I know. I know! Stay-at-home parenting is the hardest, most thankless job on the planet, and stay-at-home mom’s deserve the $130,000 odd dollars a year for everything they do. I know. I know!
I have a solid 12 years of the job myself! I did it all, and often all alone.
So when I went back to work, about 8 months ago, it was purely because if I had to volunteer one more time at pre-school, go on one more play date with a mom I could barely tolerate, exchange brownie recipes one more time, or be scorned by some group of anal, twittering woman at the Mommy and Me Club, while their precious little gnats terrorized one of my kids, one more goddamn time, I was going to commit a highly dangerous and likely illegal act (I had fantasies of running around pell mell punching every single well-groomed, pasty-smiled mom right in the nose and relishing the veritable blood fountain I’d created). In other words, I went back to work to save my sanity, and prevent future jail-time.
But, here I am, at work, with crushing deadlines, a psychotic boss, and more hours of overtime than I’ll be able to fit into one day, and I know that when I get home I’ll still have to do the “housekeeping, cooking, laundry, driving kids around, and managing the household.”
My life’s a mess (Literally. I mean, you should see my dust bunnies. No. Not bunnies. These babies have graduated from dust bunnies to dust muskrats. In fact, if I don’t vacuum, I sure that one of these days, one of these monsters is going to consume my 4 year old.)
Now, the obvious question is, “What about your husband? Doesn’t he help?” Well, yeeeessss. Kinda. He’s a good man, and I love him, but he can’t even fold a dishtowel. He burns or spills nearly everything he cooks. And it takes him roughly three hours to sweep and wash the kitchen floor, during which time, if anyone, anyone makes a move toward the kitchen he gets agitated and the mop start twitching and the speckles of moisture start to fly (some from the mop, but most from his heaving jaws! Which, needless to say, creates more of a mess for me to clean up–plus it takes the rest of the day to help the kids recover from their post-traumatic mop disorder.)
I know the debate is hot and heavy–working moms versus stay-at-home moms. Each group staunchly in their corners, defending their right to do the job they think serves them and their family best (it’s the one’s that try to tell me what’s best for me and my family that really get my blood boiling. Not that I’m cowed! When your kids wake up Saturday morning and cry because it’s not a daycare day, you feel pretty comfortable that the preachy-holier-than-thou-stay-at-home-mom-moms, or vice versa–I’ve been on both sides of the debate–don’t have a sturdy leg to stand on). However, I don’t want to wade into those waters right now (I’m too damn busy!), but sister, let me tell you. It ain’t easy being a working mom either.
Even though my brain is fried, and dinner is fried, and the vacuum will be fried (when I finally try to tackle those muskrats lurking under the furniture and behind doors), I value my ability to forge a life for myself. And really, with me as their mother, one way or another, whether I stay home with them, or work, their going to need therapy, at least this way, I’ll be able to pay for it.