So, what did you do all day?
The question I loathe to be asked and loathe even more to answer. How can I describe to the insensitive cad who has asked it, that I have accomplished many miniscule miracles, but none that might impress them.
Being a stay-at-home mom, even for a finite period of time (Mat leave) is a tough job. We have all heard that. Most of us moms know that. But what about everyone else? What about the dear spouses, who ought to know better, but who still come home after their day of work and conversationally ask for a list of today’s activities. Or the ever-hopeful, "What’s for dinner?” Ha!
And then there are the family members, co-workers, friends...who insist you regale them with an extensive list of your goings-ons. Because, what could you possibly be doing all day while the rest of the world actually works? Well, if you must know, the baby ate peas for the first time, I avoided ten possible stains on the carpet, we actually ate lunch around noon for once and (drum roll please), I finally got to have a shower! Alone!
Okay, maybe this doesn’t sound so impressive to the average Joe, but to any mom, it’s going from base camp to the snowy peak of Mount Kilimanjaro in 8 hours. In flip-flops.
Getting anything of note done, amoungst feeding, pureeing, bathrooming, rocking, sanitizing, cuddling, singing, bathing and never-ending diaper changing would be a wonder. Heck, I’m proud if I can run a vacuum cleaner over our foyer or find a second to respond to an email.
And all joking aside, I am truly happy and lucky to be able to stay at home with my kids, for any amount of time, because I learn more from them than any class or any job could teach me. And it is probably just frustration and lack-of-sleep that makes me hyper-sensitive to the ignorance of others. There’s probably a bit of guilt in there too. Why don’t I get more done?
The most dangerous thing I can do is compare myself to others and their impeccable homes and well-mannered children. Their babies who sleep on a schedule and toddlers who love spinach. But, I am intelligent (really, I am!) and I do know that comparisons aren’t fair because everyone is different and appearances can be deceiving.
To heck with anyone who looks at my busy day and finds it lacking! (Including myself).
And the next time someone asks me what it is I do all day, I’ll simply drop my kids by their place for a weekend, and then they’ll really know.