The past three weeks our house has been a full blown cesspool. I know I say that every year around this time, and if you know me personally, you know my kid literally catches every single thing in the worst way possible and then usually gives it to me. For example- two years ago we both had the flu and pink eye at the same time. Like both of us. Had both. At the same time. My husband was afraid to be in the same room and rightfully so.
Most of the time it’s like a max of 5 days of boogery and my mouth getting sneezed in hell, but this year it’s been a new kind of horror. I’ve had to stay home with my sick, whiny kid multiple days every week for the past 3 weeks. And with this change in things, everything finally clicked. I realized I’d be the worst stay at home mom ever.
Stay at home moms, I salute you. You are AMAZING. If I had to redo every project I completed every 5 minutes only for it to get undone again at my current office job I would have quit a long time ago. Layer on coworkers screaming at me and demanding to watch me pee? HR would have been involved immediately. Maybe even a lawsuit. I just want you all to know that this has been an eye opener for me. I always knew it was a rough job, but I didn’t “know” know.
Now don’t get me wrong, being a working mom has its challenges. Writing that daycare check every month is excruciating, and I feel like I’m missing out on so much. Sometimes I daydream about being a stay at home mom, and putting one of those really pinteresty diy family calendars up on the fridge full of all the fun things we would get to do together. Zoo Monday, library playtime on Tuesday…….you catch my drift. I envision having all this time to be on top of all of the laundry and be able to make dinners that take longer than 30 minutes.
But at work I get to go to the bathroom alone. And I get to write emails without a kid sobbing on the floor behind me because I let the dog in the house (which is what is literally happening right now as I type this). Adult conversation happens frequently, and I get to eat my lunch without someone pulling on my arm every time I try to put my fork in my mouth. There’s no concern that I’ll get peed on, and most of all people tell me I’m doing a great job.
I’ll take the pee, the boogers, the mess and the backtalk. But what I cannot take, and know deep in my heart I would struggle so much with is the lack of recognition around the amount of effort involved in the day to day effort of raising children and keeping a house in order. Most days I feel like no matter how I phrase it, my husband just can not wrap his head around the emotional toll of being stuck in a house with a 3 year old all day and attempting to work at the same time.
Because of this, I can only begin to imagine how hard it is to give 110% every day and feel like not only is it not recognized, but that it’s also not enough. That after almost killing yourself each day that someone is let down by what didn’t get done. So here’s to you stay at home moms. Know that I see you, I admire you, and most of all I finally get it. You bust your asses on a daily basis and most of the time it’s only you and the kids that get to see it- because by the time your spouse gets home there’s no way to explain the ridiculous arguments you had with your toddler and you don’t feel like talking about how many times you picked up the same exact bin of toys or wiped down the counter.
Thank you for all you do, and know that when I talk about being a working mom and how hard it is, just know that it’s a different kind of hard. And if you ever need to bitch about how frustrated you are I finally get it so I’m all ears. And I also want you to know you’re doing a great job.