Being a stay at home mum… rewarding, fun, educational.. but oh my, nobody ever told me how hard it would be keeping up with little kids… and I’ve only got two! They just go go go and mess up the world like little tornadoes, don’t they?
I was busy cleaning up my daughter’s upside-down-on-the-floor cereal bowl this morning, then went in and found my son elbow-deep in the art box with paint on the walls. Awesome.
I complained about the endless cleaning up once in front of a childless male friend and he, with a sideways snigger to my husband, (who likes to tell his friends that my life is not as hard as I make out even though he’s rarely here and hasn’t done it himself) made a smart (not so smart) comment about me complaining about my easy life. I got a bit snippy with him (silly really, since I’ve spent my working life with ignorant people making funny haha comments about being a teacher and how it’s just one big long holiday.. I should be used to it!!)..
Anyway I made the comment that if you send your kids to care, someone else deals with them. They plan, set up and clean up after activities, they help the kids play safely together and on equipment, they coordinate outings, plan and make food, buy needed resources, and when the kids go home, they clean and set up again ready for tomorrow.
I keep my kids home most of the week, so all those jobs and activities fall to me, as well as all the basic household tasks which got done before children, as well as any home maintenance tasks, as well as any family commitments and so on and so forth.
So don’t tell me I sit around keeping my knickers warm on the couch because frankly, mate, if I asked you to do it you probably wouldn’t get half what I get done in a day. That’s what I felt like saying, anyway. Sigh.
If you run an activity which is messy, you get to clean it up. You get to bath the kids, you get to wash the clothing. Then you do another activity. I’m not saying these activities aren’t enjoyable, they usually are! But it often takes as long to clean up as it took to do the actual activity. Case in point – my kids played in the rain the other day. We went round finding boots, hats and jackets and sent them out and they had a great time out there for all of about 20 minutes. Then they came in muddy. I took all the clothing off, rinsed the boots, put the kids under the shower, dried and dressed them, came back and dealt with the dirty clothing, hung up wet towels and rinsed the bath. Hung up the jackets and hats to dry. Cleaned the floor at the doorway. None of it bad, just time consuming.
Even on the weekends, I always do the thinking and preparing for the family, even though I’m technically not the stay at home parent on those days – I’m just one of two parents. But I still pack the bag without which things go swiftly unsaveably wrong, bring food, bring the items without which kids will melt down once they’re a bit tired, think about medication and teeth, think about anything needed for whatever we’ll be doing.. etc. My husband and I had a few words this past weekend because I did all of the above and more getting ready for an outing, and all he did in the same time was have a long shower and find a shirt. Really?? But yes, my life is so easy.
Perhaps the real winner is the working partner of a stay at home parent. But does that mean I want to give up my time with my small children and go to work? No! Because then I’d have to do all of the above AND work. Lol. It’s not like life would be easier, just different. I’m not that stupid!
Hats off to working and stay at home mums everywhere – holding the world together, one household at a time. What an easy job it is 😉