Monday, March 27, 2006
A year into this gig.
I recently celebrated my 34th birthday. It was pretty cool - flowers, gifts, cards, a night out at a restaurant that didn't have a kiddie menu...woo hoo.
All things considered, turning a year older wasn't traumatic. I feel the same as I did a month ago. The ever-widening preggo Buddha belly may be bigger, but I think I'm still basically the same person. As I reflected on the newfound maturity that older people possess, it dawned on me that not only am I one year older, I have also survived one year as a member of the tribe known as SAHM. For the uninitiated, that stands for "Stay-At-Home-Mom." Sometimes I prefer the definition provided by Dooce, which can be found here. It more aptly describes the mood I find myself in when confronted with the following asinine questions:
1. So, what do you do all day?
2. When do you plan to get back to work?
3. What is your occupation?
4. Aren't you bored yet?
I also have to admit, that I get equally huffy about people on the opposite end of the spectrum who seem to think I suffer from some kind of martyr complex - i.e I am sacrificing my life and career for the sake of raising my child (soon to be children). To set the record straight, I am a mean, self-centered, narcissistic and vain bee-yotch. I have no intention of sacrificing anything for anyone, and I'm here at home "raising my kid" because I'm conceited enough to think I'm the best person qualified for the job. When the time is right, I'll go back to my other career of pushing papers and interacting with so-called adults in the confines of too small office spaces.
This topic has been done to death, and the so-called "Mommy Wars", exists primarily in the minds of media writers and journalists who think it generates a fascinating topic of discussion, gets people riled up and makes for cutting-edge reporting. Right. For the real world mothers and fathers out there raising their kids, working inside the home or out, we have better things to do. I also don't find it terribly interesting whether or not the "opting -out" phenomenon exists in such great numbers as to qualify as a legitimate socio-demographic trend.
That being said, for anyone even remotely considering the idea of staying at home with their kid - permanently or temporarily or whatever...my advice is simply to develop a thick skin now. You are going to need it. Don't expect any awards, don't expect everyone you know will respect your decision, and plan ahead with a snappy come back to the genius who thinks all you do is "change dirty diapers all day."
Oh, and in case you were wondering, it's been the most amazing year of my life.