At some point between a discussion of potty training [pullups at night or panties?] and a comparison of toddler food likes and dislikes [ranch dressing is a miracle food], one of the mothers asked about E's new school. I told her that while I like it, it isn't year-round so E will have a summer break with me. I mentioned that I am "freaked out" by this. As soon as I said it, I felt like taking it back. What kind of mother am I not to welcome two months home with my firstborn? I braced myself for another skirmish in the mommy wars and waited for the other mothers to react.
I quickly learned that I wasn't behind enemy lines. There was a moment of silence, a slight pause, and then the other mothers jumped in. The first, a nurse, said, "Oh, that would freak me out, too. I am so not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom." The second, an architect, said that she was glad I had said something because she often feels guilty that she enjoys her job. The third, a stay-at-home mom since the birth of her second child a few months ago, said that it has been far more draining than she imagined, but rewarding too.
I've been thinking about the other things I keep to myself in fear of being considered a bad mother. Here is a sampling.
- I miss having disposable income.
- I get bored playing with my kids.
- I have no tolerance for repetitive sounds (Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy).
- Whining makes me crazy.
- I feed my three-year-old quesadillas every other day because it is easier than fighting with her to eat her veggies.
- I raise my voice at times.
- I miss performing bodily functions in peace and quiet.
- I fantasize about sleep.
- I sometimes let the girls watch TV so I can catch a breather.
- It doesn't really freak me out that my 14-month old likes to scavenge for random food (mostly things she has flung form the high chair) off the kitchen floor.
- I once hid in the bedroom closet so the girls couldn't find me (J was close by).
- I plan to steal E's Halloween candy.
I'm sure there is more to add to the list, but that is a start.
*E was wild that night and didn't fall asleep until close to 11:00. Good times.