Is it so wrong to feel like you're suffocating under the heap fulls of questions, comments, requests for chocolate (Katie's obsession with chocolate is getting out of hand), and declarations that your children fling your way all day long?
My husband comes home from a shift and unloads on me. I sit and listen, and try to put myself in his shoes, but mostly I just listen. I admit, my mind does not always stay focused on his words, sometimes I make a mental grocery list, but he doesn't mind. That's all he needs. Someone to listen, or at least give it a good try.
But I am sick of the notion that if a SAHM mom complains even one little bit about a challenging situation, her day, or the fact that juice was just spilled on a freshly mopped floor (again) she is whiny and should be out looking for a job outside of the home. Does choosing to stay home with your kids automatically mean that you give up all complaining privileges forever?
I have friends who work, I have friends who stay home. Every now and then, we (all of us) need to vent. Every now and then, one of us has a bad day (in either place) and just need to know that a caring person (preferably and adult) is there to listen. Every now and then something wonderful, funny or enjoyable also crosses our path and we share that too. It isn't just the negative, but it is the negative that breeds the comments ("well, sounds like someone should get a job") and the accusations that maybe staying home isn't the right choice after all.
Since when did having a bad day, hour or moment become taboo? And why do people so very frequently and without even a thought, jump on the bandwagon that if a mother does complain, she must find the fix in the form of a job or career? I am tired of it.
I am tired of defending my choice (our choice) to be home with the kids, like it is a bad thing and I do nothing all day but watch Jerry Springer and throw bags of chips at my kids. Being home is a job and we don't need to go into the whole debate over whether it is or isn't. It is. But one without a monetary paycheck. We all know that.
Fact is, we're all in this parenting boat together, no matter what our situation. We all feel frustrated, we all feel guilt, we all feel immense joy and pride. We all deserve to be able to enjoy motherhood - in whatever capacity works for us and our families and we need to begin to bury those hatchets and stop criticizing one another for working or staying home. We need to allow each other to complain a little too, because we're human and knowing that someone else is going through something similar to yourself, or looking back and thinking "aaaaah, I remember those diapering days" are the threads that tie us together. Commonalities. Reference points. Relief.
And the next time you hear a stay at home mom or working mom complain about her day, just listen. Listen like you would to anyone else who's had a rough day. And if you feel inclined to say something, make sure it's nice.