Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Don't ask her what she's going to do when the kids go back to school

Asking a stay-at-home-mom what she is going to do with herself when the kids are all at school full-time is the equivalent of asking a newly married couple when they are going to have kids.

Of course they are very likely to want to have children; that is often the point [or was kinda the original point] of getting married but you can't assume it is the point of these particular people getting married. [Not to mention, the financial benefits...]

Of course she had a lovely career she enjoyed very much and wasn't the point of all that education and promotions she achieved to continue on down a path towards more promotions and achievement? [Not to mention, the financial benefits...]

Well, hold on a sec, they may have trouble. If you have had trouble, you now know: I shouldn't have asked all those beautiful brides when I was going to start seeing little people come out of their vaginas. Particularly while they still had their white wedding dress on. Ew, gross.

Yea, kids are gross. Well aren't they deliciously gross sometimes? Now, hold on a sec, she may have trouble. Like, depression, ambivalence, mourning the passing of time. If you have had trouble, you now know: I shouldn't have asked all those depressed people what they had to be so depressed about. Particularly while they still had their robe and lounge pants on. 

Even if they don't have trouble, they may have decided, maybe even after seeing your children [aka dirty monkeys, aka white tornadoes aka crazy crazies] in play. They may even be emotionally crippled upon experiencing it IRL. [in real life.] Kids are not for them.

Even if she doesn't have trouble, she may have decided, maybe upon seeing you struggle with being a working parent [aka sick days, aka split focus, aka multi-tasking-overload] that she may be emotionally crippled upon experiencing a taste of it IRL. [in real life.] The 'traditional workplace' is not for her.

So you can't ask.

Or you ask, and you get blank stares.

Or you triple ask, and you get the honest answer you weren't looking for:

I may not do that thing that everybody else does.

I may NOT follow convention and head on back down the path of the formulaic life we all see in our favorite sitcoms and movies.

I may not be going with 'the point.'

Isn't the point of a modern educated woman to be in the workplace?

Isn't the point of getting married to have kids?

Didn't I have a career at some point that I was anxious to get back to?

Don't you want to produce a little combination of yourselves?

Are you really gonna get all 1950's on us and say you are supporting your family? What do you do all day while they are at school/work?

Are you really gonna get all Nat-Geo on us and say the world is overpopulated as it is? What do you do all weekend when you're not at work?

Perhaps I am saving all of humanity.

Perhaps they are saving all of humanity.

...

...


In all honesty, the thought has plagued me since before the twyns were born. I interviewed a bit when they were 1, and I had a great part-time job singing & dancing when they were 3, and I've been enjoying some part-time income with my ETSY shop and sewing pursuits in the last 18 months. Knowing that my first priority will forever be altered, I constantly struggle with the mindset I would have upon reentering an office-type atmosphere. I'm sure I'd find my groove, but I'm scared sh**less to start that ride.

In that vein, here are my latest responses: 


  • Breathe
  • Actually look at myself in the mirror before leaving the house
  • Gamble
  • Play offense for once in this crazy game called motherhood
  • Create
  • Be starring in the next season opener at The Walnut Street Theatre [*cough* 9 to 5, remember?]
  • Dance
  • Blog the sh** out of the blogosphere
  • Cry
  • Visit you at your workplace and ask you what you are doing
  • Sleep
Got anymore questions? 


[Any responses to add to my list?] 

7 comments:

  1. Honestly, If I could afford not to work, I wouldn't. I hate that I miss out on PTA and classroom oppts while my kid still wants me to come. I hate that a snow day or sick day throws the whole house into turmoil. I hate that the chores never get done, we eat more fast food than I want, and there's very little family downtime. Do what is right for your family and ignore judgy-mc-judge-judges.

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    Replies
    1. Yea for us it's still a stretch but if we cut back on a lot of other things it feels right. I feel like chores and fast food still plague us sometimes - I don't know how any mom does it!!

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  2. This is me. In less than 6 months my twins will be off to 1st grade - about 6 hours of free time 5.Days.A.Week. There is no fabulous career to return to, and I am very lucky that I don't HAVE to. I worked with working moms and watched their struggles and have no desire to try that out. Let me say here that I am AMAZED at the moms who do. What am I going to do all day? All the stuff that I haven't been able to get done the last 6 years as a SAHM. I have spent countless hours at Please Touch, Linvilla, parks, playgrounds, gym classes, music/art classes, standing outside on the sidewalk watching my kids play in the yard or ride their bikes in the street (STILL need supervision). Now I plan on spending countless hours INSIDE my house, BY MYSELF, doing all the stuff that has only gotten minimal attention. Cleaning, organizing, re-organizing, cleaning, washing, painting and completely de-cluttering. RAIDING their room for all that little crap I KNOW they never play with (insert evil laugh here). Maybe I will even get Christmas cards out this year. Don't ask because I might also just sit and play Candy Crush all day ;)

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    Replies
    1. Well it's SOOOO true! There is no 'downtime' on the weekends, etc, for moms...so when they are at school and I may actually watch Project Runway because that is my ONLY time, it doesn't mean I slack off at my 'job'!! I'm with you. Cleaning, re-organizing...that's what I mean about 'offense.' I've been playing defense so long with the cleaning, etc...it'd be nice to plan out some spaces, meals, outfits, etc...for once!!

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  3. This sounds so cliche, but really getting involved deeply in yoga and mediation. After a few months of it, most of your other questions will be answered :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes i need to get back to yoga, for sure!!

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  4. Well....I have never known you to be inactive. I have never known you to do only one thing at once...rarely just two. Just like C says"come to me"...it will come to you. Just breathe. Enjoy your creations, the product of all your hard work and attention for the past 6...yes 6 years (I know how old they are..I also know how hard you worked for them before they were them...so breathe...introduce yourself to a non-overbooked TwynMawrMom and get to know her...she's terrific.

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