Monday, May 9, 2011
Can I be real here? I hesitate because it seems that whenever I am real I get some really negative feedback. As though my frustrations are not okay to talk about. But people, sometimes a girl just has to talk regardless of the bad vibes she might get in return. And you can bet that I have hesitated about hitting the publish button. And maybe I have saved this in draft multiple times. And maybe I have considered sleeping on it. But if you are reading this...well then...looks like my impulse won.
So, here goes...
Today I am upset. I am upset because I am not a stay-at-home Mom. I am upset because I don't have a choice. I am upset because so many DO have a choice or an opportunity to stay at home with your children and it is.not.fair. And I am especially upset when I am told that there is always a choice because well then...you must not know me.
I have recently heard that Mother's Day is often a day of guilt. That surprised me, because all I could think about was the fact that I got a day off from the office and how awesome that was. And that I could take a moment to hang out with my children and not feel guilty that I was always away from them every day. That it was the least guilty day in the whole year.
And then I heard from some stay-at-home mom's that they feel so inadequate and frustrated with the fact that they aren't a better Mother and doing a better job. And I just want to shout, "but aren't you with them all day? Don't you get to volunteer at their school and be there when they get home and have healthy snacks on the table and limit the television watching because you have other activities to occupy the afternoon? How do you not know that you are AMAZING? How are you not patting yourself on the back for the dang good job you are doing? How are you not feeling so so so grateful that you can just BE there and that it is enough?"
I tell myself over and over again how grateful I should feel for my job. And there is no lying about that--I am very grateful. So imagine my surprise when this pent up frustration surfaces. This agonizing feeling of jealousy. For your life. I want to shake it out of me desperately. But sometimes I just...can't. I want what you have.
It all happened this morning.
Due to some unseen forces of mortal life and consequences, my daughter missed her bus. We had to drive into Seattle to drop my husband off at school and so she was going to be even more late. To add more drama to this event I have been feeling awful-sick all weekend and the idea of heading into the office today feeling the way I do was achy in and of itself.
So, after many many tears about the fact that she will not be awarded a medal of non-lateness, I finally said, "would you still get it if you were just...sick? Would being...sick...count against you?"
My girl broke out in the biggest smile that I have seen since she told me about her crush.
I made the decision to let her skip school. And the way I could let that happen was for ME to thankfully, actually be sick.
I had to be sick to make pancakes for my daughter and sit lazily watching Cake Boss. I had to be sick and unable to go to work in order to feel the freedom of throwing life out the window if necessary. I had to be sick to feel okay about being with my children. I had to be sick to be a stay-at-home Mom.
I now hesitate writing even more because I feel the need to correct myself. To make all SAHM's feel validated because they work hard, too and it is NOT all sunshine and rainbows. I know that. I have been there. I hope to be there again. In fact, I hope that by next year I will be crying over lack of sleep and sibling jealousy over a new baby and no time to myself (no--not an announcement.) I hope that I will be where you are. Because your job is one of the hardest in the entire world. It is self-less and exhausting and I want it. I would pay to have it. I would give every ounce of self-satisfaction in bringing home a pay check to be YOU.
And so I leave this post a little less upset now that I have thoroughly vented. And I hope that I have not offended because well, I don't know if I can handle negative feedback right now. And I hope that you realize how blessed you are. And that there is more to life than questioning whether or not you are a good enough Mother.
Just know that you are. That you are doing an amazing job. And that well, you should never feel inadequate or that you are not reaching your full-mom-potential because you.are.there. Being a mother is incredible and WE are doing a bang up job.
Say it over and over if you need to:
No guilt here.
Posted by Carrie at 12:44 PM