“Do You Love Being Home?”… Why I Struggle With This Question.

From time to time, I venture out on my own. It’s usually to fetch more food for the fam at the dreaded grocery store or something of that sort. Some call this the Mom-cation. Sad isn’t … that swaying to Dido, sipping on a Dunkin’ coffee and gazing down the aisle of the overly packaged, processed food can be equated to “taking time for herself”.

While I’m out “on vacation”, I sometimes run in to people I knew in my past life. The life that involved my brain synapses firing in directions other than figuring out how to burn off four year old energy or reminding myself, for the forth time, to take the chicken out of the freezer for dinner. I genuinely like running in to people I know, as long as it isn’t on the third day I have put off showering. The opportunity for adult conversation doesn’t come up much so when it does, even for a small talk quickie, I enjoy it.

I revel in the common, “How are the kids?”. I’m usually prepared for the, “Are you finding time for yourself?”. However, I dread hearing, “Do you love being home?” The first two can be answered simply and in truth with minimal guilt and judgement. However, “Do you love being home?” makes me want to run and find that family size bag of Doritos on sale that I am way too excited about.

Answering this question is tough. I don’t want to come across as an awful human being by admitting that some days being home with small children makes me envious of Thelma and Louise’s last road trip. I certainly do not want to sound ungrateful when the awkward pitch of my nervous laugh scares the elderly lady behind me. I stumble at best with my response to this one every time.

I find it difficult to articulate the fine line that weaves between raising your children and enjoying them. To me that line can be straight, jagged, strong and broken all within a ten minute time span and how do you communicate that without giving a bad impression. I was so tired of answering random questions from my four yr old today I found myself whispering “Please God make her stop” before I even figured out what was for lunch. I pulled so many things out of my 14mth old’s mouth and hands today that at a certain point I convinced myself that as long as it was the colored pencils, and not the crayons he was in to, he was fine.

I’ve come to realize that there is no such thing as good days and bad days. There are good moments and bad moments and each exist in EVERYDAY. I do love being home with the little tyrants. I would hate to miss that moment when little man walks up to his sister and just lays his head on her shoulder. Or when my girl busts a move with me in the kitchen and tells me, “Mom, you’re an amazing dancer”. But those moments, the ones that fill your soul and the ones that frazzle your last nerve, are hard to portray in the realms of small talk.

Is there one question you get about being a SAHM or about your kids in general, that irritates you? Am I the only one that feels like driving to the grocery store alone and the two hours away from my family is a mini vaca?

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21 thoughts on ““Do You Love Being Home?”… Why I Struggle With This Question.

  1. I can’t say that I know exactly how you feel because I work, but I often get don’t you want to stay at home.. and quite honestly my answer is different depending on the day but most days its no! I also get the never ending why questions that used to come from my 6y/0 and now are coming from my 4y/0 who will be five in a few months! I lol at your post because I was home on memorial day at got a one day taste of what my life would be like and said no thank you! lol! here is the post if you are interested. I wold dread that question too, some people just want to hear the non honest question, but the truth is that there are times moms just want to run away! http://diapersandtutus.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/a-glimpse-to-what-my-life-would-be-like-if-i-were-a-stay-at-home-mom/

    • I think I’ve said this to you before, I used to be you! My eyes would immediately roll in the back of my head if someone asked if I was planning to stay home after my daughter was born. I could barely survive weekends. Things change and I changed…it’s been for the better but by no means easy…or even kind of easy…not even a little bit.

      When I worked, the question that used to piss me off the most was, “why don’t you just stay home? Isn’t your pay check just going to day care anyway?” WTH. Why do people assume I (the woman) “only” make enough to pay for day care? Not only that, it was like they were saying my career and all I worked for was pointless now that I had kids – I “should” be home with them. That conversation would ALWAYS get me going!!

      I definitely plan to check out your post this weekend 🙂

      • Lol I know what you mean! People need to realize that gender roles are changing and we’ll there really aren’t any true gender roles! I know both stay at home mom’s and stay at home dads, and I actually make more money than my husband so that question, that you spend your entire pay check on daycare well it pisses me off too! Because I don’t and by no means does that mean I have a lot of money, but I definitely make more than what I spend in childcare.

  2. I have the best of both worlds I guess. I work a 5 day fortnight. But I love home time probably because I have so many creative hobbies, there are never enough home hours to do them all. I get that it would make you a little crazy if it was all the time though.

    • In my ideal world… I would work part time, a few days a week. Just enough to step out of my house and challenge my brain for a while. And the added cash wouldn’t hurt!

      I have a list going that I started when I first began staying home, of all the projects I want to do. In addition to writing. I just laugh at it now. Things are just impossible with two little ones that want to “help” with everything. Nap time truly is sacred to me.

  3. You nailed it! And you are not being ungrateful when you show your exasperation. Its as natural as a child crying for milk. But the fact that people like you and me stay at home is because we really don’t want to miss out on the GOOD and IMPORTANT moments. Children will grow up. They will move on with their lives. And we will have plenty of time. But I sure don’t want to spend that time regretting that I have no fond memories of my children. Or that I was not with them when I should have been. So staying at home is awesome. And that’s exactly the answer people who ask this question deserve;). You know, just to keep them wondering;)

  4. For me, the vacation was having adult conversation, using words of more than one syllable, about topics that didn’t involve toilet training and lawn moths! Hang in there. You are doing the right thing. The kids are only young once.

    • Thank you. My coffee dates are what keep me sane. We pick up on conversations, get distracted in the middle of conversations and laugh every week together. Sometime twice in a week if we need it. I don’t know how I could do this without that.

  5. I hear you. I feel like whenever people ask me questions like that, it’s hard for me to separate their judgements of me from my own judgements of myself. I feel like people are always assuming I do nothing all day, and I feel immediately defensive and angry. Overall, I think the hardest part is feeling isolated. Great post.

    • Too much isolation will destroy me! It’s even worse when I am in “the funk” and have no desire to even leave the house. Other than picking my daughter up from pre K, I’d just assume be bra-less and alone. If I didn’t meet up with the girls a couple times a week for coffee though, I’d lose my mind.

  6. I WAS a stay at home Mom. I hated hearing: “Wow you are soooo good with children,” because it would be assumed that I enjoyed spending my time with kids. Any kids. I do not enjoy spending my time with kids. Even my kids. And it’s not because I hate children (although there are some children I avoid because they’re cruel and nasty, just like some adults.)
    I do not enjoy spending my time with children because being with children requires full attention, serious thought and on the spot decision making. It’s a harder job than any other I’ve had. I’d rather sell jock straps to Amazons than spend my time with children. And that’s why I like holiday cookouts. My kids are adults now and I can relax and not discipline them any more.
    Kudos to you in your job. One of the hardest ones that gets the least appretiation.

    • I LOVED this comment. You sound so much like my best friend, I actually heard her in my head when I read this! And I totally get it. Woman who take on this SAHM gig for more than a few years are far better than I. I’m bolting within a year. I need it, our bank account needs it, I think even the kids need it. The good does out way the bad, hence, I’m at home; but it’s tough. Very tough. And you’re sooo right on about spending time with kids. There are some kids that I’d rather be the jock strap you’re selling to the amazon than have to watch them, or be near them.

      • LOL!
        Good for you! Right now because of health reasons, my brother has been at home with his two daughters since last summer. His disability is up soon so he will be going back to work (which is a job he doesn’t want to do anymore.) It’s been satisfying see him come home from picking up the kids from school and flop on the couch and say, “I don’t really want to make dinner but they have to eat before 5:30 or they won’t eat at all.”
        It’s such a double edged blade.

  7. Every day I look forward to 8 pm. Well the mornings are fine I suppose, but come evening time (witching hour) I’m so ready for peace and quiet.
    My husband is only left with the kids every now and then as he works long, irregular hours and then he gives out about the kids and how they’re driving him crazy. So I think he appreciates how difficult it is to be a stay at home mum. He appreciates that with me staying at home, he has huge flexibility with work. He is a vet with 2 other partners. Naturally now and again they need time off to look after their kids if they’re unwell etc, however because i’m at home he can focus entirely on work unless he is unwell. This is something that goes unnoticed and unappreciated. If i’m unwell, I have no back-up, we just get on with it don’t we?
    I have never experienced judgmental comments, like what do you do all day.. I must have a scary face! :o)

    • I LOVE me some bed time! No guilt included. I’ve never had someone ask me what I do all day, perhaps I have a scary face too or just give off a vibe that says “I’ll punch you in the head if you ask me what I do all day”. 🙂 My money comment always bothered more than anything. It just always felt like such a judgmental way of saying “Why bother working”, as if work or life outside of my children was not about me at all.

      And yes, we do just get on with it, sick or not. It seems we Mothers are the only ones who can.

  8. My youngest is in the last few months before starting full-day JK, the question from all I meet: “What are you going to do? Are you going back to work?” I hate getting this question because in all honesty, I have no f$#%!ing clue. Yes, there are a hundred projects to do around the house. Yes, I have my own thing I want to do. But there is still a part of me that feels guilty about not having a career to go back to and really those questions do not make it easier. Believe me, I can fill a day without having to worry about work right now. I didn’t take just one mat leave, I took an extended mat leave for the last six years. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the good parts about being a SAHM. God who doesn’t love wearing yoga clothes all day?

    But I’ve also carved out me time amidst school bus pick-ups and playdates and never ending laundry and I refuse to feel guilty about it or the fact that having a little more “me time” during the day to get my head on straight, if we can swing it for another year, I’ll take it. 😉 I am no martha stewart, my kids play outside versus doing endless planned crafts, I’ve played barbies, puzzles and attended mother goose circle times until I can’t take it anymore. I deserve a little bit of time to figure out what I want to be when I grow up without the judgement. Being a SAHM is hard, as is being a working parent as is life in general. I’ve lost patience for anyone who judges.

    On another note, can I say that this mom is going to kick off next September in two ways. One I am going to see the kids to school one chosen day, sleep and read all day, in my bed, by myself. Secondly, I am going to invite like-minded mom’s over for morning breakfast and mimosas and celebrate the fact that I/we survived until this moment because no matter what kind of mom you are, it’s damn hard and a never ending juggling act.
    Then, and only then, I’ll look at the huge to-do list that has accumulated the last eight years and try to figure out how to tackle it.

    • I love this. All of it. The whole, “When are you going back to work” question is obnoxious. I’ll figure it out, just give me a damn minute! I too will be staying home until I can’t any longer. I’m not sure how long that will be, but it will happen. And yes…I plan to use this time to figure out who and what I want to be when I grow up. This was a decision for myself just as much for my children. My husband supports that…it stresses him the eff out sometimes but he supports me. I needed this and plan to take full advantage…while I watch my kids play in the back yard 🙂 Crafting is over rated.

      • I know eh re crafting! 😉 Give me a good book or taking the kids out for a hike any day. My poor kids will never learn how to scrap book. (Although part of it is I have no idea how to do this stuff. I’m missing part of that mommy-brain.) We’ll all figure it out on our own time.

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