ah, yes, the joys and fulfillment that comes from staying home and raising your kids. watching their little personalities emerge day after day after day after....yeah, yeah, granted...it's wonderful. it really is. Not sure if woman say that to me because they are sincere, or jealous/envious. Sometimes it doesn't sound like a compliment. Do they think it is easier than a "job"? That I somehow have it easy? Whereas I, on the other hand, have lived Both sides. I have been a working mom and now I stay at home. Both are hard.   Let's face it...raising kids is the toughest job you will ever have no matter what.   But I think I can definitely say......staying home is harder.  why you ask?

because of days like today. I would not have dared to drag my stuffed up, sneezing, aching, shivering body into "work". and that's just the cold. I also had a migraine all day. I usually stay away from people on those days too. it's a safety thing. meaning, theirs, not mine. But when you are a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM).....there's no place to go. You can't hide! Well, you can....but they eventually find you. And the screaming of "mom. mom. mom. MMMOOOOOMMM!" doesn't really help a sore head. Once you are a mom - any mom...it is pretty much a 24/7 job.  I also do know what it is like to have to get up and go to work when a child has been up all night sick, or just not sleeping. Trying to stay awake at your desk all day, or in a meeting. I have been there.   I worked through my first 2 pregnancies.  Coming home so tired I could hardly stand up, but still having to cook supper, get them bathed and into bed.   But having to stay home and take care of 3 other people when your own head is spinning and you can't quite take a deep breath.  If I was working outside the home, I could have called in sick....and they would have been in school or daycare.   I have no idea what this house is like without the noise and chaos of my darling children in it.  I have never experienced it.  I  may have been down 1 or 2, but never actually without all of them.  Ahhh, a girl can dream though, can't she?

Okay, so you don't  have paid sick days.  you go to work and do your best.   Oh....if Friday will only get here quicker. Nay, nay. There is no Friday, or Saturday or Sunday for a SAHM. you get to do this everyday. all day. there's no weekends, no sick days, and no holidays. And I would like to point out.... I have gone to work sick too.  I have dragged my butt through interviews, meetings and phone calls when I could barely talk.   Spend one day with a whiny, demanding child...or 3 and tell me honestly if you would prefer your office/desk to that.  See it's one thing to just take care of yourself and try and get through the day.....but it is entirely another matter when you are actually responsible for the safety and well being of children....when you can barely take care of yourself.  And if you are married to a shift worker like I am.....you are often a single parent for a spell.

Now in praise of Left Brain, he is awesome with the kids. And he does know how to work the vacuum....although he will need prompting. He does like to cook, and believe me, that is a blessing! And how lucky am I that he has a little quirk about how the dishwasher should be loaded? Only he can do it right apparently. fill your boots buddy! However.....however.....he is also the one who came home last week with a migraine so bad he was almost sick AND Went straight to bed.  till morning.   got a good 13 hours sleep. I'm at 16 hours now with a migraine & a cold.....and as you can see....not in bed.  (go to bed when I can rant on my blog...never!)   I not only took care of home and hearth today, I got 3 kids up and ready, 1 off to school, hauled the other 2 around the  block in the sled, baked some bread, shoveled the driveway (twice) and back deck.  etc. etc. etc.  Now is that fair?  But, but......he had to work the next morning.  

And that was when I killed him, Your Honor.

As I don't have many followers, I don't expect much "hate mail".  I am not really intending to rant or whine. It's just the comment "must be nice to get to stay home" got me thinking.  I didn't quite know how to take it. Because it should be obvious to anyone that it was a choice.  I didn't just "get to".  And that in a nutshell is why it can be so hard.......the Sacrifices you make.  You have to keep going, when you want to give up and lay down.  You can't just quit, because they are depending on you.   To others, it may seem that we have "let ourselves go".  you try getting all dolled up everyday when you have to get 3 kids up, fed and at the bus stop.   I am lucky if I get there and I am not still wearing my pj's!   Some days I am lucky if I remember to brush my teeth...screw the mascara.   Of course I will make an effort if the situation calls for it.  Heck, I don't want to end up in one of those "People Of Walmart"  slide-shows.   But on a daily basis, my kids don't care if I have make-up on, or what I am wearing.  They just want me.   And I stopped working so that I could let all those "trappings" of the world fade away; and give them just me.   And when you had 33 years on your own...it's  hard to give that up.  Old habits have died Hard.

And yet...
the person who made the comment to me, came out of her house....looking smashin I must say....fancy coffee cup and designer purse in hand, kissed her kids good-bye and drove off to work.   How is she able to do that?

easy. while she was inside eating a nice breakfast, having coffee and getting ready for work......I, the Stay at Home Mom in her sweatpants and no make-up, was watching her 2 kids......and my own 3.....and another neighbours child......while shoveling my driveway, while waiting for the school bus.  she left before the bus even came.  her kids are under the age of 10.   but in all honesty......that was the easiest part of my day.