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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hardest Job of All

Yes, this is going to be another non-writing, non-book post. Once more, I'm diving into mommyhood and all that goes with it.

The above picture popped up on my Facebook wall the other day. Normally I'd ignore it and keep scrolling through my feed, but for some reason this one struck a nerve. Maybe it's because I'm tired of people thinking stay-at-home moms (or dads) have it easy. Maybe it's because I'm tired of people thinking that because they 'do it all' they're superior. Or maybe it's because I've done both and know neither one is easy.

When you work full-time and have kids, it does feel like you have no time for yourself. Here's the thing about stay-at-home parents: they don't have time for themselves, either. They're constantly dealing with one child-related incident or another. Keeping a clean house is more difficult because the kids are there more, therefore having more time to mess it up. 

I'll admit, when I decided to be a 'stay-at-home mom,' I thought it would be a lot easier. That I'd have more time to get things done and more flexibility. Needless to day, I was wrong. Entertaining two young children 24/7 is a lot more wearing on a person than doing it for only a few hours a day. You know how you get tired of playing the 'WHY?' game after 10 minutes? Imagine doing it ALL DAY.

I've also learned that when my kids have tantrums, meltdowns or generally a bad day, it all comes down on me. Before, when they went to daycare and I went into the office, I didn't have to deal with all the crying fits and arguments that our poor daycare provider did. Let me tell you, when you have to deal with meltdowns three times a day, sometimes for the stupidest things like they want a piece of string, you will suddenly appreciate your daycare provider a LOT more. 

Another thing about STHPs - they don't get much adult interaction. It's one of those things I miss about working in an office. Now I spend my days with only my small children to talk to. While I love them and some of the crazy things they come up with, talking with grown-ups is nice, too.

Some of you are now saying, "But I thought you had a full-time job." I do. However, my full-time job is taking care of a severely autistic adult. While it allows me flexibility to bring my kids to work and sneak in some writing time, it doesn't allow for the same interaction I had working in an office environment. The most intelligent conversation I get usually involves why they colored a purple dog.

I know balancing work, kids and housework isn't easy,either. Like I said, I've been on both sides. All I want you to do is think about this before you start spouting off how much harder you have it.

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