I Have a Secret

I was chatting online with another bloggy friend who is also a recent job quitter/stay-at-home-mom.  She’s having somewhat of a difficult time with it and asked why nobody tells you that staying home is so hard.  “It’s like it’s a secret,” she said.  And that really bothered me.

As you know, I’m not so great at the secrets.  I pretty much don’t keep anything to myself.  But she’s right, this stay at home thing is mother fucking hard, and I don’t talk about it.  Maybe I’ve eluded to it here and there but I discovered early on in my stay at home mom-dom that if you complain about it, people get annoyed and/or judge you.  And to be honest, when I was a working mom, I did the same thing.  Like yeah, yeah, I’m sure it’s rough to just sit home all day and to not have to get up early and get ready for work and then leave your children with other people and go to a job you hate.  Blah blah blah, let’s trade lives.  But on the outside I would nod and say, “Yes, being a mom is THE hardest job in the world!

So that was old, naive me that never actually stayed home for a prolonged period of time.  And before anyone gets offended, let me say, that YES!  I do know from experience that being a working mom is hard as shit too.  There’s really nothing more chock full of guilt than going to work when your kid is sick or getting a call from preschool that he pooped his pants and you can’t leave because you are afraid of getting fired.  It sucks balls when you pick your kid up at 6 and his bedtime is at 8 so you spend a frantic 2 hours trying to get him home, fed, bathed and actually form a meaningful bond with him.  I get it.  I promise.  I know it is hard too.

All I’m saying here is that staying home is hard too.  Let’s start with the obvious, money.  Going from a 2 income household to a 1 income household is mind blowing.  All of the sudden I have to keep AND STICK TO a budget.  Planning trips or new cribs or even buying gas sometimes takes a whole lot of planning.

The less obvious difficulties are those that involve this crazy mind of mine.  Before I chose to be a SAHM, I was an accountant, which I know isn’t that exciting, but it takes brain power and my neurons got a work out.  Now I talk to a 1 year old all day.  I have no friends in my neighborhood, and pretty much all of my friends work so they can’t just chat with me whenever I want them to during the day.  It’s isolating.  And for a brainy, social gal like me, IT’S MOTHER FUCKING HARD!

Next is using the bathroom.  I swear to god.  I cannot take a piss without someone yelling at me through the door and/or knocking on it and/or crying and/or trying to climb on my lap while I’m sitting on the toilet.  I never knew how much I’d miss alone time until I tried to pee with a 1 year old in the house.  This is also true for eating lunch and going to the grocery store.

Lastly, it’s the idea that if I have a hard time being a SAHM that somehow I am a failure as a mom, a wife or a homemaker.  After all, I’m not making any money and I am home all day.  So shouldn’t I be totally fulfilled?  And if I’m not, aren’t I a bad human being?  Well, I’m here to say NO YOU JUDGY ASSHOLE (judgy asshole = myself when I think this way.)  There is something difficult and not fulfilling about everyone’s job.  Have you ever met even one person that says, “I love EVERYTHING about my job!  I wouldn’t change a single THING!”  Well no because that job doesn’t exist.  I do try to look at the positives, but I think it’s important to put this out there so that we can understand each other and hopefully be less judgy wudgy.  Even of ourselves.

So there.  Being a stay at home mom is fucking hard.  I said it.  The secret is out.

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7 thoughts on “I Have a Secret

  1. Ugh, Amen. I don’t know how people do 100% of either one. Right now I’m working more than I’d like (four days/week, 9 hrs/day)…in an idea world where money wasn’t an issue, I’d work 2-3 days/week for 6-8 hrs/ day… but that being said, I am SO glad I get out of the house and have adult interaction. There are days I miss Stella like crazy (see your point above about picking her up at 6pm and having to have her in bed at 8pm)…but at the same point, I know it has worked out pretty damn well for me to work Mon/Tues and Thurs/Fri and still get that mid-week day and weekends with her. Both from my baby and my job, I need a break. it’s hard either way. I cannot IMAGINE doing it with more than one kid. You’re a superstar BU!

  2. I miss work…

    I cannot wait to go back. I cannot wait so bad that I actually applied for a new job that pays a ridiculous amount more than my current one for doing the exact same thing (which means I will be going back to work immediately instead of January- which is still earlier than I have to go back). And I do not feel bad… I like having money. I like feeling like what I do actually means something. Unfortunately, when you are a SAHM, it’s too easy to forget how important raising kids actually is while you are spending a very large portion of your day cleaning someone else’s ass. Another thing I hated about being a SAHM was the mess of my house. When I worked, my house was clean. I didn’t have all day to clean it- but then I didn’t have a little hurricane following me around to mess things up the instant I got them tidied. You are a better woman than I for choosing the path of the SAHM. I already know that I would never choose to be a SAHM again.

  3. Both “jobs” are mother fucking hard. There is no doubt. Basically this post just affirms that life is kind of hard all the time no matter what you do. But obviously it doesn’t mean that you don’t love your kids and don’t find fulfillment in either working or staying at home (depending on each mom’s preference) it just means that some things are hard and no one should be judgey either way. I think June Clever probably drank a lot of Gin in secret.

  4. When I was on mat leave (we get a year here in Canada) I was wracked with guilt because I kinda couldn’t wait to go back to work. Now that I’m back at work I’m wracked with guilt for being away from my kid so much. But you make the most important point that everyone needs to know which is that both are friggin’ hard & you’re not a failure as a mom just ’cause it is.

  5. Love your blog!
    I’ve been reading for a while to get caught up. I’m TTC and all I can say is that you are my hero! That you for keeping it real. For reals.

  6. I recently decided to stay at home and resign my job. I think I am really one of the few. Just about every mom I’ve met is going back to work and I think there is a lot of judgement. I know I judged stay at home moms before – I think I was just jealous – but now that I am there I can see how difficult it can be. Thank goodness for the Internet and my hubby’s iPad!

  7. I love this post. It is hard. Being a mom uses different brain cells and more patience than I actually have. It’s so hard that I started working 1 or 2 days a week to just get a break from being Mom. I love working and I love being a SAHM, but working is easier to me. Although I could never deal with the guilt of working full-time. Full-time working moms are bad ass too.

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