I Don’t Get No Respect! A Stay-at-Home-Mom’s Perspective

I don’t get up at 5:45 am and stagger into the kitchen in need of coffee. I don’t attempt to entertain a baby while curling my hair, applying make-up and playing tug of war with a one size too small pair of Spanx. I don’t dash out of the house only to get in the car and find I left my purse… or my coat… or my crying kid, waiting by the door. I don’t place her into the hands of a kind but “not really my family” type person and ride away feeling just as bad as my babe. I don’t go put in a full day in a cubicle and get stressed by deadlines and downsizing and corporate culture and the like. I don’t rush to the sitter to arrive 15 minutes late and end up writing a check for an additional $40.00 due to an overtime charge. I don’t rush up to my front door only to realize I left my purse, or my coat, or my crying kid sitting in the car.

I have nothing but respect for those that do… but I don’t, and I make no apologies for it.

First things first, that kind of rat-race routine was never my thing. Even before I had my daughter, I was the kind of person that felt dampened and dimmed in the confines of office walls. The life would literally drain from my body as I entered what felt like fluorescent filled daytombs. I could survive in that world — but I couldn’t thrive.

And then the economy happened which made getting work difficult… and then I was blessed with Addy. And while I know that the modern woman can do it all, I DON’T. And I’m not sure I could as I know myself and my limits. And I don’t think I should since the ends would not justify the means — breaking even to be exhausted and have no time for family is hardly “winning.” And I refuse to feel bad about it. And I’m so tired of being made to feel like I am inadequate, or lazy, or slacking. I mean, I’ve had my years of slacking don’t get me wrong, but the last two years do not, by any means, fall into that category. I have taken a little time to re-evaluate and replan. I am not sorry for taking pause to make sure I point myself in the RIGHT direction this time. It’s not just me anymore, after all.

I am GRATEFUL to have spent the first year with my daughter. I know that there are many that say they would have if they could have, but the truth of it is, a lot of women wouldn’t make it. There ARE sacrifices that are made when there is only one income. For example, going out and indulging in the little pleasures like manicures or movies (things that are already difficult with a child) becomes virtually impossible and happens only through miraculous acts of god. The walls DO start to close in and the park nearby does get boring… for both me and baby. I officially refer to smelly things as “tink-tink” and hum the theme song to every PBS show ever made while in the shower. I don’t remember what adult conversation is like. It does sometimes seem like Mama is all I am. I feel as though I am viewing the world from 2 feet tall all the time — and the world in return makes me feel about two inches high.

All I’m saying is show a stay at home mom a little respect. I don’t judge the working women of the world. I commend them and in many ways admire them. Sooo don’t judge me because I don’t do the 9 to 5 shuffle.. Whether you think so or not, I work damn hard. I wake up at work — go to bed at work. I get no pay or promotions and please know there is no union or guaranteed one hour lunches. My boss yells and screams at me and is never satisfied so she turns to a bottle. She never says thank you and probably won’t until she is headed out on her own. It’s a job I do strictly for the love but it doesn’t make me any less than any other woman, any other mom. If you think it does, then shame on YOU. It’s your problem. Not mine.