I have been a stay-at-home mom, kind of, for about three full years now. I worked up until the day I delivered Evie as a stock-supervisor, unloading trucks for Gap Outlet. I didn’t mind the physical labor of it all, but it was exhausting during pregnancy. I tried to return to work when Evie was a few months old but struggled leaving her every day. I was able to get enough cleaning and nanny work that I left Gap, and started working in ways that allowed Evie to always be with me. Being a stay-at-home parent is no joke. It is hard. It is exhausting. I would gladly unload those boxes at 5:00 every morning over this kind of work, but I just hate leaving my children. Consequently, that means I have to work that much harder.
Now that I have three kids, I’ve stopped my nanny work but continued expanding my cleaning business. I was able to take each of them with me and wear them while I cleaned. When Livie hit the 20lb mark at a very young age, Sean and I decided it was best to find a sitter. I leave them home for about 8 hours on Friday’s and on Saturday’s they stay home with Sean.
Months and months of unreliable sketchy babysitters have left me beyond frustrated, but not with the sitters, with my husband. See, I run a small business with no help. I have no “sick day’s” or “vacation days”. I have me. I have families who pay me for a service, and expect that service to be completed on the day it’s scheduled. Now, realistically if I need to cancel, every one of the families I work for would understand, but that’s not the kind of worker I am. It eats at me when I have to reschedule. I hold a lot of pride in being reliable. Nobody likes a flake.
So when these babysitters call off, I have to scramble to find childcare or I take my three kids and I bring them with me to my jobs. Currently, there are maybe two people confident enough to watch all three of the girls for an extended period of time. It’s not like I do it all day every day or anything? So finding someone to watch them usually requires splitting them up. That means driving multiple places, and packing multiple bags. All of this adding to the already crazy mornings I have on Friday just trying to get out of the house with all of my supplies, my pump & parts, and of course coffee.
The issue lies within Sean’s over confidence in me as a mother. It’s great and all that he is so sure that I’ve got everything handled all the time, but should I really have to have it all handled all the time? Should I have to be a stay-at-home working mom? Isn’t that an oxymoron? When the sitter cancels, isn’t it just as much his responsibility to figure out a solution as it is mine? Hell, he has the office job with sick days, I don’t. He has a daycare attached to his damn office that offers several FREE last minute childcare days that for some unknown reason he refuses to set up. What the hell dad? Shouldn’t he be just as responsible for driving these damn kids all over North East Ohio?
IT IS just as much his responsibility, but a lot of times I find that the non–stay-at-home parent doesn’t see it that way. Because the kids are my responsibility 99.9%, he figures I will always figure it out. He’s right, I won’t just wake up on days the sitter cancels and put them in a dog crate for the day. “Ok girls, be good, and don’t get into trouble. I’ll be back around 5:00.” I wonder what he would do if the next time this happens; I woke up earlier than him and just left. I just got in the car, and went to work. That is exactly what he does. He looks at me, knowing that I have to solve the unsolvable, and he gets in his car and goes to work.
My husband shares the same commitment to his job that I do to mine, but doesn’t share the same sense of responsibility to the kids. He looks at them as an extension of me. When he wants to schedule something he can’t bring the kids to, he just does. When he wants to go somewhere alone, he just does. When he wants to take a shit alone, shower alone, brush his teeth alone, HE DOES. He gets to go to the doctor alone, the dentist alone. I can’t begin to tell you all the fun shit Evie says at all of my OBGYN appointments. Nothing is more relaxing than having your newly potty trained three year old announce she has to go potty right when the doc inserts the speculum. Great timing Eve.
It never crosses his mind to check if a babysitter is available before signing up for bowling events, or obstacle course bullshit. Why? Because, Julie’s got them. It doesn’t matter that both of those events fall on Saturday, one of the two days each week that Julie ALWAYS works. Julie’s got it.
Oh and what I would give to poop in private just once!
I have no doubt that this struggle happens in every family. I know that my husband works hard every single day to provide us with everything we need, and pretty much everything we could ever want. I appreciate everything he does. He deserves a break just as much as I do. I know that this last week was year-end and the “worst week for this to happen”. Next time, I’ll try to have this happen on a better day for you. I just need him to realize that my work is important to.
Sean left for work on Friday with some of my not so kind words echoing through our garage. I begged my dad to drive down to the house to watch Evie and Millie, and I loaded Liv up to come with me to my first house. Luckily, I knew I only had to manage her for one house. She is a porker, but we managed to make it work. I made it work, like I always do, like I always will. My sister met me at my second house and watched her until I finished the next two.
Eventually I will work up the courage to leave the house before Sean gets up and just let him figure it out, but hopefully I won’t have to. Hopefully, after we’ve talked about this AGAIN, it will sink in. Husbands eventually get it right?
Don’t answer that.
People tell me a lot that I am a “super mom”, that I make this all look “easy”. Well, it’s not. The only thing super about me right now is that I am super tired, super frustrated, super touched out, super annoyed with listening to baby shark, and super stressed. There is nothing super about crying in the car on the way to your job because it was so stressful figuring out how to make this work again. There is nothing super about worrying all day if you left what each kid needs with each person in the right place. There is nothing super about pumping while you drive between jobs because you’re getting mastitis AGAIN. There is nothing super about fighting with your husband because you both just want to be good at your job. There is nothing super in the way I talked to him that day.
For now, all I can do is try to make up for this mommy overload elsewhere. Which is why when he came home from work Friday, I handed him the baby and said “bye felicia”. I went to my cousins and soaked in her hot tub for several hours. The insane part of it all is the whole time I was gone I talked about my kids and my husband. How much I loved them, and how lucky I am to have this wonderful life I do. It is wonderful, and exhausting. It is by far the best thing to ever make me so tired.
But seriously Sean, don’t be a douche next time, your the one that talked me into all the “fun times” that made these damn kids.
I still love you.
Because I talk about it oh so much
Song of the day: