Swimmom’s Weblog

Diary of a Stay-at-home Mom, motherhood and beyond

So…what is it that you do all day? February 11, 2009

Filed under: motherhood,Stay at Home,toddlers — swimmom @ 1:27 pm
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I can’t tell you how many times people, including friends ask me what I do all day, implying that I am siting home eating bon-bons and painting my nails. That I have time to get everything done and more and that stayinig home with the kids is an excuse not to work. Well…Stay-at-Home Mom’s, Working moms and Dads out there this one it for you….

I received this as a link on Facebook and it’s great. I couldn’t figure out how to copy it to my blog so I am going to retype it. It is from a column written by Carolyn Hax of The Washington Post. Its quick, witty and deserved to be shared.  Tell me about it is the name of her column the title of this post isWhy don’t friends with  kids have time?

Reader asks…

“Dear Carolyn: Best Friend has child. Her: busy, exhausted, no time for self, no time for me, etc. Me (no kids): What did you do today? Her: park, play group…Ok, I’ve talked to parents. I don’t get it. What do stay at home mom’s do all day? Please no lists Library, grocery store and dry cleaners…I do all those things too. I guess what I’m asking is what is a typical day and why don’t moms have time for a call or email? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (and some let events); I manage to get it all done. I’m feeling like the kids is an excuse to relax and enjoy, but it so, why won’t my friend tell me the truth?Is this a contest (“my life is harder than yours”) What’s the deal? I’ve got friends with and without kids and all of us child-free folks have the same question?—Tacoma, Washington.”

Her response….

Relax and enjoy. You’re funny.

Or, you’re lying about having friends with kids.

Or, you’re taking them at their word because they actually have kids, because you haven’t personally been in the same room as them.

I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical reason your mom-friends are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous indeed.

So, becuase it’s validation you want, the real answer is what you get. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention from getting them out of bed, fed, cleaned and dressed; to keeping them out of harms way; to answering their coos, cries, questions: to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest to be declared essntial peice of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books in the library; to keeping rest times, to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too tired, hungry or bor any one of which produces checkout line screaming.

It’s needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.

It’s constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice,constant reglegation of needs to the second tier.

It’s constant scrutiny and second guessing from family and friends. It’s resisting constant temptations to seek short term relief at everyone’s long term expense.

It’s doing all of this while concurrently teaching virtually everything-language, manners, safety,resourcefulness, discipline,curiosity, creativity, empathy. Everything.

It’s also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day everyday with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first tem minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts, instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn’t judge you, complain about you or  marvel much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand of keep you snit to yourself”

Love it.

Thanks Carolyn Hax!!!!