When I was a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) people would say bizarre things to me, like how much they wished they had the luxury of staying home with their kids… as if reheating your coffee in the microwave at 2pm whilst still in your pj’s that you have probably been wearing for two days was somehow glamorous. Sure, I didnt have to go anywhere, but I still had things I had to do. My husband got to skip off to work with his shiny little lunch that I packed with not so much love and a whole lot of jealousy to go interact with adults and tell offensive jokes during lunch, while I stayed home and dealt with teething and tantrums and several walls that I stared endlessly and ate lunch with a kid who threw his food at me, and then on the floor.
I’m convinced this is why people always pop out babies like Pringles. Because the wives are actually bored and we’re convinced that another will make it all the more lovely and entertaining. Sure, there will now be two or three tiny dictators, but think of the matching outfits and mostly, they will have a playmate for life. Which means we can have some time to sit down and knock out some of that tedious To Do List, like “Return to Amazon”…. shit, that was a year ago. Except none of this is true. More kids equal more work. The minute you sit down, all hell will break lose or somebody decides that they’re thirsty.
As a SAHM, I took care of the house because my husband worked. I also took care of him because it felt fair. I let him sleep, I made his lunch, I reminded him repetetively of the things he did have to do, like bring home his tupperware. I did laundry for four, I cooked for four, I did dishes and housework for four. I picked up toys endlessly thrown onto the ground. I did the planning of all the boring things like calling Comcast to argue about a bill for 3 hours, figure out which preschool was best, read about development and scoured the internet to identify that rash. I unintentionlly memorized all the words to Thomas the Train and Little Einstein’s. My husband worked long hours and was the sole provider for our family, so it only seemed fair to endure a little boredom and get a head start on senility for the coveted housewife life.
I wandered through that house wondering what I was missing. Read blog after blog of these women that led fabulous lives and had cute Starbucks dates with their girlfriends while their children sat quietly next to them and I wondered what I was doing wrong? I tried to go inside a Starbucks once with my kids to meet a friends for coffee and I almost had to buy the entire wall of mugs. My pictures always came out a little smudgy, my kid’s nose was always drippy, it had been years since I had been able to afford an entire wardrobe from Nordstrom’s, and my messy bun never looked that cute, ever.
One day I woke up and I just didn’t want it. I realized it just wasn’t for me. I had had other plans for my life and this was never part of my vision. I had seen myself in a business suit in New York writing reviews for Fashion Week or participating in a big fancy important advertising launch. I had even seen myself in a tiny apartment with nothing but a typewriter and a mattress writing away at my first novel. But I had never seen myself pre-25, married with two kids, hanging out at home all day with a baby on my hip doing arts and crafts to pass the time.
Fast forward two years and
all my dreams came true. While I was still in Washington and my vision had changed from business suit to scrubs, I definitely had a busy life and I had not only one, but two jobs. There was no more husband and no more boredom, but there were still two tiny tyrants demanding assistance with their every need and want. Here I was in a tiny apartment with barely more than my computer, a bookshelf, and a couple mattresses and as I laid down at night with two tiny bodies cuddled up next to me, I found myself dreaming of another life… one with a slower pace. I pictured myself in a cute little house with a handsome husband, and the luxury of not having to work. I would drive carpool and make cute crafts with my kids after school. I dreamt of soccer practices and family vacations, barbeques in the backyard and family dinners… I fell asleep dreaming of my old life.
Funny, huh? Or not so funny, sad.
Took me awhile to see what was really important to me, but once I realized the grass is greener where you water it, I began to water my grass.
Today, my life is weird. I’m a student, a SAHM and a single Mom. Some days I find myself bored and others I crawl into bed at 9. Some weekends- while the kids are away- I stay in my sweatpants and tuck myself in at 9pm and others I revert to my younger, unattached self and go out and stay up late participating in shenanigans that cannot be talked about on the internet. I talked my ex into helping me coach T-Ball, my kids are in swim lessons, and between my own school work, a bit of therapy, and housework… I have found a way to stay busy at what feels like a “healthy pace” for me. I’ve also learned to take time for myself and do what I feel like I need to do to stay sane throughout. I used to feel like I was taking one for the team by suffering in silence and just trucking through the misery I was experiencing, but with that came my massive quarter life crisis where I couldn’t handle it anymore and turned everyone’s lives upside down.
So with that being said, I decided that after three years… I’m taking a kid-free vacation. Actually, it’s mostly a people-free vacation as well. My niece is getting married down in Santa Barbara, and as I didn’t want to miss it…I used this opportunity to take a trip I’ve been wanting to take for some time. I’ve been dreaming of Big Sur and Yosemite for a few years now, and I’ve also been dreaming of some long desired alone time.
If you ever feel like you’re “just a mom”, try to go out of town for seven days.
After careful planning, I can only hope that these days will go by smoothly for my kids and friends and family (and T-Ball team) that will be helping fill my role…and I can only hope that they don’t call me that much 😛
I had originally planned to take this time to fly solo and cut myself off from the world for a few days but in light of recent events in the area, I had a change of heart. Because I am flying solo for the majority of this trip, I decided it best for me to keep several people informed of my whereabouts and maybe, to not talk to handsome strangers. I will be attempting to blog in places where I have service, and plan to share my adventure mostly that way.
Thank you to all that are so generously helping this trip happen- from babysitting, lending gear, dog sitting, being the best neighbor ever, etc. I love and appreciate you all!
Here’s to new adventures, solitude, and hella trees.