For two years, I have been a stay-at-home mom with two children. I didn’t choose to stay at home with my boys for any of the reasons that other women claim to have. My husband and I decided together for me to quit work after the birth of our second child. Our reason for my staying at home was money. Daycare for two boys, who at the time were two years old and six weeks old, cost more than I made as a waitress. I have read on the Internet and talked to other moms who have made this decision about their reasons for staying home. It makes me ashamed that my only reason for being at home with the boys is that we couldn’t afford to pay someone.
I read nearly every day about how fulfilled women are with their decision to stay home with their children. I want to ask how. I spend twenty hours a day cleaning my house, and four hours asleep. With the kids at home all the time, I have to keep ahead of the mess. Even with this schedule, it still seems like I never keep up. I don’t regret this decision, but some days I feel like I’m stuck in a time warp from the 1950s and I’m a poor copy of June Cleaver.
Some weeks, I leave my house only to go buy groceries on Friday. I find myself slipping into the “I don’t give a rip about myself” pattern. I never wear makeup anymore and sometimes I never even change out of my pajamas. The only time I shave my legs is when my husband goes on and on about sex, and I finally say “Okay, if it will shut you up for another week.” Somehow, my sex drive went from bunny rabbit to “uh not tonight”. I’ve been in this rut for two years and he still asks why. Does the man really need the reasons? I’m exhausted, you never want to take out the trash anymore, and you won’t shut up about it. I would like to see my husband stay home with two over active toddlers for one week solid, feel like an overweight cow, and somehow be in the mood at the end of that week.
Being a stay-at-home mom doesn’t suck. It does make life challenging. There are times when I want to gather up all the Stepford wives out there and ask them “How do you do it?”
How does a woman handle everything in life at one time? I barely handle two children, a man,and my house without losing my mind. Then Supermom shows up somewhere, and boom. I feel like a failure. I know I’m not a failure, but for a few brief moments I feel like it.
Every time someone asks what I do for a living, I say “I’m a mother.” They get this look on their faces that screams disapproval and say something about me not getting paid, or how I must love being lazy and spending my husband’s money. Just because I don’t get paid for my work (in anything other than my kids’ smiles) does not mean I am lazy. I work my butt off from morning to after midnight most days. When one of the kids is sick, I have been known to stay up for two or three days with no sleep at all. Yes, I spend my husband’s money, on bills, groceries and everything else that a family of four has to have to live on. I don’t enjoy spending his money. I hate it. Even if I were still working, I would be spending part of his money on daycare because my cheque wasn’t enough to pay for it.
Somedays, I’m ecstatic that I’m home with my boys. Other days, I just want to lock myself in the bathroom and cry. One thing that I have learned , though, is that no one has the right to judge my decision. I chose to stay home and raise my children. I chose to label myself a stay at home mom. Though I sometimes hate my decision, I am happy with it 90 per cent of the time. I hope that in two more years, when my youngest has started kindergarten and if my husband hasn’t managed to talk me into trying for a girl by then, that I have come to terms with the other 10 per cent and will be as fulfilled as the Supermoms claim to be. Until that time, it’s wiping noses, kissing boo boos, holding hands and arguing with two miniature versions of myself.
I don’t want to miss a single minute of it.