Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Shh! Don't tell anybody.

I want to let you in on a dirty little secret: I actually enjoy being a stay-at-home-mom.

There, I said it.

I have two beautiful children, who are actually fairly well-behaved, despite my protestations here. I can wake up as slowly as I want and wander around in pajamas all morning if I want to. Granted, the longer we stay in the house, the more likely the children are to poke each others' eyes out with the leftover chopsticks from last night's dinner, but I decide to whether that storm if I want. I don't answer to anyone except myself--oh, and Lance, but he doesn't really count.

I can pack up the car and head down to the beach, 70% of the year. Or go to any of the hundreds of playgrounds within driving distance. Or go for a walk in our quiet, safe neighborhood, where we know many of the children playing outside. I can spend an hour browsing through recipes on the internet, and then make a fantastic (or not) dinner for Lance, something I enjoy immensely, and call it work.

Best of all, I get kisses and hugs and I love yous all day long. I get songs sung off key and wildly imaginative explanations and giggles and tickles. I get to be the one who knows how to comfort, how to discipline, how to settle a fight. The older the kids get, the more satisfying this job is becoming. I actually feel good at it*, and that's a feeling that's been missing lately.

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Yes, some days are pure drudgery. Yes, some days the last thing I want to do is figure out dinner, lug the kids to the grocery store and then cook. Some days the kids work my every last nerve and I would happily pay Starbucks if they would let me work the counter.

But most of the time, it's pretty fucking awesome. Now that Vivian is in school 3 mornings a week, I'm feeling even more enamored of my job, but I find that this is making me a little uncomfortable. Why? I guess because I feel like I should hate it more. I feel like it's my job as a feminist to keep working, and yet, here I am, secretly thrilled that I'm not. Also, there's the guilt: not everyone has this option, and part of me worries if I really deserve it. Definitely, if I admit to Lance that I like what I'm doing right now, that would upset the delicate balance of our relationship. ("My job is just as hard as yours" being my current mantra.) Finally, let's not forget just how unfashionable it is to like this kind of work. How many times have you heard someone complain about mothers because they can only talk about poopy diapers? There is far greater value, these days, in saying, "I am too intellectual/unique/ complex/insert your favorite adjective here to get joy solely from my children" than there is in this: "I love being a mom!"

Thing is, I am truly, madly, deeply in love with my children. I feel blessed to the depths of my agnostic soul at least once every single day that I get to share this time with them. I don't want to go back to work. I would happily do this, this mothering of a 3-1/2 year old and a 2 year old, for the rest of my life. It's that good. And I'm tired of keeping the joy to myself.

* Truth: as I'm writing about how good of a mother I am, both my children cry in their beds, refusing to nap. It's all relative, darlin'.


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isimsiz kahraman said...
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