Me? Just kick'n back.

Whenever someone asks me, “What have you been up to” I blank. Wait. That’s not right. Whenever someone who doesn’t stay home with their children full time asks me, I blank. I end up getting all deer in the headlights and forget how to answer the question. Because the conversation usually ends up like this;

Me: Oh, you know taking care of the kids. Daughter’s 2 now so they are quite a handful.

Person: I know, but what do you DO?

So I start listing places we’ve gone, the zoo, the pool, the park, etc. Then the person interrupts and says, “So your not working anymore then?” To which I stupidly reply, “No, not working. Just taking care of the kids.” Person then turns to husband, “So you’ve been busy! I hear your working a lot of overtime. That must be really hard!”

If you aren’t fluent in Passive Aggressive please allow me to break that conversation down for you.

What was actually said to Lotta – You don’t do anything but hang out with kids. They always seem pretty easy when we see them. Lucky bitch that you don’t have to work.

What was actually said to Husband – Wow, you’re a nice guy to put in so much overtime so your wife doesn’t have to work.

I’m pretty sure that I’m a big wussy and I need to start speaking up. Husband always says, “It won’t make a difference, you won’t change their mind so why say anything.” But it stews me man. So next time I get a “But what do you DO” I’m going to start listing actual tasks.

Well, yesterday I cleaned shit of the shower drain after daughter’s bath. Then I cleaned the house, twice because son and his play date decimated it. I stared at my online checking account willing it to be above $19.63 so I could do a big grocery shop. Then I took the kids to the pool where I stood in a hunched over position for 3 hours so I could scoop them out of the water – note the red sunburn on my back? Changed diapers, made food, changed diapers again. Washed floors. Washed floors again after child pours their own glass of milk from a full gallon. Do you want me to go on? Why do you ask if I work? Do you not think taking care of two small children is work? Bite me.

Or at least something like that.

20 comments:

jac said...

i like the bite me part :-)

Heather said...

Lotta,

I'm glad you wrote this post. Until I had a child, I was under the impression that the stay at home mommy gig was a breeze. I couldn't have been more wrong.

I'm grateful for the chance to be at home, but it sure has taken a toll on me physically and emotionally, not to mention intellectually. I feel that it's the hardest job I've ever had. There are no breaks and it's a 24 hour work day.

I say give it to those people the next time you catch attitude from them! I do!

Gretchen said...

Don't even get me started on this.

When people ask me what I 'do,' I tell them, "I'm COO of 'My Lastname' Enterprises."

But what do I do?

"Manage Expectations."

Marmite Breath said...

I can totally relate. I mean, I do have a BRAIN and the ability to make conversation. It's just that sometimes people think that because I'm a SAHM that I have lost that ability.

PurlingPirate said...

Thank You!! I am also a stay at home Mom of a 2 year old and I could relate with EVERYTHING you just said!

mark said...

Oh, Lotta, tell them the "truth." You stay at home and care for your wonderful children, but when they're napping you're curing cancer and finishing up your work on cold fusion. You are learning your 5th language and when the kids go up, you're going to go save starving babies all over the world. You tend to your all natural organic garden and in your spare time, you make the neighbor's jealous. Does that about cover it?

Worker Mommy said...

I love the comments from Gretchen and Mark!

I've never been a SAHM but I absolutely appreciate the job that an SAHM does. You're constantly on!

I'd certainly prefer it over working outside of the home...scratch that perfect world I'd work outside of the home part time :)

Lori said...

I know exactly what you mean by being a deer caught in headlights. Was at a wedding when someone came to our table and asked us (since we were all from out of town) what we did - hubby and his friend are game programmers, friends wife some physics expert working on some great breakthrough that will save the world - me, I was numb after hearing what other wife did (no kids of course) and I just said "I do nothing" - then excused myself and headed for the bar!!!

Now I say I am "house manager". If they push it I explain I manage my house.

Mama en Fuego said...

I'm a part time stay at home and whats funny is my co-workers think my day at home is like a "day off." Some frickin' day off, clean, feed, diaper, chase, clean, feed, diaper, grocery shop, clean, look for ways to make more money & spend less, clean, diaper, feed, bath, bedtime, and then I have a whole hour and a half to do something for myself, that is if I don't have to:

Balance the checkbook
Write my article
Send out an update to my family
Pack my gym back
Pack my lunch
Clean my kitchen (for like the 4th time that day)
Vacuum the living room
Sweep and Mop the kitchen
Pick up all the toys...

etc...

You know where I'm coming from. I empathize honey. My one consolation is that my husband stays at home with our daughter so at lease HE understands how much work it is.

Tanaya said...

Going to a "real job" is a effing vacation compared to staying home with the kids. Any moron who doesn't appreciate that is just that...a moron. It's too bad you just can't explain it to them!

Kristin said...

I just found your blog yesterday and was laughing so hard I cried at some of your posts! WONDERFUL! And sooooo truthful! It aggrivates me to no end when people thing SAHMs do nothing all day except pob bonbons and nap. HA! I was one for 14 months and had to go to work to get a break! More power to you woman!!! Next time tell them you are "an accountant, chef, special events cooridinator, personal shopper, maid, butler, chouffer, and therapist" by the time you're done listing all that, they will have moved on...

Wendy said...

I always say, "Trying not to sell the kids to the first bidder." People either laugh or look stunned that I am not Donna freakin Reed.

Little Monkies said...

Tell them how delicious all of those Weight Watchers bon bons are...

I think we all forget the total mental drain that happens when you are taking care of two kids. The work is hard, the mental part is killer.

I always love it (even though I am not at home anymore) when my husband says "what did you do all day?" Um, managed the dish fairy when she came to pick up all of your dirty mugs and breakfast crap... yeah.

Kelly said...

I say confidently, "I stay home with the kids. What have you been doing?"

And when they say with a little indignation, "Working. Last week I put in a 50 hour week."

You could reply, "Really. Working. I miss going to work. Life was so much easier when all I had to do was go to work. I'd give anything for a 50 hour week now."

mommiebear2 said...

You tell 'em girl!

kimberly sherrod said...

People say that to me- "Oh, you just sew? What else do you do?" Like there isn't laundry, dusting, cooking, cleaning, besides boxing and shipping things I do manage to sell. Sadie sheds enough to make a completely new dog weekly. Don't let anyone make you feel bad. Put your head up high and say how happy you are to be able to spend these special years with your kids- when they are in school you can get a job. I think it's a sacrifice and a blessing. That's what being a Mom is. That chick must not have any kids- or she'd know. Why value her opinion anyway? Shake it off and go clean the floor again- Baby just took off diaper and smeared contents on dog and new kitchen cupboards.(sorry, I couldn't resist)

butterfly girl said...

A freaking men!

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

great post! I work but totally respct the full time job that sahm is. And being hilarious is even more hard work!

Mama en Fuego said...

I love Kelly's responce. NO kidding, if ONLY being a SAHM was only a 50 hour a week job.

Angelina said...

I say we should all ALWAYS keep answering the question because maybe people don't get it, but if you keep at it it will eventually sink in. It already has, you can tell by the growing number of stay at home moms (and dads) out there.

keep the conversations out there. People need to hear because those who stay home with their children are doing a very important service not just for their family but for everyone's families. When everyone works outside the home neighborhoods are empty scary places and not safe for anyone. When someone's home, someone's looking, someone's caring, and everyone benefits.