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This lady sums up motherhood better than I ever could.

Posted by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 9:49 PM
  • 8 Replies
1 mom liked this

By: Carolyn Hax
Originally published in the Washington Post

Best friend has child. Her: exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me, etc. Me (no kids): Wow. Sorry. What'd you do today? Her: Park, play group . . .
Okay. I've done Internet searches, I've talked to parents. I don't get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day? Please no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners . . . I do all those things, too, and I don't do them EVERY DAY. I guess what I'm asking is: What is a typical day and why don't moms have time for a call or e-mail? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events) and I manage to get it all done. I'm feeling like the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy -- not a bad thing at all -- but if so, why won't my friend tell me the truth? Is this a peeing contest ("My life is so much harder than yours")? What's the deal? I've got friends with and without kids and all us child-free folks get the same story and have the same questions.

Tacoma, Wash.

Relax and enjoy. You're funny.

Or you're lying about having friends with kids.

Or you're taking them at their word that they actually have kids, because you haven't personally been in the same room with them.

Internet searches?

I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are that your mom-friends are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous indeed.

So, since it's validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get. In list form. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.

It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.

It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.

It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends, well-meaning and otherwise. It's resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense.

It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything -- language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything.

It's also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn't judge you, complain about you to mutual friends, or marvel how much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand or keep your snit to yourself.
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by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 9:49 PM
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Replies (1-8):
by Sarah on Jan. 11, 2013 at 1:02 AM

Love it! :)

by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 1:24 AM

AMEN!!!! I have a friend who has one daughter who is 7 now and she seems to have forgotten how time consuming small children are. She doesn't understand where my money goes (Hello, two in diapers, four going through growth spurts, one in school, not to mention car payment, utilities, rent, insurance, etc.) She's like "I never have more than three or four loads of laundry in a week, why do you have so much?" Ummm...I have a 1 year old, a 2 year old, a 3 year old, AND a 9 year old who thinks she has to change clothes twice a day (not talking pajamas to day clothes) and no matter how I fight her to stay in the original clothes those extras end up in the hamper anyway! Oh, and my husband, let's not forget I do his laundry too!

My house is NEVER spotless, but my kids are whole, happy, and healthy...and their needs are met 110%

I think this lady definitely hit the nail on the head with a task that would take a childless person 15 minutes to do it takes a mom (especially of small children) 45+ minutes to do. Have you tried to fold laundry with a two and three year old helping? Yep, it doesn't get done in 10 minutes!

by Michelle on Jan. 11, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Yep lol

by Ruby Member on Jan. 11, 2013 at 2:21 PM

 Love it!

by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Love it :)

by on Jan. 12, 2013 at 1:59 AM

Love it! 

by on Jan. 12, 2013 at 9:08 AM

So true!!! also i don't think women who haave  kids see it as a comfort zone where they can do whatever they want-they're actually doing everything it takes to become a mom, giving of yourself 24 hours a day, waking up in the middle of the night to feed a baby, sick children care, getting ready for school worring if they'll catch the bus and so many other selfsacrificing stuff not to mention delivery ect...

by on Jan. 12, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Well said. I will admit to not understanding what the hell a SAHM does all day when I was a young, foolish girl of 25 with little experience in life but let me tell ya..payback is a bitch because I am well aware now! ;) 

At that time I knew almost no one who had children yet so if this woman is truely friends with a momma than she ought to spend half a day at her friends's house, really 15 minutes should do the trick and never again will she wonder how her friend spends "her" time!

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