This morning I was dismayed to read a CNN post about moms gone wild – in their 40s. Drunken evenings, cheating on their husbands with strangers, and the general feeling that raising children is boring and a brain drain, so why not go out and have a good time?
I was actually thinking about this during my morning quiet time, in which I am currently reading Marigold Mornings (Dorothy Evslin) and happened to have already had this addressed. But back in the 70s Evslin wasn’t writing about key parties or orgies or hooking up. She was writing about the women’s movement. Either way, we seem to be swimming in a sea of discontent.
Why is that? Why are we stay-at-home moms discontent with our lives? Is it because we have the ho-hum hum-drum duties of chief nose-wiper and head chef and cleaning lady? Teacher of letters and numbers and colors and watcher of endless episodes of Sesame Street?
Are we expected to enjoy runny noses, and dirty britches? Cooking every day and cleaning up spills and messes and Lord knows what else? Teaching children the basics when we aren’t particularly patient? Watching children’s television? NO! Why do we think we are supposed to be these wonderfully cheerful women when it comes to all our daily chores? I, for example, don’t mind a little bit of Sesame Street or Bob the Builder, and I don’t always mind cooking. So no, I am not waking up pumped to start dealing with diapers and school and children and husband expecting all these things of me.
But in fifteen or twenty years, when I look back at my life, am I going to regret this time at home with my kids? Absolutely not. I can tell you, without a doubt, that I will know then, in my bones, what I already know now – I wouldn’t trade t he work and sometime-drudgery for anything! I know there are some moms out there who have to work – after all, I dropped my oldest off at daycare years ago when I was a single mom. You do what you gotta do. But when you have a choice, choose your kids. Choose your kids over money and stuff. It won’t be gratifying instantaneously, probably. But it will be down the road.
Think you’ll go crazy staying a t home? Then don’t! Take your kids to a class for moms and children. Hook up with other moms. I love taking my kids for an early-morning walk at the park. Get out of the house every day, for some part of the day, if you must. But unless you find a quiet. calm center, your days as a stay-at-home mom are going to be long.
But, getting back to the original point, going out and going nuts are not things a parent should do. But who said we can’t have fun? My husband and I have an active social life – we have a small group that meets once a week, a Sunday School class, and social activities with our church friends. I have a gym class once a week. I get out and do things.
The bottom line is that work is work. Sometimes we enjoy our jobs and sometimes we know we’re having the kind of day where you show up and work to get paid. It’s the showing up and working hard that counts!