Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sensitive Subject

The other day I was reading status updates on Facebook, and I ran across one of my friends who is a stay-at-home-mom, who basically said in her status update that stay-at-home-moms have the hardest job of ALL because they don't get sick days/vacation days, and that it's not just a "piece of cake" to be a SAHM.

I didn't get in on the comments, but there were a lot of people who commented, backing her up, saying things like, "I hate it when moms who have a job tell us (stay at home moms) that they do "everything we do" plus work a 40 hour week," etc...  One girl actually said, (and I'm copying this VERBATIM) "They might could get some of the stuff done but it wouldn't be anything like how we would do it or we would probably have to go back and do it again!!"

Y'all.  Let's stop, take a step back, and think about this logically, ok?

I was a stay-at-home-mom with Christopher for the first 6 months of his life. 
Then, I had to go back to work - so I became a (part-time) working mom.
Then, I quit my job and went back to college.  I actually spend more time at school/driving to school/working on online classes, than I spent working part-time last spring/summer.

I can say that I've been a SAHM, a working mom, and a mom taking college classes.

I can also say that IT IS ALL HARD.

Being a SAHM can be exhausting, without ever leaving the house.  I remember there were days when I could not WAIT for Stephen to get off work.  I treasured trips to WalMart at 9:00 at night, where I could just walk around in the quiet and look at the plants in the garden center or the home decor and just be by myself for an hour.  I remember the days when I loaded up Christopher and went to Cruizzers to get a half-price drink, just to get OUT of the house.  I remember the long, cold winter days when it was really too nasty to even think about leaving the house, and how stir-crazy I would get.  And Christopher was just a BABY when I was a SAHM, so he didn't make huge messes (like he does now) and he wasn't walking and getting into everything... but I still remember -- it wasn't always easy.

When I went back to work, I was lucky enough to be able to go back part-time, and I was blessed enough to have my mom be Christopher's baby-sitter.  I was able to go to work knowing that Christopher was in the best hands possible.  But it was STILL so hard to leave him everyday.  I hated the nights that I had to close at work and couldn't get home to put him to bed.  I missed his first steps because I was at work.  I'm sure there are other things I missed, as well.  My housework suffered on the days that I worked, but since I was only part time, I was able to keep things pretty organized and clean.  It was HARD, but in a totally and completely different way than being a SAHM was.  It was hard leaving my baby every day, and there was less time to devote to my house... it was still hard.

And you guys -- the hardest thing I've struggled with has been since this semester started and I have been super-busy with school and homework.  Keep in mind I said, the hardest thing I've struggled with, because it would NOT be fair or right to say the hardest job I've had of ALL.  My house is SO SO SO SO MESSY right now.  I pretty much walk around my house in a zombie-like state because I have had so much end-of-the-semester junk going on and I've been staying up late finishing it after Christopher goes to bed... or like on Sunday I worked on my accounting end-of-semester project for about eight hours STRAIGHT and NOTHING got done to my house that day.  I have been completely avoiding certain areas of my house right now because things are SO dirty, SO messy, SO unorganized, and SO trashy, that if I actually started thinking about cleaning it up, I KNOW I would have a nervous breakdown, cry, scream, and possibly throw things at Stephen.  I feel guilty when I have to work on on-line classes or do homework, and take Christopher to my mom's house or my mother-in-law's house, because I feel like since I'm not GOING to school that I shouldn't have to take him to a baby-sitter.  I hate leaving him with somebody else when I'm still sitting at home, at the computer, working on projects or taking online tests.  It's HARD.

I can't even remember the last time I cooked a meal in our kitchen.  Stephen does probably 95% of our cooking right now, because (1) he's better at throwing stuff together than me and (2) while he's cooking, I'm doing homework or entertaining Christopher or doing my C25K program (which I haven't done in OVER A WEEK because I've been so busy and/or tired.) 

If I weren't completely and totally embarrassed to do it, I would take a picture of my house and show you what it looks like right now.  It's ridiculously messy.  I'm too embarrassed to show you, but I will tell you that my fall decorations (that I took down probably a month ago) are in my kitchen.  Some are in a Walmart sack, others are just sitting out, grouped together.  I have THREE loads of clean laundry, that are wrinkled up in laundry baskets (not folded) scattered across my house.  I need to wash colored clothes. I have NO clean towels.  I have a layer of dust on everything in my living room and bedroom.  I have Christmas tree ornament boxes sitting out on my kitchen table.  Like, from where I took them out of the box, hung them on the tree, then never put the boxes back up.  BOTH of my Christmas tree boxes are IN MY CLOSET.  My kitchen counters are covered in trash, dirty dishes, mail, and various food items that we've gotten out of the cabinets and not put back up.  Christopher's toys are all over the place.  The floors need to be vacuumed and mopped. I could go on and on, but I'll stop.

My point is, being a mom is hard.  Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, a mom in school, or a SINGLE MOM, (which I can't even fathom at this point in my life) it's a hard job.  Working moms are envious of stay-at-home moms, stay-at-home moms are envious of working moms, and mothers in school are just trying to make it out of the semester without a visit to the loony bin.  It's all hard from one perspective or another.  We, AS MOMS, should support each other.  If you're a stay-at-home mom, don't tell moms who have jobs that they have it easier than you.  And moms who have jobs shouldn't say that staying at home is all fun and games.  We don't need to be breaking each other down.  Just because you're a stay-at-home mom and can have a sparkling clean kitchen, doesn't mean that I'm not an equally good mom or that I have it any easier or harder than you do.  It just means that, for the time being, there will be no sparkling going on in my kitchen.  There's nothing wrong with that.  It doesn't make you better than me... or the other 90% of moms who don't have sparkling clean floors and counters and tubs.

Again, my point is that whether you're a stay-at-home mom, or a working mom, or a whatever mom, it is a hard job.  We all need to support and respect each other.  We need to be appreciative that we have a job, or appreciative that we are able to stay home with our children, or be appreciative that we have children, etc, etc, etc

If you've made it this far, thanks for staying with me.  :)  As you can see from my last post, I finally designed and ordered our 2010 Olmstead Family Christmas Cards (starring Christopher) from Shutterfly, and I am SO excited about them!  The inside is even cuter (if that's possible) than the outside, and I'd love to do a Christmas Card exchange with anybody who reads this blog! Just shoot me an email at snolmstead{at}gmail{dot}com and leave me your address, and I'll respond back with ours!

1 comment:

  1. I understand the frustrations of being a mom... BUT.... I must say that in the summer, when I'm home all day with the girls- it is much easier than the school year! I can cook, keep the house cleaner, do laundry, take a nap, etc! Ahhh.

    I've never got to be a true sahm, so when people complain like that I want to go off on them! ha!

    I agree that we should build each other up, not tear each other down! Way to go posting a sensitive subject... I have one building as well. I really don't know if I'll post or not about it! ;) I'm a chicken!


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