A Stay-at-Home-Martyr’s Rant

So, I had been working on a new recipe post.  Also, some diaper tips.  But today I read an article that really chapped my ass.  It is now all I can think about.  It started with the words “Alright, calm down. Before you get angry…,” which should have been an indicator to stop reading – but I’m a glutton for punishment, so of course I didn’t.

I found the post because a friend that I really enjoy and generally tend to agree with had liked it on Facebook.  Damn you Facebook, cause of all annoyance in the universe. Anyways, here it is…loathe as I am to repost it.

Being a Stay-at-Home Mother Is Not a Job

Now, all in all I’m not really fuzzed up about the idea of what she is trying to say.  I don’t think of what I’m doing as a job.  Hard work at times, yes.  A job, no.  But the tone of the article is just incredibly demeaning and immature.  It insinuates that all stay at home mothers should greet the sun with a smile every morning, because they are blessed above all others and for them to ever complain is an insult to working mothers everywhere.

Ok, I maybe paraphrased a little.  But not really.

“Getting to do nothing but raise a person you opted to bring into the world is a privilege, and calling it anything else is ignorant and condescending.”

Yes.  Staying at home with my daughter is a privilege.  But it isn’t a privilege that I dreamed about since I was ten or that I even always enjoy.  I love my girl.  I loved watching her eat a bowl of cereal all by herself for breakfast this morning. But you know what?  I also would have liked to make some floral arrangements today.  That would have been fun, too.  And more fun than washing out two poopy diapers, to be perfectly honest.  Probably more fun than dealing with a cranky toddler who needs a nap and has a stuffy nose but won’t let me help clean out the boogers.

Going to the bathroom by myself would also be nice.

But, I’d better not complain.  Because that would make me a “whiner” like all the rest of those stay at home martyrs out there.  Because essentially, this article tells stay at home mothers to sit down and shut the fuck up – we made the choice to stay at home with our children, so we don’t get to complain about our choice – which I find to be incredibly unfair.  

When my husband comes home from a hard day at work and tells me about the four hundred emails he received, or about the irate employee he had to fire, or about an entire computer network shut down – do I tell him that he made the choice to take that job so he should just live with it?

No.  I love my husband and I would like for him to still love me.  So I’m not a bitch.  
(Rule #1 of a Happy Marriage: Don’t be a bitch to your husband.)

I also don’t demand that working mothers keep their complaints to themselves. I have worked occasionally since BG was born. It gave me a glimpse into the life of a working mom and I could see that it would be difficult. Working mothers have it rough, absolutely.

But do I say: “Gee, you made the choice to have kids and to work. Probably should just suck it up.” No. Because that would just be rude, impolite and unsympathetic. (Three words that the writer of the article really knows well, I believe…) I listen to their woes, nod my head and hand them a glass of wine.

“Sure, parenting is hard work, but so is going camping or throwing a party for a friend or having sex with someone I love; I don’t go around calling those things my “jobs.””

WHAT?

Yes.  Every time I attempt to use the restroom and look down at the toddler between my feet, attempting to reach between my legs with a wad of toilet paper as she tries to help in a weirdly sweet kind of way…I think: “Gee.  This is just like having sex with someone I love. Or camping.”

“Statistically, it’s unbelievable that I was able to afford being a SAHM at all. I found out I was pregnant three months into a relationship with a guy I’d met our senior year of college…

…Never mind that I was still living with my parents after moving back in with them during a mental breakdown my sophomore year at an out-of-state university four years prior. Never mind that I was only employed 15-ish hours per week and was due to graduate a few weeks later with a BA in English. Nope! We were havin’ a baby!”

Yeah, well guess what, lady…  We waited until we were in our thirties, had two decent jobs and owned a house before we procreated.  That wasn’t a ‘privilege.’  That was hard work and a lot of birth control – not to mention self control, considering we started dating when we were seventeen and eighteen.

No, Stay-at-Home-Mothers, choosing to create your own little person upon whom you’ll spend all your time and energy is a hobby. It is a time-consuming, sanity-deteriorating, life-altering hobby — a lot like a heroin addiction, but with more Thirty-One bags.

Yes.  A hobby. Like heroin and Thirty-One bags.  I think this every day.  WTF. I don’t even know how to respond to that one.

Ok.  I get that she is sick of stay at home mothers’ complaining.  But we are only human.  And you know what humans are good at?  Bitching.  Her article certainly proves that.  I loved my job.  I also loved to bitch about it.  Even people out there working their dream jobs are entitled to complain about them every once in a while.  People get to complain about food, restaurants, the temperature of their coffee, politicians…so you know what?  I get to complain about how I get lonely staying at home.  

I get sick of following the same routine every day; not being able to leave the house in the afternoon because BG needs her nap.  I get annoyed that I have to sneak housework and my writing in while BG naps because I need to watch her every second, because she will climb and eat anything in sight.  There are always diapers to wash, my house is never clean, and I am rarely showered. You know all that bullshit about introverts needing alone time to recharge? My introvert battery is always on low – because I am never alone. It’s my new life and that’s fine! I know little by little I will regain myself again. But I do need to let off steam every once in a while otherwise I might explode.

And that’s just bad for everyone.

Did I choose this “lifestyle.”  Yes.  But that doesn’t mean that I have to pretend to be happy 24/7. Sometimes I am and sometimes I’m not. Stay at home mothers are just like everyone else and it’s ridiculous to expect us to be anything else.

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