I’m not great at confrontation. I will put up with a lot from family, friends, even strangers just to avoid causing any upset. I mentally check out when someone is yelling at me. As much as I hate admitting this, insults and assumptions people make about me can really get to me. I’d like to be the kind of person who can shake it off and not be bothered by the things other people say or think about me. Unfortunately, my feelings are easily hurt when I’m offended.
In a conversation with some women I met recently, we were discussing what everyone does for a living. When it came my turn to say, I told them I’m a wife and mom, a homemaker. One of them asked me how old my youngest child is and I told her, eight. She was confused, almost annoyed when she heard that. She wanted to know why I’m not working since my youngest is school aged. I was put in a tough spot because these are all working women. Some of them are parents, too. I would never want to offend any mother for her choices when it comes to her career or how she’s best taking care of her family. The truth is, I genuinely believe that a lot of the problems our children struggle with today are closely linked to having absent parents. So many kids leave for school by themselves and return home by themselves. Very few families that I know regularly have supper at the table together. When I am taking my kids to a game or a recital, I am always asked to give a handful of other children a ride whose parents aren’t able to make it. I absolutely understand that there are parents out there who are working just to provide the most basic essentials for their children. They would love to be at their daughter’s recital, but don’t have the luxury of that option. I have so much respect for single parents who are doing everything they can to give their children a better life. I do not fault families for their circumstances in life that force us all to make tough decisions. I know I’m blessed to have a husband who is willing and able to support our family on only his income. I appreciate all of the things I’m able to do with and for our kids and the sacrifices he makes that make that possible. I’m not sitting at home watching soap operas all day though. I’m volunteering at a women’s crisis center. I’m at school eating lunch with my kids or helping out in their classrooms. I’m helping my sick mom. Cleaning her house, taking her to and from doctor appointments. I’m doing our laundry, grocery shopping, scrubbing floors and bathrooms and walls and doors. I’m making my family breakfast, lunch, and supper everyday. I’m carpooling to and from my children’s various extra curricular activities. I’m standing at the bus stop with my kids in the morning and waiting there for them in the afternoon when they come back home. I’m making them snacks for after school. I’m scheduling and taking them in for haircuts, dentist appointments, doctor check ups. I’m up with a sick kid at 2am holding their hair back and cleaning up vomit. I’m the splinter getter outer. I’m the referee. I’m the always available hug when they need one.
Since I was a small child myself, I’ve wanted to be a wife and a mother. These years with them are so precious and fleeting. I spend everyday trying to soak up all of the moments that won’t last. I’m not lazy, unwilling, or unable to get a job. One of the women even made a point to tell me “everyone’s hiring right now”. Lady, kindly fuck off please.
Whether you’re a working or a stay at home mom, you’re awesome in my eyes as long as you’re doing what you feel is right and best for your family. And to the women out there like my grandma, who spent her whole life being a homemaker long before and after her children, you rock too. Don’t let ignorant people get you down like I did. They got to me with their rude comments. I walked away feeling worth less than I know I am. I felt like a failure of a woman or something. Instead of standing up for myself like I should have, I let them say their opinions about me and left the conversation feeling vulnerable and hurt. Why do women do this to each other so often? I’m sure they’re out there, but I’ve never had a man say nasty things about me being a homemaker/stay at home mom. It’s always been other women with big mouths sharing their big opinions.
Anyway, I’ll stop ranting now.