Q: So what do you do for a living?
A: I raise children.
Yes. That’s exactly it. I’m raising the humans that are going to inhabit this world. I teach them manners. I try to instill in them values, morals and a kickass sense of humor so that when life gets tough, they can handle it with dignity and ease.
I completely understand that being a mom might not be the most intellectually stimulating job on this planet, but I believe it’s the only job that you’re encouraged to completely submit to with no questions asked.
Some people may have a 9-5 desk job, I have a 24/7 all-over-the-place job.
It’s weird, really. So I have these little humans. They turn to me for everything. They absorb everything I teach them. Well, not as often as I’d like, but you know what I mean. They are solely my responsibility and I can turn them into anything I want.
But here’s the thing… that only happens if you put in the right amount of time. I can’t expect them to be outdoorsy if I shove an iPad in their faces every afternoon. I can’t expect them to appreciate literature if all they’re doing is watching cartoons. It’s a huge responsibility, so please take a minute and call your mom and thank her.
Your mom, my mom, lots of moms out there like to smile and reminisce about the good old days. They like to talk about how beautiful motherhood is, how amazing breastfeeding was, how butterflies would flutter about as they scrubbed the barf off the play-mat…
Here’s the truth: Most of the time, motherhood is a thankless, non-paying, emotionally draining job that will always and forever have you questioning your decisions and sanity. So how about the next time you see a stay-at-home mom you cut her some slack and leave the judgment to yourself?
I found out that I was pregnant the day I completed my graduate degree. It was an awakening. I realized that I had fallen into a trap. I graduated college, got a job, wanted to grow, started my Master’s, looked for another job… and it was going to go on and on and on.
The pregnancy made me realize that I could just stop the rat race I was inadvertently thrown into and do my own thing: Babies. Lots and lots of babies. An army if you will.
I had studied or worked all my life, and I had never found my calling like I do with parenting. I love it*.
A stay-at-home mommy’s morning is filled with broken eggshells and missing socks; it’s a battle zone where the prize is finding the pink T-shirt with the ribbon or having the monkeys wear something weather appropriate because you need to find a way to make that tutu work on a freezing December morning.
But you know what? Getting them to school, alive and unscathed, is a big damn deal.
Then you have a few hours in between to maybe fit in a workout, a shower, and maybe a quick morning coffee with fellow mommies. This time is pure gold. Sitting with other mommies really is necessary. They remind you that they’re all just as exhausted as you are. You are doing the best you can.
Building a bond with fellow mommies is also important because they understand your bitching. They also roll their eyes at the people who say things like, “I wish I could spend all day at home, too”.
They understand that while you may technically be child-free from 9-2, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t busy.
And then the little monsters return. They come back from school, usually dirty, hungry and cranky. Yet mamas need to find a way to convince them that (insert sport/activity of choice here) is necessary. So you wrestle them into their uniform, throw a few sandwiches and fruits at them in the car as your rush to practice and secretly question just how necessary said sport/activity really is.
And that isn’t the end. There’s still dinner and bath time. There’s a lot of crying usually involved. But once I pull myself together and dry my own tears, I can finally relax. Right?
Wrong. In comes the husband. Exhausted. Constantly commenting on how lucky I am for not having to work**. So you laugh to yourself and make a mental note that he needs to spend more time with the kids this weekend.
And you try to stay awake long enough to have somewhat of a life outside your kids before you fall asleep and have to wake up to do it all over again. Forever.
* Disclaimer: Sometimes I want to run away and/or throw myself off the balcony.
** Do not kill him. While raising kids is hard, jail time is even harder.
WE SAID THIS: Check out all of Hadeel’s Mommy Diaries here.