Don't get me wrong. Being a stay-at-home mom is hard. Sometimes it downright sucks. It definitely makes you crazy: shifty eyes, an unfocused gaze, slurred speech, an inability to comprehend anything beyond a first-grade level. Lots of yelling, some swearing, possibly tears and moments of violent aggression. A state-of-mind similar, perhaps, to drunkenness--or some forms of mild retardation.
Some stay-at-home moms start to look pretty crappy, too. You know one when you see one. The token spit-up stained sweatshirts, oily hair, over-grown eyebrows. It's even scarier when you see it in the mirror.
Not to mention the pressure of surviving each new day...changing diapers, doing dishes, surviving a grocery store trip with two wild children, one of whom is intent on knocking over every display in the store. Excluding passing banter with your husband, sometimes conversations with another bonafide adult are days apart. It's not easy. Its actually really, really hard.
Whatever. It's still not the hardest job in the world. Here's why.
1. I know what my goals are. Keep the kids alive. Don't burn down the house. I set the bar pretty low, but at least I know what my expectations are.
2. I'm my own boss. Not some asshole in a suit.
3. I can't get fired.
4. If I'm feeling really lazy, I can wear jammies all day. And so can my kids.
5. I might not have time to shower, but I can still make time to order some awesome shit online.
6. I can start drinking wine at 5:00pm. Heck, some people are still at work at 5pm!
7. I can work out every day! If my kids are healthy, and weather is agreeable, I can load them up in the Double Bob, hit up Stroller Strides and go for a run. Or throw those little fuckers in the bike trailer and ride uphill. It might not be Pilates, but it burns a boatload of calories.
8. I don't have to worry that the nanny isn't spending enough time reading to my kids. Those days when we watch back-to-back movies all day on Apple TV? I've only got myself to blame!
9. Each new day is a new adventure! That's right. It's never the same. Today your baby barfs when you give her milk. Tomorrow it's soy products. You never know what you're going to get! Wow! That's the beauty of it!
To be sure, it's a thankless job. No one comes home and says, "Hey, the house isn't on fire! Both kids are still alive! Honey, great job!"
But if something goes wrong, I'll know it's my fault. There's some freedom in that. And those tears, those blowouts, those tantrums, those projectile-vomits...I'm the one that's there to see it, I'm the one that's there to witness it. I'm the one that's there to chase the tears away, to clean up the puke, to sanitize every corner of the crib. And when the smiles come, when the "I love you's" come, when those absolute squeals of happiness come, it makes it all worth it.
P.S. And if you think I wrote this to cheer myself up after being stuck inside with two sick kids for almost three weeks, you might be right.