Tag Archives: mommy guilt

That time that I was made to feel worthless…

(Image via Yahoo)

I’m not sure why I have to write this,

I don’t even know why or how this can still be a thing.

But I recently saw a comment regarding this topic on Facebook, so I guess it is, so here we go.

Let’s just clear this up right now: being a stay at home mom IS a job. According to Merriam-Webster, a job is:

  1. 1a :  a regular remunerative position *got a part-time job as a waiter *she quit her job :  a specific duty, role, or function *The heart’s job is to circulate blood.c (1) :  something that has to be done :  task *was given the job of delivering the bad news (2) :  an undertaking requiring unusual exertion *it was a real job to talk over that noise

Did you catch that?  Or did you just skim over it?  NOWHERE in the description does it say “only paid positions”.  It DOES say “remunerative” (meaning financially rewarding or lucrative), but it doesn’t say ONLY those jobs.  Actually, though, it also says “an undertaking requiring unusual exertion”, and if THAT doesn’t have “parenthood” written all over it,then I don’t know WHAT does.

Now, I get that many people ARE willing to admit that being a Stay At Home mom IS a job, but now that we’ve made sure to establish that, I want to address the latest conversation I saw on Facebook on the “worth of a stay at home mom.”  Someone chose to go off on one of those videos that gives a run down on what SAHMs do, what each of those jobs would cost, and then gives a grand total of what a SAHM would be paid in a perfect world.  This person took offense to that figure- apparently they get paid less than that “imaginary perfect world” number, and they needed to spout off their dissatisfaction at the ludicrousy of even the mere THOUGHT of a stay at home mom getting paid for each of the jobs they do every.  single.  day.

(Image via Yahoo)

But can I ask you a question?

Why?

Why would ANYone get offended at giving a WORTH to someone?  Why is it SO horrible to look at ALL that a stay at home does; take into account what it would cost for someone ELSE to do those jobs; and give a grand total?  To my knowledge, this video NEVER said that 1 job is harder or more important than the other.  Neither was it a call to action for all SAHMs to go on a strike (EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK!).

Nope.  All that video was doing was giving stay at home moms, like myself, that sometimes get depressed, think their job isn’t important or that they’re failures or that they aren’t contributing to society -or their families- at all, and they’re saying,”See?  You’re worth WAY more than you give yourself credit for,”

I ask you- is that bad?  Does putting a worth on the job of a stay at home mom cause YOUR boss to say,”Well, this has made me see that I’m paying you WAY too much”?

Trust me when I tell you that I KNOW there’s envy and difficulties on both sides.  I’ve been the mom who had to drop my kiddo off at daycare, worked a full shift (sometimes overtime), cried that I was a horrible mom for leaving my child, picked my kiddo up, and then had to put on the “mommy hat”- and it was HARD.  All of it.  And now I’m the stay at home mom who can’t even hide in the bathroom, and tries to talk the ear off solicitors at the door just to have some adult conversation, and cries because she worries that she made all the wrong choices that day.  Its ALL hard.

I’ll never say that 1 job is harder or easier than the other.  Every job has its perks, and every job has its pitfalls.  My perk is that I get to be around my kids all day, every day.  Unfortunately, that’s also a pitfall.

Another thing, if someone STILL thinks that putting a worth on my job is stupid-

Do you ever say to yourself,”I’m worth more than they’re paying me”?  Have you ever demanded a raise?  Have you ever gone through  a performance review and gotten less than you thought you should have for the job you do?  How about this- do you ever scoff at foreigners that get paid in a different currency?

I know I don’t receive a paycheck.  By society’s standards, I’m broke, but this job I’m doing allows my family to be what it is.  Its not worthless just because my paychecks don’t get deposited in the bank.  I get paid in kisses, hugs, messy-handed high fives, pictures of dragons, rocks, bugs, and dandelions.  No, I couldn’t exchange any of that at the bank for cash, but the money we DON’T spend on a cleaning service, fast food, a chef, ride service, nanny, day care, etc., can certainly be pulled from our account and spent on other things we need.

One last thought before you go on about your day: giving my job worth doesn’t diminish yours.

Now, go be nice to each other.  We’ve all got it hard.

The “Ultra Super Secret” Secret to Parenting

Confession #305: Sometimes I want to prove to those that “know it all”, that they actually know NOTHING by giving them my kids for a week.

I’ve figured it out!

I have figured out the secret to parenting!

Do you want to hear it?

Ok, I’ll tell you.

Listen VERY carefully because if this secret gets around then grammas will lose all power to give “advice” and mothers in law will never again be able to torment their daughters in law with the “correct” way of doing things.

Now, seriously, pay attention because I have 3 kids and I grow weary of repeating myself:

The secret is to stop. 

Stop thinking there’s a secret that every other mom out there got and you were left out.  I’ve got news for you- there’s no secret club, no secret handshake, and the closest thing to a secret password is “Good night”.  Your mom and mother in law DO NOT know more than you.  Sure, they’ve had their kids- and one of them must have been amazing enough to either have grown up to be you or to marry you, but seriously, that’s where their insight stops.  Every child is different, and although they might have gotten their newborn to sleep through the night right after coming home from the hospital, breastfed effortlessly, had all of their children potty trained before they could put two words together, and were able to train all of their children to say “please” and “thank you” by the time they were 2- months, that is- it doesn’t mean squat.  #1, memories fade, and just like fishermen describing the fish that got away, mom stories tend to take on a life of their own the older their children get.  (Need more evidence about that?  Read HERE.)

Ya know, when my boys were born, they latched on the moment they popped out.  Practically jumped on the boob!

Ya know, when you were a child, I had you potty trained by the time you could walk- in fact, you took your first steps on the way to the potty!

You’re going to run into trouble if you don’t get that child to start sleeping through the night.  All my boys slept through the night from the first night they were born- 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.!

Seriously?  Lets stop the madness, shall we?  The secret to parenting- like I said, I’ve cracked the code, people- is to stop denying that its hard and to just deal.  I’m not going to continue to listen to all the advice- if you can call it such- of those that have gone on before me, for a multitude of reasons (not the least of which being that I think most of my forebearers are currently on crack).  Its usually not advice at all, but degrading comments wrapped up in a pretty packaging that shines brightly on their own parenting history.

#2-I’m my kiddos’ mom, and I know my kids and what they are and are not capable of- although someday I’ll probably come up with my own wacked out stories… oh, I’m sorry, “Mommytales”.  I know that no matter how much fun I make his bed seem, the Mini Master will still see it as a punishment and will fight with every fiber of his being to keep out of it. I know that Bug is, well, Bug, and he’s bright and funny, but he also fails to understand that his brothers are his BROTHERS, not his maids.  I know that Camo is a boy- not a patient with ADHD- and no amount of drugs is going to change that.

Well, maybe an amount, but nothing that would be good or legal.

In fact, if I was to pinpoint the ONE thing they ALL have in common?  Its that NONE of them are cookie cutter versions of either of their brothers, and I’ve had to change up my parenting style to fit each one.  Well, that, and I think the exhaustion level has increased.

These are the things that I know.

I think the main issue with parenting is when you have “those that have been there” coming to tell you everything you’re doing wrong.  It begins to make you question your own parenting skills and you start to wonder if there’s something wrong with your kids-or yourself- which actually CAN cause major problems.

I’m just all fired up because, apparently, I know nothing as a mom.  I’m doing it all wrong because my 2 1/2 year old still insists on sleeping with us and the other two are boys- active, forgetful, and rough.

And, to my amazement, not allowing any of them to die thus far doesn’t win me a mommy award.  Heck, it doesn’t even put me into the running for one!

Oh, btw, sorry if you only started to read this because you thought I knew it all.  I don’t.

However, if you’re still searching for the secret, I’m sure there are a multitude of moms, mother in laws, and Grammas out there just DYING to tell you their “secret”…

My Indian name: Dances with Snails

Its never a simple task- walking Bug to and from school- but in the mornings its the most difficult.

Why?

Snails.

How can such a tiny, slimy creature create an issue?  Because of a little game I’ve dubbed “Dodge Snail”.  It goes something like this:

“Mom!  Look out!  You almost squished a snail!”

“Bug, we’ve got to get you to school, there are a MILLION snails out right now, and your brother’s in a stroller.  How am I supposed to keep from running them over?  Tell me.”

“Carefully.”

How do you argue with that kind of logic?

It has hit me multiple times what we must look like in the morning- nothing can be seen by passing motorists to be blocking us, and yet, we dodge and weave like ninjas in a sword fight.

DO ninjas sword fight?

I dunno.

If they did or do, THAT’S what we look like.

I’m sure we probably look like we’re on drugs -jerking from side to side with no apparent rhyme or reason- but WE know the truth: we’re saving some poor snail family the pain of losing a loved one.

Its amazing the impact your kids can have on you.  While I’ve never REALLY been the type to squish bugs and things, I also never went out of my way to avoid hurting them, either.

I didn’t, that is, til MY little Bug pointed to 3 snails of different sizes while we were walking the other day and said,”Look mom!  3 snail brothers- just like me, Bubba, and Nicholas.”  He then went on to tell me how they were probably on THEIR way to school just like he was.

Great.  So, now I had to worry that I might step on the snail version of my boys.  This just keeps getting better.  NOW, if I accidentally step on a snail, I didn’t take out just ANY snail, but possibly the snail version of one of my boys.

So, what happened next?

Well, of course, 3 snails SLOWLY block my path as we’re strolling along.

My choice?  Which child do I kill?

So, I made the only choice I could.

I waited.

What?!  The last thing I wanted was Bug telling Camo later,”Mom killed the snail you instead of the snail ME!  Ha ha ha!  She loves me more!”  Can you IMAGINE the ridiculous fighting??

I would like to say that I was less obsessive about avoiding snails once I dropped Bug off, but -funny thing- I can’t help but avoid them now.  Its gotten to the point where -today- I saw 2 kids INTENTIONALLY crushing snails (the mom was even pointing them out to them!) and I found myself humming:

Oh, be kind to your small, slimy friend

For the next might be some snail’s Mooooother…

I guess it could’ve been worse.  I could’ve freaked them out by yelling,”Be careful!  You could step on me!!”

Its just a dent- it’ll buff out

My youngest, Nicholas, no longer has his new baby smell.
Just so we’re clear, I mean that in the metaphorical sense, not the literal. Personally, I could do without the dirty diaper/spit up smell that comes in most brand new models, so I’m definitely not going to complain about losing that.
No, I’m talking about him officially losing his “newness”. With cars, it might be that first scratch or spilled soda on the interior; with a new house, maybe its the family dog peeing on your brand new carpet; with my brand new baby, though, I let him roll off the bed.
Its not like I intentionally invited him over the edge into the abyss. I set him on the bed in a mound of blankets and then turned my head for a millisecond.  Unfortunately, that was the millisecond my sweet little 2 month old decided to roll over for the first time.
Just so we’re clear, he’s ok. However, the new baby feel? Right out the window. He made it through his first tumble alive. He’s no longer a baby- he’s a warrior. He stared death in the face and mocked it openly.
Ok, so I might be overstating the direness of the situation.
Its funny how parents’ reactions change with each child that comes along. When my oldest son fell off the bed-
Yes. He fell off the bed too. Its nearly a right of passage for the boys in our home. I don’t know why- it just is.
Anyways, when my oldest son fell off the bed for the first time, I practically wanted to take him to the hospital to get an entire work up- EKG, EEG- the works. When my 4 year old fell off the bed, I was scared, cried, but then started to laugh when my husband pointed out that if he makes it nowhere else in the world, he’ll have a lucrative career in the circus because his flip technique was impeccable. Today, when Nicholas fell off the bed, I sat down at this computer, updated my Facebook status detailing my failure as a mom, and then proceeded with this entry. 
Not that I want another child- I’ve said that a 3rd boy was God’s way of saying “don’t do it again”- but I’m wondering if I would just toss him off the side of the bed to get it over with, saying,”You’re going to do it anyways…”
Too much? 

Mommy Guilt

In the last 10 years that I’ve been a mom, the biggest annoyance I’ve found isn’t with kids that argue- although that IS annoying; it isn’t with finding the curdled milk sippy cups stuffed under the couch that I had told my preschooler to put in the sink…a week ago- though, that IS disgusting; it isn’t even with the constant battle over messy rooms.
No. The biggest annoyance?
Mommy guilt.
Its like a fly that won’t leave you alone.
“You should take your kids to the park!”
Bzz.
“You should be spending more time with your kids!”
Bzzz.
“Your kids should have nicer clothes!”
Bzzzz.
“You should be breastfeeding!”
BZZZZ!!!
Now, usually these statements that go through my mind are followed by the tiniest, most pitiful of whimpers in defense of my actions, and they usually all stem from me trying to do something for myself or something out of my control:
But its raining.”
But you’re trying to eat, sleep, clean, etc.”
But you can’t afford it.”
But your boobs were getting ripped off by that little creature and you look SO much nicer with a set.”
The problem is that they’re merely whimpers and its difficult to hear whimpers over loud, blaring THX surround sound volume.
Its a bit pathetic, actually. Personally, deep down, I know I deserve a medal just for keeping them alive. I mean, if you knew me, you’d understand- I don’t have a green thumb. Mine is black. Plants only come to me if they’re looking for a way to die. I’ve tried growing plants from seeds- they die. I thought that my problem was that I didn’t know how to nurture them into mature, strong, independent plants, so I bought plants that were already mature, strong, and independent. All that did was prove that I know how to take away the will to live from plants of all ages. In fact, I’m pretty sure I saw one plant take its own life when it realized who was taking it home, because it was slumped over the stake in its pot (describing the type of plant it was) as if it was trying to drive it through its heart. That one was brown by the time we reached my house.
All that to say, I’m doing a pretty awesome job of just keeping 3 kids alive and thriving, so I shouldn’t feel bad when things don’t go EXACTLY according to my wacked out fairy tale idea of mommyhood, right?
So, I’ll TAKE that shower so I’m not stinky and dirty looking! I can wrestle 5 minutes to myself. I washed my hair last week anyways.
I’ll eat that sandwich- heck, I’ll eat it at the table sitting down! Ok, that’s pushing it. The counter maybe. I’ll eat it AT the counter. A half a sandwich. Ok, a piece of bread! I’ll eat that piece of bread without fear of neglecting my kids!
And I won’t worry about the breastfeeding, bottle feeding battle!  If I choose to breastfeed, well, God gave me 2 boobs for a reason, right?  Isn’t one of them supposed to be a spare?  And if I choose to bottle feed then I will accept the consequences of possible BPA poisoning and psychological damages that stem from not having a mommy who gave him her boobs to give him life.

Oh, who am I kidding?
I WILL win the Mommy of the Year award!
Um, can you send it to the tired, dirty looking, boobless, anorexic gal rocking back and forth in the corner? Yeah, that’s me.