Tuesday, November 13, 2007

An analysis of Stay-At-Home parenting in D minor.

For the most part, I love my job. Well, I guess I should say I love my full time job, as I also have a part time job, which I also love. However, I do not love feeling as though my full time job isn't work, simply because it can be fun and I love it.

If I were spending all day (and night), every day watching over and caring for someone else's children, and receiving a paycheck for it, I am certain I would not feel a little guilty when my day mostly consisted of cooking, light cleaning, baby feeding, homework overseeing, and playdates. However, because the children I watch over are my own, I feel as though I am not working. Unless I manage to tame the laundry beast, or deep clean the entire house, or prepare an excellent dinner, I don't feel as though I have been working.

Now, I don't feel as though I have been relaxing, but I feel vaguely as though I have been slacking off a bit, you know, playing solitaire instead of finishing those TPS reports.

Unfortunately, much of society seems to feel the same way. Maybe it's because I had the children, so I am supposed to take care of them. A philosophy I don't argue with. I agreed to accept the job, now I have to do the job. Note that is still makes it a job.

Isn't taking your children to a play date fun? Isn't that more... play? Isn't playing with your children all day, fun?

Okay, yes, it is fun. It is fun! A fun job. In fact, it is a fun, 80-120 hour a week, volunteer job.

Playdates are fun, in the same way office events are fun. You get away from your normal routine, you can relax a little more, enjoy some conversation with a co-worker, but you are still hanging out with your boss. It's not the same as sitting on a couch with a cup of coffee, a good book, and some frackin' glorious silence.

My full time job is a lot of work. Keeping a small but determined baby fed, changed, clean, entertained, and happy all day long is a tiring, demanding, and all together challenging task. Keeping a brilliant, creative, and tireless six year old fed, clean, clothed, homeworked, and entertained is also a tiring, demanding and challenging task. Mine is not a bon bon filled existence. I may watch ER a couple of times a week, but really, what else am I supposed to do while nursing? Should I develop a nursing sling so I can clean the kitchen or mop the floors while he partakes of his breakfast?

So, this is officially me giving my Mommy guilt it's pink slip. I work my ass off (which unfortunately doesn't make it any smaller) every day. I deserve to be told I worked hard today, I deserve to get an employee of the month plaque, but mostly, I deserve to be treated like a contributing, hard working member of society.

And so, my dears, do you.

4 comments:

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Yeah, baby! (Austin Powers voice)

That was an excellent diatribe. Guilt not needed here. Imagine what your world would look like if you DID slack off?

Right now the majority of my work consists of nursing. No room for much of anything else, unless I can do it one handed, while managing to keep someone attached and nursing.

I can't even GARDEN. Sigh.

Amy Y said...

I agree with you 120%!!
Well said, mama!

Valerie said...

Woot!

Catherine said...

For the six months I stayed home, which I refer to as "vacation" to my fellow office workers, I seldom felt as though I had done enough. Since I didn't "work" I should do all the laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning and cooking. When you do all that it's tough to enjoy your kids too. Sure you take them places and spend time with them. But not everyday is a picnic and an educational nature hike.

And I had to let it go. I did what I could. And I try not to judge myself too harshly looking back and thinking of all the things I didn't do.

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