June 09, 2009

The Secret

I can't take it anymore. If one more person says to me: "I just don't know how you do it!" I am going to lose it. Lose. It. I think I've mentioned that I hear this comment at least once a week and it drives me absolutely insane. At this point, hearing that phrase is not a compliment, but a major annoyance. Here's why:


We can't afford for me to stay home. We can't even really afford for me to work part-time. The best I could do was leave the private sector and work for the government to reduce my hours. So I work full-time with three small children because I must. If I could quit, I would do it in a heartbeat. Seriously. I've been lobbying to go part-time for years now and it ain't happening. The well-meaning "Can I Afford to be a Stay-At-Home Mom" calculators don't apply to me. Trust me, I've read 'em all. And so, I work.

And because I work, I try my darndest to make sure my kids aren't shortchanged by not having mom around all day. So, yes, I do crafts when I get home, I help with homework, I make dinner every night, I play outside, go to the library, to the park, dance classes, you name it. On the weekends we spend every waking hour doing family stuff together. Yes, it's exhausting to do my best at work and when I get home, but it's what life is demanding of me and so, I do it.

Yes, I blog. Yes, I participate in the fun stuff that comes along with blogging. Yes, I belong to a mother's group. Yes, I am planning a conference with Jonesie and Ny. I do all of this stuff because it's an outlet for me. They are things that I enjoy and they keep life interesting.

No, I don't sleep nearly as much as I should. And no, my hair and nails definitely aren't done anywhere as often as I'd like them to be. I just recently started making my fitness and health a priority, but even that is hard to find the time to do. Yes, I cry. I get headaches. I get stressed. But what mother doesn't? And yes, if I could do it all over again, I would make some different choices and perhaps things would be different now. But it is what it is. So please, I'm begging you - don't ask me how I do it. I'm liable to fall apart at the seams if you do. Because I'm barely doing it as it is...and it's not because I'm a supermom. It's just because I have to.

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Justice Ny said...

I'm laughing right now because I CAN SO hear you say these words!

From my perspective I ask not because I'm in awe, but because I want to know EXACTLY what to do so I can replicate it. It's kinda like you've been there and done that so why reinvent the wheel - you know!

So...I'm sorry (actually I secretly want to be there to see you explode on me) - but I will continue to ask because I think you're doing a fabulous job and I want to too:)

esquiremom said...

If it makes you feel any better, one of the moms at my daughter's Little Gym class said that I am so "fortunate to be able to work while raising a child." I was like "WHAT ARE YOU SMOKIN???" She went on to say that I shouldn't give up my career and she wishes she did not. I looked at her as if she was speaking a different language because I'm with ya on the whole "stay at home" idea..or at least, part time. Anyway, she went on to say that as much as she loves her daughters, she feels like she has nothing else. She actually said that she is totally "BORED." It made me really reevaluate my perspective on being a working mom.

I definitely feel guilty leaving the house every morning. I probably have a tear in my eye at least 3 times a week:) But, in some way working gives me a sense of self-worth. Not that stay at home moms are not worthy. Believe me...that's the hardest job of them all!!! But,I think going out of the house and into an office environment (or something similar) is definitely a healthy diversion (both emotionally and financially).

I said all of this to say...the grass is not always greener. Keep your head up. You're doing a fabulous job...even if your nails are chipped and you need a perm. Ha! At least you can treat yourself with your own money!!!

BTW...remind me that I said all of this when I decide to go for baby #2.

Sally's World said...

LOL...i get this all the time, but on another level, people want to know how i cope with deions disabilities and the other kids, running the house...and the business....well, deion has a disability, i take care of him and do what is needed...its called being a mum lol!

and i have a home business cos i can't go out to work as there is too much pressure with everyhting else...

this is a great post, and at the end of the day, we are women....we do it becasue we have no choices, and because we are just that amazing...we CAN!!!

Felicia (aka Mommy B) said...

Well said, Fergie.

Working mama(and recently laid-off but still consulting Mamas)with jacked-up nails, bags under their eyes and muffin tops, holla!

And hubs is dropping hints about baby #3. He must be smoking crack.

Urban Earthworm said...

I sympathize 100%. Thanks so much for giving me credit for doing something I don't have a choice in. You put it so much more eloquently, though.

www.JusticeJonesie.com/blog said...

I sometimes want to do it all, then there are days when I want to pick just one thing and stick to it. I'm tired of the run-around. In our profession I don't think there is really such as thing as "part-time," really it's just working from home late at night-lol. The law never sleeps and same with lawyers.

3XMom said...

you go girl, and I so with you. We do what we do because..what else would we do? And frankly, as crazy, exhausting, insane as our life is - I wouldn't have it any other way. (well,ok if I won Powerball it would be another way, but...y'know)

Aimee @ Smiling Mama said...

Well, I for one still think you are a supermom--no matter why you do it you are still getting it done. (Does that make any sense?) You have three lucky kiddos and what a great example you are setting for them about hard work and priorities.

A Shorter Mama said...

Yeah I feel you. I was at the park the other day with the kiddos and this woman was going all "Anti-working mom" on me until I told her I work. She says all surprised, well what are you doing here?! AS if I can't work a full day, come home and change and still take my kids to the park. I go in super early so I can leave early. We moms just make it work!

Leticia- Tech Savvy Mama said...

First of all, apologies since I know I said those 8 words to you when I saw you last Friday night! I said those words to you because they are often said to me out of sheer admiration.

I think that I do the many things I do to find a balance. The mom in me wants to volunteer for my kids' schools to be part of the community while also working because I spent years in school working towards a professional career. The professional in me has things to share with the world through my consulting and blogging.

Like you, I don't sleep very much. I figure that one of these days my kids will be grown and my priorities will shift but for now, I do the these things because I want to. And also because I'm just a little too Type A and crazy!

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