Wednesday, August 22, 2007


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.


mk said...


LindaJ said...

You said it sista!!!

Tabba said...

Amen, Carrie.


I've gone on a tyraid on my blog before about how I've noticed that people (in real life) don't ask me how things are going. They'll ask Rav about how his day is at work/how things are going - but they won't ask me. Like what I do isn't "real" or something.

What is it that puts us so low on the totem pole? What is it about staying home that makes us immune from feeling frustrated to the point of needing to vent?

jen said...

god i so agree with this. your job is one of the hardest in the world and bad days go with it. and you are more than entitled, we are all more than entitled, to feel that way sometimes and it is perfectly ok. so scream it from the rooftops, sister.

Oh, The Joys said...

Amen to THAT!

Love your new picture!

pinks & blues girls said...

Very good advice. I always try to put myself in other people's shoes. Even if I don't relate to what someone is venting about, I try to keep an open mind and really listen. That's what I would ask for in return, after all!

Great post!

Jane, P&B Girls

Rock the Cradle said...

Oh, babe...I had the EXACT same encounter a while back. Once we got on the same page and recognized that everyone has the right to a good bitch now and then, whether we love our jobs or not, it blissfully became a non-issue.

We definitely had to talk that one out though.

Venting good. Very good.

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

That is so weird. (And I am certainly not doubting you!!!) But I would never think to tell a SAHM to "get a job" as they were complaining about their day. Just as I would never expect someone to tell me to "stay home" when I complain about work at the office. Either way, great point about just listening and being there for a friend.

Jenn said...

I struggle; leaving the A's while I go to work is hard.

Staying home with them sometimes seems harder. I have such a deep appreciation for those that do stay home--it's not all fun and games--although so many think it must be.

Hang in there.

Becc said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I get so tired of hearing how "people are drawn to me and how I should do something with that talent" or how "I must be going stir crazy"!

No. I'm quite busy, Thank you.

I've had my days of working daylight 'til dark, on the verge of collapse. I love the choices we have made for me now to be where I am at.

Thank you and Amen. :-)

Mrs. Chicken said...

I should make my husband read this. He's the one who rolls his eyes and tells me maybe I should get a job if I am unhappy.

Can you tell we just had a fight about this?

Mamacita Tina said...

Totally agreed! I think being a SAHM is a very difficult job, one where you can't control the product. One where you can't simply fix the problem with a phone call or a push of a button.

I had a friend who volunteered me to take care of all the details of a get together we were having, "...because you're home all day and have time."


Becky said...

preach it sista and i'm not even a stay at home mom! but i wanna be! any day that i stay home instead of work i'm way more busy than when i'm here at work!

Pinks & Blues said...

Well said. Whatever someone else has to say, just remember that the venting itself is the healthy part... whatever needs to get out, gets out. And then generally diminishes, and goes away! You have a marvelous sense of humor, and that you need BIG time as a Mom. You are wonderful!
Sharon - Pinks & Blues Girls

Ann(ie) said...

Working seems way easier to me. Staying at home in my opinion has got to be the hardest job on the planet. You give me a shout anytime you need to vent....we can meet for a beverage. =)

Great post, btw.

Left Coast Sister said...

What you said! And I heartily agree with Aimee... it's perfectly reasonable to complain about work, so it's also perfectly reasonable to complain about SAHM-ing.