They say staying at home raising kids is hard work. Really? I must be doing it wrong because I think it’s the easiest thing in the world! There’s no TPS reports, no budget meetings, no politics or backstabbing. I sit around all day drink Gin and Tonics and watch TV. Oh wait… that was a dream I had. Never mind.
This is where I introduce an acronym for my new (not new, just new to us) phrase of Are You Fucking Kidding Me? (AYFKM?) My family says I’m swearing too much lately, I think it’s some leftover hostility from my 20s I never released, so I’m trying to use curse words less often, even in print.
Parenting is hard work. No shit.
Now the ‘experts’ say that raising children full time at home, makes you less healthy than if you go off and work in some actual paying job, according to the American Psychological Association’s “Journal of Family Psychology” article.
AYFKM? Yeah. DUH.
Thanks. So now I have the guilt of, “oh, I never pursued my career past the rearing of my children, and devoting all that time to them is going to shorten my life span so now I won’t be able to enjoy my grandchildren.”
Let’s rewind a little shall we?
I’ve always wanted to stay home and raise my children. My mom did this for us kids. She was completely there for me. She packed my lunches, made dinner, did the laundry, sewed our clothes, everything. My dad worked hard at his job Monday through Friday. It was pretty much your traditional 70s/80s upbringing.
After college, I fell in love, got married and had a kid. Well it took 5 years, but still, I didn’t take the option of running away to Hollywood or Broadway to pursue my acting career. Something deep down told me to stay put since love and family was probably going to prevail longer than any
waitressing acting jobs that might come.
I have no regrets about this. None.
My job at the time of getting pregnant with Emma was a glorified administrative assistant for a start-up company. What am I saying? It wasn’t glorified. It was hard ass work. I did the job of 3 people and was paid the salary of an admin, but it was good experience and great medical benefits, if I remember. So I stuck it out and counted the days until my maternity leave. (I was put on bed rest at 25 weeks of my pregnancy, but that’s another story altogether). Lucky for me the company went under while I was on maternity leave, so I didn’t have to leave my sweet pink bundle of joy and diapers called Emma, for my stingy, troll of a boss that micromanaged every trip to the bathroom I took. Now I took my boss (Emma) with me to the bathroom!
So staying home with her was a blessing. BUT, GEEZUS it was HARD. I mean, really HARD. No adult interaction, no showers, no make up, no cute clothes, saggy engorged boobie bags that looked like a cow’s, nursing bras that had been leaked through so many times I didn’t care anymore. Feeling like a zombie. Rinse and repeat….
The idea of pulling myself together enough to leave the house to look professional, spend 8 hours away from her and then to come home and have to spend half the night up breast feeding, just didn’t sound like a party.
So I admire those that do this! Being a mom is hard. A mom of a newborn especially. Heading off to work must be painful.
But, and I mean a big BUT, I can see the rewards. To get paid for what you do is a good thing. Intellectual stimulation from peers and colleagues- good. Going out to lunch- good. Looking like a human with clothes and makeup- good.
I found this excerpt of the article to sum it up: “After interviewing hundreds of mothers repeatedly over the course of a decade, the researchers found that those who worked 32 hours per week or less were more sensitive to their kids’ needs, less likely to have symptoms of depression, and more likely to split household duties with their spouses than mothers who were not employed.” AYFKM?
And therein lies my problem. I’m depressed and don’t share household duties. Okay, I’m not really depressed. I take my meds and do fine. But I know a lot that are, and I’ve been down some dark times myself. And I always feel like I’m doing all the household duties myself. Not very well, but still.
Then the kicker later in the article:
“Additionally, mothers with higher levels of depressive symptoms may have more difficulty seeking employment or keeping a job.” AYFKM?
Fantastic. Now I’m just screwed if I did choose to go back to work. Who wants a whiny, not employed in a decade housewife to come work for them? Apparently, no one.
Here’s what it boils down to:
I chose not to work. I never regret staying at home with my children. In fact now it’s the greatest. They go off to school, I pretend to get stuff done around the house, they come home from school and I’m in a good mood since absence makes the heart grow fonder.
I’m not getting paid, I don’t need to prove anything to anybody. My children are fine individuals. I’m raising them real good.
I don’t need an article to tell me I’m depressed and overly sensitive- my husband tells me this all the time.
Pretend I never wrote this blog. I could have started with the last three sentences and have been done. But alas, I just wanted other depressed, pill popping, gin and tonic drinking moms to feel empathy with me.
Here’s that full crappy article if you want to read for yourself: