A week or so ago, I was browsing my regular mommy forums that I read through whilst trying to relax before bed. I came upon a post that, basically, was another mother expressing how she wishes that she could “just sit on her ass and watch her kids play all day instead of actually having to work.” Ahem… Now, honestly I’m not too concerned with this ladies bitter view of her own life and her attempt at romanticizing the life of a stay at home mom as simple and easy…. it’s pretty normal to feel the “grass is greener,” envy. I know I occasionally feel it, knowing that other moms get to look at people that aren’t covered in peanut butter and pulling at their clothes all day. I also know that those same moms spend much of their day missing their babies. Both have their struggles. I also would use this envy to express to other moms why we should all be grateful, because there is always someone out there who wishes that they could have what you have or to be in your shoes. I would never use this as a way to attack and downgrade another moms contribution to her family, no matter what form that contribution takes. That’s where she stuck me.
So… just to clear things up for this bitch and bitches alike … here is a log that I kept of my activities on just a random day last week…
6:32am: My daughter is draped over my stomach, having fallen asleep this way after a middle of the night nursing session. My four year old son walks in, snuggles up to me, and sweetly, lovingly bumps heads with his sister. She starts half-awake crying, he is apologizing repeatedly, I shush him quickly and tell him it’s okay just shhhh… I nurse the baby in hopes of another hour or so of sleep.
6:34: Son asks if he can watch, “Nightmare Before Christmas,” as I continue to boob child while trying to ask my son in a hushed tone to please find me the remote.
6:35am: Son finds remote behind Daddy’s computer, hands it to me, and I put on the movie. We relax.
6:38am: Son is suddenly bored, grabs Wii U controller, and begins to play.
6:40am: Son is devastated because he lost the level and so he no longer wants to play, instead he wants to go jump down two steps, land hard, and oh look…. baby is awake. She looks up excitedly at her brother. He takes this as a queue that she wants him to get really close to her face and yell “Hi Callie!” Love the enthusiasm kid, but now baby is crying.
6:44am: Finally get baby to chill a little, she regains her excitement and now wants down to play with brother. I check Facebook for 3 minutes.
6:47am: Son wants breakfast. I get up, survey breakfast options, list off 2 different cereals, oatmeal, Malt O’Meal, waffles, pancakes, and yogurt with granola… son rejects each option individually as I name them off. Son informs me that he isn’t hungry for breakfast yet, he’s just hungry for frosting. No.
6:48am: Before coming to a breakfast conclusion, I remember that baby is still in last night’s diaper. I grab baby and prepare to change her when I realize that, despite that 3am change, baby has still pooped up her back and slightly out of sides the sides.
6:53am: after much wrestling, a foot in poop (twice) a bit on the carpet, and a very mad baby, we are now clean and baby is temporarily in just a diaper.
6:54am: Rinse off poop onesie and hang to dry on side of tub before it can go in the hamper.
6:56am: Tell son he’s going to have Raisin Bran and like it. Son complies as long as he can have extra raisins in his. We pour and eat cereal, while baby has some yogurt.
7:05am: Kids back on floor to play. Every toy is suddenly in the middle of the living room, but I have a moment to wash breakfast bowls, so I’m good… just kidding, baby stepped on a Lego and her world is shattered. (I know the pain kid… I feel for you here.)
7:06am: Girl is fine and back to playing, son needs to poop and can’t get the bathroom door open. I go help.
7:07am: Baby is beyond pissed that she can’t join her brother in the bathroom.
7:09am: Son is done in bathroom, needs help wiping. I do this while baby screams at the door. My son informs me that he played with “that stick” while he was in there. That stick is the plunger. We wash hands very, very, very thoroughly.
7:11am: Son announces that he’s never wearing pants again.
7:12am: I realize I’ve had to pee since I woke up and have been ignoring it. I go while the baby plays peek-a-boo with the door because I don’t want her screaming through the door again. Baby bumps herself, hard in the face with the door. I hurry up, grab baby, wash hands, and nurse her to calm her down.
7:13am: I’m a spaz so I Google “concussions in babies”. We’re good.
7:16am: I start a pot of coffee and then go brush my teeth because that makes sense…
7:19am: I finally relax for a moment and drink coffee, then begin writing this blog.
7:26am: I remember that two of my friends are about to pop out babies, so I go to check their FB walls to make sure I didn’t miss anything. (I imagine I’d get a text but being three hours behind I don’t know if they’d wait..)
7:30am: FB is checked and babies are still in wombs. My children now both want me to read them different books at the same time. I start with the, faster to get through, baby book.
7:34am: Three “Brown Bear Brown Bear”s later and I’m on to, “Winnie The Pooh and Tigger Too.” I attempt to get baby to listen to the story too. She wants to rip the pages and climb on her brothers head…
Abort mission. Baby goes on the floor.
7:38: Halfway through the book baby comes out from under the kitchen table with a half eaten little cardboard person from “Chutes and Ladders” board game. I inform her that she’s been a bad little goat, and I remove pieces from hand and mouth. She cries.
7:40am: Baby is distracted with stacking cups, but son has lost interest in the idea of reading and now wants to make a fort. I distract him with the idea of making his cars go down the steps on books, like a ramp, because making a fort sounds exhausting right now.
7:45am: Baby gets mad because she can’t knock the books off of the stairs and effectively destroy our cool ramp system.
7:46am: I distract baby with Puffs… Baby is mad that she can’t have entire container to pour all over floor. I walk away because, oh well. I sit on couch.
7:50am: Finish, no longer hot, coffee & pour more.
7:52am: My son still wants to build a fort. I tell him to build a mini fort behind the couch, I’ll come visit. I play with baby and giant bouncy ball until fort is done.
7:55am: I must visit the fort, so I visit as a monster. I’m not allowed in until I prove I’m a nice monster. I grab puppy stuffed animal and snuggle it, not good enough. I discuss how I’ve never eaten a baby. Still not good enough. I say please, I’m allowed in. I overheat in tiny fort while baby attempts to tear it down.
8:00am: Movie ends, and I suggest one of the new Thomas the Train movies that we just got him… he informs me that he no longer likes Thomas and never wants to watch them ever again… I roll my eyes so far back that my head hurts, and put on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, all are satisfied.
8:04am: There is a knock on the door. My son rethinks his previous stance on pants and goes to put them on. I answer the door already knowing that it will be my son’s best friend/neighbor. Chaos of 4&5 year old kids ensues as baby tries to keep up and I try to make sure she isn’t trampled while also pretending to be the, “pet store shop keeper” (a job that I did not volunteer or get paid for, fyi).
8:46am: I have to lecture neighbor boy on not just abruptly leaving whenever my son doesn’t want to play exactly as he does. Then I lecture my son on speaking more calmly to his friends, resolved, chaos continues.
9:02am: Neighbor friend realizes that he really wants to go home and ask his daddy for a snack.
9:03am: While I deal with baby’s meltdown over not being allowed to eat the shoes, neighbor boy happily helps my son clean up their mess and takes off.
9:13am: I investigate fridge for dinner candidates. Mommy, how dare you, why are you not participating in the Hot Dog Dance with us? My bad. Proceed to do the hot dog dance.
9:14am: Son has to pee. He leaves the door open and I have my head in the oven *ahem* fridge, I mean, so I don’t notice.
9:15am: I walk in and see baby with mornings, still a little poopy, onesie in her mouth… I take it away (without vomiting, go me). She screams, so we play peek-a-boo with shower curtain. I’m hilarious.
9:18am: Choose clothes for the kids and set them on the couch.
9:20am: Sit for 30 seconds until I have to get up and stop the baby from grabbing cords that I swore she couldn’t even reach yesterday…
9:25am: Get wrapped up in a stupid “Look Tumblr is like so funny” Buzzfeed article while kids play.
9:30am: Start looking up inspiration for writing. Interrupted by baby trying to get into the garbage. Sit back down. She does it again. I lock her in the closet (Juuust kidding guys. My closets don’t lock).
Okay, I’m getting exhausted just recalling and writing all of this. Let’s just skip ahead and say that there was quite a bit of the same for the next hour and a half. I think you get the point. Haha. After this was the adventure of walking with both to the store, allowing the baby to actually walk in order to wear her out for her nap. She had to stop and investigate every rock. She came dangerously close to grabbing a pile of animal poop. She stopped to bark at the neighbor dog for a little while until I swept her up and foiled her instigator ways.
My son kept running too far ahead and I’d have to scream at him to stop or come back. He insisted that we race to every speed bump. I had to drag them both past the park because I wanted to just get to the store and home for lunch and nap. I did some preschool with my son while the baby napped. We had lunch, I did lunch dishes, I fed the baby when she woke up and Did more dishes only this time with a baby clinging to my ankle and yelling at me while my son “look at me, look at me!”ed while he jumped off of the couch. We had our preschool time which is normally done between lunch and baby’s wake up time, but on some days (like this particular day) her nap was short so I had to juggle her while being teacher to an easily distracted 4 year old. Honestly if I kept going the entire day it’d be far too much. This doesn’t even cover moms running errands, who have activities to bring kids to, who have school drop off and pick up. I could go on and on.
My point here is that many people don’t realize that while, yes, being a stay at home mom is very gratifying and rewarding and I know that in many ways we are very lucky, it is still an exhausting job. No, it isn’t torture, but it can be frustrating not having a moment to have an uninterrupted thought during the day. We rarely get to sit on the couch eating Bon Bons and binging Netflix (unless Daniel Tiger counts…). Our days are actually very demanding and full. It’s also mentally exhausting because, let’s be honest, kids are little assholes. It’s not their faults, they don’t have the skills or mental capacity to fully understand yet, but man can they push buttons. We are always in the go, whether it be cooking, cleaning, teaching, breaking up fights, bathing and clothing, rebathing and reclothing, taxying, shopping, planning, organizing, and all with demanding children up or butts the entire time.
This is by no means saying that parents working outside of the home have it any easier. They have both worlds to juggle, because at home or out of the house you are a parent first and always. But to those who think stay at home moms are lazy or have it super easy…. you can suck my lady balls. Because this is a 24/7 hard, tiring, trying job with no monetary compensation that we are beyond happy to do anyway, and we don’t need you and your superior attitude. Thank you very much.