staying at home, and all it's weirdness.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

i know i've discussed this. . .'job.'
i know i've described it as a luxury.
i still believe it is.
as hard a job as it is.
as demanding, anxiety-provoking, frustrating & totally exhausting.
it's still a luxury, and the best job in the world. 
but i feel like dissecting it a little more. . .this 'luxurious' job,
of being at home with babes, full time.
what a WEIRD thing to be doing, when you think about it.
RAISING little people.
and well, you're doing that whether you're a mom working out of the home,
or at home ALL day with your little ones.
I personally felt called to this at a very young age. . .not sure when.
but high school friends have reminded me that they remember me talking about this when we were in high school!
that I was always saying how I just wanted to be a wife, a mom, stay at home with my kids and raise them.
that's weird.  i don't remember that.  
and to be speaking such nonsense at 16?  
ridiculous, because there are some days, 
as a stay-at-home mom,
that i have this out-of-body moment, where I see these little people running & screaming around me (little people I ALLEGEDLY gave birth to, despite my denial of this fact at times.)
but where i just have this. . .moment.
'who are you people?!  when the hell are your parents coming home?  is this really my life?  am i really in charge of and responsible for you?!'
and clearly i'm NOT in control, as one of these little people is trying DILIGENTLY to get his diaper off because, well, there's poop in it & he's tired of sitting in it.
one of them is dancing around the living room to lady gaga in her underwear (no, it's not me) because she hates clothing.
one of them is playing hockey AMONGST the half-naked dancer in the living room, using a spatula as a hockey stick, although, really just taking any opportunity to whack the naked dancer in the legs. . .
and the only 'authority' in the room is standing in the corner, surveying the landscape in total awe & astonishment for the chaos that has ensued in this small area, simply because I ran upstairs for TWO minutes.
that 'authority' is me, mommy.  only right now, i'm having a moment.  in my head, 16 again.
did i REALLY say that?  that i WANTED this?  where's that damn pizza guy and when are your parents going to be back?!
but the moment is gone in an instant.
i'm awoken from my dementia by the buzz of the doorbell. . .pizza guy.
and the pizza guy is paid, not from money the parents left me to use, 
but from my HUSBAND'S hard-earned income.
and then i'm quickly wisked back in to REAL life.
i will say, when i have those moments, i honestly never think, 'why?'  
i never think, 'what the hell am i doing?'
it's mostly, 'hold up.  when did i get here?  wasn't i just 16?  asking my dad if i can borrow the car (HIS car, his mustang convertible,) to drive to my friend's house, and instead, driving in to the city (Chicago,) just to see the sunset over the city skyline?
now i'm married with children.
counting down the minutes UNTIL sunset, when crabby heads hit fluffy pillows, the house is quiet and I can drive my weary mind to bed.
now fully engulfed in to the world of mommy-hood.
stay-at-home mommy-hood.
an EQUALLY weird (and hilarious) place to be.
where matchbox cars are parked among cereal boxes in the pantry.
where my oldest son asks me, while he's pooping on the toilet and I just happen to walk in to empty the garbage,
'mom?  so, ah, would you mind if I went in the basement when I'm done popping and use my nerf gun to shoot some spiders?'
'sure, honey.  whatever you want.'
(what a WEIRD conversation to be having on a wednesday afternoon, all while on the toilet.  but to be totally unphased by it, is even more weird.)
in a world where I have spent TWENTY MINUTES on a frazzled morning, 
looking for the car keys that were, yes, in my hands.
in a world where I've accidentally put the dish soap back in the fridge, the milk in the washer, forgot to put shoes on as I ran out the door.
who does that?
a stay-at-home mom.
because, if she's anything like me,
every last brain cell has been exhausted ALMOST to the point of total short term memory loss,
from the CONSTANT worries of, 'are the kids staying out of the street?  is my youngest not eating remnants (corn) he found under the couch again?  is my daughter coming down with something?  she's been super crabby all day. . .that's not like her. . .'
the constant thinking, worrying, planning, organizing, anticipating, preparing. . .
it seems EACH of those verbs pluck at the once, beautifully functioning cells of your brain, 
the minute you become a mom.
being at home, well, their are no distractions.  the children and all they bring, ARE your projects, your deadlines.  
turning clothes inside out & outside in, becomes your expense report.
afternoon naps, the struggle of getting every one down, replaces your afternoon team meeting.  equally as annoying, but something that needs to be done.
walking away from your desk to get a mid-day diet coke or a snicker's bar, becomes afternoon snack time, making sure each child gets the bowl they want, fair amounts, in front of the chair they always sit in.
the demands are CONSTANT.  
you work TIRELESSLY, JUST to keep the peace and keep pace.
there can be no slacking with your discipline, because unlike your lazy coworkers,
these little people pounce on the first sign of weakness,
when THEY know YOU'VE almost had enough, and may just cave, if we push her a little more. . .she'll give us what we want. 
there are no 'breakout sessions.'
there's no time for that nonsense.
it just is what it is. . .and if you don't like it, you can have a time out.  and most likely, you're little employees WON'T like it, so you're left to deal with tantrums.
a world where daily conversations with your dear neighbor friends, your fellow advisors,
don't include the words, 'we need to go to happy hour after work. . .what a day!'
but includes, 'sweet pj's, liz.  (it's 4pm.)  i haven't seen those before.  are they new?
'what'd you have for lunch?  nachos?  it's in your teeth.'
'nope.  oatmeal.  and that's breakfast.  i haven't brushed my teeth yet today.' (and it's 4pm.)
where the only hair that gets brushed is the children's.
where (clearly) crazy weird stuff happens.
but it's a lovely world.
a world where my office, is my home.
and how would you like it if I came in to YOUR office and put my dirty underwear on YOUR desk?  my old, smelly socks on your computer?  no no.  this is MY office and i'm the boss!
i know women who want to stay home and can't.
i know women who CRINGE at the thought of staying home, so don't.
to each his own.
but this is my world.
a world where we can do whatever the heck we want.
despite all of that weirdness,
we can create some pretty sweet, weird worlds out of this life.
eat breakfast in bed.
watch movies all day.
choose to get dressed or play dress up.
play outside all day.
go for nature walks.  take field trips to target. 
or simply snuggle and read books until we get bored.

and i'm the CEO of this world of weirdness.
and it's awesome.


Jenny said...

Great post on all the truths of staying at home day in and day out. I, too, dreamed of being a stay-at-home mama when I was younger. But unlike you I rarely told other people because I thought it was a very un-feminism movement thing to say. I know better now.

P.S. I tagged you in a meme. Check it out.

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