The Mommy Wars
If You Thought Being A SAHM Was Going To Be Easy, You Haven’t Been Paying Attention
If there’s one phrase I hate more than any other since I’ve become one it’s, “you can’t understand ______ until you become a parent.” You can fill that blank with virtually anything, whether it’s “tiredness”, “poop”, “underwear gnomes”, “LOVE”, or apparently, “how hard it is to be a stay-at-home-mom”.
Apparently, stay-at-home-momming (no word on stay-at-home-dadding, sorry guys) is a big old conspiracy that no one knows about at all unless they do it themselves, according to this blogger on The Huffington Post. She opens up by saying,
“So I feel like stay-at-home moms have been keeping a big secret. I would almost call it a conspiracy.Why didn’t anyone tell me it would be this hard?Â Not hard in a I’ve-been-stressed-with-deadlines-for-10-hours-straight kind of way. But hard in a there’s-spit-up-on-my-shirt-and-I’m-hoping-I-can-shower-before-my-baby-wakes-up-in-5-minutes kind of way.”
Okay, ignoring all of those hyphens for one second, I just have to ask; are we all on the same internet here? Because people are putting this conspiracy on blast over on my Facebook feed as a type this, just like they did yesterday and the day before that. Every other post is about how hard staying at home is hard, oh lawd, so hard. Of course its #totallyworthit and everyone loves the #momlife but if there’s one thing that stay at home moms know, it’s that they SHOULD be paid at least 15 kerjillion dollars because staying at home is hard.
It is, at that. I won’t debate the utter suckitude that staying at home can be, but I also wasn’t blind-sided by it, mostly because I have excellent listening skills. Not to brag or anything, but I’ve got the listening skills of at least a sixth grader. Therefore when someone said to me, “Wow, you’re staying home? More power to you–that was really hard.” I took it to heart and did my best to prepare myself. Arguably, that’s impossible to do, but at no point did I think staying at home would be all cuddles and coffee dates and leisure.
Despite insisting that no one told this author that staying at home was a big suck sundae smothered in suck sauce, she goes on to say that okay, maybe they did but she just ignored them:
“In my former life, I would silently laugh when my stay-at-home mom friends would complain.
‘Oh I’m so tired,’ they’d say.
You’re tired? I got a call at 1 a.m. for breaking news, and I was live eight times before noon.
What I didn’t know was theyÂ wereÂ tired. In a much different way.”
I know that when people tell me that they are stressed or tired or feeling overwhelmed, I also laugh. Not silently. Out loud. Mockingly, and to ensure that they know how stupid I think they are being.
Well, not really because despite having internet access and excellent listening skills, I also have this thing called empathy. Even though I’ve never been a brain surgeon, if someone tells me that slicing open brains is challenging I’m gonna take their word for it, and if they are tired, I’m going to empathize with them. Instead, I feel like it is now appropriate to be a huge tool about it.
“Oh, you’re a brain surgeon? Yeah, I guess that could be hard in a holding-people’s-lives-quite-literally-in-your-own-hands kind of way. But not as hard as staying at home with your kids, which is hard in an I-believe-the-children-are-the-future-do-you-even-KNOW-how-much-laundry-kids-make kind of way.”
If you’ve never stayed at home before and then end up wanting or needing to, you’re in for a surprise, that’s for sure. But this whole idea that it’s a massive conspiracy that it’s hard to do is practically nonsensical.
For being such a big super duper secret, it sure is difficult to get people to shut up about it.