Take this job and shove it…

This was posted on my original blog years ago, then shared on Revolution Mommy this year.  Thought I would repost here since I have no idea how to log in to my original blog…  Technology.  Meh.
 
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Stay at home moms, don’t you sometimes just want to quit.  When the laundry is up to your eyeballs, nobody wants to eat the dinner you’ve slaved over, you are running 15 minutes late to everything and people are rolling their eyes at you as you give them 100 reasons you are late, the dog ate something it wasn’t supposed to and now it is having “issues” and the list goes on and on…

Well too bad.  You can’t.  Because it really isn’t a job.  You don’t even have a job description.  Salary?  Nope, not that either.  Performance evaluation?  Well, unless you consider the word “gross” describing the dinner you made as a performance evaluation, you don’t get one of those either.   You don’t even have a direct supervisor, unless you count your husband (as if!) or your kids (well I do call the older one “the little dictator”).

So yes, I am venting.  I am complaining.  It seems to be something people do about their jobs, so I figured I would join in, even though technically I don’t have a “job”.  But I suppose I do have the same gripes as people who work out in the “real world”.

So let’s break it down…

Common complaints from some one who has a “real job”:

1.  I don’t know what my job entails, am I supposed to process the xxx data or is Joe?
So…  As a stay at home mom, am I supposed to be in charge of the laundry, dishes, cleaning, shopping, dog walking, mail getting, bill paying, etc.  Or am I just supposed to be entertaining, educating and enjoying my wonderful children?  Because I feel like I should be doing all those things and when I don’t I feel overwhelmed and a bit of a failure.  (if I have time I will insert a picture of the pile of laundry sitting next to me)

2.  I never feel appreciated, my boss never even says good job!
Do I even have to explain this one.  I am supposing everyone who is reading this is a SAHM and you totally get this.  I mean, have your kids ever said “thank you mom for doing the laundry so I have clean underwear”?  And I mean without prompting.

3.  To meet this deadline I have to work overtime!  What happened to my weekends?
Weekends…  As a SAHM do we even get these?  There are still dishes, laundry, cleaning, shopping, dog walking, mail getting and bill paying to be done.  (Are those part of my duties, I can’t remember.)  I thought weekends were supposed to be a respite from the drudgery of our work week.  But since my hubby works out of the house all week all he wants to do is hang out at home.  Since I am AT HOME all week all I want to do is GET OUT!!!  So herein lies the rub.  Don’t get me wrong, my husband let’s me (don’t even get me started on the “let’s me” part) have me-time on the weekends while he get to “be me”, which I love.  But when I return, the kids have not been fed, the laundry is not done, the dishes are still dirty, the mail is not fetched, and the house is a mess.  Since at this time he is supposed to “be me”, I am thinking that perhaps the above mentioned tasks are NOT part of my duties and I am once again being a workaholic (a label I got when I too worked in the “real world’).

4.  My salary sucks.
I allow myself $25 a week to spend on me and the kids and $400 to spend on groceries for the whole month.  I know I am cheap, but my salary sucks.  One mom friend posted on FB, “My daughter gets paid $10 an hour to babysit one kid.  I have three kids and I take care of them everyday.  Guess who makes more.”

5.  I have no possibility of promotion.
In nine years I will be promoted to the parent of a teenager.  At this time I am sure to be awarded more attitude and given the bonus of increased requests for material possessions.

6.  That B*^ch in accounting is always taking credit for my work.
I can’t actually take credit for the wonderful things my children accomplish.  They are truly wonderful, shining, funny, sweet, loving handfuls because that is who they were born to be.  But I do like to credit for other things.  Like when K pushes, or does not share.  Or when E throws a tantrum, or was not walking at 18 months.  Or when I found out that K is small because he is celiac and we have been feeding him wheat his whole life.  Or that E can’t sleep in his crib because I am constantly on the go so he is used to sleeping in the car.

Ugh, the list goes on.  And so can I but this post has gotten too long already.  So it has been established that I can’t quit my non-job of SAHM.  And I wouldn’t want to.  Laundry is not difficult, cleaning, although not my forte, is not rocket science, I like walking the dog and being responsible for the family finances.  AND I do enjoy staying home with the kiddos.  I also enjoy owning my own business (Stroller Strides) and having the flexibility to teach prenatal yoga.

So I guess I will stick with it…  I mean who wouldn’t when the job description entails a fuzzy list of duties, long hours, no weekends, no pay, no upward mobility, no sideways mobility, no bonuses, endless repetitive tasks a monkey could do, 100+ kisses a day from messy mouths, huge belly laughs, never ending noise, quiet moments of breathless beauty, countless opportunities to teach, even more opportunities to learn, and the possibility that once again the dog is having “issues”.

 

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This will not uplift or illuminate…

So no one reads this blog, at least I think that is the case. I think it is unlinked to my FB account so no one even knows when I post. And that is good. Because this post is not uplifting. It does not end on a happy note, it isn’t even sarcastic funny or good naturedly self deprecating. What it will be is honest. And that is why I am glad no one reads this.

I recently read Bryonie Wise’s article “I’m a F*cking Unicorn. (Or 10 Things to Do When You Get Fired for the First Time.)” and it really struck me. At least the unicorn part. He writes,

You are a fucking unicorn. You are a fucking unicorn and all this time, you have been trying to be a horse. You very carefully hid your horn every time you stepped in the room, pretending that you were more horselike and able to do horse-like things but what you were really doing was repressing the best parts of you. It’s simple: unicorns are unicorns and horses are horses. One can’t be like the other—it just doesn’t work that way. When you hide who you are, truly, madly, deeply, at the core of your being and try to fit into some other idea of you, you start dull; you shine less. Your horn starts to lose it’s power because it’s not being infused with everything it needs to stay alive and before you know it, your heart is crumpling in your hands.

I have been thinking a lot about being a mom and who I am in general. Recently I tried Roller Derby and it was an ultimate failure. I fell (hard) and broke my sacrum, which is my lower back. So I get to say “Tried Roller Derby. Broke my back”. I am OLD. Since that was a bust, I decided my next “thing to do” would be to start an all girls band and learn how to play the drums. Along with these hobbies, I like to think of other fabulous businesses to start, along with my current one (Paint N’ Party- mobile art classes and painting parties) because I am a SAHM and want to do “more”.

Well, the other day, in my meditation room (shower) I stewed on all my activities and I thought again to myself, “what if I was just a SAHM?”. What if that was enough? Then I vowed to devote myself 100% to being a mom, forget being a business owner, forget hobbies that take me away from the family and really are the hobbies of a teenager (did I mention I have been playing video games until 2 am nightly) and just focus on being an awesome, 100% fully engaged mom. Even when I worked full time while K was a toddler, I told myself that being a mom wouldn’t change me, that I could work like I didn’t have a family. When I decided to stay at home I decided to SACRFICE my work life for my family even though I really didn’t want to. Yup, I did not want to stay home. A SAHM life was never the future I thought I would have. I cringe at the idea of getting down on the floor and playing trucks or superheroes. Why not just color quietly while I listen to NPR, blog and drink coffee? Selfish, I know, but it just isn’t my type of play. Than goodness I can write that here and not be judged. Since, once again, no one is reading this. But a SAHM life is my life now, and through my shower meditation I saw that my activities and my attitude is me fighting, more like railing, against a life I already have. And I love my kids so why not just be the devoted mom?

Then I read the bit about the unicorn. WTF. Now what do I do? Moms can be sparkly and new and revived. They have fancy lives with girls with bows and tights and boys with caps and vests. That are together and have family blogs with pictures from their family photoshoots and not neurotic look at me blogs with nothing but crazy lady talk. Do I want to be like them or do I revile them? Am I jealous or do I not care and I am okay with who I am. When I pin something is that because I really want to do the craft with my kids or is it because I want to be the person that does that craft with their kids? I don’t know. But some days I just feel myself draining away. My wit and intelligence, my shiny essence, my fabulous self ebbing which each minute of mindless laundry, incessant fighting, cooking, cleaning, driving, erranding, shopping, answering, listening, caring, etc. day in and day out.

Aaargh- I can sense that I am treading the line between self aware and self obsessed. How can I be my unicorn when it’s not my job I am pretending for, but my life?

Pee in your pants…

So two things you should know about me before you read this post…

1.  I have severe allergies- like sneeze 10 times in a row, and not cute sneezes.  Pollen was really bad yesterday.

2.  I tend to overcommit.  If you want to schedule a park playdate, I’m there.  Happy Hour with the kids at Oskar Blues (I swear the kids like happy hour at OB as much as I do!)?  Count me in.  Yes, yes, yes, yes- and repeat.  I don’t feel guilted in to anything, I just really want to do everything.  It’s like I am a 3 year old being forced to go to bed- BUT WHAT IF I MISS SOMETHING?!?!

So in my overcommiting, sometimes I drop the ball and don’t go to things.  Or I am late (mostly always).  I usually blame the kids.  Don’t judge, you do it too.  The kids were sick, getting fever, acting listless, etc. etc.  Unless I have bailed on your recently, then it was for real.  Really.

Okay, so yesterday my plan was dinner at  Prospect Eats .  Prospect Eats happens every Monday night and swarms of food trucks gather at Prospect Park to serve up their yummy goodies.  Since it deals with food (usually my number one motivation to go anywhere)  I had been planning to go for weeks, but legitimate things kept getting in my way.

I had just finished a kickboxing class complete with lots of jump rope and jumping jacks and I was starving.  I stuffed the kids into the car because I could almost taste the Comida taco…

And then the allergies set in.  Sneeze, sneeze, sneeze, sneeze.  Let me just add it up for you- kickboxing+ sneezing+pushing 2 kids out of my nether reqions=pee in my pants.

Seriously.

So we couldn’t go to Prospect Eats because I peed in my pants.  AND I AM TOTALLY BLAMING THIS ONE ON THE KIDS!!!  So If you were expecting me at Prospect Eats, please disregard the above.  We couldn’t make it because E had a fever and was acting listless.  End of story.

Oh, as my first blog post, I would also like to say I love the end of mommy blogs where they give your homework or a time to reflect.  So here is your MOMent of reflection…

Moms, is there a time when you peed in your pants?  Has the glorious miracle of childbirth given you the blessing of peeing without warning.  Does sneezing, laughing or the repeated jumping of kickboxing classes warrant Depends at such a young age.  Please feel free to share so others can know they are not the only ones that have to scissor their legs like grasshoppers everytime their nose tickles.

Why a blog

There is a preconceived notion out there in my circle of friends and acquaintances, that I am a pretty put together person. My kids are usually neat, my house is pretty clean, I work, I work out, my kids are in an appropriate level of afterschool activities, I bake, I stay at home, dinner is made, laundry is done, I don’t seem to have a drinking problem, I seem to have everything pretty much set.  That pretty much covers it…

This blog is because all the crazy goes on inside.  And since I don’t think I will have many readers, I can emote without dispelling the above notion, which I really do enjoy portraying.  You will not glean any homemaking tips from this blog, I do not purport to be an expert in anything.  I am not religious, I am not political, I am not a homeschooler, the list goes on.  Your opinion is as good as mine, so feel free to share.

Here you will only read the stuff that goes on in my head. I hope that it will make you laugh, think, reflect and in the end, feel pretty good about yourself.  Because even though we are moms, remember when you were in your 20’s and you were crazy on the inside (and sometimes outside)?  That crazy is still there, it’s hidden under the laundry piles, the dishes, the homework, the carpooling and finally the expectations that as keepers of children and a family we need to have it together.

Oh yes, the crazy is there and it wants a friend…