As we all know, the world can be divided into two groups of people. The ones with kids and the ones without. For 32 years I was a member of the latter. When I was childless, I imagined being a stay-at-home mom entailed such lovely, peaceful things as gazing out the nursery window while my baby slept peacefully as I rocked him in my arms. I pictured myself lounging on the couch reading while my well-behaved kids played quietly at my feet. Days filled with ABC’s, songs, arts and crafts and library trips. Before kids, I’d finish another long grueling day at work and think, those stay-at-home parents! They have such an easy life. Now that I am one, let’s just say my perspective has changed. My world today is nonstop barely contained chaos, filled with endless questions, sibling rivalry and constant bickering, whining and crying. My job is to keep the house humming, the kids happy and my sanity intact. Sounds simple enough, but it is mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting like no other job I’ve ever had in my entire life. And unlike a “real” job, I can never clock out. There are no real “breaks”. (Unless you count the 10 minutes I’m in the shower listening to my kids pound on the door whining “Moooommmmy, you in there?”) And, yes, I love my kids dearly. Yes, being a mom is the toughest job I’ll ever love. I am very fortunate to even have a chance to be a stay-at-home mom. This is all true. I appreciate how lucky I am. But if you’ve never done it, you ain’t never gonna get it. You’ll never understand why sometimes, just sometimes, you just want to pack up your bags and run away to Aruba. Maybe there I can have a complete thought again. I’ll give you a little taste. The following is a typical day in the life.
What (hold on a sec, I’m on the computer) is the big (your Polly Pocket is where you left it, on the kitchen floor) deal with being a stay-at-(oh, you want the Polly with the RED dress, not the purple one?) stay-at-home mother? (mother of god, why is this dress so damn tiny?) I’m sure you’re thinking, why don’t you get a real (really, you want me to search for the teeny tiny Polly pocket book in that mountain of toys in the closet?) job? Working a full (stop hitting your brother, please) time job is so much more (okay, you do that again and it’s time out) stressful. When you’re at home all day you can watch TV, catch up on Grey’s Anatomy (oh! you want to watch Dora instead? After we just watched it three times in a row?) laze around on the couch (okay, who dumped a box of cheez-its under the cushions?) You can enjoy cooking (stop putting broccoli in your sister’s ear) the occasional cleaning (if you don’t help me pick up these toys, they’re going in the trash and I mean it this time) and snag some relaxing computer time (okay, that’s enough with the Farmville). So you can see that staying at home (you spilled yogurt on your dress?) is nothing but a (now there’s yogurt on the floor?) relaxing (stop flinging yogurt at your brother) peaceful time. You get to see the world (yes, I see you riding your bike) through (Yes, again, I see you on your bike, nice job) your children’s (I am looking at you) eyes (I swear I am watching you, yes, you are riding your bike.) You are able to really cherish (put that down, please) those magical milestones (I said, put that down right now) and relish (okay, that’s it, time out) every moment.
How much does a plane ticket to Aruba cost? I swear I’ll only be gone two weeks max.