Pffff! Hubby returned to work on Monday, which means my so-called leave ended too. I’m back to 24/7- mommy-i-want-bikkit-dirty-nappies-galore and such. I am not complaining out loud, I am merely directing my frustration to a wider audience. I saw a status update on Facebook by a high school friend voicing her frustrations. A bunch of her girlfriends, including myself chimed in and soon it sounded like a mad mob of hormonal women seeking help (in the form of counselling or other). I noted too that if we all ‘had‘ to add “I love my kids but…..” before the slaying. Or, “…[insert badmouthing here]….but I adore my children”
Imagine we didn’t add that window dressing, we’d be considered bad, ungrateful mothers. Ungrateful for being able to carry a beautiful child for 9months that is. I think we all know we love our kids, but we hate to complain about the truths about motherhood. I for one knew I was never warned of this crap. Even at my first, and last baby shower, the older women never explicitly told me it’s going to suck, a lot. Like, privacy, is gone. Just gone. I was a very, very shy girl (expect until I had sex of course- yeah, yeah, you were thinking it.). But after I had Cayden, i could pop a boob out when I needed to, especially due to following that ‘feed on demand’ thing. I went to the toilet with the door unlocked, and later with the door open, in case I needed to be out in 5 seconds. Duh, unlocking a door takes forever. And even making a nr 2 became a shortened, hurried process, There was no time out, because God-forbid I was relaxing to make a nr 2 when my only son was rolling off the bed. I felt too guilty to ask anyone to watch my baby at the time. I was 20, unmarried, living with my parents and my almost 40 year old ex had a ponytail. Life was complicated.
Anyway, since that pregnancy I realized that there was no need in hiding any of that, breasts, stretchmarks, fat. Being shy is overrated. I’m sure in the labour room there’s no humiliation. We’re like animals. In labour, tearing wombs, amniotic fluid holding that first breath until that final screaming push. We’re make- up free, flushed in all the wrong places, probably torn torn down there. We’ll never have that body again, no matter who great you look after your baby is born. But we’ll also never be who we were before baby was born. I’m not trying to dramatize labour or motherhood, nor am I trying to taint the picture. Motherhood, parenthood will change your life. That’s it. For me, bath time sucks, that’s why I don’t do it often. Wipe downs are enough for me (unless they were playing outside of course). Having to share EVERYTHING including my space, my clothes (often needed for emergency spews of milk), my earrings (I’m a collector) which disappear or are mysteriously broken, my plates or cups, which also gets broken after big boys want to drink in my best cups, my time (this is obvious), any sweets in my mouth or my bag, my hair(I admit I had to cut the afro because I just couldn’t keep up with maintaining that nonsense), my husband whenever he’s home (i think this is obvious too) and my marbles. I only lost my marbles because I shared them with my kids ( :D) . I can’t hold pockets of knowledge in my brain anymore- It’s like I have no temporary memory. Anything I remember is a bloody surprise to me. Ok, I can’t only blame my kids, it’s also due to my medication. Still, fact remains, I feel stupid most of the time. And my earliest ‘memory’ of feeling this kind of stupid was during pregnancy. Dumbed down when pregnant, how sexist! And yes, I know there is some biological reason for this- it’s the principal of the matter!
I think the biggest complaint I rant about during the day is how exhausted I am. Children sure know how to, not only press every button you may have, but also pull it slowly till it shoots back at you, painfully. They demand different kinds of attention at different ages, so just as you think you’ve mastered entertaining them, then, poof, they need other kinds of stimulation. Not to mention the constant changes in diets, ever-growing clothing needs, nappies (obviously), toys that provide limited stimulation (but an empty box or any paper works better). As a stay at home mom, I have the added drama of having to clean as well. I’m sorry but phuck that shite! Do you know how difficult it is to clean after a 1,5, 8 month and 7 year old? It’s kak, so I don’t do it. I can’t. I tried in the beginning, straight after surgery and I basically stressed myself to death (I wouldn’t joke about death and mental illness). So, when you come visit me, expect that a family of 5 lives there. This isn’t a holiday home. Anyway, I digress.
I have been a single mom before, so this being-at-home situation feels like this, in that I take all responsibility for the children and their well being. I do, after all spend all my sanity, I mean time, I spend all my time on them. It is an immense pressure and burden to carry. Just as my husband feels the pressure to earn the income and be the provider, I do feel the pressure to provide a suitable environment for our children to flourish. And unlike work where one gets leave to recharge your batteries or a salary to feel like you earned your keep, stay-at-home moms will only reap the benefits in the long run, when maybe, just maybe your kids acknowledge your hard work and sacrifices. Then again, they may not, and they’ll just grow into awesome gentlemen who love their mother dearly.
So, the next time someone tells you they’re a stay-at-home mom, choose your words carefully. Don’t answer with, “oh so you’re unemployed?” Or “oh wow, I’m so jealous.” That jealousy my friend is a lie. They’re actively investing every bit of spunk they have, energy and brain power, every single day- not just sitting around doing nothing. And even when you catch them on a bad day, pimple faced and under dressed, know that feel pressure, just like you do from your boss, they are after all developing minds, daily. And sometimes, they just want the day to end already!!
P.S it took me a day to write this post, the children were distracting me. How apt!
P.S.S Oh, I forgot the window-dressing. ……[Insert blog ranting here..] But I really enjoy my children hey!