The hardest part of being a stay at home mom isn’t the lack of mom friends, the diapers, the awkward play dates or the serious lack of adult conversation. It’s not the chores or the desperate attempts to cling onto whatever career you once had. It’s feeling like, and sometimes knowing, that you’ve seriously screwed up this mom gig multiple times a week, sometimes multiple times a day. Because it all comes down to you.
As a stay at home mom, I’m the one who forgets that they’ve been in their diaper for four hours straight, resulting in the start of a nice diaper rash.
I’ve put her back in pee stained pants, in public, because I forgot to pack an extra pair.
I’m the one who prays with my little girl every night, and curses in front of her at least once a day. OK, let’s be honest, multiple times.
I can’t blame anyone but myself for my daughter’s love of Mickey Mouse Club House, and her desperate attempts to get the TV on. It’s the only show she’ll watch from start to finish, and I totally take advantage of that. So I can do laundry and clean.
If my daughter is taken care of by a grumpy, not in the mood for the job caregiver, that person is me.
If her lunch isn’t so well rounded, read peanut butter and Goldfish crackers, that is absolutely due to my lack of ability to negotiate one more thing.
I have no one but myself to look at if she hasn’t done any art activities.
Same for sensory and early science.
Her socialization? Also entirely dependent on me.
As is her amount of physical activity. Yet somehow that playground a mile down the street often seems a world away.
The days when she’s in a bad mood? Most of the time I can trace that back to me being in a pissy mood and passing on that negativity.
I’ve worked as a preschool teacher and a nanny. I am well aware of what is expected of professional caregivers of children. And the truth is, if I was working for someone else’s family, I would have been fired long ago for my mishaps and misgivings. And somedays that is a hard truth to gripe with.
What I do offer, even on my worst day, is my love for E as her mom. I’m banking that that is enough to make up for the lack of professionalism as a caregiver that I bring to the table daily as a stay at home mom. Like really banking on it. Because like I said, I screw this gig up on a regular basis.
I’m going to go ahead and hope I’m not alone on this one.