04 September 2013

I am doing a good job.

Who else stays at home with their kids? Raise your hand! Now raise your hand if you sometimes feel like your spouse doesn't "get" how mentally and emotionally exhausting it can be to be a stay-at-home-mom. Or in my case, a work-at-home-mom.

(and believe me, I'm not discrediting how hard it must be to be a full time working mom, major kudos to you all!!! but i'm just speaking from my personal situation and perspective)

Because the truth is that even though my Husband is a great Father, and is awesome and supportive, he only spends 3 hours a day (if that) with the kids, Monday-Friday. I'm not here to complain right now (I did enough of that in this post), I'm just stating a fact. And that is: I get the brunt of the whining, the tantrums, the screaming and fighting, and I do the majority of the disciplining. Obviously. And by the end of the day,  I'm worn out and kinda feeling like a failure. And then my Husband gets home. And you can bet that not 5 minutes later, he's complaining about the whining and telling the kids to knock it off. And at this point, I don't have much sympathy for him. Not my finer moments, trust me. I'm working on this.

But the thing is, I feel like my Husband couldn't possibly understand how I'm feeling or what I go through on a day to day basis. Even though it's rewarding, let's face it, being a Mother is kind of a thankless job, isn't it? Sometimes I feel under appreciated. Ya know? Being a Mama is greatest challenge I've ever had, and I wish my Husband could relate to me on the same level. I shouldn't have to do this, but sometimes I need to remind myself that I chose this life, and I will always choose this life. I wouldn't trade it for anything. But even knowing all that in my heart, doesn't change the fact that this is a difficult stage.

But....

A few nights ago, after a long day with the boys, while laying in bed, this conversation took place:

Philip: "Honey, you are doing a great job with the kids."
Me (in a guilty voice): "I don't know. I do much better the first half of the day, because by the end of the day I get upset and completely worn down, and tend to yell a lot more."
Philip: "Just because you get worn down and upset, doesn't mean you aren't doing a good job!"

My eyes are swelling up just thinking about this converstation. Because I understand now. I understand that there is no way, barring him becoming a stay-at-home-dad, for him to ever "get" how challenging it is. But he doesn't need to. Because when he looks at me, he sees good Mother. He sees how hard I work. The fact that he walks through the door at 5pm, to find his hot mess of a Wife & all hell breaking loose -- and can still tell me I'm doing a good job? That means the world to me.

So next time we feel under appreciated and like maybe our spouses don't understand, let's remind ourselves that we are doing a good job.


30 comments:

Rachel said...

Exactly!! The fact that you get tired over the course of doing your job doesn't mean you're not doing a good job! Like anybody, you get tired! That's what hard work does to us! And your kids will gradually grow to show more appreciation as they get older, I'm sure! :)

In This Wonderful Life said...

I think this scenario is probably true for so many of us! We just have to tell ourselves our job is hard like everyone else, but we have the job we love most at this stage of our life! You are doing a great job!!!

Erin said...

Oh Mandy, you ARE doing a great job! As a working mom, I get that mentality of complaining about the tantrums the moment you get home. Truly, you SAHMs and WAHMs are saints. While I've never had the opportunity to be a SAHM I'm not sure my nerves/lack of patience could handle it. Thanks for sharing this; I think every mom and parent needs a reminder they are doing good!

Sarah Notes said...

*Fist Pump* *Cheering*
Yes! Exactly!

Amanda said...

Raising hand! I am new to this SAHM gig and it is harder than I ever imagined. I'm not going to say it's harder than working, because I've never worked and had kids... but I'm just going to say that when I was working, nobody ever had a screaming fit for the entire 3 minutes I took to go to the bathroom. It just wears you down after awhile. And my husband totally does not understand why I am so tired and cranky in the evenings... or why it is so hard to do housework or complete simple projects even though I am home ALL DAY long. Well, I have a 6-month old who wants me to play with her/be with her whenever she is awake. And her naps aren't very long! Don't get me wrong, I totally love it, but it is so much more work than I ever expected. Your post just struck a note with me today. And I definitely think you're doing a great job too! You're a wonder woman with 2 kids and a photography business and a great blog. Props to you! :)

Xlovehappyx said...

AMEN! being a SAHM or WAHM is so freakin tough. And I only have 1 kiddo o_O haha the hubby just gets a taste of what i go through alllll day and it's "not fair" but i think we should all take the time to pat ourselves on the back!!

Loyal RUN said...

Your are so right!!
Gosh, I sure would love to hear those words come from my husband's lips.
The truth is though, as long as I recognize that I am doing a good job, that is all that matters. :)
You are a good Mom!! :)

Kristen said...

Thank you so much for this post. I'm a part time SAHM and I'm exhausted just by that. I start to get down on myself that I'm not doing a good job and this post just lifted me up!! I love this life and wouldn't want to change it for a second - but whew It's hard!

Jodi said...

I think taking care of and raising kids is the hardest job. I know when I take my nieces out it is always nice to give them back and then I can take a nap. Haha. Can't imagine doing it everyday. Sounds to me like you are normal and yell once in a while. But give yourself a break - its hard work to always be patient!! :)

Alena Pidala said...

I love this! It almost made me cry! I totally understand, and I only have one child. My husband is great, but I don't usually get those "Your doing a great job," comments. It is a hard job!!

BeWiTchEd said...

Hi Mandy...I'm raising my hand to this and in response (a post I made months ago - http://www.threelittlefeats.com/2012/08/for-the-stay-at-home-moms/) made me think of what we go through being SAHM. I have three kids age 16, 10, 5 so I am kind of in a limbo having these age gaps, (wait till teenage years and you will know what I mean). As for moments like this, when I feel kind of embarrassed/guilty for being home and not having a spick and span household, I hold on to the thought that it's okay and no matter how we think they don't understand it totally, kids and hubby still think we are awesome. If not, then they just have to make their own dinner. ^^v

EMILY =) said...

Love this post:)

Discovery Street said...

the exhaustion is just a whole different level than "work" exhaustion. I had a stressful job, but motherhood is definitely harder!

Ariel @ Dreams To Do said...

I can imagine how difficult it would be to not have your hubby fully understand what you go through each day! I work full time outside the home and Andy does too. We work some overlapping days, but we each have days home alone with the kids as well. While this is extemely tough, it is very comforting to feel like we are both on the same page and we both get how hard it is on the days when we're home with the kiddos all day. A big kudos to you!! While I dream about staying home some day, I know how much harder it really is.

Alessandra Ferguson said...

Such a good post! Every mom needs to remind themselves of this. Sometimes days are tough, and they rarely ever resemble something Pinterest or TV tells us motherhood should be like. But goodness, a mmom that commits to being home with her kids and takes every one of those moments in each day is doing a great job!

Brittany GraceAnn said...

*raised hand* me too!!! it is hard. we are in the trenches - and have to have GRACE on ourselves. so sweet that your husband could encourage you like that. those moments are the like finding water in a dessert! hang in there, momma!!! we're all hanging with ya! XO

Courtney said...

Yeah, girl! You ARE doing a good job! Good for your hubs reminding you of that.

Dara @ Not In Jersey said...

raising hand. I wish my husband would tell me that!

Mandy@ a sorta fairytale said...

Thanks girl!! :)

Mandy@ a sorta fairytale said...

It's really tough!! We all definitely deserve a pat on the back. Or a little reassurance that we're kinda awesome for what we do ;)

Mandy@ a sorta fairytale said...

Kristen, I am so glad to hear that. Sometimes I wonder why I put so much of my heart out there, but I realize that it helps so much to know that others can relate to you! Thank you for your comment!

Mandy@ a sorta fairytale said...

Aww! Don't cry ;) But for real, tell that Husband of yours that he needs to start singing your praises a little more! You deserve it!

fifth house on the left | family blog said...

that's wonderful that he said that! i know my husband gets how hard it is, but i don't think he really GETS it...KWIM? anytime i go to do something for myself (hot yoga, pedi...whatever) by the time i get home is in such a pissy mood because the boys had been acting crazy and he "already worked" that day. makes me feel guilty for ever doing anything for myself. it's exhausting, but we do the best we can. some days are great, most days are challenging.

mail4rosey said...

What a great post. I don't think my husband has ever said that to me, which is a little sad (good thing he's so wonderful in so many other areas that he'll get a pass). ;) I've heard others say it over the years (I have four kids), but never him.

Your husband deserves the props you gave him in this post. Very nice. :)

Michelle said...

Love this Mandy! It really is so emotionally and mentally draining at the end of the day after all the fighting and the tantrums and the 'school attitude' my 6 year old brings home with her, ha!

My husband does the same thing, it only takes 10 minutes for him to be fed up with their complaining and screaming and the thing is I really do understand where he's coming from, he's around loud machinery all day and he just wants to come home to some peace and quiet, but dude, I've been dealing with this all.day.long. It's a tough one!

But, he knows it's hard, he knows I struggle most days and he helps out where he can, he does the school pick up on a Friday and takes the kids to the beach so I can have a breather or catch up, whatever. We are ALL doing a good job :)

I loved your honesty on this post, thank you xx

Ashlea with an a said...

Ohhhhh girl, I feel ya! Your doing a great job and there's no doubt about that! It's so nice to remember those finer moments when we feel truly appreciated because us stay at home moms need to cling to those moments because yes, like you said it is a thankless job.
Love this post

Aileen Johnston said...

Love this post. I am in a weird position re raising our daughter. I work 3 days a week (but full time hours those days) and for 2 weeks of every month I am a single mum as my husband works away. Then the other 2 weeks of the month he is at home. Sometimes in the 2 weeks that he is away he wonders why I am short with him but what he hasnt seen is me getting up at 6am, showering, feeding my 1 year old, getting us both dressed and out the door by 730 at the latest. Daughter into nursery and then I go work a full day with Academics (which is a very strange working atmosphere at times!), back home, pick up daughter from nursery, into the house by 530. I then have 1.5 hours before she goes into full melt down mode to feed her dinner, bath her, play a little, read storis, give her milk and put her to bed. It is exhausting and it is very nice when my husband says "you are doing a good job", it also helps when he is at home for 2 weeks, he puts her to nursery a bit later and picks her up a bit earlier! I was a full time SAHM for a year (UK's maternity leave laws allow me to take up to year some of that time paid and some not) and I have to say that year was one of the hardest of my life. it was exhausting being with my daughter ALL DAY EVERY DAY. Even if we had play dates I was still the primary care giver dealing with all that you listed above. It is extremely hard work and I think all SAHM or WAHM should definitely give themselves a HUGE PAT ON THE BACK. Even though some of my days are absolute mad rushes and I don't always love being at work, I think the break from my daughter makes me appreciate our long weekends together even more and I also get to go to the bathroom in peace whilst I am at work. Never realised how exciting that was until I had a child :) Well done lady, you are doing a great job as Im sure all the other mamas here are doing as well! xx

Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com] said...

Good on him! I was just thinking this AM as I've been single-parenting for the last 3 weeks straight and my husband was getting annoyed at Braden not answering a question this morning... "you have NO idea what it's like to be with a 3 year old day in and day out. This is NOTHING pal!". BUT, he has his own stresses to deal with right now, so I just try to let it slide!

Anonymous said...

Love every second of it no matter how hard it is. I am the one that has to work 50+ hours away from home every week and my husband gets to stay home with our sweet little boy 4 days a week. I wish so much that I could be the one that has to go through all the hard stuff with my kids all day long. When I get home I try so hard to put my son first and spend some quality time but just like your husband after just a couple hours of whining and tantrums I've had enough and want him to go to bed. You do have a very hard job and you are doing a wonderful job. When things get hard just think about how great it is to be there and witness all of it. Most kids cry for their mommy's when they are scared or tired mine wants his daddy because that is who he is with most days and it breaks my heart that I can't have that special bond.

Julie S. said...

Amen! My husband has zero patience when he comes home and its like hello? You can't act like that around them! I don't get to!