You’ve been on your laptop for 5 hours straight, preparing that presentation from scrap and having to write a report on it too. Deadline’s tomorrow. Once you’re done, someone comes along, draws a picture of a dinosaur battling Princess Elsa on your presentation and then crashes your laptop by sitting on it’s keyboard until a million error messages appear. The next day, all the above happens again.
You’ve been planting the seedlings all day, taking advantage of the good weather. You’re sweating bullets and dirty all over but that’s ok because you can already imagine the literal fruits of your labor – the seeds will grow into a plant soon and you can then reap its sweet benefits. Suddenly, someone comes along and digs up all the seeds for no reason and throws them away like confetti while skipping to the Sound of Music soundtrack. You’re left there with nothing but aches and pains. The next day, all the above happens again.
If you can’t relate, then carry on doing what you were originally doing on the Internet. If you can relate, bravo! You are a housewife or stay at home mom. Or the male equivalent – I’m all for equality here.
I’m in one of those moods where I can’t put myself in someone else’s shoes. My shoes are too tight for me to remove at the moment. So if you’re about to tell me, “Think of someone worse off than you”, come back to me tomorrow. Thanks. For now, let me wallow.
Besides, rubbish in, rubbish out.
I once asked my 4 year old the age old question : what do you want to be when you grow up? Her simple reply was, “A mother.” I was stunned. When I asked her why, her reply was, “Because I want to be just like you! You stay at home and make the house pretty and take care of J and keep room clean and bring me to music class…”
I balked. She just chose the hardest job in the world without even knowing it, bless her heart. Would I really be ok with her answer if 20++ years in the future she told me the same thing? That she chooses to be a housewife?
This is not a pity rant. My husband does help around the house but when a person is home for roughly 12 hours of the day and 8 hours is for sleep, so what’s left is 4 hours – do you really want to say to him or her, “Hey honey, do you mind doing the laundry and changing that light bulb that’s been out for 3 months already? And am I the only one seeing that ball of hair in the corner of the bedroom?”. I’m not a tyrant, I’ve worked a job before so I know how tiring it can get. But it does come with perks that I envy such as pay and adult conversation. And company trips. Ahhhh those trips. He gets to go to awesome places like Palo Alto and San Francisco (he’s in tech). I get to go to exciting places that ends with O too, namely Tesco and Jusco.
Sure, the kids help. But the kids are currently too young to be entrusted to do any real chores (have you tried asking a 14 month old to put her clothes in the laundry basket? It’s pretty cute until you turn around for 2 seconds and she starts to stuff it in the oven instead).
So should I quit this status of lazy housewife and join the workforce? Have someone else do my dirty laundry? Is the grass really greener on the other side?
I don’t know.
What I do know is that we need to be supportive of each other. Stop telling a stay at home parent that s/he is “wasting your life“. Stop telling a working parent that s/he is “being selfish for putting their career ahead of their kids“. Either way, with both parents at work or one at home, it’s not an easy choice. Living on a single income can be challenging and could limit the family’s future plans e.g. choices for the kids’ education or having to pass up an opportunity to go national for a sports or activity. Parents who are working full time have to deal with the kids’ supervision and logistics throughout the day while at the same time get work done.
Bottom line is : You do what’s best for your family, no matter how hard that choice is.
There are days that I wonder how it would feel to suit up again and do the corporate life.
There are days when I won’t trade this current reality I’m living in for anything in the world…
What I do know is that a few things can help you get out of a SAHPF (the f is for funk, you silly goon!). In no particular order.
- Talk to a friend and let it all out. I’m lucky to have one whom I’ve known since I was 4
- Blast your favorite music through the house. Music is a sure mood lifter. Garbage and No Doubt always does the trick for me. Garbage – Cherry Lips
- Sit in the favorite part of your house and do breathing exercises. Here are my favorites : 6 breathing exercises to help you out
- Pray wholeheartedly
- Write down 5 things that you are grateful for. You can’t be grateful and feel down in the dumps at the same time. [Note : I also prefer gratefulness to “putting yourself in someone else’s worse off shoes” because even thought the shoes exercise could be useful in certain respects, it’s still a technique where you compare yourself with someone else. With being grateful, you’re not relative to anyone but you are being grateful for what you currently have in the present]