“You need to come home right now,” I sobbed into the phone, no doubt sending a jolt of panic into my poor husband while he sat at his desk in his air-conditioned office with the free coffee and free access to adult conversation.
stay at home mom
I have a confession to make. Target, meh. I’m just not that into it.
Joking about a kid who doesn’t nap is one thing, but I am back from the front lines to tell you that when you’re living it, it is no laughing matter. Image: Thinkstock.
“Sleep when the baby sleeps” is the cruelest thing you can say to a new parent. It sounds oh-so-simple, doesn’t it? Just like my sleep advice sounded all those years ago, before I knew the harsh reality of parenting. It’s impossible to sleep when the baby sleeps if the baby is only down for 10 minutes at a time!
Taking an actual break while my husband parents feels somehow subversive, no matter how often I do it.
My toddler’s recent preference for her father has gone from sub-textual to textual. She has no compunction about loudly pushing me away and requesting her dad instead. I’ve been reprimanded for even speaking to her on occasion — “Don’t talk to me, Mom! Don’t talk!”
To blame [my mother] for all parts of me that are broken wouldn't be kind. She isn't responsible for who I am today. That said, on a subconscious level, I am the mother I am because of the mother I had.
Envy goes both ways, and that can be frustrating — especially when all we really want when we state our jealousy is a little bit of sympathy. Image: Thinkstock.
While the trials of caring for three small kids make it easy for jealousy to bloom, what makes stay-at-home life even harder is the lack of empathy and understanding I get for this 24/7 job. I have spent a frustrating amount of time trying to “prove my worth” to my husband.
Some mornings feel like the day wakes up two hours before I do — there's just no other way to explain the mess that greets me after washing the sleep out of my eyes. (In true SAHM fashion, though, that can be hours after getting up. Please tell me that's not just me.)
When I found myself suddenly not working 50 hours a week, I had no idea what to do with myself. But as my family eased into this new normal and found our rhythm, I’ve figured out a few things.
Pretty much nobody wants to be called a housewife. Pretty much everyone agrees that it’s degrading to spend your time doing housework. Housework is the ultimate invisible labor.
One of the most insidious things that patriarchy does is the complete and utter devaluation of anything that is considered “women’s work.” Not only does patriarchy limit what women (and all trans and nonbinary folk) can do in the world, it also takes what we do manage to do and tells us it isn’t worth anything.
What is success? How do I define it now, and is it constitutive of or separate from happiness?