It's been four and a half years.
I don't know why it still bothers me soooooooo much...but it does, oh yes, it does.
When I first had my twins, quit my job and was officially a stay at home mom it seemed like all the morning shows (that I was still able to watch because my babies slept all the time...) had women on there talking about how so many women were sacrificing their own identities, no longer contributing to society in a meaningful, tangible way. They spoke on how women were losing purpose and reasonably were no longer an asset to society because of one factor.
They no longer worked...outside the home...at a real job.
They were moms.
Ya, that made me angry.
So, here I am and it still makes me angry.
I know that I'm a bit different than most moms these days. When I am in groups of moms, I usually am the youngest mom with the most kids. I finished having my kids when I was 28, most of my friends are now 29 and just starting families.
I had a promising career in public speaking (which is hilarious now, since it seems I can barely mutter an intelligible sentence) when I believe with all my heart that God told me it was time I started a family. Had I ignored that prompting, I probably would be very successful (in terms of money) and who knows if I would have had a family by now. Since it was so hard to conceive back when I was 24 - I can only imagine the hurdles I would have to jump now that I am closer to 30. But I didn't ignore God - instead, I listened and met my wonderful hubby two weeks later.
So, all that to say...I chose my life.
And I chose to stay at home with my kids and be with them from the moment they open their beautiful eyes to the moment they lay their precious heads on the pillow at night. I chose to be with them all day long so I can be there for every "first." I chose to be with my children, to hear every whine, deal with every discipline, wipe every snotty nose, change every dirty diaper. I chose this.
I've written about this before, but it's so fresh...you see, a woman has come into my life recently who is older than me. She has a "power career" I suppose and so does her husband. They have a nanny. I of course, in my constant battle to NOT be judgmental, have a few opinions on that myself but as I have matured I have realized that people choose things for different reasons and it's easier in life to just keep my mouth shut and smile (to the best of my ability.) But you see, this woman, does not.
This woman, I am certain, feels about me the same way those talk shows spoke regarding stay at home moms. It is quite clear that I am inferior to her, that her family is superior to mine (for she drives a far better vehicle than mine and I'm sure she lives in a far more glamorous house), that her parenting struggles are so much more complex than mine, and really - life and mothering really must be so much more...well, simple for me.
Week after week after week I have endured this woman's opinions on her life versus mine and have smiled and tried my hardest to let it roll off my back. But the last time, I couldn't...
She was talking about the evening hours, you know, those wonderful peaceful (ha!) hours from dinner to bedtime? She was speaking on how stressful those hours are for her - from the time she picks them up at 5 till she puts them down at 7:45. She then looked at me, with her ever so condescending eyes, and said, "Nights are so hard for us families who work."
ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?
By the time I put my kids to bed I have been with them for thirteen hours. For thirteen hours I have played, been used as a jungle gym, said "no" a gazillion times, disciplined what seems a gazillion times more, changed even more diapers than that, and I get to enjoy all the whining from the moment the slightest twinge of hunger touches their little tummies to the moment they let out their last protest for bed. By bedtime, I am done.
Excuse me ma'am, I must say, nights are so hard for us families who have kids.
And for us simpletons aka stay at home moms - we have had to please the toughest critics all day, teach the most promising students on all things about life, perform for audiences with the shortest attention spans and we don't get a pay check. When my kids go to sleep at night, I don't relax in front of a beautiful huge flat panel tv - instead, I watch tv with rabbit ears on my 27" box tv that is missing buttons. I don't have fancy stuff, wear beautiful clothes, and have high class taste with food and wine. But what I do have? Knowing that my kids know me better than anyone, knowing I know my kids better than anyone. Seeing all their growth instead of having to be told about milestones that were met while I was trying to please other people all day long.
So, while you pursue your career and deal with your kids those not even three hours of the day - I am with my kids all the time and when they go to school and no longer need me every minute of every day...maybe I will pursue my career. But when all is said and done, I am mommy...all the time - and that ma'am, is harder than any power position you may hold...and much more rewarding.