The other week, I was having a “moment” as I called it and bemoaning my status as a
work-at-home mom when Josh was off racing and I was craving food from a regular restaurant. Now, I rarely eat out and Brianna and I don’t do fast food but once every couple of weeks. For one thing, my hips wouldn’t thank me and for another, it’s not that wasy to just run out and grab something when I have a craving. It involves making sure we’re both dressed, getting her in the car (assuming she’s awake when the craving hits) and hoping she’s not cranky. If the place doesn’t have a drive through (Quiznos…Subway…are you listening?) you can forget it.
So anyhow, there I was feeling hungry for Bob Evans’ Pot Roast Hash–yummy–(because it’s sooo much healthier than fast food :giggle:) and knowing there is no way in hell I’m taking this child out to eat by myself. Because that just wouldn’t be fun. I was feeling closed in and…closed in. Wondering what it was like to be able to run errands or go out to eat without planning it. Or not having to plan my shower, lunch, bill paying, work and anything else that requires baby free time for nap time. See, I was having a moment.
Now, before I go any further, let me point out that it’s my choice to be a work-at-home mom. Not the working part, because we really need the paycheck and I love the job anyhow (in case you couldn’t tell) and need that to feel sane, but the working at home part. I have a degree in Occupational Therapy, I could choose to go out into the workforce, put Brianna in daycare and have my lunch hours free, maybe be on more equal parenting footing with Josh. But I chose not to, I chose Brianna over being an OT. Josh chose a job that paid more money and would allow me to stay home. We both made sacrifices but we’re happy with that. Maybe some day I’ll go back to being an OT (I’ll have to go back to school, but it could happen) but for now, this is what I want, to raise my daughter. I feel obligated to point this out–both to reassure my husband, who reads this blog, but also so no one thinks I’m just whining about things I have control over. No, I’m just whining in general 😉
But actually, I have a point. I posted my whining on my playgroup board, because I knew I’d get sympathy and shoulders. But in the course of that thread, one of the other moms posted a reply that I thought was really spot on. Other stay-at-home moms will recognize the feeling behind what she writes.
I don’t think the menfolk will EVER understand how different our lives are from theirs… I’ve tried to describe it to Nick this way… In my mind, when I envision myself and the kids, there is this “chain” that connects us ALL the time. Even when I’m not with them, if I run to the store or whatever… that imaginary chain is still there… b/c I have to ARRANGE to be able to do that. It’s just assumed that I’m responsible for the kids at all times… If i want to go to the store by myself, I literally have to ask if that’s okay and make arrangements for the kids to be taken care of by someone else. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a family where the Dad had to do that. On Nick’s day off, if he needs to run to the store to get something, he just hops in the car and goes. He doesn’t “check” with me first to make sure it’s okay and to make sure that I’m covering the kids for him! LOL kwim??? It’s just ASSUMED, again, that i’ve “got” the kids… and he has that freedom… he doesn’t have that “chain” connecting him to the kids. Yes, sometimes he assumes the role for me… but, again, i have to arrange for that to happen.
This phenomenon is the one thing about being a mother that I resent the most!!!
Now, I have to say that Josh tries to be conscious of this, he doesn’t expect me to be responsible for Brianna 24/7 and he makes an effort to give me time and space when he can. But the feeling of being responsible for her, making sure he knows her schedule, how she likes things, if anything goes wrong-I have my cell phone, that’s still there. Of course, part of this is something moms do to themselves, thinking the way they do it is the right way. When, in fact, the kids might like the way dad does it just as well, because it’s dad doing it.
I’m not sure, maybe women who work outside the home feel the same thing. I can only speak as a SAHM on this topic. All I know is I wanted some damn Pot Roast Hash and I felt I couldn’t have it because I was home with the baby. Right at that moment, it was harder than normal and it sucked 😥