Stay-at-home moms get a lot of bad publicity these days. People tend to think Stay-at-home wives sit around and watch TV all day while the kids terrorize the neighborhood.
To be completely honest from what I’ve seen, that isn’t that far off from the truth.
I don’t. I cook, I clean, I exercise, I spend one-on-one time with my children (ages 4 & 8 months), I take care of our neurotic dog. I have two unappreciative fish I have to feed and clean their tanks. I’ve already discussed the cats. I’m over-protective so I can’t just let my daughter play outside without me there. This means all the children who don’t have protective parents end up in my house… I thoroughly love my husband and spend as much time with him as I can when I’m able to. And it doesn’t sound like much, but holy smokes, I try to get up at 4 AM to have time to work on my novel and I’m lucky to roll out of bed at 6 to take my daughter to school.
My husband made the remark the other day about a female Marine he works with. He told me, she isn’t like most female Marines, she isn’t lazy. She takes care of her household (she has two kids, a dog, and currently pregnant with their third), she makes sure everything is clean. She can’t stand lazy people and doesn’t understand women that don’t work.
At this point he looked at me and saw me clinching my jaw, counting in my head all the reasons I love him, and quickly added on, “Nothing against you though. I mean you can’t work yet with Orion being so young.”
Right, I don’t have the Marine Corps paying for childcare. I could but I wouldn’t put my kids in a facility where teachers rotate in and out so quickly because they’re tired of being bitten. In a place where they aren’t allowed to put kids in time out and just about anyone can get a certificate to work there in 72 hours.
I also want to point out that when both parents work, both kids are in some sort of daycare, there is going to be less mess. There isn’t anyone in the house to make a mess. So all you have to do is come home, throw one load of laundry in, buy dinner, and then do the dishes at the end of the night.
All my dishes are made from scratch. I go on a two-day cooking spree at the beginning of the month so all my prep for dinner is done. When I wake up in the morning, I thaw, throw in the crock-pot, throw into the oven, fire up the grill, whatever, I don’t have to prep. So just -maybe- I’ll get an extra thirty minutes that day to write.
My husband helps out a lot to. Every time I go to my writing group I come home to a sparkling house. But he isn’t consistent so I can’t depend on it. He gets lazy, work is hard, but I’m a creature of habit and when something I depend on isn’t there anymore I freak out.
It’s hard. I got more done when I was working. I went to college and worked full-time. That was because I had a computer I sat at all day and on my down-time I did college work. I didn’t have a house around me that I knew needed to be cleaned. Or a baby beside me that is on the verge of crawling and I don’t want to miss that.
Or possibly needs a diaper change.
I know people that do it. They spit out blogs, they reach their word count each day, and a part of me wonders if they’re snorting cocaine. A lot of them have told me they don’t sleep. I can’t write if I don’t sleep. I also can’t safely operate a vehicle if I am exhausted and my darling son still has issues sleeping through the night.
On top of all this I am required to have a social life. My daughter needs friends, I need friends, and friendships require work. It means planning game nights, themed parties, meeting up during the week or on the weekend. I don’t have a babysitter I trust so the people have to come to my house. And Goddess save my soul if I am up past midnight(or drink two glasses of wine), tomorrow is going to hurt.
It is hard to find time to write. I’m giving up exercising right now to write this blog. Probably lunch as well because the little one will be waking up and then I’ll have to drive to school to pick up my daughter.
I’m all for the feminist movement. I believe women should run this world and not just in the background. But stay-at-home moms have it pretty hard. I get excited to talk to people at the grocery store check-out because they won’t just gurgle back at me.
I can’t just join a mom-group either but that’ll be a blog for next time.
For now, just know that it is super hard to write a novel and be a mommy. A good mommy because it is really easy to be a crappy one.
I try to write as much as possible but I always fall further and further behind my word count each day. It is extremely depressing. I just keep telling myself once it is done, it’ll be worth it, and my children (and marriage) won’t have suffered for it.
(The picture above is my son at 6 weeks)