You know, I have had quite enough of people telling me that I am “just” a stay at home mom. That it is my “job”. That I am lesser because I do not get a pay check.
I am sick of being told that my husband is entitled to all the sleep he wants because he has to be up for work everyday. Apparently, I am just expected to function as a zombie everyday with a big smile on my face and showcasing brilliant patience.
I am tired.
On average, I spend about 18 hours a day being a single parent. Meaning, I am the sole caretaker of my children’s physical and mental health until my husband gets home from work. Usually he is home by 4pm and then he will shower and get his lunch ready for the next day. I will make dinner, often times while still tending to the baby. After dinner, I am usually on clean up patrol. Meaning, clean up the table and clean up the children.
After bath time, we usually congregate in our room on the bed. Watching a show or two, watching Pickle play with toys, reading books together, and attempting to wind things down. By this point, if my husband is touching the bed he is most likely falling asleep. Just like tonight, he was talking to Pickle while laying in the bed and next thing I know he is snoring. So, as usual, I get bed time duty.
The baby was fighting her sleep, so it took me a good hour to get her to relax and fall asleep. Once she was asleep, I had Pickle clean up his toys and took him to his bed. Of course, within 15 minutes I hear him running back through the living room and into my room. He wants to sleep in our bed. I tell him repeatedly how everyone sleeps in their own beds. He went back to his room. 5 minutes later, I hear his feet again. He comes in crying, wanting to sleep in our room. I tell him again that he has to sleep in his bed. He then tells me he just wants a drink. I let him get some juice and tell him to go back to his bed. It has been about 15 minutes since then and I can still hear him crying. I imagine it is only a matter of time before he is running back in here.
Usually I spend the evenings trying to get started on homework so that I am not trying to rush last minute on Monday’s to get it done. Oh yeah, did I mention I am also a full time student?
I am on call 24/7. I do not get to sleep for consecutive hours at night. I am up when the kids are up, no matter what time that is or how many times that is.
Yes, my husband does provide financial stability for our family. Yes, I am absolutely grateful that he is willing to do that for us. Yes, he does help with some of the chores and I am grateful for everything that he does. This is not intended to be targeted at him because he does do a lot for us. Yet, why is his paying job considered better than mine? Why does everyone say he is entitled to sleep because he works and that since I don’t have a “real job” to go to everyday that pays, I should be the only one to wake up and be up all night and day?
I don’t know about you, but when I do not get enough sleep I am a complete grouch! Every little thing will make me mad. It makes for an angry mom. A mom that prefers things that involve sitting down rather than going outside and playing. A mom that hopes and prays for nap time because she is just too tired to function most days, but somehow she still does.
Do not get me wrong here. I am not complaining about being a stay at home mom because I do love it and would not trade these years for anything else in the world. What I am complaining about is the lack of respect that people give stay at home parents. It may not be a job that pays in the form of cash, but it is the most rewarding job there is.
To the spouse’s of stay at home parents. Please help more, especially at night time. People need adequate sleep to function. More so, to function without biting people’s heads off. Parents need patience while raising their children and lack of sleep does not give people patience. Children deserve the best from their parents. There has to be some kind of balance for both of them.
I personally think that not everyone could be a stay at home parent. I think if my husband were to try he would start to go stir crazy. It is very rare for him to be left alone with the children. In fact, in the last 5 months I have only left him with both children one time and at that time his parents were also here with him, so he was not technically alone. Although, I know he could do it if he had to, the opportunities just are rare for that to happen.
With that said, I think it is hard for people to understand what it is like to be a stay at home parent. You don’t have a time clock where you get to clock out for the day. It is a 24 hour 7 days a week never ending “job”. Try putting yourself in our shoes once in awhile. All we want is a little bit of time to ourselves, to feel we are important too, and some freaking sleep.
That is all I have to say about that.