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.
Posted by Amanda Franks at 8:53 PM