Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Special Kind of Crazy: Stay at Home Mom

When people ask what I do, it's hard to tell them by only using a title. Stay at home mom isn't entirely accurate, because I do work outside of the home too. So I usually break into a long winded description, telling them that I'm a full time SAHM (stay at home mom) and part time crisis counselor, working between 2-3 nights during the week, but not like "night" nights, but, you know, nights. After giving them more information then they cared to have because they were just being polite, I either get one of two looks: a look like I was born with an extra toe (sympathy and pity) or a look like I just slapped their grandma (disgust and possible rage). Then, because they are feeling lots of feelings, I get their opinion on my "job" choice. There's the "Oh, it must be soooooo nice to just sit home all day, watching your own kids and doing whatever you want" or "I wanted to be a SAHM, but I wanted to have a career and do something with my life". When I hear shit like that, I look like this, but the adult version:





 


 I know some people are just natural born assholes that can't control what comes out of their mouths.  But those people should be warned. It takes a special kind of crazy to be a stay at home mom.

Sometimes I think I am very fortunate that I am able to take advantage of this opportunity and be with my girls while they are growing into real people. But then I'm snapped back into reality while getting smacked in the head by "Goodnight Moon" from one girl while the other one is eating a strand of carpet. And I realized pretty quick that my job isn't the stereotypical description that everyone thinks it is. It's not arts and crafts, watching tv, enjoying long afternoon naps. It is to keep these little death seeking minions alive. I bet most of you didn't know that a toddler has 3 objectives: to terrorize, to disarm one with cuteness, and to seek out ways to harm or maim themselves or others. Seriously. I can place the girls in an absolutely empty room that has one square inch of lead paint and they will find it and they will eat it.

You may be thinking, "I can probably do that, that isn't really all that crazy". That's just part of things, my friend. One doesn't just automatically become a SAHM. It's a slow stumble into madness. So I will discuss physical and social/mental aspects. And this is just my experience, not all SAHM's are the same way. I'm sure there's 1 or 2 sane ones out there.

Physical: It all started when I came home from the hospital with the girls. I had brought some cute clothes to wear at the hospital and on my way home. Instead of wearing those, I wore the same busted, stained up maternity pants and shirt I had worn throughout the pregnancy. And some saweet mesh undies. My wardrobe since then has been consistent. Pajama pants and tshirts. My brother-in-law Mike was helping with the girls one day and I saw one of the lady drug dealers that lives across the street walk by wearing PJ's. I made a comment about how trashy she looked and Mike kind of looked at me funny. Of course that day I was wearing my finest Christmas tree jammies.  You know you're a stay at home mom when you have to go out into public quick and you change into your "good" clothes, which is a nice pair of black sweats (because, you know, the grey is just too casual). But I will try and not wear a sweatshirt at the same time, because I don't need to be wearing a sweat tuxedo. Personal hygiene also takes a backseat. I'm not going to tell you how long between bathing I went when the girls were newborns. I would rather sleep for 10 extra minutes in my bed then chance falling asleep in the shower. But falling over and getting knocked out might have been a welcome reprieve. I don't get to get out of the house very often with the girls. I do go out, but it's usually dark by then. So my skin tone is usually one that is reserved for prison inmates. I can go on and on about this, but for your sake, I'll reign it in a bit.

Before kids
 
 
 
 
 
 

After kids
 

Social/Mental: I spend pretty much all day every day with the girls during the week. When I work, I leave a few hours before they go to bed so I'm still with them for a majority of the time. Now before you start feeling too sorry for me, I did have help from my dad the days I had to work, where he would watch the girls while I slept in the afternoon. Those days are sadly gone. But there are days where I would have nothing but Toddler Time on my hands. I can't stand some of the new music that's out there, but I have either the "Bubble Guppies" or "Dinosaur Train" songs set to repeat in my head and that's fine with me I guess. But I've noticed that some of my social skills took a digger in the past 1.5 years. I'd much rather text somebody than talk to them. I feel like I don't have anything else to talk about besides my kids. And sometimes, I speak as though English is not my primary language. Have you ever told a colleague that you "had to go potty", cause I have! I should probably invest in some of that there brain training programs to keeps me smarts. Most days, when I think I'm going nuts, I actually have a voice in my head that laughs maniacally. I don't know where it came from and I'm not sure how I can get rid of it. And of course I know it's not real....
 
But I am, for the most part, happy where I am now. I'm not sure if I'd be able to change it. Because then the big, bad Mom Guilt will come out. So if you are a pregnant mom looking to stay home, don't set up expectations on how you think staying at home will be like. And if you're anyone else, the next SAHM you see, mentally give her a hug. Because uninvited physical contact by someone other than a child may result in a karate chop to the throat.


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