so, yesterday we talked about the glories of being a stay at home mom. today, how about the non-glories? my every desire is subjugated to the needs of 2 other human beings, who very rarely are in tune with what i am hoping for. for instance, until they started school, i had not showered, peed, made dinner, read a book, sent an email, played a game, ate my lunch, vacuumed, driven or closed my eyes without The Girls "needing" me for something. That was EVERY DAY FOR EIGHT ENTIRE YEARS. as a non-mother friend told me yesterday, after her first day of nannying, "wow - they really require your focused attention all day! it was exhausting!" yes, you are correct. even now, my "effective hours" are limited to school hours.
then you have the disdain of people around you... "you stay home?" i can't tell you how disheartening that is. it is another wound everytime someone makes a derisive comment. i blow it off with, "well, it would be illegal for me to have a job, since i only have a spousal visa." but it still hurts, right at the very heart of who i am. so right now, moment of truth out loud: i want to be here for my girls. even if i could work, i would choose a happy little part-time job, because my husband & i place a high value on having a parent at home for The Girls. (For the record - i know this is a luxury; that there are families who need both parents' income. i am not making any sort of statement against that!! i am just telling it how it is for us.)
the flip side of that coin is the occasional fear that i am wasting my life & my gifts/abilities/intellect. when i am objective, i see the things i do with my life - volunteering, my involvment at church, the freedom i have to help my friends, and not least of all the way i am able to raise my girls because i am here - are not wasted or thrown away. and i will only be 42 when Megan is 18, and that is a lot of life left. not to mention the options to study while they study, or working when they are older. much of this feeling comes from the aforementioned "looking down the nose" that stay at home moms find themselves faced with.
also, there is the whole "competitive mom" thing. but i feel like i've already been very clear on that subject in this forum.
so be nice to stay at home moms, ok? they've got more going on than you know - both internally & externally - and they willingly put aside a lot of their own dreams and plans to try to raise up human beings who will make the world better. it's a scary thing, and we deserve a break.