Saturday, April 2, 2016

the one where I get testy about stay-at-home moms and their time

Happy Saturday morning to ya. I sat down at the computer with shooting pain going up into my back because I've seen every single Alvin and the Chipmunks episode there's to see and instead of trying to relax on the couch with a squirmy three year old--the one that's always awake--I'm here. Guzzling coffee and ignoring the pain in my back as best I can. April is going to be a difficult month here. I'll be solo parenting for most of it. Earlier this week there was a light that made me hopeful. I met and interviewed a potential babysitter. I hate relying on other people, especially with something so precious! When I posted the job on I even wrote to "please not apply if you aren't interested in becoming a part of their lives". I think that's pretty clear, straight-forward- don't you? Well, after speaking with this girl and doing some background checks, I reluctantly hired her. I always feel this way after asking someone new to watch the kids. I thought it would be easier when we moved home because I thought everyone around here would know the person or know someone who does and have some extra info to set my mind at ease. The trouble is, I need sitters during the day for the other two while I run Abel to therapy and everything else under the sun. Everyone already has a job or school at the times when I need someone. So, I hired her because she appeared to be bending over backward for me, rearranging her work schedule so she could definitely be available three days a week. She even said, "I think in life it's most important to connect with people. I'm here to help mothers out. I want a large family and I hope someone will do the same for me when the time comes." Alright, gal. Let's see what you've got. She even came with a calendar and wanted me to schedule times with her in advance. When I came home, the kids were happy and fed and the house was cleaner than I left it. Score! I talked to her about the extra therapy that Abe might be starting and she said she had a job interview in Knoxville (making that her 3rd job!) at that time, but that she would be happy to reschedule to accommodate me. Within five minutes of leaving, she had supposedly called and rescheduled the job interview. "See you Tuesday!" she happily texted. Then yesterday she texted me telling me she got a job in a different state and could no longer work for me. Sayonara. 
I guess I'm bothered by it mostly because my time is important, too. In the four years that I've been a stay-at-home mom, I've noticed a recurring theme that many people demonstrate to me over and over. My time is not as important as theirs. When we lived in Louisiana, my neighbor put my name down on her kids' school contact list (without asking me) and would have me running all kinds of crazy errands for her. Her house was one of those you'd see on Hoarders, no joke. One day, she asked me to break in which consisted of pushing the door open until the trash can fell over ("don't worry, just leave it") and entering to rummage through her kitchen to find her son's medicine and take it to him at school. SURE BECAUSE MY TIME ISN'T IMPORTANT. Another time, she wanted me to take her daughter some new clothes to school so obviously I thought that was pretty important so I rushed over there expecting to find a young girl who started her period unexpectedly or got in trouble for wearing shorts too short, or something else big. Nope. She just changed her mind about what she wanted to wear that day. You think I'm joking, but this sort of thing happens all the time to stay-at-home moms. Ask so and so, she doesn't have a job! So when I lovingly crafted a job posting online, set up a time to interview, and hired someone indefinitely, I expected that to be it. Now it just feels like a huge waste of time. You know what I could have been doing during that time? Finally showering after days. Stuffing my face with chocolate ice cream. Working on the laundry. Cleaning the kitchen. Enjoying a double nap time that is just so rare. Calling the insurance company to figure out the hospital bills past and upcoming. Calling the company that we order Abel's bionic ear from because the cord and headpiece broke for the millionth time. Just because I'm not paid for what I do every day, doesn't mean the schedule we've created here isn't important to the functioning of this house. It doesn't mean that it's not important to me! Time is super precious to a stay-at-home mom. I'm going to have very little of it this month and that's what is on my mind when you tell me I've wasted my time by hiring you. God has called me to be here with four children that aren't yet in kindergarten. I'm to be pouring myself into them, guiding them into a budding relationship with Him. My role is to create a happy home here that demonstrates God's love. It's important. ..and hard....and time consuming. As a society, can we stop telling mothers it isn't? I'm a servant to Him by serving them and finding caregivers that reflect the importance of that. 
So what did I say to her? " Congrats on the new job!" Obviously, it wasn't meant to be. Then I resisted the urge to also say April Fools at the end of the text. ;) 

"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain." -Psalm 127:1


Chantal said...

Yes, so much. I am SO busy. I just hired a nanny to come once a week to watch the baby so I can drive Penny to school and have a few hours to get some stuff done. Time is such a scarcity, especially as you add more kids to the mix.

Jen said...

It's so hard, I'm not working at the moment and I feel like I'm being pulled a million different ways every day

Lisa C said...

Honestly, you are busier on a daily basis than I am, and I work and am working on a Master's Degree. I saw something amusing about SAHM that said, "If you think we don't do anything all day, why do you pay someone to watch your kids?" It's a good reminder of everything that at-home parents do.

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