Thursday, June 14, 2007

There seems to come a point in mat leave where women start to get edgey, panicky, upset, disgruntled, even angry. This point in mat leave could be called the end, when it comes time for them to think about heading back to work.

How can I leave my baby in someone else's care? How can I trust someone else to do as good a job raising my child as I can? How am I going to work and keep up with my housework? Why can't the Government just pay me forever to raise children, especially if they're going to keep claiming it is the 'hardest job on earth'?

After a year of being there for almost everything, for the big firsts and the long sleepless nights. After making it through colds and flues, after trying new foods and dressing baby in a zillion outfits for their 'photo shoots' throughout the day. After learning their cries and their giggles, after becoming convinced that you are the ONLY person on earth who could love them thismuch, (except for maybe daddy, maybe). After all you've been through in the last 12 months how can you be expected to go back to work?.

I expect this moment comes up in almost every mat leave because it's the topic of countless blog posts. Followed inevitably by the post wherein one wonders if they can make money blogging.....

I still have two months of mat leave left and you wont be finding a post like this penned by me.

Stay At Home Mommyhood is just not agreeing with me. I am really not finding any joy in it. The days are just long. Long and boring. I get up, I change a few bums, I dress a few people, I make three different breakfasts. I run around the house chasing a toddler whom I cannot understand 50% of the time doing things in 30 second spurts while leaving a mess behind. Another round of changing bums. Another three meals to prepare. More chasing. Then nap time. Glorious listening to 20 minutes of "mom can I get up now" and then finally giving in and walking up the stairs to collect the toddler, hoping the baby hasn't awakened, only to have toddler fall asleep as I'm halfway up the stairs. Then more bums to change. Another three meals to prepare for dinner. Collect wits to be cordial to honey, make sure he has dinner. More chasing until bed time. A bath wherein I become the wettest even though I was never in the tub. Dragging of exhausted children through their bedtime routine, (cuz if you miss something there will be WW3), only to have exhasted child cry because "I'm just not tired, no bed now!". Then go downstairs, clean up after the toddler, do the dishes, try to accomplish more than any human should try and make themself do. Fall into bed exhausted. Don't forget honey, you wouldn't want to neglect him. Then falling asleep to the to do list still rambling around in your head and just as you drift off the alarm rings cuz it's time to get up and do it all again.

It is stressful. It's impossible not to compare myself to Mme X whose house is always clean, who jumped on the Maternal Feminism bandwagon and is wearing it just like a commercial. It's hard to not look at other children and wonder if I'm doing a good enough job. Should she know her ABC's yet?? Will she be the dumb kid when she gets to preschool, cuz if she is it's totally my fault. It's hard to believe that being at home all day facilitating a toddler and a newborn is worthy of being called work. It's hard to find the motivation to clean dishes that will be dirty again after the next meal, to do laundry that will need to be done again, to pick up toys over and over and over and over.

I guess a lot of women really look forward to doing those things everyday, all day, for the rest of their lives. I'm just not seeing the joy in it right now.

Perhaps it's just another thing to add to the list of things I beat myself up about, I don't know. I just know it's a struggle. It's a struggle to know that tomorrow is going to be another day full of dishes and laundry. Crying and arguing, exhaustion and responsibilities.

I guess I'm the only one, maybe I'm just not selfless enough. But this is my current struggle.


Angella said...

Aw, Amanda. Being a mom is the HARDEST job on the planet! It's totally normal to be discouraged! Big hug :)

Amanda said...

I think every mom has days like those, Amanda, and I appreciate your honesty. Many women go back to work not only for the income but for the sanity. :)

Tara said...

Ah hon, I feel your pain. Honestly. I am with you 100%. There is nothing glamourous about being at home with young kids. I too find it so frustrating to do the exact same jobs every day with no end in sight. I have a plan though... the entire first year all my kids are in full time school I am going to nap and lay around all day. Then I will finally be rested. And as soon as we win our million I am going to hire a maid and a mother's helper so I can have my sanity again. It's good to dream.
Don't be so hard on yourself kiddo. All of us "normal" moms feel the same way at least part of the time.
And no one normal looks forward to doing the dishes and laundry yet again.

Jen said...

It's definitely not an easy job and there are days I definitely don't feel like doing it!


Anonymous said...

If you can't wait to get back to work then why are you yet again pregnant?

It sounds like you only want the glory of motherhood and none of the sacrifices. Time to grow up!

Yes, people go back to work for the income but your lack of planning has caught you in a position that you will wallow in for the rest of your life. From reading your blog I get the impression that you want a life that you will never have. You come across as one of those people that have great expectations and limited education and skills?

I understand your frustration with your life, but no one can change it except for you. Do everyone a favour and get yourself fixed after this pregnancy. It is obvious that you are not ready for, did not want, and cannot afford this next child. Your words express many things that you do not say out loud.

karen said...

why does anonymous even bother reading your blog if they never have anything nice to say.

Amanda, I appreciate your honesty, and can tell you honestly, I hear you. And that's why I went back to work after Benny. Because when they were that 2 year old ish age, parenting wasn't really fun (though fun is not quite the right word I'm looking for). Funny thing is though, is that now that my kids are 2 and 3, they actually are more fun (though they have learned how to fight really well - ha!) and interactive and able to do things themselves and talk and dress herself and I'm really considering significantly decreasing my time at work. Because I am thinking, that they are only this little once (cliche) and too soon they will be 15 and too cool for me. One thing I am learning, though, is that everything is a stage, and you just hope that some of them don't last too long.

Hope today is better.

Tanneal said...

WORD!! You are totally honest and that is more than most of us can say!! Good on you for sharing your heart!