The following article was sent to me by Aundrea (Parker’s mom) from the Columbus Dispatch website. It appears to be an article originally from the Washington Post. I know she is addressing primarily stay at home moms, but I would say the same answer applies to moms who are also holding jobs outside the home as well. I hope you see the value in what we all do, as much I did when I read this. Way to go MOM!!! (And dad – we know you do it too but this was specifically calling out the moms).
TELL ME ABOUT IT
‘Friend’ has no right to rag on busy mom
Wednesday, May 23, 2007 3:34 AM
Dear Carolyn: Best friend has child. Her: Exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me. Me (no kids): Wow. Sorry. What’d you do today? Her: Park, play group . . .
OK. I’ve done Internet searches; I’ve talked to parents. I don’t get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day?
Please, no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners. I do all those things, too, and I don’t do them every day.
What is a typical day, and why don’t moms have time for a call or e-mail? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events); I manage to get it all done. I think the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy — not a bad thing at all. But if so, why won’t my friend tell me the truth? Is this a contest (“My life is so much harder than yours”)? I have friends with and without kids, and all of us child-free folks get the same story and have the same questions.
— Tacoma, Wash.
Dear Tacoma: Relax and enjoy. You’re funny.
Or you’re lying about having friends with kids.
I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are that your mom friends are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous.
Because it’s validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get. In list form.
When you have young kids, your typical day is constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm’s way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.
It’s needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.
It’s constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.
It’s constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends. It’s resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone’s long-term expense.
It’s doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything — language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity, empathy. Everything.
It’s also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn’t judge you, complain about you to mutual friends or marvel how much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand, or keep your snit to yourself.
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