So you hear and read all the time about these stay at home moms who write and share how busy and overwhelmed they are with the children and the house and how much work it is. I saw an article a few months ago in which a husband counted how much his wife’s services (laundry, cooking, watching the kid) were if he was to hire help. It equaled to over $70k and he says he couldn’t afford it and let’s praise our stay at home moms, etc etc.
I also see articles about women that have their careers and have others raise their kids. They leave the house before their kid wakes up and come back way after bedtime. They claim they don’t feel like they have to sacrifice their lives/careers for their child, and them making the money and building a successful career is what will matter in the future.
Well I ended up somewhere in between.
I rarely see people in my situation share anything, and it’s probably because they don’t have any damn time… boy i never knew what tired is until this year.
I stayed home for 3 months after the baby was born. I’m not sure what it was, the way I’ve lived in the past 7 years of work/work/work that I actually felt guilty. House was spotless, dinner was on the table at 6pm when my husband walked through the door, and all baby duties were mine. And still I felt useless. Like it felt like it was so easy. Which of course it wasn’t always. Sleepless nights, and doing all the errands. But I didn’t have to do them all in one night, so laundry Monday, grocery shopping Tuesday, house cleaning on Wednesday. 2-3-4 hour walks in between to get back in shape before I actually started exercising. DONE. Then fun nights with the husband. What’s the big deal??? Granted my kid was not colic, she would go to other people, she didn’t cry for no reason, and overall was not a pain… Quite the contrary. But still. I just felt like I was slacking.
I had an option to stay home. Financially we could pull off a year without me working. We would have to put off buying a house for another year and we would not be able to go on 2 vacations we were planning to go on. But we could do it. So when my 12 weeks maternity came to an end, I collected myself, dropped the baby off at daycare and went to work.
In no way I am trying to diminish the hard work women do when they make a decision to stay home and raise their children. More than anything I applaud them and also am a little jealous. Finding fulfillment in just that, and devoting all of your energy to that little human being you created, often forgetting their own goals and dreams… and being fine with that.
Now it’s hard for me. Nursing the baby through the night, commuting for over an hr one way and working full time, trying to not get behind on errands, and maintain our social life, sex life (which is as amazing as ever), try to work out and get in shape which i so want to be in, and still be a mom (as in read books to the baby, play w her, go on walks, feed, entertain, educate…the list goes on). Now that’s hard. Maintaining a great relationship, staying happy and grateful is what I’m striving for. And it’s manageable. And I’m looking forward to when we can try for baby #2.
UPDATE almost 2 years later: our 2nd baby is almost 9 months old. And what I said above about being tired? SCRATCH THAT! Now I am tired. We moved into our new home and doing renovations. I still commute and work full time. With a toddler and an infant occupying all my spare time – oh joy! I look like crap most days, it takes more wine for me to feel “normal”, than I’d like to admit, my days do not include “me” time or “relaxing” time, I haven’t slept through the night in over 2 years, my nails haven’t been manicured in months and a good day is when my toddler hasn’t thrown a tantrum, my infant didnt blow up his diaper and my husband didn’t loose his shit. Yes, my standards are low nowadays. I shockingly still love my other half to pieces and thank whatever power put us together every day because if he was any less of a man or wasn’t a perfect match for me – I don’t think we would have survived parenthood. It’s rough people…