Monday, March 7, 2011

Greener Grass

Is the grass greener on the other side? I like to think its not.

But, sometimes I still like to take a look.

Tonight after bathing the kids, wrestling PJs onto them, reading to them, tucking them in...retucking...retucking...over and over again (Okay, just D does this. C stays in bed properly most nights), I got to thinking about what it would be like if I didn't bear the full 100% load of "caregiving" to my children.

It came to me 45 minutes after I first tucked D in as he sat on the toilet because he told me he needed to "poo-poo."

At first I thought, "No. This is just an excuse to get out of bed again." But then I thought, "Who am I to tell a potty training toddler that he can't try and poo-poo on the potty 45 minutes after going to bed?"

So, I carried him in and sat him on the toilet. As he did indeed go poo-poo and proceed to report MANY times that he was going a "lot a poo-poo, " all I could do was sit on the edge of the tub and think.

If I worked full-time and my children stayed with either an at-home caregiver such as a grandparent or friend or in a day-care style facility, how would things be different?

My immediate thought was that I wouldn't have to be the ONLY person potty training D. Someone else would cheer when he pees and poo-poos during the day. Someone else could show him how to pull his pants up and down and how to wash and dry his hands.

When my kids were younger, probably the day-care provider would have been the one to get them in a schedule/routine during the day. Maybe they could even get them to take better naps!

My children probably would eat a better variety of foods because day-care facilities/providers probably don't cater to picky children. They probably just make one thing (truthfully, I do this too, but I tend to make PB&Js or cheese and crackers WAY too frequently for lunch). I think my kids would have learned to eat a better variety of foods at an earlier age.

I got to thinking that if I worked full-time, I would still have to do all our laundry, all our grocery shopping, all our "fun time shopping," cook/plan all our meals, and still clean my house. This sounds like A LOT of work on top of a full-time job.

Sometimes I just wish I wasn't the only care-giver raising my children. My husband helps when he's home of course, but the daily grind is 100% mine. I know what D is saying when nobody else does...but if he stayed home with my mom during the day, she may know too. I always feel bad when D tries to say something and I answer him with the correct answer to his question or statement and my husband has to ask me, "what is he trying to say?" Its time like those that I realize I do a BIG job.

I hold a huge responsibility in my family.

Its a big load to carry, but I think its an honorable load, nonetheless.

I don't write this to say that being a stay-at-home-mom is "harder" or "better" than being a working mom. I just realize thats its different. I think those differences can be both good and bad. I think that what works for some moms would drive others nuts and vice versa.

There are many days that I wish I could go to work. I miss working. I miss having adult friends and co-workers that I see on a regular basis. I miss the extra income. I miss having a real reason to shower and put on nice clothes. I miss feeling important and having a great sense of accomplishment after doing something and seeing it through to completion. I miss being recognized for my efforts...I think this is what I miss most of all.

But then I see my friends who work have to rearrange their whole day/week because their child got sick and needed to go to the doctor. And I think about how hard it must be to work a full day and then come home to a house where the laundry still piles up and the fridge still needs filled. That must be exhausting! I really can't imagine having to take care of my house only between the house of 6-10pm each night or on the weekends.

I guess if the trade off is that I, as a stay-at-home-mom, have to do 100% of the child rearing, booty wiping, nose blowing, encouraging, disciplining, car pooling, cooking, nap enforcing, sight-word teaching, grocery shopping, language interpreting (and teaching!), and creativity building, then I guess I'll take it.

I don't think the grass is greener on the other side in this case. I can see a lot of upsides to to being a working mom. But, for me and my kids, staying at home has been the best choice. :-)

Now let me go check and make sure my little guy is actually STAYING in the bed this time...


  1. Sweetheart, your comment "I miss feeling important and having a great sense of accomplishment after doing something and seeing it through to completion. I miss being recognized for my efforts" will indeed be about 20 years. Until then, you will keep on doing what you need to do to help your children grow up into wonderful, God loving, self sufficient adults. And you will be proud of each one of them. Your love and pride for them continues to grow. No one knows your children like you will. And they will "pay" you back in ways they don't even recognize. I love you... Mom

  2. I am a new follower & can't tell you how much this post resinates with me. My DD is 8 mo old & I've really been struggling with going from career woman to SAHM. Thank you for reminding me why I chose to stay home!

  3. why don't blogs have a "like" button?! There are SO many days where I feel just like what you described in this post. Such a great blog and everything you do is recognized and appreciated, it might not be vocalized to you, but in hugs and kisses its always there :)

  4. I'm so glad you guys enjoyed the post! I struggle with this issue now and then. I miss working. I get totally burned out of staying at home sometimes. It helps me to sit down and remember why I decided to stay at home. My husband and I made BIG changes in our life so I could stay home and raise our children (thats one of the primary reasons he joined the Army!), so its not a decision we made lightly. :-) Overall, its a decision I will never regret!