Tuesday, November 9, 2010

There's Bubble Gum in the Baby's Hair

When I was a single mom of 1... I'd hear things like this. "You never go anywhere." "Just find someone to watch the baby." "Put it in daycare" (yes, someone really said IT). "It can't really be that hard." "How can you be tired? All you do is stay home all day."
I've been on both sides of the spectrum. For the better part, I have been a working mom. With the exception of the last 2 years, it's been part time work. But I did stay home with my kids for 6 months (I know, I know... not that long to be a SAHM (of 2 anyway.... I stayed at home with just Alanna for a while after she was born), but it was winter.... in MAINE... and gas was almost 4 dollars a gallon, my husband worked an hour away and I had to drop him off/pick him up so I only had enough gas left over to take Alanna to and from school during the week).
Being a SAHM is NOT an easy job. At all. And if you think it is, please feel free to click the X in the corner. It's exhausting and taxing and tiring and sometimes it's irritating. Depending on the day. Hehe. Unlike other jobs, however, you can't quit. You don't get fired (unless you're a REALLY bad parent). You don't get paid time off. It doesn't provide insurance. There's no training guide that can actually prepare you for everything that is parenting. You don't get mandated breaks throughout the day or a guaranteed hour long lunch break. You don't get paid over time if you're up late into the night with a baby who doesn't want to go to bed.
On the flip side... how many other jobs pay you in hugs and kisses and "I love you"s. How many jobs crawl in to bed with you because they're scared of thunderstorms or just want to be near you at night (ok, so this could have been worded differently at the beginning of the sentence, but whatever... I don't feel like re-writing it, hehe). How many jobs draw you pictures where your head is the size of a grape and the rest of your body is the size of a watermelon, but they did it just for you, and they're so proud of it. How many jobs look at you at 6 in the morning when you're wearing a ratty tshirt and sweatpants full of holes as your pjs, hair sticking out every direction, big black circles under your eyes and say to you "I think you're pretty" and mean it.
Ok so I kind of got off track for a bit.
But really... staying at home with children, or heck, even one child, is not easy. It gets easiER. It's like with anything you do though. The more you do it, the better you get at it. But there are still days when you feel like you'll scream if you don't get a break. Or you have people talking to you from all different directions and it seems like your head is going to start spinning in circles. A lot of people run on little to no sleep for a long time after their babies are born. And yet, they still manage to get out of bed when they need to, get dressed, and get things done. They don't have the luxury of "I'm tired, I think I'll sleep in an extra hour tomorrow morning." It's "Holy crap I'm so tired I think I'm going insane." Me? I've fallen asleep in the tub before. And, I'll be honest, I've even fallen asleep on the toilet. That's how tiring it can be. But I tell you what, most moms, even from a stone cold dead sleep will bolt upright and wide awake if they hear something coming from their babies in the middle of the night. No matter how tired they are.
Again, I digress.
So if you have friends who have children, and they don't drop everything the second that you want to go out to the bar, or have a girls night out, or whatever it is you normal people do (I'm a recluse, what can I say) please get over it. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. It's not you (unless of course, it is... and then I really have nothing else to say). Don't take it personal. Mom is probably tired and delirious and when you called her she probably started talking into her tennis shoe before she realized that it wasn't actually the phone.
Now, don't get me wrong, I know this isn't true of all moms. Believe me. I'm wicked jealous of all you moms who have so much energy and are always up and around and excited about doing things. You homeschool and make crafts and build things and run errands and have playdates with other moms and make dinner etc. I would pass out after the first couple minutes of a list like that. Ok, so not really... but I'm just not the go-go-go type of mom.
But really, no... it's not always easy to find a babysitter. As most other people have lives that they are not inclined to drop whenever the fancy suits you. No, I personally don't go anywhere because I'm lucky that I function during the day. And put IT in daycare? Did I give birth to a child-eating clown? Didn't think so. IT is actually a baby, and baby has a name. And just for that stupidity you can leave me alone.
It's common sense.
It is hard to understand and comprehend the situation when you're not in it, I know. But still people... use your noggin. There's a sun, and planets, and stars, and galaxies in that great big sky of ours and none of them revolve around you. So if you have a friend who has kids and they tell you NO to a mani/pedi or lunch or a movie or whatever... it's "not you, it's me" basically.


  1. I agree with you 100%. The closest I've ever gotten to having someone pull the "what do you DO all day" routine was a relative who indirectly put me down because I don't work and "help out" with the bills. Oh, and my hubby has had a few women at the hospital give him a scolding for "not letting" me work. I lauhed and told him to tell them that I LOVE not working! Home is where I WANT to be!

    I really admire you and other moms who manage to work AND parent, but I know that's a hard road. Keep looking to God for the grace you need. He will hold you up!

  2. That has been one of all my all time fav videos for a long time.

    The other is this one: