*Insert Emoticon Here*
I feel so frazzled.
Tyler has been working so much that he might as well still be in Japan. I know it sucks for him, of course. I’m not denying that.
He’s been working 7 days a week. This week he’s working from 5:00 in the morning until 7 or 8 at night. They are setting up the new Lexus line at the plant.
That means I’m with the kids 24/7 and I have no break at all. Ever.
My house is always clean. The laundry is caught up and put away every couple of days. The dishes are done twice a day. The kids are entertained, disciplined, and in Henry’s case breastfed.
And my brains are oozing out of my ears.
Henry is getting all four of his first molars at once. His gums are swollen and bleeding. He’s grumpy. He’s not sleeping well. Plus the other four kids keep waking him every nap.
The kids talk non-stop. They all want my attention. Misha and Mariana want me to look at their every move. I mean non-stop MAMA MAMA MAMA MAMA.
Everyone we see…all they comment on is how hard Tyler must be working. How tired he must be. How much he deserves a break.
Why does no one else grasp what hard work it is to be responsible for all of the kids and all of the chores alone? At least Tyler gets a lunch break. He also goes to the bathroom alone and bathes alone.
I know it’s not a competition. I don’t want it to be one. I just want to know why nobody thinks I’m working hard. (People in real life, not you all on the interwebz.)
Do they think it’s fun to take five children to the grocery store, or along on every errand you need to run? Especially when two don’t speak a word of English and are perpetually confused about the way America works, and one vomits like a fountain in the car every 10 minutes…sounds fun, right?
Do they not realize that I am never alone for even five minutes? 24 hours a day, I never have five minutes where I am not responsible by myself.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that I’m unhappy. I love the kids, and I love taking care of them. I don’t even really mind doing chores as long as everyone respectfully cleans up after themselves.
But I am tired. Very tired.
That’s the problem though–if I dare utter one sigh of exhaustion then people think that I am complaining and start talking about how staying home with your children is something I am so lucky to do, and how they wish they could stay home with their children.
Well let me tell you something. It comes with a lot of sacrifice. A whole lot of sacrifice.
The confusing part for me is when I sacrificed my rights as a human being. Was there some part where I accidentally checked the wrong box on the consent form giving up any rights to my personhood? I am no longer allowed to be anything but House Elf and Mama. I am not allowed to have friends. I am not allowed to build my photography business, or even maintain it. And God forbid I should dream up any sort of hobby.
My morning to sleep in? Going for a jog alone? Going to doctor appointments alone? I have no right to wish for such things! Even speaking of these wishes is grounds for being accused of not appreciating that I am lucky enough to stay home with my children.
Don’t even get me started on people who say they would love to host but they don’t have the time/money/patience/easiest excuse they can think of. (Yes, it’s not for everyone I get that. But don’t say you’d love to do it and you just can’t because of something you really could overcome.)
Not rolling in the dough here. Not complaining, but we definitely spent all of our money and then some on travel, supplies needed to care for two extra children who came with nothing at all, and food. Lots and lots of food eaten mainly by two under nourished kiddos. We had plenty of unexpected blessings. Thank God for that, otherwise I’m not sure what we would have done.
Tyler is getting a lot of overtime, but it mainly goes to stay caught up on bills and pay past due medical bills and all of that Not Fun Adult Stuff.
And then there’s the people who say: I don’t know how you do it!
Guess what? GUESS WHAT?? (Yes, I’m totally yelling while pulling out my hair with both hands. Be very afraid.)
Here’s how I do it: No one shows up to say, “You look tired, let me give you a break.”
So what am I supposed to do? Leave the party and run away?
I’m just feeling grumpy. Again, not unhappy with my life. I have to continually say that because feeling frustrated or tired is somehow equated with not appreciating that I am so lucky to stay home with my children. I get it. I’m really lucky.
Definitely wishing for people to appreciate the huge sacrifice I’m making here. I could have a career. I could have friends. But I’m here. People don’t ask me about my job or celebrate any advances. I don’t take fun business trips to foreign lands sans small demanding, messy humans.
I clean toilets, dump vomit out of a child’s shoes, and wash the same set of dishes 9,000 times in a row. No one wants to hear about this. Instead they would rather assume that I am so lucky to stay home with my kids, where I apparently sit around and eat snacks all day long.
Who would need a break from that?
When you’re super lucky YOU DON’T NEED A BREAK! Wheeeeee!
Even one tiny acknowledgement of the amount of stress and hard work on my part would be validating. It’s lonely up in here.
No, I don’t need you to do anything. What can you do, anyway? Send me a gallon of Young Living’s Peace and Calming oil please. (Joking.)
I’m not unhappy. I’m lucky to be here at home with my kids. I like being home with my kids.
But this is the secret wish of a stay at home mom: I also wish to still be a person with needs, thoughts, feelings, and a fulfilling life beyond wiping butts and answering to the cries of MAMA MAMA MAMA every second of each day and all night. Am I not deserving of both the enjoyment of raising my children and being a respected human being?