A couple of years ago, shortly after I got pregnant with Alex and was subsequently puking my balls off (making my commute dangerous), Dave and I made an executive decision: I would stay home with our kid (s). It was helped along by the fact that although I was working in the least nursing related field in nursing–insurance/hospice management–and was still miserable. It seemed that no matter how I tried to parcel it into nice and cutely wrapped packages, I was bound to hate being a nurse.

Which made me a beast to live with.

Dave, on the other hand had and still has a job that he loves. Mostly. It’s in finance, which means that the hours are insane and the stress is high, but for those who love it, they LOVE it. Like they might marry their jobs would that not be creepy. Or maybe he already has and I wasn’t invited to the wedding.

Either way, it’s the arrangement that makes the most sense to us all.

But it doesn’t always mean that we have to like it this way.

Here’s where I’m going to start pissing people off. Forewarned is forearmed after all.

(Complete side note: why is it that when a blogger dares to express a personal sentiment, they get shit on? It seems like every time I post something wherein I whine like a bitch, people jump down my throat. It happens to all of us, but I still don’t get it. Anyone care to explain why it needs to be rubbed in my face that I appear to not always be grateful for everything?)

I’m a reluctant parent. No, no, I don’t mean that I didn’t want to be a parent, that’s not true in the slightest. Parenthood is just something that sort of fell into my lap, a choice made when I impossibly got pregnant at age 20, and it’s not one I regret. But it is one that came with many personal sacrifices.

I gave up my dreams to pursue a career in medicine, whether it would have happened or not is irrelevant, the point is that I had to make a conscious choice to choose something more practical. Unfortunately, the more practical option: nursing, made me miserable. It’s not a field one can just grin and bear it in, not at potential litigious expense, and not at the expense of my health (I have permanent knee damage from lifting a morbidly obese bed-ridden patient), physical or mental.

I stuck it out because that’s what responsible people do, and I did it so that I could sufficiently support my son on my own. I wasn’t going to (much to my disappointment) become a trophy wife, and I always wanted to know that no matter what, I’d be able to support myself and my family. Alone.

The plan, as Daver and I hatched it, was that I would go back to school after my kids were in school, to pursue my true passion: basket weaving virology. I’d done the Parenting While In School gig and it was really more than I could handle, so I opted not to do that again. Instead, I’d have a couple more crotch parasites, spend some time with them as a mother, not just as a figure rushing in and out of their lives on her way to class.

Which is precisely what I’ve done. And I’ve done it by choice. Complete choice and absolutely by my own design. And I’m perfectly aware that I’m all kinds of fortunate for being able to make this decision as a choice, not out of necessity.

But just because it is a) the most logical choice, b) my OWN choice and c) working out the best for all of us doesn’t mean that I have to always like it.

Or does it?

I’ve been knocked down now and again for daring to be anything less than 100% thrilled by the fact that my sole job, my only real responsibility, is to keep my children healthy, happy, and safe. Well, that and care for all the animals we’ve amassed, make sure the house runs smoothly, cook (stop laughing, you in the peanut gallery), clean, and otherwise sit around on my ass blogging.

Unfortunately, and what the people who have been angry with me for complaining about do not know, is that it doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for personal satisfaction anywhere in there. Sure, I can (and often do) manage to blog during the day most days, and that is something I take some pride in, but I don’t have much else in the way of Other Interests.

Daver and I were talking about this a couple of weeks ago, and he asked me if I really had any other hobbies I’d wanted to pursue. Once I stopped laughing (because, hello, stamp collecting? SO not my thing), I looked at him seriously and reminded him that no, of course I do not, because what would be the point? I’d get interrupted so frequently that I’d be more annoyed than anything else if I even tried doing something I couldn’t just put down when someone else demanded to be picked up.

It sounds more pathetic than it is, I swear.

But the question remains and it bothers me to no end: am I really supposed to love my “job” every single day of my life?

I know that my working friends–be they parents or not–don’t love their jobs every day. They have crappy bosses, crappy benefits, shitty hours, annoying coworkers, and work that they don’t always want to do. And I’d never feel the need to criticize when they complain about that.

But if I have a bad day, even without it being a truly BAD day (read: emergency room visit), I feel as though I had best keep it to myself. So what I’m sick with whatever the kid has? At least you’re home and not in the office. So what if you just want to take a poo by yourself? At least you’re at home and not in the office. So what if you’re biggest accomplishment is getting through the whole day without wanting to murder someone? At least you’re home.

I’m not picking on my working friends, especially those with kids. I’ve been in the situation where I was a working mother, too, and I know that you’re merely trading one set of problems for another. I know just how much it hurts to leave your child day in and day out in the care of someone else. I know how much you cry when you miss out on some important milestone.

I guess that I just don’t know how to rectify the feelings within myself (and truth be told, others too) that I can’t possibly have anything to complain about now that I stay at home with my kids. It’s not like I want a bronzed statue of myself put into the downtown area as World’s Greatest Martyr, but I could stand to feel as though I have a right to not have not-so-rosy feelings.

Or maybe it IS just me.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

75 Responses to (Occasionally) Barefoot and Pregnant

  • rebekah says:

    Ha!
    a) your blog is named “mommy wants vodka” and you are worried you’ll get hate mail about being a realistic, not dewy-eyed stay-at-home-mom? Hum. I bet you don’t get all that many…

    b) I’m a working mom. And one of the big reasons I am is that MY identity and MY sanity were/are better served in my career. My kids go to daycare and that’s rough for all the reasons you outlined plus extra mommy guilt. I did try the stay-at-home thing for 2 years. And love my kids though I do, I was going apeshit being a mommy-mom-mom-housekeeper-ass-wiper. TOTALLY apeshit. I couldn’t do it and I am full of admiration (but not envy) for those who can and do.

    Here’s what I think…I think you are at home taking care of your kids. And as long as your KIDS come out of their childhood knowing that you are there for them, that you love them and that they have a great, supportive family, you can pretty much eff what anybody else takes away from YOUR FAMILY’S experiences.

    That’s my ranty .02. Plus I think I’m delurking but I love your blog!

  • Motherhood is much more than a job because you never are OFF. Anyone who says they enjoy the job of motherhood 24/7 is a liar.Because if you state otherwise your evil. BULL! My mother told me when I first got married that once you have kids your life is never ever again your own. No one should ever have to defend the way they feel especially as a blogger. If you don’t like what you read than keep it to yourself and don’t read again. As my children get older I’m getting a little bit more and more back to me. But make no mistake they are 19 and 23 and some of my choices were made with their welfare in mind. otherwise many of them would of been differently.

  • Kristine says:

    Uh…you’re doing what works for your family. That’s all that matters. No one is 100% happy 100% of the time – who’d want to be friends with that assclown anyway? I’d say if you’re generally happy (i.e. more happy than not – overall, not just at any given moment) with the current situation, that’s good enough for me.

  • swirl girl says:

    It is NOT just you…I too made the choice to stay at home with my kids and am thankful that I can afford to do so.

    I don’t love my job – but I do appreciate what it takes . The mindnumbing monotony of it all coupled with the joys of involvement, and spontaneous hugs and the cherry -on -top gut wrenching almost fist fighting that goes with it.

    I do love that I see myself in my children a lot clearer than most – the good parts of me and the bad parts of me.

    I do not love that Hubby gets to escape daily which I am wont to do. I do not feel less worthy than working moms , nor do I feel superior in mom-ness to those who choose to work outside the home, whether out of necessity (fiscal or mental) or desire.

    Fuck them who give you shit about your not always being 100% delighted in your life. Who the fuck is, anyway?

    And if they say they are – they are lying.
    For whose benefit, I don’t know.

  • melanie says:

    Trust me I hear you! I always wanted to be a SAHM, I listed to people telling me that I wasted my college education and all that garbage, but because my Mom was a SAHM and I know what my childhood was like, this is what I wanted to do for my family. That said its certainly not easy, I am certainly not happy 24/7 (especially on the weeks my hubby is out of town so I really am on duty 24/7)……..and it is certainly hard to watch your friends most of whom work outside the home, drive the newer cars, have the bigger houses, filled with nicer things, and wearing beautiful clothes…. every decision I have made has been made knowing that I would not produce an income, the house we bought way before kids, we bought because I knew we could afford the mortgage on one salary, the old jeans and ugly t-shirts I wear because I can’t justify the nice wardrobe that will just be puked and/or occassionally shit on is another example. And of course its not all about THINGS either, most days my lack of said things is about the lowest thing on the radar, it is the day to day emotional exhaustion that only comes from wiping butts & noses, having NO privacy, and being asked a thousand and one questions, usually that end with your toddler telling you NOPE that is not right. Its the bickering and fighting of siblings. Its the guilt you feel for reading a blog and not getting the house dusted and vaccumed because after all being a SAHM is my job, and if I were going to give myself a review, it would be a sucky one.

    All that said, at the end of the day, I wouldnt change a thing, because if i worked outside the home I would be a WRECK, no way could i work 40 hours a week, plan meals, clean house, and get it all done (I cant do it always now and I dont work outside the home!). I am not that organized, I see my friends who can do it, and I am always impressed, because no way could I do it. What helps with my sanity is that i have a plan, when my youngest gets into full time school, i plan on getting a part-time job, probably with the school district so that i can have my summers off. It may be substitute teaching, I dont know yet, i have years to figure that out….but I know I will get out there again, in a few short years, my kids wont need me to wipe their butts, they will know how to blow their noses, and they wont be interested in sitting with me in the bathroom…… its just about surviving until then!

  • DD says:

    The army’s slogan “The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love”?

    should have “…Second to Parenting” added.

  • J says:

    HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY HAVE NEGATIVE FEELINGS? For god’s sake, you must love being a SAHP because someone else out there loves it (or says he/she does), and otherwise we have the right to yell at you. And if you don’t love it, then the terrorists have won.

    Only kidding. :-)

    I think this was a great post. And I liked Bee’s comment about how we don’t have to love what we do every single day.

    I feel awful in a similar way because people I know and work with will probably receive layoff notices this week. They will have no job even though they are sole providers for their entire family. They will need to find other jobs but quick or risk losing their homes as well. But, I will not be laid off (I’m pretty sure) even though I hate hate hate my job *and* could survive without it. Doesn’t that seem terrible? These other people like what they do well enough, and more importantly NEED the income, but they will be laid off. Whereas ungrateful me could survive without the job but would prefer to ride it out until my MLOA in April. Ach, it sucks. I have a hard time complaining about how much I hate my job when really I think I should be grateful for it, even when it’s a total crap job.
    *sigh*

  • Ms. Moon says:

    As I’ve said before, being a stay-at-home mother is the best of times and the worst of times. You can’t say to an office partner- Hey! I’m going out for coffee. Cover the phones for me.
    You don’t get to go out for lunch.
    You have insane bosses (your children) who are completely illogical and totally 100% demanding of your time, twenty-four hours a day.
    You are responsible for the lives of humans who are constantly determined to fall off of something too high, eat something toxic or break something and cut themselves in a major artery with.
    You don’t, as you point out, get to go to the bathroom by yourself.
    You can’t sleep when you’re tired, you can NEVER, EVER sleep through an entire night and you get up when the kids get up, not when you want to.
    It is, in short, the hardest job in the world and those who have never done it have no idea.
    And yet, it’s the job that many of us would choose above all others and do because WE WANT TO DO IT AND WE LOVE OUR KIDS AND WE HAPPEN TO THINK THAT WE SHOULD.
    You can’t love it all the time. That would be insane.
    But you can love that you’re able to.
    And of course, our kids. We love them all the time. Even when we wish we could put them in a closet for a few minutes and shut the door.
    Which of course, we never do.

  • Betty M says:

    I can feel exactly like this sometimes and I am only home by myself with the kids 2 days a week. I do breathe a guilty sigh of relief when I leave on a Wednesday morning to go deal with different shit at the office. Go ahead and complain – nothing is perfect for anyone.

  • Elizabeth Ann says:

    I’m totally with you, just because you’ve made a decision that best fits your life and kids’ life, doesn’t make slogging through everyday akin to visiting the adult version of Disneyland. I’m opposite end of your dilemma, I’d originally chosen my job over having kids because I love(!) my job and didn’t feel like kids would fit into my life.

    But it certainly doesn’t make me immune to questioning that decision every five minutes or so. I totally envy my friends who stay home with their kids or are working moms, because they get delectable little babehs to play with. The grass is always greener and all that crap. I don’t think I could ever commit to it full time. I’ve chosen my job but it sure as shit doesn’t mean I don’t have godawful days when I just want to quit and become a roadie for The Bangles. And I piss and moan about it, all the time. Much to my husbands delight I am sure.

    I frankly worry about anyones who claims their life is nothing but sunshine and roses all the time. I mean seriously nothing is perfect. Especially a commitment of staying at home with little kids. When kids, can frankly be annoying little a-holes. You’re fully within your rights to have a crappy day and let it be known.

    You’re doing a great job, even if you dont love it every second of the day. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

    *end of rant*

  • Kyddryn says:

    Nah, it’s not just you…I love my Evil Genius beyond measure or wisdom, and there are plenty of days when I could happily hop the next freight out of town.

    Kids are relentlessly themselves, and constantly want you to share in the joy that is them. They are the ultimate expression of pure ego, with no consideration for the needs of those they press. Bless their hearts.

    The only way to retain even the tiniest bit of sanity when being an all-the-time, never-get-a-break, never-get-a-vacation, never-get-to-go-home-and-escape-the-stress parent is to get some time for you. Time at the local Borders to just sit and read, alone. Time to go to Starbucks and drink a cuppa whatever. Time to get your hair done, or your nails, or a pedicure.

    Sadly, it’s not as easy to do as to type, and your needs are often subsumed by the needs of your family…until you find yourself sharpening chopsticks and thinking of places to hide the little bodies.

    You’re not a bad person, a bad mother, or a whiner for not always being OK with letting go of who you are and just being Wife-and-Mother instead.

    I wish I could help, sugar – I KNOW it’s hard (and I only have the one), and you can whine, bitch, scream, yell, piss and moan all you like and I’ll get it and maybe even give you a “Hell yeah!!” in return.

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K (who hopes you get some time to just be you)

  • SciFi Dad says:

    Here’s the thing: you’re completely within your rights to have bad days, and you’re “allowed” to prefer to work at an office rather than at home. It doesn’t make you less of a parent or anything.

    With that being said, I DO envy your position; ER visits and all. I’d much rather be home with my kids than be in an office.

  • Rachel says:

    Oh Becky, I so feel your pain. I am reminded bluntly EVERY time I dare to ask my family to babysit that ‘I WANTED THESE KIDS.’ Well no shit, but does that mean I never get a few hours to myself????

    Yes, I made the CHOICE to be a mom. I worked my way through college and then grad school as a mom. And I hate that my kids save their best behavior for the sitter and their worst for me.

    Am I happy with my choice??? Most of the time, yes. But there are days when I have a twinge of nostaligia, a longing for days long past when I could sleep uninterrupted unil noon on a Saturday. When I could go out binge drinking and end up in God only knows who’s bed the next morning, and laugh about it.

    But those days are long gone. And honestly, I don’t think I want that life back on a permenant basis. But once in a while….I mean come on, doesn’t every saintly mom (that would be me) deserve to ‘throw down’ with some random hot guy once in a while?

    Anyway, in answer to your question, NO you don’t have to love it all the time. You just have to love it more days than you hate it. That’s really the best any of us can hope for, right?

  • Of course you have a right not to love it ever second! I work outside the house and as demanding as my job is (and it is demanding) it still feels like a break a lot of the time – stay at home moms never really get a break – it’s freaking hard!

  • Badass Geek says:

    I feel your pain, but in a slightly different way.

    I work from home (as you know), and sometimes when my wife gets home from work she tries to get out of doing things because she “worked all day”.

    Just because I work from home doesn’t mean I work any LESS than the next guy. My 10-12 hour days are just as long.

    At any rate… *HUG*

  • kalakly says:

    I hate people who lay smack down on someone elses blog. If they don’t like what they are reading all they have to do is take their pea size brains somwhere else where the world is black and white and they are always right…like right inside their tiny hallucinations.

    Anyone who says they love being a SAHM all the time is either lying their ass off, full of shit or just plain certifiable. Or all three, easily possible.

    Hang in there dude, the rewards come when your children repay you by choosing a ‘nice’ nursing home for you instead of the cheap one. Maybe.

  • baseballmom says:

    I love this post. I, too, stayed home for a long time, and also did daycare from my home, and sometimes I was insane. I loved it for awhile, but I think I was just bored after a few years. I was to the point that I was getting crabby with my kids a LOT, and finances started to play into it once I quit daycare, so I went back to work part time. The only way I could do it was with family support, because my mom and grandma watched Alex so I could do it. I am very fortunate to have that, and a neighbor with a kid the same age as Alex, who will let him go there before and after school if need be, without charging me…otherwise, it would be pointless. I don’t make enough to make a huge difference, but I love what I do, and it makes me happy, lets me have more freedom, and I have more energy. My house looks like shit, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. I really get where you’re coming from–I felt like that for years, like I SHOULD be loving this, but wasn’t happy all the time. You are in the majority, I think!

  • it’s not just you. and i think it’s perfectly NORMAL to have days that a rough at any job – including your SAHM job. i’ve actually found that bloggers seem to be really understanding about that. maybe you need to ditch some of your blogger “friends”

    ;)

  • Sarah says:

    These posts are WHY I READ YOUR BLOG. You so *get it*, Girl.

    I may have to request permission to link to this post for my blog – I couldn’t say it any better.

    And YES – Rachel, every Mom totally deserves to throw down with a random hot guy from time to time. Now I just need to get my husband on board with that notion. ;)

  • kim says:

    ah shit, Aunt Becky….you can feel how ever the fuck you want to feel. they are YOUR feelings.

    that said, I have been in both boats, and honestly feel your pain.

    xoxo

  • Hope says:

    This post sums up my life. As a mother who lost a child I am always told I should be grateful for the 3 living children I have and I should not complain at all.

    That’s when I bat my eyes and tell them to fuck off.

  • mnsm31 says:

    woman, you are still young, as of right now you can have your cake and eat it too (YES, you CAAAAN!)
    shit no, you ain’t suppose to L.o.v.e your “job” everyday of your life, and you don’t make your job your life either.
    Shit, I went to school for Human Services and I can say I did like learning about it, and if I decided to do it, would be very good at it, but

  • Susan says:

    Anyone who thinks you should love the job of SAHM is seriously delusional. (Either that on something really good…which doesn’t really help with the parenting.)

    I totally understand your feelings. Somewhere along the line I lost my sense of “self” despite swearing that I would never do that. Now that my girls are nearing the end of my active parentlng stage (they’ll be out of the house in just a couple short years) I’m trying to figure out what I want to do with myself. All those things I wanted to do years ago don’t really appeal to me anymore. I’m at a bit of a loss.

    Oh wait…this isn’t about ME is it??? lol Bitch away girlfriend, I’ve got your back!

  • mnsm31 says:

    ugh (CONT’D)

    it is not something I would be happy with everyday of my life.
    so here I am 30, just NOW going to school for something I think I would like and have a good career in.

    * do what’cha wanna do your life is what you make it.
    i don’t know who said it, but damn its true!

  • bee says:

    Thank God we don’t have to love what we do every single day. And while we are all spilling our parental guts… I haven’t loved it in weeks! :-)

  • kbrients says:

    oh my dear lord– you don’t have to love anything every day. If I did not get at leat one day every once in a while to really hate something– I may just go nuts.

  • magpie says:

    Oh lord. You sound as sane as the rest of us. No one likes everything all the time.

  • ewe_are_here says:

    It’s not just you. I chose this stay at home with kids life, too, and there are days –like today!– I just want to disappear because it’s horrible!

    No time to myself. No ability to just hide and read a book or watch a movie. Or ponder my future career… somebody small always needs something, or the house needs to be put back together after they’ve gone tearing through it. Never ending.

    We should all get bronze statues.

  • The Mommy says:

    I think that your feelings are justified, understandable, and totally shared by this SAHM of 3 (so far). Why do people think they need to criticize you when you complain? Like their life is soooo bad? Look, unless they’re living in a box under the Brooklyn Bridge, I agree. Tell ‘em to fuck off.

    And, another semi-related topic, why is it that this “conflict” between SAHM and moms who work outside of the home is so blown out of proportion?!?! I don’t judge someone else for a decision they made for either themselves or their family and frankly, I don’t feel judged by anyone, either. (Maybe it’s because people are a little afraid of me. I am nuts, afterall). But seriously, don’t we all love our kids, no matter how we show it? Sheesh. Just because my DH came home one day and asked why we were all sitting on the porch and I said, “I’m waiting for some gypsies to come by and make me a decent offer.” doesn’t make me a bad mommy, right? I most likely wouldn’t have taken them up on it.

    There are days when my job – and it is a 24/7 job with no vacation, no weekends off, and no monetary pay – sucks. Really. Complaining is human nature. And those who don’t think we have something to complain about should try spending some time in our shoes. Oh, I would love nothing better than to put some people in my shoes and run off to Bermuda for a week (or four).

    Bottom line: Complain away. And if anyone gives you grief, I’ve also got your back!

  • Jenn says:

    I haven’t read the other comments so I’m probably repeating about 13 other people but oh well…

    I think one of the things that people don’t understand is that when you work at a job outside of the house, you get to punch a clock at the end of the day and that’s that. You can stretch your arms and say, “Aaaaaah, that’s all done then” and go home. But when you are stuck at home with kids (and I mean stuck at home as in it’s hard as hell to take two kids anywhere, especially if you aren’t feeling well or they aren’t feeling well) all day, every day – well, you don’t get that “aaah” sense of accomplishment. What you are left with at the end of the day, even after the kids are in bed, is a sense of “Hey, everything’s still not done and I have to do it all again in less than 12 hours!”

    Add in pregnancy and hurt appendages and FORGET ABOUT IT.

    My husband used to be one of those people who was like, “WHAT are you complaining about? You don’t even have to work!” Grr. It’s hard ass work being on call 24/7. But you know what? You spend that much time with a person (even the sweetest most cutest little person in the world) and he/she is bound to get on your nerves. I had to explain it to Kent that the biggest problem is not the actual work that has to be done but the complete lack of appreciation. When you do a great job at an outside workplace, you get a raise or you at least get the proverbial pat on the back. At home you do a great job and what do you get? Half the time, nothing. The other half of the time, you end up with a spouse grouchy from work and/or kids who are whiny and not wanting to eat their dinner. Blah.

    I guess I’m just ranting in your comments but really I just meant to say: I FEEL YOUR PAIN! Seriously. I also made the choice to stay home with my kids and 98% of the time I’m happy with it. But that other 2% … well, I’d like to box ‘em all up and ship them to Timbuktu. For real.

  • I didn’t get the chance to read everyone’s comments (because the kids are getting home from school, and the next phase of homework, getting supper on the table, getting one kid to childcare and the other to his school conference, and getting ready for my husband to go out of town – again – kicks in in T minus 4 minutes!), but the ones I got to browse seem to indicate that, nope, you’re not alone in feeling the way you feel. I’d like to add my voice to that column, too. Being home with the kids is a tough job. I can’t say it’s any more or less tough than going to work and then shifting gears when you get home. In fact, I hate when parents make that whole issue a battle cry. We all just want what’s best for our kids, and how we provide it may differ. So what. No one’s choice is right or wrong. We make the choices for ourselves.

    I’ve done both sides of the issue. I had a job I hated and kids I loved. When the time came when I was able to stay home, I lept at it. It’s not easy. Even with a part-time job now, our income is scarily low, I have felt days when I’ve been isolated from adults, and there are times when I spin around my house in a thousand directions, trying to do two thousand things, and get nothing done.

    You’re not alone. You shouldn’t feel bad to feel the way you do. They’re your feelings, not someone else’s to bitch upon, but clearly, you’ve got a support system out there among those of us who come here and share life with you the way we can, who will listen to you when you want or need to vent.

  • me says:

    Ah, now here’s a post that will have me climbing out of the shadows.

    No. You are not “supposed” to be anything.

    And I know I would lose my freaking mind if I were home 24/7. Too much time to think/reflect/cultivate a serious drinking habit and/or homicide.

    You always make me feel better for being the not-so-cookie cutter mom I happen to be.

    Thank you.

  • mumma boo says:

    Parenting is not all sunshine, roses and rainbows flying out of one’s ass. It’s damn hard and anyone who says different is on crack. Doesn’t matter if one is a SAHP or a working parent. Having done both, the primary responsibilities are the same, the guilt is the same, the crap one gets from folks who don’t agree with one’s decision is the same. You’re doing what’s best for your family and that’s what counts. So what if you don’t love it every second of every day of every week of every year? It’s WHO you love not the what that counts. Bitch away, my dear. We’ll slap anyone who’s mean to you. ‘Cause that’s how we roll. ;)

  • Anjali says:

    Great post.

    I love that I can stay home with my kids. But it’s never been enough for me to “just” stay home, for all the reasons you mentioned.

    The thing is, is I really don’t think I could hack working with 3 small children, either.

  • Amanda says:

    I get crap about my choices, too. I chose to go to grad school, ergo I must love every single damned minute of it. And I’m horrible if I dislike it at all. Hence, my earlier rant. There are times (days, weeks, months) where everyone’s job just sucks. People who guilt-trip like that are mean and ignorant

  • Danielle says:

    It’s all about the ups and downs of a stay at home mom. We feel them many times during the day. All we ca do is, accept them, bitch about them and go on with our day.
    Try not to go TOO crazy!
    Hugs,
    -D

  • Karen says:

    Every job has up and downs. There are things that are more difficult about staying at home and raising children and there are things that are more difficult about working outside the home.

    There is no ideal situation.

    I can tell you that I am the first person to roll my eyes when my SAHM friend complain about shopping, cooking, and going out to lunch. I know they do the same to me when I complain about being forced to go to dinner or drinks at nice restaurant with a client.

  • heather says:

    Yeah. I think I want that bronzed statue downtown. And we’ll get one for you, too, while we’re at it. It sure is hard, isn’t it? Like everything else, you just don’t realize *how* hard it really is, ’til it’s yours.

  • Rach says:

    I’ve been reading (well, creepin’ on) your blog for awhile now and I am always amazed at how similar our lives are. I too have a baby who never stopped crying, never slept (up until recently at 15 months), and basically demands that I spend EVERY SECOND with her unless I want to listen to brain-melting screams.
    I guess what I’m trying to say is that I really relate to your stories and I’m glad that someone has the guts to speak up instead of trying to pretend that parenting is easy all the time.
    I was actually going to post yesterday on the very same subject as this one, but I was interrupted by the little dictator that lives in my spare bedroom…
    Anyway, keep it up. I totally understand where you’re coming from.

  • Em says:

    I’ve been trying to reply to this since you had 11 comments – that’s my SAHM day in a nutshell.

    I cannot say anything better than all the above reassurances, but my June Cleever, happily chained to the stove, loved almost every second mom told me this right before I gave birth to my first child: “It’s going to be the hardest days/years of your life, but they’re wonderful.”

    She must have been drinking a lot more than I originally thought for me to remember her so “perfect.”

    Kids are incredibly forgiving creatures. Every night I go to bed, offering apologies (in my head) to spending too much time blogging, shopping, cleaning, etc. instead of reading books, coloring, stomping in the puddles – you know, like all those sunshiney Hallmark moments that crazy people make you think you as a “mom” should be mass producing.

    This is the area in my life where it is VERY clear how I feel – live and let live. Whatever works for your family, is what works. Complain away my Love, you’re preaching to the f-ing choir.

    Em

    P.S. and seriously, I’ve never gotten the whole Troll BS that goes on on some blogs. If it ain’t your cup of tea, shut it and move along. Please.

  • Megan says:

    First of all, keep it real. Who cares if someone gets offended by your blog? If they don’t like it, they don’t have to read it.

    Everyone hates their job at some point. I know I do. And all of the women that wish they could stay home with their kids 24/7 would probably be dying to go back to work after a week or two. I personally HATE not working because I get so bored at home, but I am sure that will change once February rolls around.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that the grass is brown everywhere you look.

  • I only skimmed through the comments so I don’t know if I’m the only non-parent that’s commenting, but THANK YOU for not blowing smoke up my ass and insisting that motherhood is all rainbows and fucking butterflies. Parent-friends of mine love to gloss over the tough stuff and gush about how wonderful everything is All The Time. Impossible. The sooner we can all accept that, the happier we are.

    You’re awesome.

  • birdpress says:

    The need for personal satisfaction thing is rough. Yeah, where do you fit that in, when you can’t separate your life from your job? Or can you? Aren’t you writing, or haven’t you written, a book? I thought you were an author. I mean, that should be a huge bit of personal satisfaction right there. Of course, you still have to work your writing around your full-time mommy job, but you are a superb writer and that’s nothing to turn your nose up at either.

  • PiquantMolly says:

    I have a Master’s degree, yet the idea of staying home and doing nothing every day is still deliciously tempting. If money wasn’t an option, I think I’d be on the couch and keeping Maury Povich company.

  • Sky says:

    I think we all have those days, weeks, months and dare I say it…years where we just want to throw in the towel and say “Fuck It”. I love my job as a librarian, but there are days when I can’t take it anymore. I blame the shitheads who use the library just to make MY life miserable. Then the days I’m home I freak because something doesn’t go my way and yet again, I just want to say “Fuck It ALL”.

    We just do what we have to do to survive. The kids are healthy and if their not always happy, well tough shit. :)

  • heather says:

    I’ve been waiting a long time to be able to say I do something other than “stay at home”. I’ve worked part time jobs here and there, went to school for nothing important, and even though I am glad I stayed home with my daughter, I am looking forward to the end of it. She’s got 3 more years of high school, and then I can get back to work. If that makes me a horrible mother, well all I can say is that I stayed home and took care of my child while other girls my age left their babies with their own mother’s while they stayed out all night and partied. I’ve spent years of my life watching over her with the eye of a hawk to make sure no one hurt her. I’ve worn the same pair of shoes for 3 years and worn holey underpants to make sure she was warm, clothed, fed and sheltered. I think I deserve to have the rest of my life for myself.

  • KT says:

    If anyone makes you feel badly for the ocassional complaint while at home or work or whatever…that’s just bullshit. BULLSHIT. Everyone is entitled to a rotten day and being able to complain about it. Frankly, while being home with your kids is something all moms want…I think it’s harder than being at work…and less rewarding at times…and well, moms miss the adult interaction. So bitch away. You are a good mom and good person regardless of working outside the house or not. It’s hard. I spend much time trying to not feel guilty about working and feel badly when I complain about work b/c John and I made the decision together for me to keep working, not stay home. We’ll always wonder if we’re doing the right thing. Fuck anyone who makes you think otherwise, and feel free to complain on ocassion.

  • Petra says:

    Being a mom is THE toughest job, whether you work while doing it or not. And if you are a work-at-home mother like me, it is EVEN harder, lol. So don’t feel bad, cause I also feel sometimes like I am ready to run as fast as I can away from the fact that I don’t get a break–EVER and I don’t have any life of my own. So I completely understand how you feel and you have every right to feel that way. Everybody needs to vent or else you will snap one day and feed the children drain-o casserole, so vent away mama! It’s best for everyone.

  • Io says:

    Ah, the modern womans plight. We just can’t win.
    I think life would be no fun if we didn’t have shit to bitch about though. Right? Right? This is what I tell myself at least.

  • Emily R says:

    i am so sorry to hear this is your experience. i have found people to be MUCH more understanding.

  • Shell says:

    There are days where I relish being a SAHM and there are days when I resent the hell out of my husband because he “gets” to go to work all day. You’re not alone. Someone on tv asked her mom, who stayed at home with five kids, “How did you do it? How did you not go bat crazy insane.” Her mother’s reply? “I did go bat crazy insane. Every. Single. Day. But then one of you would do something and it would make everything sane again. Until the next day.” She’s right. Most days I go somewhat insane and then my son does something amazing and everything is right with the world.

  • Lola says:

    Oh, I’ve done it both ways, and I still live the half and half life. For me, I need to get the fuck out of dodge sometimes and deal with bigger things than what I should volunteer for at school.

    Staying at home is not for everyone. Some people do a great job of taking their kids to the library, the playground, socializing with the other mommies and signing them up for all kinds of activities to help them develop, while others just keep them home all day.

    I didn’t want to go to the playground or the library every day, so we played by ourselves mostly. It was fine for me, he was happy, but it really didn’t help him much when it came to school. Basically, there’s no easy answer these days.

    But don’t ever let some judgmental bitch make you feel bad if you complain. We all compain, and we all want to run away sometimes. It doesn’t make us bad; it makes us honest.

  • MichelleB says:

    I’ve been there! Being a stay at home mom myself, and sometimes can be really difficult!

    On my birthday, I had a lot of work to do that stressed me out, so that night my hubby and kids surprised me with a gorgeous pair of diamond earrings from http://www.idonowidont.com so sometimes there are perks as a SAHM!

  • SCY says:

    It’s like you say Becks, no-one loves their job every day… and if you’re going to get grief for admitting that some days your job sucks then ppl can suck hairballs in my opinion…

    Cos your job is important and while it works for your family, I’ sure like all other jobs it can suck sometimes too… it does not mean you’re going to stop working at your job. It just means it is sometime sucky.

    And hows that for the most times someone has said sucks or sucky in your comments section ;)

  • Cricket says:

    You’re not a martyr. And that is a good thing. I appreciate the pragmatic.

  • Catizhere says:

    It is NOT just you. I’m a working Mom. Some days I hate it.
    I wish I could be at home making a play-doh circus and eating goldfish for lunch. Then sometime around 5:30pm on Sunday I’m contemplating giving them both Nyquil and opening that bottle of merlot hidden in the pantry. I can’t wait for Monday so I can go to work and NOT have to hear the theme song from “Spongebob” or “iCarly” and have adult conversations.
    My husband works on the weekends, so it’s just me and “them”. Honest to God, sometimes it feels like that. “Them” and Me.

    We do what we have to do to make sure that our kids grow up healthy and loved. For some people, that means staying home, for others, it’s leaving it to the professionals.

  • Collette says:

    I give you a lot of credit. I stayed home with the Tweedles until the boy was nine months old and couldn’t take it anymore. I went back to school, got a degree, and got to work. I love my children more than I can express in words but I could not stay home with them all day, everyday.

    You shouldn’t feel bad for feeling like you do. Yes, this is a desicion you made but that doesn’t mean to have to love it 100% of the time.

    I didn’t read the 50-some comments before mine and I am sure the majority of them said this or something close to it. So don’t beat yourself up about. And, in a few months your little parasite will be here and you won’t have time to think about how much it sucks because you won’t be sleeping, or showering, or doing anything else that makes you feel even remotely human.

  • Sara says:

    Being a stay at home mom is NOT always the best job in the world, and those people who say it is need to be medicated! You don’t have to love it every minute because that’s a hell of a lot of minutes to have to love something.

    When the Hubs and I went to premarital counseling, the minister told us we don’t have to love each other every day, and we don’t have to like each other everyday, but we have to do one or the other. I take this kind of approach to being a stay at home mom. Because otherwise, I’d go crazy.

  • Betts says:

    I was just thinking today… we don’t get sick days. If we’re sick, we just keep on working. If anyone thinks you’re whining, they should try it for a week. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Hang in there though. It gets easier when they’re all in school. Then you can figure out what it is you might like to have as a hobbie.

  • quietgirl? says:

    Well I hate to add to your 59 comments, but being that I now have INTERNET (in my home, not on a cold sidewalk somewhere), I must enjoy this to the fullest.
    Life is full of imperfect situations. They can be more or less horrible. Being a stay at home is a luxury few of us can have, but for being a luxury it’s not the least bit luxurious is it. Personally, having a job now that I like, that treats me well, and that does have good benefits (it only took a whole lot of blood sweat and tears, but that’s behind us now, mostly) is awfully luxurious in my opinion. But my life is far from luxurious. It’s all a big fat mixed bag, and I don’t think you should suck it up. Rather, identify the frustrations and places you are not being fulfilled (since they don’t go away just because you cover your eyes and decide not to complain), make peace with them, but then also try to work within the constraints to see maybe how you can still incorporate your interests into your life, even if it’s planning for down the road. I just know either-or perspectives don’t work. Med school sucks and you probably would have discovered that the people in the field are all pricks. But because of your constraints, perhaps theres another forum/field/study/whatever that taps into the things you liked but applies them in some new way that never would have happened if you’d been sterile and dressed in sterile white gowns, overpaid, overworked, really, things are tough all over. I do suspect you’re where you’re “meant” to be, and headed to the places you’re meant to discover. And thinking about these things is not futility, but health & constructive. Okay, I digress. Have a lovely day Becky :)

  • I didn’t have an option to stay home, but I don’t think I would have, anyway. My son’s daycare provider had more patience in her little finger than I have in my whole body. I couldn’t have done it for all the reasons you listed. You have my admiration, not scorn. F the haters, delete their stupid comments.

  • Brooke says:

    You have every right to feel the way you feel. And I think you totally need a gold statue in your likeness. I think I do too!

  • Coco says:

    Ah, the March of the Self-Righteous. I love them so.

    Every time you rant I laugh, commiserate, and and give you a virtual high five. Not only because you’re funny as hell and smart as a whip, but because it is SO incredibly apparent that you love your children with a fierceness that any mother bear would be proud of.

    People say all kinds of stupid things on the Intertubes. That’s because they’re sanctimonious morons. Ignore the trolls, Becks.

  • Janet says:

    Right on, my sistah! While I am extremely thankful that I am able to stay home and raise my son there is no LUXURY in it. There are some perks, like being able to take a nap while monkey boy does the same, but what happens when he no longer takes naps!?! I am PROUD to be a stay at home mom and wouldn’t want to do anything else (right now) but let me tell you (well, you probably don’t need to be told, sounds like you already have that info dialed in) that it is no picnic, bed of roses, sunshine and happy faces (you pick). Never ever sell yourself short by saying “I’m just a stay at home mom” because there’s no “just” about it. It is the hardest and most often thankless job out there and those of us who have made a conscious choice to do it have every right to those “not-so-rosy” thoughts as those who work out of the home. My husband has even said there’s no way he could do what I do, which is the understatement of the year. I just wish he WOULD do even the smallest fraction of what I do. But that’s all it is, wishful thinking, so of course my every day is filled with not-so-rosy thoughts.

    To make a long story short, I FEEL YA!!! And flip the bird to all the haters! LOL

  • Edward says:

    People say the want honesty but in reality they don’t. Your honest and I like that. Many people, especially females (and I can say this because I was one once) have been sold a bill of goods through socialization and media that wants to romaticize being a mother as if being amother is perfect and all things good. You know what…It’s fucken hard to be a mother. Kids are hard. Life is hard. WE are all not dealt a nice clean deck of cards. Complaine, bitch, moan, and go on and do what ever it is you have to do to get by. Fuck the rest Ms. Aunty Becky. I’m right there with you. I was once a mother to 6, now a father and I got to tell you that I gave up on those fairy tale idea about motherhood, marriage, being female and all things good and nurting a long time ago. It works for some but not all. If you are a reluctant parent…then so be it…it doesnot equate to being an undeserving, or a bad parent. It just means your honest and honesty goes a long way in my book.

  • Alex says:

    What the other commenters said (most of them anyway — if a troll appeared above me, I missed it).

    Hey, whatever works best for you and your family, and no, of course best doesn’t equal perfect. Sometimes it just equals least worst. But I’m a WOHM, and honestly? It doesn’t hurt (me) to leave [my] child day in and day out in the care of someone else. I’m lucky to have good care arrangements and a flexible work schedule. And I like my work and value my adult time. Which is a sort of obnoxious way, I guess, of saying, good gracious I wouldn’t want to be where you are.

    Which, again, doesn’t mean it’s not the right choice for you. But … yikes! Difficult to do? Oh, yes. I’d go bonkers. You’re a stronger woman than me.

    And @Heather, I know one SAHM who tells folks she works in a “home-based child-development initiative,” and another who says she’s in “suicide prevention.” So there are other ways to describe the role…

  • Melissa says:

    Why do we, as moms/women/parents, have to feel so damn guilty all the time? I feel the same way you do – and it makes me feel guilty too. I lay in bed at night wishing I complained/yelled a little less, played with the girls a little more, spent more time with MH. Why can’t I just go to bed feeling like I did the very best I could for THAT day?

    I second what a lot of others have said – you don’t have to love it every second of every day. There is not enough medication in the world. You are doing the best you can and it’s ok to have days where you aren’t Mary -Freaking- Poppins.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. I’ll drink a glass (or 5) for you later. **kisses**

  • Dot says:

    67 comments so far and only one appeared to totally not get it (“the idea of staying home and doing nothing every day is still deliciously tempting”).

    Imagine this job ad: “WANTED: Au pair, must live in, be available 24/7, heavy cleaning included. No adult conversation will be permitted between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. No visitors please. You may not leave the house (unless there’s a second car). No days off. If sick, you must work anyway.”

    If you didn’t love your kids, who would sign up for that?

  • Holli says:

    It’s not just you. I loved the fact that I decided to put everything on hold and stay at home with my son. I really do. But I have to admit that I was/am sometimes embarassed when people ask what I do for a living and I tell them I’m still in school. I don’t have a career. It’s embarassing, because I am a person who has goals and I put them on hold. Of course I would do it again, and I cherish the time I got to spend raising him. But I do regret not finishing college. I regret not having a career. It’s hard to be 30 and your life not be where you thought it would be.

  • Why are you being such a whiny little bitch?!

    Just kidding :P I was a stay-at-home mommy pretty much until my boys were both in school. I so looked forward to my part time job on the weekends. I feel ya, dog. It seems unless someone else has done it, they don’t “get it”. They think SAHM’s just sit on their asses all day eating bon bons like Peggy Bundy.

  • LilSass says:

    Chiming in late per usual. I agree with everyone. No no no you don’t have to love what you do all the time. And YES you can say, “I’m doin’ this but it’s got its suck ass moments.” Giving up a part of who YOU are, even with all the benefits of childrearing is a very difficult thing for a lot of people. Keeping a sense of self is a struggle for parents, even if they don’t stay home. And you shouldn’t for one second be ashamed or nervous about admitting such a thing. It takes a stronger person to “come clean” than it does to stuff it in. I am glad we’re your hobby!

  • trish says:

    I don’t know, I think people need to be able to complain about something in their life, and not be told to count their blessings. A lot of complaining is a problem, a little complaining makes it easier to get through the day. You can always complain to me. I’m happy to listen! :D

  • Ok, so nablopomo is SUCKING the life out of me … well, that and other things outside of my blog life.

    Anyway, finally catching up on this post and I actually can relate to this more than you know. Sans the kid part, that is.

    The thing is, nursing wasn’t my first choice either. But growing up Asian-American, it was expected that you go into college/university with a purpose. So nursing was the option that was placed in front of me. Because after all … I didn’t want to be an accountant or an engineer (which are the other professions expected of an Asian, other than the doctor thing). I knew then, that by choosing nursing, it was a cop-out because I just didn’t know what I wanted to be. But 18 years later … I’m still in the profession.

    (Coincidentally, not “on the floors” either, as I injured my back by falling ON a patient after my co-worker let go of the patient who was falling, rather than easing her down onto the floor … LIKE WE WERE TAUGHT.)

    Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I get it. And I get how it would be nice to be PASSIONATE about a job / career (whatever it may be), just like yours and MY husband alike are.

    Whew. Okay. Nuff said.

  • Karen says:

    Your description why one must like being a nurse in one’s particular field in order to not go bat-shit crazy or increase the risk of losing one’s license forever makes me feel verified on how I try to explain to my husband that while I might have made a little more money working ridiculous hours as a lone nurse with two cna’s up against 40 sundowning patients with double med passes and wounds, I acknowledged not having the patience, the risk to my license,and the headaches and vomiting I got every day at work during the last 8 weeks I worked there. Love my agency Ped’s job. Also now know the last job location has a widespread BAD reputation and I would adopt someone’s parent before allowing him or her to be put there. And shoot myself if I had to go back.

  • Kari says:

    Thank you so much for this. I know you wrote this years ago but a friend of mine brought it to my attention and I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your honesty. As much as I love my son (he is 14 months old right now so I know I haven’t even hit the hard stuff) there are times when I would like to hide in the corner of the closet in a fetal position. My husband works in the oil field so he is gone more than he’s here and I don’t live near my family or friends anymore. Many people don’t realize how hard it is to be stuck in a house with just you and a screaming toddler day in and day out. I’ve thought that I was doing something wrong because I didn’t enjoy the situation all the time but now I see that others have been there and that it’s okay to not enjoy it all the time. I will say the good days make the bad worth it though…usually :)

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