Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bon Bons and Dirty Diapers

Yes. I am a stay-at-home mom.

I hate when people ask me what I do all day, as if to imply I sit around eating bon-bons, painting my nails and catching up on my latest soap opera.

I wish.

When I express I have trouble running errands or getting stuff done, they look at me confused as if to wonder what I do with all that "down" time I supposedly have. The way they express, my house should be spic and span. I should make my kids clothes, and I should have a 3 course dinners on the table for my husband every night when he gets home. They think my life should be like a chapter from that old show, the one I can't think of the name right now, where the housewife parades around in beautiful dresses, looking like she barely lifted a finger, yet everything is clean, in order and in place, including the kids and the house smells like chocolate chip cookies and she did it all herself.

Well, reality check.

My kids aren't at the age where they go to school all day, they wreck the place. Once you get one spot cleaned they follow behind you like a wrecking ball, and you start back with square one.

Being a stay -at-home mom is giving up your right to go to the bathroom with full privacy, ever. You give up your desire to complete thoughts, make lists and have adult conversations in one sitting. And oh, sitting, there is no sitting, by the time your butt hits the chair someone needs a drink, the baby needs a bottle, one of his 11 doses of meds to control his reflux, a fight needs to be broken up or someone needs their butt wiped....yes, their butt wiped. And believe it or not, hearing them ask for help wiping their butt is just a relief that number 2 happened in the potty and not in some other unmentionable place.

Being a stay-at-home mom means you always have someone attached to your leg, your arms or your every thought. It means going to the grocery store, the post office or a doctors visit with a traveling circus. The minute you enter these places you should come complete with orange warning cones and back up lights. It means you are happy to leave places without your kids having broken something, knocked something over or caused such a ruckus that people stare, you break out in a sweat and you threaten to return them to the refund counter at whatever store you are frequenting because they not only take back food and other items people don't want, they take back unruly kids too.

Being a stay-at-home mom means you don't get to go anywhere on time, unless by a sudden miracle. You don't get to go anywhere clean, unless you wrap yourself in saran wrap and take it off after locking the door and it means once you think you have a quite moment to begin that "down" time everyone talks about...disaster ALWAYS strikes.

Being a stay-at-home mom means giving up parts of your life, your thoughts an your privacy for theirs. And mom isn't the only title you wear, you're also a nurse, a cook, a referee, a psychologist, and engineer, a babysitter, a playmate, a teacher and a detective among other things.

But being a stay-at-home mom means I don't miss a temper tantrum, curse word or bad thing that my child does. But it also means that I get to catch all the good stuff too. I can tell you how Sophia doesn't like to sleep with socks on, George hates when his foods mix and the baby loves it when you kiss his neck over and over and over again. I don't miss a smile, a coo or a laugh. I don't miss my son spelling his first word, my daughter peeing on the potty or our 5 month old finally realizing he has hands and how looking at them, touching them and watching them move can entertain him for hours.

I didn't become a stay-at-home mom because I didn't want to go to work.

Staying home is more work than I ever imagined. I became a stay-at-home mom because I wanted to witness their growth, watch their achievements and help them over their hurdles. I wanted to see their face when they accomplish new tasks.

And I wanted them to know that whatever they needed I would always be there.

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