Just a warning in advance for those of you not so inclined to read self pitying rants: I'm afraid this may turn into one.  That's not the message that I'm going for, but I fear that the subject matter this post entails may lead off into a few "why me"s and maybe even a couple "it's not easy"s.  So if a few paragraphs in, you find yourself disgusted by the self involvement and pitifulness of the narrator, just remember: you were warned.

I am a stay at home mom.  Yes, I am your average, house cleaning, diaper changing, baby bragging, PTA committee-ing (well, not yet actually, but in a few years maybe), nap giving, book reading, song singing, lesson teaching, refrigerator art hanging, healthy meal planning, discipline dishing, tucking in, stay at home with the kids mother.
What a fantastic job! 
Yes! 
What an easy, laid back, no hassle, shouldn't-even-be-called-a-job job!
. . . No.
There's a specific reason that daycares and babysitters are paid in return for their services in helping to rear your children.  It's tough.
Not to say that your job isn't.  To working mothers of the world, I salute you.  You are an active member of society and a pillar to your community! But at least you get a break.  And by that I mean a fifteen minute cigarette or thirty minute lunch break in which you have a beautiful, blissful, quarter to half hour of time to spend doing as you please.  You don't know how lucky you are.
My husband works days and attends school at night.  He is the epitome of the perfect partner in most senses.  He comes home after work, he helps around the house when he is home, he spontaneously buys me flowers when he senses my displeasure about something, he's never cheated or flirted, he tells me I am beautiful on a regular basis and he is a loving and attentive father.  With that being said, he gets on my nerves.  Well, I should re-phrase that.  Not he himself, but rather the attitude that he has made so many more sacrifices and has worked so much harder to better this family. 
Now, I should probably add that as well as being a stay at home mother, I am also the part time care giver to my elderly grandmother and my duties as of late have included helping plan her wedding ceremony to her long time boyfriend, a wheelchair bound gentleman who has about as many demands on a daily basis as a newborn infant.  Marrying my grandmother, the woman who has been there for him through his ups and down of the past five or six years and stayed on to act as a kind of nursing aid with benefits (not the health kind), seems to be one of the last items left uncrossed on his bucket list. 
My grandmother is as close, if not closer to me than my own mother and as been a vision of strength throughout my childhood, so it feels good to be able to help her maintain her active life by acting as her chauffeur, driving her around to run errands and taking her back and forth between her boyfriend's house and her own.  Unfortunately, the boyfriend seems to think that these duties also entail helping him in his dementia like madness to look up obscure items on amazon and e-bay, which he intends to use to "organize" and "re-organize" his kitschy collection of television documentaries, novels, records- you name it.  He is and always was a sort of hoarder, although the way he treats his treasures seems to be somewhat more sanitary than those you might see on, say, the tv series on A&E. 
Anyway, between a five year old kindergardener who refuses to let go of her diapers and has the attention span of a humming bird, a twenty month old who's main goal in life thus far has been to scare his mother into cardiac arrest, a small house that accumulates junk faster than a New Jersey landfill and an elderly woman who is busier than a lawsuit specializing lawyer- not to mention two dogs that have hired me in as chief garbage re-bagger after busy nights of tearing into said garbage, my blissful, carefree life as a stay at home mom has become one better suited to a corporate executive in charge of a company going down in flames. I spent two hours in my car this morning, running errands for multiple people, singing preschool songs to my kids in the backseat, who were not pacified as I tracked down lost checks, made uncomfortable small talk with grandma's hairdresser with a struggling toddler in my arms, tried to explain to a bank teller that I was pregnant and had lighter hair in my drivers license picture, which is why the person at her window trying to deposit money into her account doesn't look like the person in the picture (honestly, if I were trying to pose as someone else at a bank, wouldn't it be more likely that I'd be trying to take money out of the account, rather than putting it in?) and tracking down a tape measurer to get my daughter's measurements for a pilgrim outfit to wear to the harvest feast at school the next day. Every day is a new unexpected adventure, a new boulder to move, a new fix to struggle out of.  And it hasn't broken me yet, but I'm bending in ways I never thought possible.
I know my husband works hard to provide for our family, and there aren't enough words to describe my gratefulness for this, but it's hard to express that gratefulness when all of the recognition for this little family of ours is given to the one that's never here.

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Comments:

Chica...
Nov. 17, 2010 at 7:57 PM

Wow, you sound like my husband yesterday.  He is a SAHD and runs our part-time bouncy business on the weekends and sometimes during the week which I also help out with.  Anyhow, he gets frustrated with his job at home sometimes.  There's always two sides to a coin and we know exactly what we do but sometimes we don't know the little things that the other person does. Recently, I was thinking about that because my car and van have had a few problems this year and who do you think is responsible for repairing it, my husband of  course (has a degree in automotive technology), but I usually don't blink an eye because I expect that he is taking care of it and he always does.  One day he did mention the stress of making sure we have two working vehicles even when we don't have the money to pay for parts since he does the labor.  Did I mention I put 90 miles a day on it comuting to and from my job, yes, it gets an oil change just about every 6 or 7 weeks because he's anal about that.  Anyhow, vent away, you do have a crazy busy life.  My sister is a SAHM too and she finds so many things to do with her time including homeshooling her 8 year old while she's pregnant and has a 1 yearold crawling around everywhere.  My 8 year old niece is also in soccer and taking piano lessons too.  I think she is bound for a nervous breakdown soon... Congratulations with juggling everything cause it sounds both challenging and rewarding at the same time.

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rache...
Nov. 17, 2010 at 8:05 PM Thank you! I know a working Mom's job isn't easy either. I would never down play the stress they go through on a daily basis. And wow! 90 miles a day (!!!) sounds like a major commute!
This was mostly just a vent about the fact that my husband gets all the credit for working and going to school, and my job of caring for the kids, house and extended family just kind of goes unnoticed. Honestly, if I had my choice, I'd love to go back to school and have a carreer of my own, but I chose to support his dreams first. I'm really just being sensitive about it today, most days it really doesn't bother me. I know that he works his ass off too.

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jes477
Nov. 17, 2010 at 8:28 PM

I know it seems as though it is a lot, but things will slow down eventually.  Grandma will be married, they will have to understand that you have other things to do in your life.  (It is wonderful that you are helping her - and her groom - but you do have to draw a line somewhere or you will be no help to anyone.  Narrow things down that you can say "no" to.  And once in awhile count your blessings of a husband that is the perfect "not-so-perfect" partner.  I know that is easier said than done - I have one like that too!  It will get better!  Give yourself a pat on the back and allow the fact that you can juggle everything to be your mini reward each day.  You are doing a great job!

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novel...
Nov. 17, 2010 at 10:39 PM

I feel you, chickie! My husband also works full time and goes to school. I work 35-40 hrs a week and we have 4 children. Everyone is SO busy! But he, too, feels like he is awesome because he works so hard and goes to school.

Your relationship with your grandma is a treasure as I'm sure you know. You will be rewarded for your giving nature and selflessness. Try to find snippets of time to recharge.

*hugs*

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Fista...
May. 25, 2011 at 3:17 PM

I've now been on both sides of this, and I hereby apologize on behalf of all the fathers out there who conveniently forget that poopy pants do not change themselves, the kids haven't been ordering take-out all this time and the magic elves who fold tiny scanties and hang up shirts by the light of the moon all went to work for Google a long time ago.  We are assholes and we're sorry.  We will try and keep in mind that being the stay-at-home parent is a nearly endless world of chaos that revolves around crafting entire human beings, from their biology to their higher learning, and is therefore completely exhausting.

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