July 22, 2010

Just breathe

Okay - So my life is flying by at the speed of light! There are not enough hours in the day -
Days in the week -
And certainly there is no time for it all!
I want...
My kids want...
Forget about my poor Hubby - There is nothing left over for him when he gets back to town.
I have friends I don't want to neglect -
They have kids who are my kids friends...
So finding time to get together is a must!
I cannot seem to let go of swim lessons,
I "need" to fit Stroller Strides in at least three times a week for my own sanity
I want to make story time work
{somehow} -
It's all too much, none of it fits perfectly.
I just want to scream and I don't know how to make it work - Oh, believe you me, I WILL make it work, but I have yet to find the perfect combination/balance.

So when I tell someone who asks "What have you been up to?"
"I don't know?? We've been going flat out, non-stop for weeks but I can't seem to tell you what we've done."
I now know it's not just me! As thrilled as I was to read Carolyn Hax's response to this woman's question about SAHMs {Stay-At-Home-Moms}I found myself wanting to punch the woman she was responding to in the face. Seriously! If I knew who the woman was that wrote in with this outlandish and horrificly offensive question I would be prank-calling her house 24/7! I would love to walk up behind this woman, tap her on the shoulder and when she turns around, full on punch her in the mouth. -- I know violent - Sorry.
But I have to stand up for the rest of my SAHM sisters! No one understands -
Well ladies, our evil friends might not get it -
Random strangers on the street might not get it -
The dental hygienist might not get it -
Heck 9 times out of 10 our husbands might not get it but I do!
I get it and so does Carolyn Hax.

So if you've ever wondered what a stay-at-home-mom does all day long - Here is a true and brilliant portrail of the life of a stay-at-home-mother!
By Carolyn Hax

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Best friend has child. Her: exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me, etc. Me (no kids): Wow. Sorry. What'd you do today? Her: Park, play group . . .

Okay. I've done Internet searches, I've talked to parents. I don't get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day? Please no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners . . . I do all those things, too, and I don't do them EVERY DAY. I guess what I'm asking is: What is a typical day and why don't moms have time for a call or e-mail? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events) and I manage to get it all done. I'm feeling like the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy -- not a bad thing at all -- but if so, why won't my friend tell me the truth? Is this a peeing contest ("My life is so much harder than yours")? What's the deal? I've got friends with and without kids and all us child-free folks get the same story and have the same questions.

Tacoma, Wash.

Relax and enjoy. You're funny.

Or you're lying about having friends with kids.

Or you're taking them at their word that they actually have kids, because you haven't personally been in the same room with them.

I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are that your mom-friends are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous indeed.

So, since it's validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get. In list form. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.

It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.

It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.

It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends, well-meaning and otherwise. It's resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense.

It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything -- language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything.

It's also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn't judge you, complain about you to mutual friends, or marvel how much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand or keep your snit to yourself.

Write to Tell Me About It, Style, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071, ortellme@washpost.com.


Ali said...

I love your blog :) thanks for posting this!

Shelbi said...

Thanks Ali!

I thought Carolyn Hax's response to the question about what SAHMs do all day was brilliant! I felt so empowered when I saw it there in black and white... what my days are like - It's not just me - I have worth! It takes other moms 45 minutes to do what takes my childless girlfriends 10 minutes. Yay!! It simply HAD TO be shared! :)

Andrea said...

I saw this on Jill's facebook and it totally blew me away because it's so true. I don't know how I'm going to fit in a JOB among my already full life of being a mom. Great post Shelbi.

Anonymous said...

You speak the truth shebs! I give people anesthesia for a living and it is by far the easiest part of my day!! I give SAHMs all the credit in the world, keep up the good work and def keep blogging about it :))

Shelbi said...

Andrea and Meg - I don't know how you both work two full-time jobs - I could not work all day and mother all night!

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