The Obligatory Mommy Blog: I hate being a stay-at-home mom

A little harsh? Yeah, I know. But I’m serious. I do hate it. Just like I’d hate being a teacher, or a daycare worker, or a dance instructor, or a tee ball coach. I am not a born nurturer. I have to work hard at it. And I’ve been working for nineteen years. I feel like Charlotte from Sex and the City, if “he” were actually rest and relaxation and being able to do what I want for a change.

charlotte exhausted

I’m afraid I’m all used up. Dry like a well in the Dust Bowl circa 1930.

Being with kids all day, attending to their constant needs and wants, splitting up fights over toys, bottles, blankets and breathing space, trying to decipher their adorable yet sometimes tiresome gibberish, makes me exhausted!

speak monkey

 

I just don’t like dealing with children. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids. I enjoy them, most of the time. I’m even fond of their friends, for a little while. But the constant wearing down of little people is getting to me. They are the Colorado River and I am the Grand Canyon. And not the beautiful sunset part. No, the deep dark recesses way at the bottom. Beware: Don’t fall in!

gc fall

And you know what? I don’t feel guilty about it anymore. So I’m not Mother Teresa. Who is? I’m more like Mary Poppins crossed with Medusa on a bad day. But hey, you’ll still get that spoonful of sugar! Not everyone was destined to be June Cleaver. And we need to get over the notion that we should be!

medus

 

What’s important is not whether that maternal instinct to spend every second playing with kids exists inside us, but what we do about it. We all have bad days, and sometimes it feels like there’s more bad than good. But we have to keep trying. If I don’t sit on the floor stacking Duplos all day, but I’ve managed to get through the afternoon without screaming at everyone and giving myself a stress headache, well that’s a win! I’m never going to be the mom that plans crafts and playtime and gives my kids unlimited attention. I have shit to do. But I will give them unconditional love, discipline when they need it, my attention when I can (and sometimes when I can’t), and I’ll keep trying to do better. Every. Single. Day.

Newbie Post #3 – Yeah, about that hobby thing . . .

NX_hand_holding_pencil
In Newbie Post #2 I discussed how I became a stay-at-home mom and decided to make fiction writing my hobby. For anyone who’s been bitten by the writing bug, you know how laughable this is. It didn’t take long before I realized that my hobby was actually an insatiable desire to put thought to paper, feeding my spiritual being with the stories in my head and having the ultimate goal of sharing those pieces of my soul with the world. A little dramatic? Yes, but a rather accurate representation of how I feel on many occasions.

So, while my daughter tumbled and flipped her way through four hour gymnastic practices, I researched and typed and scribbled. When there weren’t any cookies or brownies to bake for my son’s classroom, I plotted and planned and developed characters. Every night as I lay there trying to fall asleep, I’d imagine scenes from my book and what I was hopefully going to write the next day. My appetite for reading became voracious, devouring everything and anything that was either research for material, or comparable MG titles. My inspired novel was MG, so I convinced myself—and anyone who asked—that I was doing valuable research. I might of just liked reading. 🙂

At what point was writing no longer a hobby? I can’t remember.

. . . I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once. – John Green, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

Oh, how I love that line! It can describe so many things in my life, and especially writing. Let’s hope my writing career has a happier ending than Hazel Grace, but if it doesn’t:

. . . I can not tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. – John Green, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

On the next Newbie Post I’ll discuss what’s written in Sally Green’s acknowledgements for HALF BAD . . .

Newbie Post #1
Newbie Post #2

Newbie Post #2 – Dreams Awakening . . .

So where were we? Ah, yes, I’d dedicated myself to being a mother, wife, and engineering technician at a company creating museum exhibits. If you check out my previous post Five-Not-So-Easy Steps, you can get an overview of what happened between Newbie Post #1 and Newbie Post #2.

In 2006 I moved my two kids, (Minions #1 & 2) 160 miles to be with my boyfriend (now husband). He’d taken a job almost two years earlier and we’d muddled through a long distance relationship all that time. It was a big step: quitting my job, moving from a house that had come to represent a haven and accomplishment for us, changing schools, friends, leaving family, and finding a new gym for my daughter’s gymnastics training. The upheaval was huge, but we met it head-on, excited for the changes and welcoming a new chapter in our lives.

But what was I going to do with my time? I’d always worked. Even when I was going to school and raising Minion #1, I worked. Not working or having a career had never even been a goal—or thought— of mine. I new my boyfriend liked the idea of someone staying home with the kids, and I was open to it because I felt that when it was an option it was best for the kids to have a parent to raise them. It had just never been an option for me, and realistically, it would have been better for my boyfriend to be the stay-at-home parent. I love my kids, but he was far better suited mentally to the task. Unfortunately, we were moving for his job in the first place, and he made far more money than I did. So I decided to give this stay-at-home mom thing a try.

At first, it was pretty easy. Both kids were in school, and having the option to volunteer in their classrooms and on field trips was fantastic. I baked cupcakes and read stories, planned birthday parties and supervised class parties. For my daughter’s new gymnastics team I was the go-to mom that made posters of the gymnasts and encouraging little presents before meets. Why not? I had the time and I wasn’t going to sit around doing nothing all day. Besides, it gave me an excuse to do less cleaning!

Being the perfect Martha Stewart mom wasn’t the only thing I did, though. Having all this extra time on my hands, and being able to dictate my own schedule for the first time in, well ever, made me think, “Hey, I could try writing a book now!” I’d read a book about J.K. Rowling’s life, and I thought, “If she can do it, I can to.” Besides, it was just a hobby, right? It was something to fill my spare time. Everybody has hobbies, and I had just as much right as the next fisherman, knitter, quilter, or baseball card collector to spend time on my hobby. I would write one book, and if nothing came of it I would set it aside having lost nothing but my time. In the next Newbie Post: Yeah, about that hobby thing . . .

Newbie Post #1