"What do you do for a living?"
"I am a stay at home mom."
"Oh, so you don't work."
No, genius. I said MOM, the word "work" was implied, dumb ass.
The great mom debate is not a new one, its just that my place in the debate is a new one to me. I have been both a "working" mom and a "non-working" mom (technically I work at home, but this distinction is rarely noticed by anyone). Having filled both roles, I feel that I can safely assess the difficulty and complexity that pertains to each.
This said, I am so damn sick of hearing how easy I must have it, or how my kids won't be socialized enough. Or the other side of the coin is how I am doing the right thing, sacrificing my career (huh?) to take care of my children so they aren't "raised by others" ... puh-leez people, can we just hold up a second and call a cease fire? In the immortal words of the profit Taylor Swift, "why ya gotta be so mean?"
mom vs. mom
I can ignore other people's perceptions and assumptions regarding me and my family pretty easily. I am used to being massively judged by people who feel that they in their infinite wisdom are so much better than myself. If you have spent any time reading here you also know that I am more than willing to see, accept, and acknowledge my flaws and weaknesses. So I think this is an annoyance more than anything else, and the only hard part about perceptions of what being a SAHM must mean are those I impose on myself. This blog be all about dat!
Bottom line: Being a mom (or dad) is hard enough. Stop being a judgmental asshole. Please and thank you.
what do you do all day?
Given the last thing I just said up there -- being a mom is hard work, period -- no matter how you do it you are bound to be exhausted and there is someone out there doing it "better" than you anyway. I have been both a work-outside-the-home mom and stay-at-home mom and I would like to think I have never spoken harshly about either role because they are a struggle to balance no matter how you shake it. But I do get a lot of "So, what do you, like, do all day?"s and other questions that suggest that I am doing the bon bon soap opera marathon. But lets be frank, I could sit and type out a typical schedule and someone would still ride my ass saying that they do all of that plus work 40 hours a week. Yes, yes, I know. I am not minimizing one role versus the other -- again, you are a mom and that is hard. I am not judging you, so stop doing that to me. If I sat here and explained how busy I am, how hard this is, how exhausted I am at the end of the day it would come out sounding defensive. Not because I feel I need to actually defend myself, because I don't, but because inevitably someone would read it that way.
I will say this, I was just as tired working outside of the house as I am now, staying at home and working inside the house. I am responsible for the same number of things really, because when I started to SAH I assumed new roles and responsibilities that I had not taken on or had been split between the hubs and myself when I was going to work a 40+ hour week out of the house. I work just as hard, spend just as little time on myself or for myself, and take equally good care of my family as I did before. I just do it differently. Neither is right, wrong, better or worse, just different.
The mom who leaves the house daily to work is no more exhausted than I am. Period. I am no more exhausted than she is. My kids are no better or worse off than hers.
So stop pitting us against each other. K?
mom blogs, in general
Now for my own purposes, I am writing this blog because *I* believe I should be better at certain things now that I am domestic queen and not balancing that 60 hour a week job out of the house I was a year or so ago. I have my own self-imposed ideas about how I should be couponing, cooking more from scratch, have things cleaned up and organized, etc. When you look in the blog world you see lots of stay at home mom blogs that I think do more harm than good to at least my perception of how "outsiders" see this role. If you can blog about 100 stupid ass things to do with the Elf on a Shelf around Christmas, or can have a blog with one to two new posts daily about "fun educational" activities you are doing with your 6 children under 5 I am pretty sure that you either are a Stepford android, have a nanny, or are straight up lying.
and then there is me
I started off staying at home-hood reading these blogs thinking there was something seriously, egregiously wrong with me. And maybe there is. But the truth of the matter is I will never be the mom who whips up a batch of from-scratch gourmet chocolate chip cookies en-route to running the PTA meeting and picking up my kids in their hand-made-clothes from school to head home to my spotless-seasonally-decorated-perfect little house with food cooking in the crock pot so that I am smiling sweetly when my husband walks in the door and I hand him an ice cold beer and ask how his day was. I am not that mom, and really I don't want to be. She sounds neurotic as hell. Seriously, lets be frank, that bitch has issues or a shit load of good drugs. No one is giving me hits of good drugs so instead I am rocking my yoga pants picking up my hand-me-down clothed kids from school where I desperately try to volunteer when I have time and I throw food that is passably edible at my family as my husband walks in the door from work with a beer for himself in hand and passes me one too. That is me, take it or leave it.
Being a domestic diva isn't rocket science, or brain surgery. Its also not rocket surgery. But its what I am doing. Or trying.
I drink beer. I joke about everything I do being therapy fodder for my children. I try to cook, try to keep things clean (other than my jokes and language). I am not perfect, but I love my children and husband to distraction. I am a work in progress, and I always will be.
And this, this is my blog.