Simply Nerdy Mom: The Day I Decided To Quit

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Day I Decided To Quit

Being a working mother is hard, but what a lot of people don't realize is that being a stay-at-home mom is just as hard. You know what? Being a mother in general is a pretty rough job. It's probably the most demanding job out there and we don't get paid. I mean, granted, our payments are in the form of booger faced kisses and hugs with chocolate covered hands, but I can't buy myself a new pair of jeans with those.




I tend to get rather offended when someone assumes that being a stay-at-home mom means I get to sit on the couch all day with rollers in my hair, eating chocolates, and watch Days of Our Lives while the kids are left to their own devices. I don't just get offended, I actually get pretty irate. 

I remember a particular time when my daughter was a baby and we were out to dinner with my in-laws. My mother-in-law had been making plans with my husband to go sign some paper work. When he told her that he couldn't do it during the day because of work, she asked him why I couldn't go do it because I "Don't do anything all day, anyways"

I was actually so disgusted to the point of getting up from dinner and going out to sit in the car. It's not like they've never been to my house before. If I don't do anything all day, who does laundry? Who washes dishes? Who cleans the house? Who cooks? Who baths, feeds, changes, and plays with the baby? Oh, it must be that magical fairy I keep in my back pocket. 



Then there was the time when, after a particularly rough day with my toddler and my older child, who has special needs, my husband came home to me too exhausted to start dinner. He was rather unhappy with me and told me how unfair it was that he had to slave all day and then come home and make dinner. Okay, so that may have been unfair, but considering I technically work all day too and not only do I not get a chance to sit down, but there is no time clock. I'm ALWAYS on the clock. I don't ask him for much, if anything at all, so I was a little taken back by his irritation. Then it turned into an all out argument when he scoffed at my statement of how I slave all day too. I don't think I could have been any angrier. 

"What do you think I do around here all day?!" I asked him. 

Let's face it, no one likes to be taken for granted or under appreciated. How do you think an exhausted and overwhelmed mom feels when people assume her job is easy? 

I tried to be calm as I explained my entire day (and every day) in great detail to him from beginning to end. I explained how I had to fight our 8 year old to get out of bed, get ready for school, and take her medication before her van came for her. I explained how during this time, our toddler was running through the house destroying everything and just generally frustrating his sister to the point where both of them scream and cry the entire time. I get my daughter on the school van at 8:20 in the morning and by that time, I'm already exhausted. Then I juggle taking care of the toddler while trying to get housework done as well as finding time to get my reviews in. That seems simple enough, but if you know toddlers, you know that in the time it takes to blink, they have gotten themselves into some trouble. This goes on non stop until 3:30 when not only does my 8 year old come home, but my husband does as well. Ah, I can sit and relax, right? Wrong. Time to start dinner, pack lunches for the next day, and go through whatever my daughter has brought home. So you would think that since the husband is home, that dinner making should be pretty smooth sailing. Wrong on that as well. I'm usually trying to break up a fight between the kids and keeping them out of the cupboards and refrigerator as well as trying not to burn dinner in the process. 

After dinner, there's kitchen clean up, bedtime routines for both kids, and then fighting them to go to sleep. Of course there's more fighting and horsing around between the two of them up until it is bedtime. I then attempt to clean up the scattered toys while occasionally yelling up the stairs for them to go to sleep. My 8 year old, for some unknown reason, likes to stay up until midnight. Once she's finally asleep, my toddler magically decides to wake up and decide he's had enough sleep. 

When do I find time to get a shower and sleep? The answer is never. No, seriously. There have been times when I've went almost a week without a shower. I mean, I can't even go to the bathroom without one of the three other people in my house barging in on me for one reason or another. Just a trip up to the toilet to pee turns out to be a family event. My husband is in there trying to have a conversation with me while my children are in there fighting and I'm stuck. I can't very well get up in the middle of going to leave. I also don't sleep. My longest run was 4 days. 4 days without any amount of sleep, not even a nap. That kind of schedule would drive anyone insane. As a matter of fact, it actually did. Around Christmas, I finally lost my shit. The stress just finally got to me, and I became a stark raving lunatic. 

Finally I just decided I wasn't doing it anymore. I wasn't going to clean every day, only on the weekends and only if I felt like it. I was going to make my husband cook dinner every once in a while and take care of the kids more. I also wasn't going to stress over so much. Okay, so that is actually easier said than done. I still stress over a lot, but now I tell myself to let someone else deal with it. 

So what have I been doing with my time since deciding to "quit"? Well, I have more time for my reviews, although to be quite honest, I'm a lot more relaxed about them than I was previously. I have more time to read and I've started "Tot School" with my toddler. We learn things, and play, and we just don't care about anything but having fun. 

Yesterday, my husband walked in the door from work, saw that for the first time ever the living room looked like a hurricane blew through a Toys 'R Us, and asked if we played hard. When I asked him why he thought that he said, "Well the living room is a disaster and it never looks like that"

Exactly.

The kids were fighting with each other all night last night and I just sat here and ignored it. I stepped in if there was a danger, but otherwise, since quitting, I don't care. Dinner wasn't "on time" last night, and I didn't care. I made my husband take care of the kids so I could get a shower and I spent an incredible amount of time not only showering, but just getting ready for bed in general, and I didn't care. I didn't make the bed this morning, and I don't care. My son and I had peanut butter sandwiches instead of something "healthy" for lunch, and I don't care. 

You know what's great about not caring? I no longer have painful stress headaches, my blood pressure isn't through the roof, my heart doesn't beat like it's going to fly out of my chest, I don't have horrible anxiety attacks, and I'm generally a more pleasant person to be around. 



I'm also able to enjoy more of this. Leaky cup all over the new couch and all. 



2 comments:

  1. I feel you girl! I just recently decided to "quit" too! Thanks for sharing! Good to realize I'm not the only one feeling this way! Less stress and anxiety will help me enormously!

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    1. I imagine a lot of moms, and probably a lot of dads as well, tend to feel this way. I think the important thing is to take the time to breathe. Even if that means locking yourself in the bathroom for 15 minutes just to collect yourself.

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