Thursday, March 27, 2008

No June Cleaver

Days like Tuesday, when I left Ava at the sitters knowing she was sick-I wish I could be at home. Days like Wednesday when I left the kids at the sitter and not a single one of them even wanted to kiss me goodbye-I wish I could be at home.

But for the most part I have no desire to be a stay at home mom. I tried it once and it was not pretty. I'm not structured, scheduled or consistent enough. It was total mayhem seven days a week. Nobody ever knew what was coming next, including me. I had all these grand ideas of field trips, crafts and home cooked meals. What I got was not what I had bargained for.

I'm a better mom when I work. I appreciate my time with my kids more. I look forward to days off with them. They have a schedule...a sheer necessity. No, it's not always easy. Sometimes I feel like I'm being pulled in a hundred different directions. I feel guilty a lot.

I have an awesome sitter and that helps. She is all of the things that I am not. My kids eat well balanced meals and are not learning to swear in five different languages when they are with her. She loves them as much as I do. She cares for them like they are her own. Without her I could not manage. It would be unbearable to be away from them all day and not know that they were completely safe.

I think it's easy for women to judge each other. To criticize another womans decisions. No, I probably don't have to work. We could manage. We would have to do without a lot. Mostly my sanity.

If you know a stay at home mom recognize how difficult her job is. If you know a working mother don't assume she doesn't care about the well being of her kids. If you have an awesome care provider thank her every chance you get and make sure she knows how much you appreciate her!


  1. Who needs June Clever!?! I know women who should have worked because they drove everyone f**king crazy staying home. It's good to have a life separate from your home life, and it's good to come home, if that works for you, GREAT. It certainly worked for me, and my family.

  2. Well said, Zoe! WAY too often us moms are pitted against each other-- to each his own, and good for anyone for figuring out what works for her family!

  3. yay! this was actually a runner-up for my thought for thursday. your post is much more interesting than mine would have been. every mom is a working mom. that's what mom means. work. look it up.

  4. Zoe, you must have read my mind today. this was a TFT topic on my mind, just didn't write it. I am a better mom because I'm home. I honestly don't think I could manage a full time job and be the mom I want to be. I know plenty of women, like you, who need/want to work and are wonderful mothers. I don't judge because I have done both. I work harder now than I ever did at my office jobs. However, I've never found something that I absolutely love, with the exception of motherhood. I'm thrilled that you love what you do and appreciate your time there. it does make you a better mother, i am sure. Thanks for the post, it was a great reminder that we are all in this together, regardless of our choices in professions.

  5. I'm with you in the I have to work to keep my sanity. I'd love to stay home, but I think I'd be a lousy SAHM. She goes to a great day care and I pick her up at 2pm so we have most of the day together. I already feel guilty about meals I make, the shambles my house is in, the amount of time I let her watch dvds, do I read enough to her, am I spoiling her, losing my temper, and all the other stuff, that if I had nothing to distract me from the mess I'd be crazy. I have this thing about having my own money too.

  6. i agree with you 110%.

    as an aside, when someone sticks their nose up in the air and says 'if you have kids, you shouldn't let someone else RAISE them...' i wonder, when their kid is in 1st grade, and thus in school for the same amount of time my son is now with his sitter, then at that point, am i raising my son again? or, are the teachers raising both of our kids? so confusing.

  7. Very good post! I commend the women & Mothers who are the patient ones who can stay at home with their children. With my 1st I felt guilty because I had no choice I had to work, but w/ my last 2 I stayed @ home for 3 1/2 years & it was utter chaos for me & them! I would try to structure time & keep a house in order & it was sending me into a tail spin & I realized that even though I miss it @ times, it wasn't in mine or the kids best interest. Like you said, they aren't learning a 'different' kind of French!

  8. Great Post!!! I feel lucky to stay home right now. But man, there are days when I am like wtf all day long! There will be a time for me to go back but right now is just not the time!

  9. Great post. I agree completely.

    My biggest problem with women in general and the reason why I don't really have any girlfriends is that they are so freaking competitive. Just because I do something doesn't mean I think YOU should be doing the exact same thing. Just because I would rather stay home with my girl doesn't mean I think YOU are bad for not wanting to. Or just because I would rather go to work doesn't mean that I don't think you have a life because you stay at home. I wish women could not read so much in to EVERYTHING other women say.

  10. I've pretty much run the gamut here. I've been a stay at home mom, a part-time working mom with toddlers and young school age children, a mom who stayed at home during her children's elementary school years (busier than you think!) and finally, a working mom of teenagers.

    I think I'm a more responsible member of society when I have a job. I tend towards lazy if I don't have somewhere to go every day. But ideally, what I would like...nay, the kind of job where I COULD take today off if I wanted to. Or leave tonight at 3pm to get to my son's baseball game. That's all I ask for.

  11. Great post Zoe and great comments from your readers too!

    I have a hard time with this. Working and being a Mom that is. I don't feel guilty that I work. Thomas is extremely well cared for and he couldn't be in a more loving environment when he is with his second home. I value every moment I get to have with Thomas. But the part that I have trouble with is that I feel like I am always stressed when I am with him. I'm always rushing. Rushing to get him to Amy's in the morning so I can get to work early. Rushing to get him home in the afternoon before he gets hungry for dinner. Stressed trying to make dinner in the evening. Rushing to get him to bed because he is cranky. Do you know what I mean? That's what I feel guilty for. I wonder all the time what it would be like if I stayed home. I know it wouldn't be perfect. But I wonder.

    I know I completely went off the topic here. Sorry. Beanski's comment hit the nail on the head!

  12. Structure? Arts & crafts? Field trips? Oh holy heck, I knew I was failing miserably!

    I've never understood why there's an "us vs them" mentality between mothers who work outside the home and those who don't. Women are so ready to judge others who aren't doing things the same way they are.
    I don't work outside the home, and it works for us. I don't expect my lifestyle to be what a lot of others would enjoy (pretty much anybody who's half sane wouldn't want my lifestyle), but I also don't think others should judge me. I've actually had working mothers look at me with disdain and say 'What do you DO all day?' ha ha ha

  13. Ah yes. I have this daily debate in my head at least once a week.
    I am not sure when we became an us vs. them society. I do have appreciation for SAHM. I tried it for a year and then really wanted to go back to work.
    I know my Bean loves his daycare. I know that if I was a SAHM I would be lazy and he would never see other kids.
    But the guilt is always there. It sucks.

  14. I have just completed my first year of SAHM... let me tell you... I have more grey hairs... I worked when i had my first and really enjoyed my time at night with her.
    I enjoy our time together now, but by the end of the evening...7pm can't come soon enough. My house is always a walking disaster that i scramble to pickup before hubby comes in.
    Some days i'd love to go back to work even part time -guilt smilt i'd go happily !
    and then other days ... when i get to enjoy a nice lunch out at the 99'ers with my two babes and Ava hugs me and says 'tanks mama i luv u. and i like rest-a-rants'... it makes the day in day out 24/7 child care worth it.

  15. Wonderful post! I, personally, have a lot of admiration for working moms - the balance alone that it takes is something I don't think I could ever do (or at least do very well.) And I am envious of the appreciation that working moms have for the time with their kids - being with mine 24/7 has taken its toll, and I frequently realize that I am sometimes doing whatever I can to just get through the day . . . and not enjoying all of the little moments within it. (Can't wait to go back on my SSRI!)

  16. I've "BlogRolled" all 3 of your sites on my blog.

    I can't help myself! I love you!

    (This is the only one listed in its own name) (I toyed with the others)

  17. I LOVE this post. So true. We can't all, and some of us don't. And some of us don't want to. And that is OK.

  18. Amen for good care-givers, and babysitters! It's totally okay not to want to be a SAHM. In fact, there are some days that I wonder, "What the fuck am I doing here?" I, too, had grand ideas of field trips, nature walks and craft projects. But, mostly, it takes every fiber of my being just to maintain my sanity until bedtime. Ahhh...bedtime. The most blissful time of day. Which isn't to say I don't appreciate being a SAHM. I'll just be glad when, in a couple of days, I am no longer a "single" parent on top of the whole SAHM thing.

  19. Yes!!!!! I love this. thank you for writing this. I will pass this post on! The world needs to read it and stop with all the judgements!

  20. The best moms I know are the ones who know who they are - know their limitations - know that when they are happier their kids are happier - and the ones who don't, under any circumstances, make peanut butter and bologna sandwiches.

    I think you are an EXCELLENT mom!


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