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About Mommy Center

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stay-home moms et. al.

Anjana this is in response to you post. Others, its a long one... just the way most of my posts are :) Enjoy!!

To start off, being a stay-home mom, for whatever reason you become one, is a huge thing. Here, I will put in my perspective of all the good and bad (and everything in between) of being a stay-home mom in a setup where you have NO domestic help and practically no 'social influence' per se.

It came to me as a surprise - this whole baby thing. It was one thing trying to conceive, then go through a miraculous pregnancy and now, its another trying to raise a child with absolutely no prior experience (Even visual, since I have so siblings/nephews/nieces who have grown up with us).

As I write all this I'm wondering where to begin. Whether I should tell you the number of times I lost my patience and temper because Samvit did something very annoying.... and got so angry that Id whack him hard on his snuggly diapered butt. Or narrate how much I crave to re-live every single moment that I spent until today raising this baby of mine just so that I can see how he has become every little thing that he is today, yet again!!

Its tough. It takes patience, perseverance and a many self-taught philosophy lessons. It was one thing to deal with home and work and totally another to deal with home and baby. Im sure its another ball game having work in the latter combination. I think someone who is going through that can throw more light on it. Well to put things simply - Ive grown from sitting on a swivel chair at work and commenting on the way the world is... to staying at home and making the world what it is. Ive come to believe, after having a baby, that what the world is today is due to every single mother (working or at home) who put in her EVERYTHING to raise a child and make him a contributor to this world. Ok,I'm drifing away to philosophical fundas now!!!

So, back to the point. Stay at home moms are not somehow suddenly blessed with a ton of patience and nor does motherly passion takeover entirely. Its a battle between trying to be who you are (or 'were' before baby) and who you ARE!! Like most of you working women might agree it does give you a break to go off to work and be 'yourself' although mentally you might have baby on your mind 24/7! Its work but its some time off for yourself too. I might be wrong, because going to work, I know, has its own pressures since Ive been there and done that too.

And then there is the physical aspect. There are days when I personally would do anything to simply sit in a silent room and not do ANYTHING. No cooking, no dishes, no tons of laundry, no diaper changes, no potty training, no cleaning, no nothing. Yes. Being at home takes a huge toll on a woman physically. It is very VERY exhausting to say the least. I think its the toughest task to keep up with a toddler who wants attention. Besides, more than just attention, they even need physical activity.. so apart from doing all these chores we have to see that we play with these little bundles of energy so that they would sleep easily at nap times and eat well too. Having family at home solves this problem to a certain extent. How much can one woman do? It aint easy.

And how can one forget about how we moms can get totally insane just worrying that our kids are not eating, or not sleeping easily, or not walking or talking etc? What makes this worse is the fact that when you are around them all the time as a stay home mom you feel YOU are responsible for it all. The only thing that compounds this feeling is #1 Our guilt and #2 Relatives who pass snide comments about our 'incapabilities' of being a parent. It gets on you - Like a dose of slow poison....and suddenly you get engulfed by this whole horrifying idea that you are not doing a good 'job' as a mother. I had this feeling. I broke down in front of my husband one evening when he returned home. And I kept sobbing and weeping like a kid telling him I'm a pathetic mom because Sam cannot eat with a spoon. He was like, "Are you ok? You fought for it this far.. and, for Gods sake, its all not about a spoon!!" That did miracles, but what I'm coming to is the fact that we stay-home moms feel we are accountable for EVERYTHING. Which does cause more than a few strands of hair turn gray.
And then there is this whole 'what-am-I-doing-with-my-life' aspect, that takes over every once in way which Id rather talk less about because if I start with the list I want to do and rant and rave about it... this post can become an endless one.
All emotional attachment said and done, sometimes(out of monotony of our daily lives and trying to adjust our routines to the kids) we stay home moms tend to push away kids when we are doing chores. Simply because we have 'so much work' to get done before 'its mealtime/naptime'. We're at home but always rushing to cope up with time juggling N number of things at hand and trying to find a little 'Me' Time. And sometimes I think I do take my childs presence for granted. But later when he sleeps I feel guilty if I did not pay him attention when he was screaming his heaad off and showing me that he put those two red blocks together...and later realize that it was because he recognized the colours and I failed to see that!! Its the little things they do and the monotony of daily life makes us over look it all.

But apart from all this, no matter how tired I am or how frustrated I get with the number of times Samvit throws tantrums I think there is nothing more rewarding that staying home and watching a miracle grow right in front of my eyes... that I think is enough to refuel a mom, ANY mom!!

So as you can see life of a stay home mom is a huge concoction (and confusion) of emotions, chores, activites - all put together in a way that cannot be explicitly explained. And like I said earlier... I would do anything to watch a re-run of this entire story - even with another thousand diaper changes. Yes!

3 comments:

  1. Hmm...as a working mom, my 2 cents worth..I think adding work to the mix only complicates things. Its not time off for yourself at all, its quite the opposite. Its more like you are: doing stuff for baby, doing stuff for home/hubby and then you are doing stuff fr your company/team/subordinates. Its one more thing/person u r responsible for.

    And for the record, you are doing an AWESOME job as a stay at home mom, ur kid's smiling pics are testimony. It must be hard to listen to unsolicited advice frm ppl/critics...but remember, being a full time mommy u definitely have FAR more experience than them...so YOU are the expert! :)
    Me time = R&R on ur own, doing stuff like travel, reading/hobbies, meeting friends...
    But yes, it maybe does help in validation that i am not playing mommy full time.

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  2. Ya, there goes... I guess its all about perspective. For a mom like me who has worked before and never worked anytime after I got preggers, going to work might seem like a little respite from all the chores.. But on the other hand, I think what you say Pallavi is very true as well. Hmm, like they say..other side of the grass.. but just as you mentioned.. I think each one of us are doing our best at being Moms!!

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  3. Yup, that is so true. Grass is always greener on the other side. Being a working mom, I envy the stay-at-home-moms. Now, I have this wonderful opportunity, albeit a short one, to walk in the shoes of a stay-at-home-mom, and I am enjoying every moment of it. I must admit, however, that sometimes I think it's so much easier to go to work have someone else take of the little one. But then, again, I know that if I go to work, my thoughts will always be with the kiddoo. So all in all, we gotta make the best of what be have!

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