Sayonara, Bitches! The Guilt Of A Stay-At-Home Mom Who Works

by Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] on April 13, 2012

in All About Me,Family,Politics

Like most other stay-at-home moms, I had the choice to stay home and work with no paycheck or work a real job with a real paycheck.

If you’ve never tried being a work-at-home mom (or dad), it looks like the photo here on the right.

Yesterday, I suggested that we toss Hilary Rosen and Ann Romney into a bikini mud wrestling match. It’d be way more interesting to see them continue this round of the Mommy Wars fight covered head to toe in mud than it is to watch heavily make-upped “strategist” talking heads on the news cycles.

My 4-year career as an elementary school teacher paid for my babies to be in daycare and not much more. After my last school year was over, I yelled, “SAYONARA, BITCHES!” and screeched my tires out of that school parking lot, never looking back.

Maybe if I’m yelling “Sayonara, bitches!” at a school-full of elementary students, my talents are not best served as their teacher. I hope I just imagined saying it then instead of actually yelling it out loud like I’m remembering now. 

The weeks and days and hours and minutes and seconds I spent at home with my two babies (ages 2 years and 6 months at the time) were grueling. No really. It wasn’t pleasant to be the sole caretaker for two babies for 10+ hours a day with little to no interaction with adult people with whom I could tell dirty jokes and make inappropriate references about our principal. I missed having a schedule and a job and somewhere to go and the relief of being able to not be on edge that someone could break down and cry at any second.

But now it was me who could break down at any second; I wished I could have been the one to be put into timeout for just 33 minutes of silence and peace. (I don’t have to interject the obligatory statement that I love my kids and love every second I get to spend with them and love create amazing persons from their easily-molded beings, do I?)

I planned my days around nap time, willing/praying/sending sleepy-time vibes to the children to nap on the same schedule so mommy could watch her stories without pleading for them to stop crying because mommy needed to see Cameron Mathison without his shirt on again.

When I discovered I could use the Magical Internet to possibly make some money so we didn’t have to sell blood plasma and semen for diapers, I threw my every attention into building a business I never knew I wanted.

NOTE: Staying up until 2:30am every night doing research does not make for a pleasant morning where you’re the sole caretaker of a toddler and a baby. You’ll miss your stories when it’s nap time because you’ll be falling asleep on their floor and then you’ll feel guilty for sleeping during the day when everyone else you know is a slave to The Man.

I think it’s the guilt that gets to us as stay-at-home moms.

We feel guilty that we can stay in our not-for-yoga yoga pants until 5:30 when we change into non-stretchy pants to show our working partners that we totally DID get dressed.

We feel guilty that our “work” isn’t earning a paycheck for our household budget.

We feel guilty that we don’t have the stress of having a boss to talk smack about.

We stay-at-home moms feel guilty that we are not working a real job for a real paycheck.

But hey, we’re stay-at-home moms. We chose to have this lifestyle of PB&J lunches, shlepping the kids to the pool, and cleaning 4-day old milk out of baby bottles. It’s not real work. It’s chosen work for chosen people.

Now that I have all of this out, I need to take a nap before the now 6- and 7-year-old children come home from school and ruin any chance I had of recharging my sanity before I’m solely responsible for their lives.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amanda April 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm

The other day I found myself giggling in the most ridiculous way. The bottom line is all of these people get gas and have kids that throw tantrums or things in their house that break. I don’t care how rich you are, how much free time you have or how overbooked and underpaid you are, we all share some common themes.

The fighting is just getting so tedious, we all have shit to do, right? Can’t we just get to it?

Love your posts.
An Awesome post on Amanda´s blog … Give and Take

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2 triplezmom April 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm

I had to turn my original comment into a blog post, it went on so long. But yes, it’s definitely the guilt. Guilt is the devil.
An Awesome post on triplezmom´s blog … Vegas, part two: The Strip Club

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3 Little Miss Sunshine State April 14, 2012 at 11:54 am

My stay-at-home decisions were easy. Twice I had sick infants and there was no way I was leaving them with someone to go back to work.
I also had a good friend with a Home Day Care. Every time I was at her house, there were little toddlers calling her Mommy and none of the kids were hers.

27 years later, I’m still getting shit from my mother-in-law. She says I forced her son to work SO HARD to support my bad decision. She acts as though he had no say in the matter.

We would have had a much more exciting lifestyle if we hadn’t given up my paycheck, but I don’t feel one ounce of guilt. It was worth the trade-off.

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4 Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] April 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I don’t think anyone regrets spending more time with their kids.

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5 Val Payne April 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Aww, hell. These days I don’t even change into non stretchy pants before the Hub gets home.

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6 Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] April 16, 2012 at 2:02 pm

You have a newborn. You’re forgiven.

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