Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Understanding men and Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom

Do all men have a vice? Is it sports for some, gambling or video games for others? Just curious I need to know. What makes men come home from a loooooooong day at work and head straight to the video game for hours? Or for instance I grew up in a neighborhood where I would get up early go to school and see the old guys setting up in front of my building to play dominos like they were still back in the Dominican Republic or something. I know some that like to spend their countless hours at golf or maybe basketball. My father loved playing pool and dancing. I don't get it. I get having a hobby and wanting to have some fun...but it goes beyond that. There's a fever burning...gotta get to the video game right away or whatever it might be. I have my own interests but I can drop anything in a hot second if my family needs me. Nothing is too important or more important that it can't wait. At what age does it end? It does end right? lol. Hmmm do I go with the flow and just let it be or bitch and complain? And where's my personal time to do my own thing? 

It took me months to get accustomed to this new life at home and I found that when I went back to work for 2 weeks outside the home for a freelance project, I missed my girls so much. I have finally become used to it and I can appreciate the time I spend with them but I remember days when I had to call my mom to pick me up so I can spend the day with her while my husband was away working. I didn't want to and couldn't be alone. I would have days that were so bad and depressing. Hating myself for not having a job and hating myself for being "fat" after having my second daughter. I'd lock myself in the bathroom and cry just so I could get it off my system and be able to proceed to change diapers or do whatever I had to. And there was the day that I was so overwhelmed with being home all day that I almost exploded on my husband but instead put on my sneakers and went out alone for a walk in the rain. How embarrassing I thought for anyone to see me and what I'd become. Of course it was all a huge exaggeration, I've learned to cut myself some slack and give myself time to get back in shape slowly at whatever pace my body requires. 

You know how it is...you go to school, graduate, work hard on developing your career, have work related activities that give you a social life and you start a family. And just like that it's gone and you're home all day with no one but an infant, a toddler and the tv. You miss the adult company and conversations. You miss getting dressed in real clothes as opposed to being in PJ's or lounge clothes all day, looking presentable.

I spend about 16 hrs a day looking after two little girls 7 days a week. Potty training, educating, preparing meals, playtime, cleaning up at home, laundry, soothing them when they are sick or hurt. I never envisioned myself as a stay at home mom but here I am now. It took me months to get used to this. I remember that I never understood when women would say "I need to find myself". I thought it was a load of crap, and just get it together....until....I found myself out of a job and home full time. What would I say if someone asked me "who are you?" My first instinct for a long time was to just say "no one" but I know that is not true. I'm still working on the proper answer to that question hmmm. 

I know that in reality there is nothing better than a child who is raised by their own parent instead of a guardian or babysitter in my case. When I worked I had a babysitter come in during my work hours and stay at my place until I got home from work. As nice as this lady was I know she wouldn't have taken the time to teach my girls the alphabet, numbers etc...Certain things that only a parent will do. She'd make sure they were fed, bathed and happy but that would be about it. So I'm still looking for a job because ultimately I believe it's the best thing for my family and I want to be more than just a mother and a wife but for now I do my very best to enjoy the time I have home with my girls who I LOVE! I try and laugh with them as much as possible, play and just hold them and enjoy them. I tell them I love them everyday and I hope they can feel it.

That's it for now


lailibs said...

i truly admire women who are so honest; especially honest about the fact that although we do love our kids; in the end; staying at home with them isnt all that we want; yes we love our kids and yes no one will ever teach them like mommy can; but in the end; mommies too need to have a sense of belonging outside of "home"; ive been there right where you are; is not a a lonely feeling many women go through it but hardly ever do they express the sense of loneliness; longing to belong; and needed to be appreciated; the long walk in the rain is not so bizarre in the end; all you wanted was just time to be with yourself because even going to the bathroom becomes a "family thing" - mommy mommy mommy...keep your head up right; your girls are watching you and they see your sacrifices and they know that you love them; you keep telling them that every day the outcomes will be rewarded. I share both the stay at home and working mom role and is still so rough but their is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Alexandra said...

Lailibs Thank you so much for your comment. Yes, appreciation, a sense of belonging, and adult company. Being a stay at home mom is tough and the rewards are in years to come. Takes a huge amount of sanity and life balance to keep it all in perspective. It's great to find ppl that relate and understand.

Anonymous said...

Wow Alexa, this post was really touching and inspiring. I love your openess. Vey insightful. You let your readers know the real you, no covered up. I wish i could relate to your situation to give an opinion, but I cant and you know why..lol..I do admire you more now. Just hang in there buddy, you are doing great!

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