "Be cool, Kim.  Be cool."  I'm not.  I am not cool at all.  I'm desperate, and I'm afraid it shows.

Anyhow, I'm hoping that my desperation will lessen over the next week or two.  I'm leaving my profession as SAHM and entering the workforce... you know, the one where they pay you for doing stuff.  I'm pretty excited to wear clothes that don't have snot on them and to avoid a few hours of diaper changes.  But mostly, I'll be glad to just be out of the house and talking to real-live grown ups.


Ashley said...

Thanks for saying all of this! I have been struggling with my choice to leave work and stay home with my little guy. He's the best, but there are days when I wish I could work at a job where there are clearly defined things to do and the time (and quiet) to do them in! :)

Kim said...

I don't regret staying home for the time that I did. I missed a lot of the "first" things with Mya because I was at some stupid job and my Mom would send me pictures and videos. I'm glad that I was home more for Em and Jack and wouldn't trade in all the boogers and poopy diapers for anything. But it's been a few years, and it's time for me to get back outside of the house. Never feel guilty about taking care of your kids.