I am not the biggest fan of being a full-time, stay at home mom.
Which may make me a shitty mom.
(Also? The fact that I refer to my kids as assholes to the internet may contribute to the fact that on a scale from one to Joan Crawford? …well I am closer to screaming about wire hangers than I like to freely admit.)
Okay, maybe I’m not a completely shitty mom. But I am a shitty full-time stay at home mom.
In my mind, being a good stay-at home mom involves a carefully designed daily outline including arts and crafts, educational lessons, story time, prescribed napping times, and independent play time. And possibly a snack? Perhaps finger foods constructed from organic fruits and nuts and shaped like my children’s favorite Nick Jr. cartoon character? Wait, I’m supermom in the fantasy…obviously I would never let my offspring become invested in a television program. No, snacks will resemble only current congress members and Biblical figures.
…Okay. Maybe that description is a little over the top. But, at the very least, in order to be a successful stay at home mom, I should be able to do a load of laundry (just one load!) without finding the washed remnants of newborn-shit-yellow stained wipies among the clean clothes. (I’ve harvested at least one from every load since Matilda was born. Time to move the trash can further away from the laundry basket, perhaps?) At the very least, in order to be a successful stay at home mom, one should be able to nuke some fucking chicken nuggets and stick them in front of the three-year-old while she watches Sponge Bob before 2 pm. And ya know what you guys? Sometimes that is a struggle for me. Finding a way to keep my three-year old entertained ALL DAY without using the TV? Well, it’s harder than a priest at a playground.
Don’t let me give you the wrong impression here. I love my kids, and I love hanging out with my kids. And if I could feel good about waking up
at 11 am every morning and NOT changing into clothes, or making my kids put clothes on, eating cereal out of the box and cold pizza for lunch, and watching trashy TV or Nick Jr. all day long, I would TOTALLY LOVE being a stay at home mom! But after two or three weeks of that schedule? I kind of feel like the three year old and I are getting dumber, and smellier, and it’s my fault. And I can’t feel good about that.
You see, Just like my kids, I need routine. Only, I don’t like to be the person that I depend on to hold me to that routine. Which is why I actually really like having a job. Something that forces me to be up at 6 am. Okay, that part kind of blows. But at least something that forces me to…shower and brush my teeth daily? Because although it’s pretty badass that my kids don’t give a damn if I walk around kissing them with coffee breath until noon, weeks of poor hygiene kind of take a toll on one’s marriage and social life.
So, as the end of my maternity leave draws near, I realize that I love being with my kids as much I have been over these last few weeks. However, I also realize that as much fun as we have had, it’s in their best interest for me to limit their exposure…to me.