Thursday, April 22, 2010

Post Script from the Idiot.

Post Script to my recent entry that SAHMotherhood is making me a moron.

Note: this is not going to be a retraction. While some of my other entries could very much have benefitted from a mandatory cooling-off period (hello, bit I wrote about how I've stalked my exes on facebook, my husband really enjoyed you), this entry wasn't one of them. I stand by everything I wrote about being a SAHM, harsh as it may have come across (I'm talking to you, 3 people who voted "You Suck!" in the corresponding blog poll).

No, what I wanted to say is this. I may be a bit embarrassed by my "job" as a SAH mom on occasion, and I may worry that being a SAHM is turning my mind into mush...

but I am hella good at my job.

So what if, as we speak, my husband is sitting on the sofa reviewing important, small-fonted documents pertaining to an international negotiation, while I am on the floor painstakingly wrapping 15 small presents so that each of my 3 daughters will have a cheerful little surprise to wake up to on each of the 5 mornings my husband and I will be traveling next week. So what if the pre-K teacher gently suggested this morning that perhaps my eldest daughter is bringing in *too* many fun little show-and-tell related items to share with the other kids in the class (today, for example, per the week's theme of "Spheres and Cones" I sent her in with a jar of perfectly round marichino cherries and a box of empty ice cream cones). So what if my former neighbor once exclaimed to me, in the midst of a text war over something entirely unrelated, that she is "sick of making excuses for [me] to the other moms" (referring to my habit of bumming around in the sand pit with the kids while 99% of the other parents sit in the cafe area, sipping mid-afternoon lattes and half-heartedly looking on).

No, screw all those latte-sipping people. I am a million billion times better at my present job than I ever was at my "real" job. I take my children's happiness and well-being (mostly, happiness) VERY. SERIOUSLY. Yes I spoil them with presents ("What's the point of doing Chanukah?" my husband teased me last year as I was setting up the menorah. "In this house it's Chanukah 365 days a year." Sure I get a little shaky at the thought of going away on a mini-vacation without them in a few days, because there is absolutely NO WAY that I could transcribe all of the valuable information in my head into a single packet of information for my babysitting father to review (and annotate, and ask intelligent follow-up questions on, if he knows what's good for him) (there WILL be a test before I leave for the airport). And true, I hardly ever experience an actual deep, restful sleep-- nor have I for the past 5 years now-- because half of my brain is always, *always* tuned into the nearly imperceptible coughs and murmurs and rare but critical "Mommy?"s coming forth from the baby monitors in the middle of the night.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that yes, there are some days when I look in the mirror and am disappointed by what I see-- a person who looks more like an underslept teenager than a 35-year-old woman, a person who wonders why she became an attorney when she knew all along that being a SAHM was truly what she wanted, a person who eyes her husband with maybe a little jealousy in the morning as he is pulling on his fancy work clothes. But there are other days-- today is one of them-- where I think that, if my occupation were an actual paid position, I'd be on the damn cover of Forbes magazine. Every year. I hold my mothering to an extraordinarily high standard, and you know what? Who cares if I don't get written up with all "Exceeds Expectations" on an annual review. (Though I'm so proud of *you,* Stallion/Love-God/ Honey!) I don't need any person of authority to tell me that I am doing an awesome job and that I am raising the bar and that I "add value":

In my office, I *AM* the freaking value, baby.

So yay for Mommy. Today I am holding my head up high.


  1. Would you rather win a lawsuit or produce wonderful, productive human beings who have a positive impact on the world long after you're gone? Don't be embarrassed by your job. It's a good one.

  2. I didn't take what you said about being a SAHM as an insult to SAHMs at all! Bravo for you being honest about the emotional challenges you face as you do the incredibly hard work of mothering; it is more than a 24/7 job; it's a shame it's unpaid and undervalued by society - but it is SO IMPORTANT! Raising great, healthy kids is far more important than winning a case or closing a deal! So definitely keep your chin up high!

  3. I think you made excellent choices and you're happy, so are the girls, and they're getting everything they need. You remind me of YOUR mom so much and she was one of the best mom's on the block!

  4. since i'm super busy and will probably (as usual) forget to send kind sentiments in a time-sensitive manner, i'd like to wish you a very happy mother's day. kudos for the great work you do for your kids AND for the moms and dads who get a hell of a laugh from your posts. keep it up, mama. anonymom