February 3, 2009

Dear Stay At Home Working Mom

Mom, housewife, whatever you want to call me, I've grown weary of all I do and the constant reminder of what I don't.

This job, the early morning rush of breakfasting and backpacking and signing of the homework and you forgot to wash my favorite shirt or I'm thirsty/hungry/grumpy/coughy/sneezy or you forgot to read my mind.

This job, nap-less afternoons of sweeping and sweeping and droopy eyes and little people meltdowns and lunches and snacks and more sweeping. And more sweeping.

This job, I'm still waiting for a paycheck. This job where so much is expected and this job I can't ever be enough.

I need more hands. And arms and legs. And brooms.

This job without any breaks. Always a need, a nose, a mouth, a missing sock or Lego piece. A phone ringing and a diaper or battery that needs changing.

This job I collapse at the end of the day.

Only to begin all over again. This job neverending.

And still without a paycheck of money that I can spend.

Who could do such a job?

I must be made of something pretty powerful. Unbreakable and indestructible. I must be amazing.

This job oh, my God, I don't ever want to quit.

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Twitter me- I'm babysteph

87 comments:

  1. Spot on. Although I wouldn't mind a vacation of break from the job from time to time. That is normal, right?

    Nell

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  2. "ditto".

    (I still think it's a plush gig, but not the stuff of which you speak. The money for blogging stuff.)

    ;)

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  3. I think that it's a wonderful job (calling) that we mama do! and God is making us a better person by doing it!

    No paycheck would make me happier but perhaps a bit less tired LOL

    Yes the mama's job come with lots of responsibility but thinking that my Boss is God makes my happy ( I did have other boss before getting married and they are more difficult to work for LOL)


    Thanks for sharing your feeling!

    Renee

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  4. One time, Steph, my kids had been awful and I went outside and was sitting on the porch trying not to cry and some working guy walked by and said "Must be nice to get to stay home and NOT DO ANYTHING all day."
    Sure must be.

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  5. It is definitely not a job for the weak! I get a paycheck for working outside of the home, but some days, I feel like I need two paychecks because the work definitely doesn't end when I walk in the door. It just becomes more rewarding, which I suppose is a paycheck in itself.

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  6. I hear ya on the extra appendages and brooms. Why is the floor always dirty if am I always sweeping?

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  7. Steph, I love this. You are so talented. I may have to print this out and post it on the frig!!

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  8. That was great, very well said! And since we don't get a pay check, we don't have to feel guilty when we request a "mom's night out" to recharge our battery :)

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  9. indeed. Well said. And now back to my regularly scheduled broadcast of coffee, so that I may function better doing aforementioned work. ;)

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  10. We all need vacation days every know and again though. That I do believe. Aren't you getting a little one soon though? (Well to Blissdom anyway...) : )

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  11. Well said, I feel exactly the same way

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  12. Thanks for making me glad that is not my job. :) I don't know how you do it! You ARE Superwoman!

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  13. And the sweeping, oh the sweeping!

    Well said Steph!

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  14. True, true, true.

    Off to battle the neverending pile of dirty clothes and dishes and diapers and piles of toys...all to the soundtrack of It's time to build a word. Let's build it, let's build it....NOW!

    Meeeeyeah.

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  15. Every good mommy has a little bit of Super Woman in her.

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  16. You also get to wear PJ's all day if you want. Have play dates and go out to lunch. Take a nap at nap time if you choose. Stop whining.

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  17. I think this is my favorite post of yours, Steph.

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  18. Yeah, and you don't even have to wear underwear under those pjs!

    So, what I really wanted to say to you, Steph, is: well done and well said.

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  19. i don't want to quit, but i sure wouldn't mind the occasional weekend.

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  20. So beautiful! Just be sure to squeeze a little mommy time in there.

    I love staying at home with my boy; I wouldn't trade it for the world. I think if I had to, my heart would break.


    Oh, so I have a question for you about vaccines. I do have my son get them, but I'm going to try to space them apart. But I just went through some medicine training for my job, and the nurse claimed that your kids (all kids) have to have vaccines in order to go to school. That's not true, right? You're the only person whom I thought may know the answer to that, so I asked. thanks

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  21. It is a great job! Even if I go to bed completely exhausted every night and some times wake up completely exhausted, too!

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  22. We have the hardest job in the world and I would love to get a paycheck (other than those hugs and kisses) once in a while.

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  23. Awesome post. Obviously anon didn't get your post AT ALL, and they must not have a baby and a toddler. Or else they'd know that it's impossible to get a nap at "nap time" when usually there's 2 different nap times. Geesh.

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  24. Beautiful post. Made me smile. Never want to quit. :) Sometimes I need a break....but never for long!

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  25. That is exactly how it is. I love this post. It made me laugh and touched my heart. :)

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  26. no paycheck and no personal days! great post.

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  27. You all have time for blogs and commenting, apparently.

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  28. Isn't it just the strangest dichotomy (I just love that word, thank you for giving me the chance to use it)

    I don't want to quit either. Ever.

    A lunch break, or even a fifteen minute coffee break would be kind of cool though...

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  29. such a sweet post. Why would someone get on here to be mean though. I don't get it I think they have way too much time on their hands...

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  30. My sentiments exactly! You always know how to say things so poeticly!

    :-)

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  31. Definitely never a time "off" when you're a mama is there? These little people pay me in other ways though.

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  32. sure I could always use an extra set of hands but what i really need are a couple of extra hours in the day. just two would be fine. oh heck, go ahead and make it three and i might even have time to say hi to the hubby!

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  33. Gee, I wish us Moms that work full time loved our children as much as you stay at home Moms do.

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  34. This is the only time I will respond and then I will start deleting the anonymous mean comments. THE REASON I CROSSED OUT THE WORDS IN THE TITLE OF THIS POST were to indicate that I was speaking to STAY AT HOME Moms and WORKING Moms - ALL MOMS. Get it now?

    Steph

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  35. I've always said that I wish we grew 2 new hands each time we gave birth. That would make our jobs so much easier.

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  36. *Somebody* has some issues.

    Keep posting Stephanie. :-)

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  37. there's something about having a quiver-full that is demanding and rewarding all at the same time. Well said!

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  38. Great post (I write, as I can barely keep my eyes open after a sleepless night). It's really a calling, motherhood.

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  39. Great post Steph! I sometimes threaten to quit though. ;)

    (and Anon--we can take naps at nap time? Are you serious? Sorry, but my only response to that is suckit)

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  40. true dat sista, the job of MOM is hard whether you stay home or work outside the home...and there is no quitting even if you wanted to.

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  41. ditto. although I wouldn't mind a vacation..like today please.

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  42. Steph, thanks for being honest & posting about your feelings.

    Personally, when I comment on blogs, I go by the rule "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

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  43. You took the words right out of my sleep deprived brain.

    I was SO envious of friends who got to be SAHMs before I had a baby.

    Now I know there's a lot to envy, but it's not the stay in my pajamas, watch daytime TV, eating cupcakes kind of envy.

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  44. I've turned off the anonymous option for commenting because I can't babysit my email for the rest of the day.

    Most of you know I'd never ever intend to hurt or offend anyone and I'm afraid the intentions behind my post are not being seen clearly by some. This writing came about as I was doing MOM things that any Mom does- whether you are a stay at home Mom, work at home Mom, work outside of the home Mom, step Mom, what have you.

    I hate having to explain myself.

    But I hate to upset others even more.

    Steph

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  45. I understood you steph! It is a shame that people who are always will to attack are always anonymous! You do a great job and you deserve to stay in ur pjs and take naps. I did both today :)

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  46. All this time I've apparently been missing out on naps at nap time!

    I guess my other children didn't get that memo either. I'll let them know they can fend for themselves while their brother AND I both nap. Blogs are so informative!

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  47. I'm with you Steph. Sorry that the internet can be a hard place to communicate clearly for everyone to understand it. You know that old statistic, communication is only 7% words, and the rest is body language, tone, etc. It's not your fault that everyone didn't understand - you were as clear as you could - it's just the limitations of the written word.

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  48. I think anonymous commenters should have to say who they are, that way we get to comment on their life choices as they have done here. No one has it easy, but at least we can choose the lifestyle we want for ourselves. Stephanie is good at what she does, it's a thankless job and she does it damn well. No money in the world could make me take that job, just goes to show you how hard it really is! Who IS this person?!

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  49. Oh Steph,
    I'm sorry for the added stress of these anonymous comments. You did make sense. If I worked out of the home (as I once did) I would have understood. It's pretty clear. Try not to sweat it. People misunderstand things sometimes and I really wish they didn't lash out in response. Cause that's just...silly.
    It's a beautiful post. For ALL moms.

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  50. I love it, friend!

    You know, I don't mind sweeping so much. It's the stooping down to brush the piles of dirt into the dustpan and then throwing the piles away that gets to me. ;)

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  51. lol. anonymous commentors are funny, too cowardly to leave their names. This was a great post Steph!

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  52. It's really a shame about the anonymous comments because I thought this was one of your best posts EVER!

    xoxox

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  53. I have to laugh at the anonymous commenters. If I wear my PJs all day, it only means I didn't get to shower or brush my teeth or look in a mirror or pee all day either. And blogging/twitter is my only outlet. Something I can do (for 45 seconds at a time with one hand) while I'm nursing my baby or making lunch. I know those meanies may not
    get it, but anyone who has cared for fully dependent children they love deeply knows exactly where you are coming from. It's so hard but so amazing. Please don't let that commenter(s?) get you down, Steph, she is obviously just having a bad day.

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  54. I agree with Robin- best post ever! And- Steph- for goodness sakes- those comments had nothing to do with YOU- don't feel bad- you didn't offend anyone- they were unhappy before they read this post- and they were unhappy after they read it. AND they obviously don't know what an extraordinary woman and mother you are and how hard you work- or they would never say such a thing!

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  55. Oh! Sorry I was signed into a brand new work account- Prescription for Success is me! (Carrington!)

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  56. Steph,

    I'm so sorry that you have had so many negative anonymous readers leave comments today.

    I have often found that people who say negative things regarding my "stay-at-home status" are really angry that they don't stay at home.

    I have one person in my life who is a teacher. When she gets a snow day or even takes a sick day she will call me and always says, "I knew you would be home and have time to talk." I always want to respond with, "Of course I have time. I've been sitting here all day eating my bon-bons and waiting for the phone to ring. However, I am down to two bon-bons so I will have to get my useless bottom off the couch and head to the grocery in a few minutes to replenish the stock."

    In reality I am holding the phone with my chin while I listen to her monologue, fold laundry, feed a child or other chores around the house. I'm not complaining that I have to do these chores. At the end of the day, I'm happy with my choice.

    Not every working woman feels that those of us who don't work outside of the home are sitting around all day doing nothing. Just as I and many other stay-at-home moms don't look down our noses at those who work outside of the home.

    I hope your anonymous readers realize that we don't always have the option to stay in our pjs nor do we always go out to lunch. There isn't a lot of extra money for special lunches out because we are a single income family. I'm not whining about that. It is a choice we have made and I wouldn't change it for anything. "Stay-at-home" is such a poor description. Many of us can be found doing errands that have to be done for any household to function, volunteering in schools or churches. Many work from home during naptime.

    I didn't read the part where you said we love our children so much more.

    You also didn't feel the need to state your feelings anonymously. You posted them on your blog for the world to see.

    I thought this post was very poetic and could easily be meant for any mom (regardless of where and with whom you spend the traditional work day).

    I'm sorry this is such a long comment. Just want you to know I loved it and don't think anyone should have been offended.

    Keep your chin up and keep sharing.

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  57. I feel the same way! And yet I would NEVER want to give this job up either!

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  58. as a working mom, i totally got your title. hmph. some people.

    love ya girl!

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  59. I love this post. It is right on. You are right that this is constant work is true of ALL moms.
    -------------------

    I think you should consider anon. a sign that you've made it. Given enough time and a big enough audience, even the nicest bloggers will come upon someone who doesn't like them. You are THE nicest and shouldn't let this bother you.

    One final thought on anonymous, if she is a working mom, who watches her kids during the day? Does she pay them? If so, is she paying them to "work"? Because what she pays a daycare provider to do is what we, stay-at-home moms, do... we WORK.

    Have a great evening Steph and don't let it get to you.

    -Abby

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  60. I agree with @abbyjess - your blog is out there... you're out there... it's not just us your loyal followers reading and commenting anymore! :) It's too bad it was done in such a snide and snarky way, but look at it as proof that you are connecting people, ideas, beliefs and generating discussions on this beloved profession, motherhood!

    Also, I don't think it's a situation of someone misunderstanding, but more so someone misconstruing your words based on preconceived notions, stereotypes or insecurities.

    Bloggy hugs to ya!

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  61. I posted a newspaper article that you would really "get" right about now.
    http://jendisjournal.com/2009/02/03/she-obviously-has-no-child-care-experience/

    Keep on keepin' on! One minute at a time.

    P.S. I don't allow anonymous comments either.

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  62. I love this post!

    Today was the first day in a long time I really really really wanted to call in sick. Not because I'm sick, I'm just tired. And no one would ever get it unless they were a mom. Dear hubby will never know what it's like to do this day in and day out. It's daunting, but also a nice feeling to know we can't be replaced :)

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  63. This blog was perfect. Sums it all up. I think you've started on a new path in your line of writing...go with it! :)

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  64. Big fat chicken if you ask me. If you want to leave a negative comment then have the balls to put your name with it ;)

    We (MOST of us) totally got your post.

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  65. Terrible job description, but the benefits are worth it...

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  66. You wrote the words on my mind and heart. Thank you. It is the best job on Earth.

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  67. You've hit the nail right on the head.
    And to Mr/Ms Anonymous - i used to be a City lawyer. LONG hours at the best of times. Stress at its utmost. I thought i was prepared for becoming and being a full time mum. I thought that however bad it was it could NOT be worse than being a lawyer. How wrong was i! it's not that it's more stressful, more difficult, more challenging because i don't think you can compare the two in that kind of way as they are worlds apart. What it is, is that you get hardly any time to yourself. The time that you do get to yourslef you are usually stuck indoors as you are sitting through a nap time or guiltily allowing them to watch a bit of TV or for once they are playing independently etc etc. i have had so many moments where i have not been able to pee when i have wanted to or poo in peace. i have quite literally pooed while drawing cats and dogs on a scrapbook for my son because he was insisting and throwing a tantrum. "Disciplne!" i hear Anonymous shout. "Ha!" if only it were that simple. It doesn't necessarily work that way and all kids have their own personality and some are more persistent and insistent than others and we do what we can.
    fact of the matter, and to sort of sum it all up, is this -
    when i was a lawyer i used to go for lunches with friends, i used to drink cosmopolitans after work with hubby and friends, i used to be able to buy frivolous things as i would get paid, i'd go to the gym every day as i had the time, i'd get a Brazilian and full leg waxes and look after myself because i had the money and the time, i used to SURF the net and not get these 10 minute sessions which appear like i am on the internet for hours but are in fact fast typing in 10 minute intervals, i used to feel awake and alive at the end of teh day not utterly exausted like now.
    Need me to go on Anon?
    IF we are in pjs all day (which most of us aren't) it's because something is up - kids are ill, we are down, we are shattered by it all.
    Trust me this is far more all-consuming and relentless than a normal dayjob.
    But you know what you know that, because if not the majority of mums wouldn't go back to work so soon.
    Bl***y hard work but GD rewarding
    Most rewarding thing i have ever done and i plan to do it a lot more!
    Big hugs to all the positive mums on this Blog Post and Booooo to Anonymous and others like her/him

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  68. Thanks for being real. I'm feeling like that too. Nothing I do is enough. But then I realized it's what's necessary and they couldn't do it without me. And they want me. And I'm thankful for that.

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  69. I am in constat awe of the stay at home/work at home moms. I don't know that I could do all the you do. You are an amazing woman!!

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  70. Just remember, Steph, you can't spell A-N-O-N-Y-M-O-U-S without "@$$#!%&, #^*%&%-$^&%!*& %!&@& @% $#!^."

    Well, you can . . . but it's not nearly as cathartic. Just remember, that's just one A-( ). Luckily you're not burdened with the weight of their real name, so you don't have to feel bad about assigning them creative names that fit (yet can't be published).

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  71. I think I'm going to print this out and tape it to my bathroom mirror.

    Thanks, Steph.

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  72. Wow. That rocks. So true, so real.
    I don't ever want to quit either!

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  73. Beautiful!!! and thank you, in your honesty you've encouraged me on a day when that was needed!!!

    Heidi

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  74. I had been in the workforce for almost 12 years, but as a recent mother.. and well these hard economic times my priorities changed unexpectedly. I no longer lived for just myself and as cliché as it may sound my baby is my life. REALLY!!!

    My family had been struggling because of the state of the world right now, so I decided to let go of my job (which I know sounds crazy) and dedicate myself to better my situation, not only on a career self-fulfilling level but on an overall soul searching level. There had to be a way where I could stay home and tend to my family because they really needed my full attention at the time.
    Being a vegetarian and green fanatic for the last 12 years, I started by searching the internet for REAL products and blogs, books even TV programs and documentaries that could teach me how to contribute to my families health and contribute to the world (Sounds a bit overachieving doesn’t it?)
    In truth I had no idea exactly what I was looking for.. just an overall change!

    After months, I found it!
    A whole community of mothers doing the same.. over 11000 mom’s who choose to stay at home and contribute! It was a blessing, and believe me if you saw me you wouldn’t even assume I was that kind of person... the MOM team has not only enhanced my life but has given me a goal. A Misson.

    I just really needed to share this because at the end of the day we all have one common goal, as mothers... Fulfillment without ever neglecting your family. I have achieved exactly that!
    Kudos to all us stay at home Mom’s!!!

    www.themomteam.com/michjean

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  75. Thank you for this post! It captured so many thoughts I have SO often!

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  76. I know I'm late to the party but I thought this was beautiful and poetic and universal for all moms. There are never enough hands, never enough sleep, never enough time - I am often frustrated, guilty and I am always tired. I have been a working mom, a stay at home mom and a working from home mom. The job has changed but the mom part never will.

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