Saturday, February 1, 2014

Stay At Home Mama..."Why are you tired?"

I have to take a moment to vent a little. 

As I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy I'm starting to take it a little easier.  Occasionally I take a nap with my 3 year old (if you know me this is extremely rare and pre-pregnancy, unheard of), I let the dishes pile up at night and vow to do them in the morning instead of before bed, I rest more during the day and try not to feel guilty about it.  As my due date gets closer I have had the slap in the face realization that I won't be getting any rest or sleep for awhile after this baby's born.  It's easy to tell a first time mom to sleep when her baby sleeps, but when you have a 3 year old and an infant, I'm guessing the chances of both of them sleeping at the same time and me being able to lay down with them is slim to none. 
And that's if this baby actually sleeps like a normal baby.  My little Grant did not.  He was too afraid of missing something I guess, cuz he fought sleep like nobody's business and has sleep issues to this day.  Some things never change.  People tell me every baby's different and while I believe that, I also know some of them don't sleep and I'm not gonna count on this one sleeping a lot.

My issue is people, who shall remain nameless, having the idea that being a stay at home mom is sitting on the couch all day watching tv with your little one.  Being very pregnant, dealing with an energetic and very opinionated 3 year old, watching another 2 year old 2 days a week, keeping up with regular house stuff, and stating that you're tired only to hear the words "why are you tired?" (you know, said in that.. you don't work and haven't left the house all day what do you have to be tired from, way), coming back to you is like a slap in the face.
You might as well look me straight in the face and tell me I do nothing but sit on my rear all day eating and watching tv, and that is so not my day.  Am I running around like a chicken with my head cut off all day every day, no.  Does that mean I'm not busy, no.

Some days are more trying than others, some days I have my "it would be nice to go to work and get out of this house" moments.  Those days are usually filled with a toddler back-talking and throwing tantrums the better part of a solid day, a 30 minute nap from said toddler who wakes up crying for unknown reasons and continues to throw this fit for another 30 solid minutes.  It's cleaning up a pee soaked bed in the morning and a puddle of pee surrounding the toilet in the afternoon because he waited til the last minute to decide he really needed to go to the bathroom and didn't make it.  It's cleaning food chunks out of the carpet 3 times a day because some idiot put carpet in the dining area of our apartment.  Then add in a couple loads of laundry, 3 cooked meals, 2 or more snacks, multiple sippy cups of juice, vacuuming the carpets, unloading and reloading the dishwasher, and cleaning the kitchen. 
But no, I have no reason to be tired in some people's eyes because I don't get up for "work" every day, leave the house, punch in on a time clock, and get a check for my work at the end of the week.  I do all my work for free. 
My little guy had his tonsils/adenoids taken out and every night for a week and a half he woke up multiple times a night crying.  He always said he wasn't hurting yet wouldn't take a drink of his water and wouldn't stop crying for a good 5 minutes or so, long enough for it to take me 45 minutes to fall back asleep after he's calmed down.  Then during the day he was in a sour attitude throwing tantrums constantly because of his lack of sleep.  After more than a week of this I had hit my sleep deprived limit and got a little agitated throughout the day.  When someone asked why I was agitated my response was, "because I haven't been getting any sleep at night, I'm dealing with a tired toddler during the day, and I'm tired".  The response I got was, "well, you wanted this, you wanted to be at home so you shouldn't be aggravated".
Yes I want to be a stay at home mom.  I don't want Grant basically raised by someone other than me, or someone else to see him more hours a day than I do.  Does that mean I want to get no sleep? no.

Does that mean after a night of no more than 3 consecutive hours of sleep I wake up refreshed and ready to go and in a great mood? Probably not.

Does not getting hardly any sleep for a week straight and being tired and agitated mean I don't want to be a stay at home mom? absolutely not.  It simply means, I'd like to get some sleep.

Let's face it, stay at home mom or not, if you have a sick child you get no sleep.  Either way you are either getting up to leave the house for work the next morning or you are getting up to work at home the next morning.  Meals still have to be cooked, dishes still have to be done, laundry still needs washed, and your little one still needs taken care of throughout the day.  It's work either way just in different places, and you're still tired.  You're not less tired because you didn't go outside the house to work.

I take care of most things in our house because I know I'm the one at home and that's what I signed up for.  I don't expect anyone else to clean the toilet/tub, do the laundry or dishes, balance the checkbook, work out the budget, pay the bills, mop the floors, vacuum the carpets, pick up the living room before bed, change the sheets/pillowcases, keep track of doctor's appointments/medications, bath time, meal plan, grocery shop, or cook the meals.  That's all me, and I'm okay with that. 

What I'm not ok with is anyone out there thinking none of that counts for anything and that none of it is tiring.  I've been a working woman before my son was born, I know that exhaustion.  I've also been a working mom, and know that exhaustion as well, and there are days I'm more tired from a solid day spent at home with my 3 year old than if I went out and worked an 8 hour shift somewhere else.

We stay at home mom's work just as hard as a mom who works outside the house, just in different ways.  I wouldn't trade staying home with my son for anything, even on the worst day.  I'll never get these years back and I've never wanted to miss anything.  It won't be long before Grant and this next little one is in school and then I'll be a working mama.  Until then I'm a work at home mama, and yes I do work:)

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