My children HURT me today. I don’t mean physically, although their comments did make me snap my head up so quickly in surprise that I hit my head on the medicine cabinet door and I do have quite a nasty knot, so I guess they did hurt me in that way as well. Seriously though, I mean in the deep down to your core way, and let me tell you, that is the worse kind by far. But the worse part is… I brought it on my self!
This morning Gracie and Jay came down to breakfast, which by the way I happened to make hot fresh cinnamon rolls this morning. Granted they were Pillsbury pop in the oven ones, but still, I could have just given them a cold Pop Tart so I get points for this. Today I am counting all the points too. Anyway, they started asking what they were going to do on April 28th which is Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day. “Dad can’t take us to work with him, and well you don’t work anymore so what can we do?” said Jay innocently. “What do you mean I don’t work? What do you call what I do here now at home?”, I said perhaps a little too desperately. “Mom… you just stay home and Blog and sometimes you go to the gym. Hey Jay, lets stay home with mom that day so we can watch TV all day and play on the computer,” said Grace. OUCH! This is what they think I do all day now. I felt the need to set them straight. “Excuse me, but who do you think washes your clothes, changes your sheets and scrubs your toilets? The Cleaning Fairies?” I said a bit too bitterly. “Who drives you to Taekwondo and is your Girl Scout Troop leader? Who was the one who cut out 300 paper masks so that the kids at school could celebrate Carnival Brazilian style like you used to or is going into school today to string beads on 30 t-shirts to turn them into Native American Costumes for your 2nd grade class show next week?” I practically screeched at them. And then Grace said something that stopped me in my tracks. “You mommy… but you use to do all those things and WORK too.”
WOW… what have I done? My daughter was 100% correct. In my need to be Super Mom, look what I did? I just gave my children a totally unrealistic idea as to what a mom’s job is. What they don’t understand is that need to be Super Mom practically killed me. I am not being dramatic either. I seriously think if I would have continued down that path I would have given myself a heart attack. They did not see that I would stay up to 1am in the morning and then get up at 6am so that I could finish the costumes, bake the cupcakes or wash their uniform they would need after school. They did not see the stress I had trying to get time off from work to attend an IEP meeting or meet with the vice principal about an incident that happened at school. They did not hear the fights I would have with their daddy about needing help around the house or who was going to pick the kids up from after school care because I had a meeting I had to attend. They did not see the guilt I felt every time I sent a child to school sick who I knew should have stayed home. They did not see how long it would take me to get it back together after dealing with a morning meltdown. They did not see how I let myself go gaining 20lbs because I was depressed and over taxed and hanging on by a thread.
I hid all this from my children because I wanted to protect them. I wanted them to still feel loved and secure and have all the things that I had growing up. The thing is my mom chose to be a stay at home mom. That was why she was able to do all those things. I was a working full-time mom who was still trying to do ALL the things that stay at home moms do and guess what… it doesn’t work. Something has to give. There are only so many hours of the day and only so much of yourself you can give. I am not saying that you can’t be a great mom and work full-time too. I know lots of moms who do this. But guess what? Most of those moms have some help. They have a housekeeper perhaps to help keep the house clean or a babysitter to take the kids to after school activities. And if those moms who work do have a special needs child… guess what… they are feeling lots of GUILT!!!! I know this… I was one of those moms. You feel guilt because no one, NO ONE, can be a better mom to your kids then you! And when you can’t be there for your kid… it sucks! Plan and simple.
Those of you that have been reading know that I recently stopped working. (Those new followers can read all about why I stopped working by reading the article Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together) I am grateful now for those things that happened because I now know that if I would have continued on the path I was going on, well it would not have been a pretty ending, that is for sure. I may choose to go back to work one day, and if I do… it will be a battle to not fall back into old habits. But I know now it is okay to ask for help and to not do everything myself. For now though, I will continue to stay home and concentrate on taking care of ME and my kids and then the house and everything else. I am 10lbs lighter now and happier than I have been in a long time. My kids are happier too.
On April 28th I will keep my son and daughter home and I will show them that I am more than JUST a stay at home mom. I will have them paying bills, doing laundry, dusting, mopping, sweeping , cooking, blogging and all of the other things that I do throughout the day. My daughter and son will learn that day that this is a choice I am making and I will share with them all the things that for so long I hid from them. They will see why their mommy decided to hang up her Super Mom cape. And by the end of the day… they will be begging to go back to school and back to the easy life! LOL