Tag Archives: help

I’m A Stay-At-Home-Mom and No, I Won’t Shut Up!

Dear Momma who wrote the subtly titled, “Dear Stay-At-Home-Moms, Please Shut Up.“,

So many things crossed my mind when I read this.

So. Many. Things.

First the good:

1) At least you said “Please”.

And now… the rest:

While I agree with the sentiment that EVERYONE should be grateful for their blessings, what I take offense to is the notion that Stay-At-Home-Moms (SAHMs) should “shut their friggin’ pie holes.”  I am a mom who, by choice, quit my full-time job to stay home with my children, but who, also by choice, sometimes sends my kids to daycare so I can do freelance work… not because I have to, but because I WANT to.  I guess you would call me a SAHM, but I don’t know why we need titles. I am a mom.  I love being home with my amazing children. However, I have also been known to complain about said amazing children.  And I’m sorry, Momma, if that gives you a bad rap, but I have never been one to shut my friggin’ pie-hole, and I sure as hell am not going to start now. So here’s my piehole’s worth…

Being a parent is a blessing, but it is also a job. Some would even say it’s a dream job. The pay aint much and the hours are long, but it has a an unimaginable bonus structure. But here’s the deal: Every single person I know – even those with dream jobs – complain from time to time. Long hours, ridiculous clients, tough bosses, annoying coworkers, or even just run-of-the-mill mental or physical exhaustion. No one I know is totally immune to the siren’s call of a good old-fashioned bitch sesh. Do you know why this is? Because hard work is… well… hard. And sometimes bitching just feels good. It’s a God-given right for every person to be able to bitch now and then. Well, I don’t know if God actually gave us that right, but I am pretty sure it is written in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence or the owner/operator manual or something. Anyway, if complaining isn’t a right, it should be. So, just because a SAHM or SAHD doesn’t get paid in actual dollars or have an actual boss – other than a tyrant toddler – does he or she also forfeit the right to bitch about his or her job? I think not.

Just because a parent complains about their exhausting days or unruly children, doesn’t mean they love their job or their children any less.  It means that they are human. It means that their job is tough sometimes.  It could mean that they need a hand or possibly just an ear. Telling other moms to shut up about their frustrations is just another example of the Mean Mom syndrome that plagues our playgrounds, mommy groups and internet boards. And, with baby blues and postpartum depression running rampant, it’s more than just mean – it’s irresponsible and dangerous.

Momma, I love my children more than I could ever put into words.  I am grateful for every milestone I can witness, every boo-boo I can kiss and dirty butt I can wipe. Ok, I could actually live without the butt-wiping, but still.  I know that there are many parents who wish they could be home with their children, who cannot.  I also know that there are many parents who stay home with their children, who long to go back to work, but cannot. But most of all, I know that whether you work outside the home or inside the home with your children, we parents are all working double time.  There is no break from parenthood. There is no rest. There is no perfect balance. There is only doing the best we can.  And while we go into parenthood knowing this, it doesn’t make it any easier. This journey called parenthood is the most amazing journey life has to offer, but sometimes the road is bumpy. Sometimes it even seems impossible. That’s why we need to help and support one another, not tear each other down, and certainly not shut each other up.

So Momma, the next time a friend knocks at your door with her “greasy hair and caffeine withdrawals”, instead of telling her to “just be content or quit your whining” maybe you could try listening. Maybe you could offer some help, or just some sympathy. Or maybe you could offer up some pie for her friggin’ pie-hole. Pie always makes me feel better.

Just a suggestion.

With respect,

Courtney

shut up

photo credit: LaVladina via photopin cc

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Here It Is: The Full Proof Way to Make Traveling with Kids Easy!!!

If you are reading this believing that I can offer you a full proof way to make traveling with kids easy, you are either:

a)  Delusional

b)  Not a parent who has ever traveled with kids

c)  Extremely desperate

If you are c) Extremely desperate… hey, I get it.  After spending most of the past month and a half either on plane, in a car, begging my daughter to sleep, or sobbing inconsolably… often most of these at one time, I would try just about anything to make traveling with my daughter even a little easier.

I love to travel.  I wish that I would have done more of it when I was young and unencumbered. There are so many places in the world that I want to see, foods I want to taste, cultures I want to experience, and languages I want to not understand.  Yes, I love traveling, but I have come to realize that I do not love traveling with my 15-month-old daughter.

Me in Bali BEFORE baby. Don’t I look relaxed?

This summer we flew to Italy with Lyla.  She is very well-behaved, but she is also extremely curious, very energetic and besides that…she is 15-months-old.  Too old to want to sit in my lap for very long or to fall asleep in my arms, but not old enough to discover the joys of the Ipad, portable DVD player, TV, or really anything at all for longer than 3.5 minutes at a time.  She wants to run, explore, play, and say hello to each and every person on the plane, whether they are sleeping child-hating weirdos or not.  No matter how well-behaved she is, 12 hours on a plane spent chasing, playing and apologizing profusely is exhausting.

But it is not just the plane ride that is the killer; it usually doesn’t get much easier once you arrive at your destination.  It certainly didn’t get easier once we arrived in Italy.  When you take a new country, a new bed, new people, new food, new schedule and a bevy of new experiences and add that to a significant time change plus jet lag plus not sleeping for 15 hours on the plane ride, you get one cranky baby.  And one cranky baby equals two cranky parents.  You multiply that by the two weeks we were in Italy plus the two weeks it took all of us to recover when we got home, and it DOES NOT equal a relaxing vacation.

I guess that maybe our intercontinental jet-setting ways could be to blame.  Ah…if only that were true.  The truth is that it is not much easier traveling even a short distance.  After returning from Italy, I flew alone with my daughter to visit my parents in Colorado for our yearly tradition of the Llama Races.  It was only a two-hour flight and a one-hour time change, but still my daughter was cranky, clingy, and completely unrecognizable as my usually-delightful spawn for most of the trip.  Every single nap and nighttime took 2-3 hours of rocking, milking, reading, pleading, bargaining, and threatening (threatening God, not my daughter… threats don’t work on her yet.)  Most parents would agree that nap time and bedtime are some of the best times of the day (sorry Lyla, I love you, but it’s true.) These moments are the only time that you can have a real conversation, an actual meal or a full glass bottle of wine.  So missing out on this, when I had gone to Colorado to spend time with my friends and family was a slap in the face.  By the third day I was on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

To rub salt in the wound, my husband had to stay home to work, so I was doing all of this alone.  My husband meanwhile was sleeping in, going out, watching movies, seeing friends, and drinking many a bottle of wine and/or beer and/or vodka.  I was out-of-town, but HE got the vacation.  Not that I resent him… he works very hard and deserves a vacation more than anyone.  But to say that I was just a little, teensy bit jealous would be an understatement.  But then, I am a jealous bitch.

Ok, so here’s the part of the blog where I turn it on its head and tell you how I was able to make it all easier, or how through some incredibly special moment with my daughter, I came to realize that it was all worth it.  Sorry, friends.  Not going to happen this time.  There is no full-proof way to make traveling easier.  There is no magic device to make kids behave the way you want, when you want them to. (Sorry Apple!)  I truly wish that there was. The point of this blog is just to say that if you are a parent and halfway through your “relaxing” “vacation” you found yourself just wishing you were home watching reality TV, you are not alone.  It is tough. I don’t know if it gets better.  I hope so, but I doubt it.  I have a feeling that you exchange one hardship for another.

So, do I need a vacation from vacations? YES.  Will I ever travel again?  Certainly.  What’s the alternative?  Sit around all year drinking boxed wine and watching the Bachelor Pad?  Actually… hmmmm… tempting.  But alas, Bachelor Pad only lasts a month or two.  And besides, what could I possibly learn if I made everything easy on myself? And more importantly, what would I blog about?  The world is full of places to visit, people to meet and experiences to discover… for my daughter and myself.  And while my travels were not exactly relaxing, I did find time for a lot of laughs with friends, some great conversations with family, and many wonderful moments with my daughter.  Moments that I wouldn’t trade for anything… except maybe a staycation at home by myself.

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