Aug 1, 2007

Don't Judge Me and I Won't Judge You, Sister.

Got my laptop shipped out for repairs today (you may have noticed that there are spaces in this post ;-) ) Should be back in about 3 weeks (week out, week there, week back). Working on the desktop now - short on programs but moderately functional as long as I don't need to do any web-work or connect to my server for my contract administration job.

In other gripes (yes, I'm whining again!)... My sister thinks I'm depressed. She's full of shit. I'm not depressed; I'm overwhelmed with everything I have to do. I've got 2 businesses, a half-time job, and am a full-time mom hopped up on fertility drugs. Her response to that is that other people have other stuff that fills their time and they don't get overwhelmed. Well, I'm sorry - somehow I don't see filling one's time watching the nightly lineup on cable whilst having a well-earned margarita as being terribly overwhelming! She works fulltime and her kids are in daycare. She can go to the doctor's in the middle of the day by herself. She can have her nails done on lunch - by herself. She can drive in her car - by herself. When I talked to her, she was on her way to the gym - by herself. I would not trade my daughter (or any other children we manage to have) for the world but 24/7/365 gets a little oppressive and I am heartily sick and tired of people who work fulltime, don't have primary childcare responsibilities, and get their evenings to themselves because they're not working at night thinking my life is a bed of fucking de-thorned roses.

I think it all comes down to the fact that society in general doesn't see being a stay-at-home parent as being work. Somehow, the fact that they have to pay people to do what I (and others) do daily for longer stretches for free never seems to occur to them. That, for some, what I do daily is a career, albeit a very poorly paid one, never enters into the collective conscience.

I think a mitigating factor is her guilt about not being home with her kids (she's stated that she wants to stay at home with them a number of times) and, by putting me down, it makes her feel better. Whether that holds for the general population, I don't know; I suspect it does.

SmileyDad is right, of course, in his comment on my immediately prior post: there are much worse things that could be happening to me. But, somehow, it's the ducks that nibble me to death.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Brightdreamer said...

I've always thought parenting (mother or father) should be taught as seriously in schools as any other career; in the long run, it has a far more lasting impact on society than so many pursuits, and yet it seems to be the sort of thing one is expected just to do on instinct and "hope for the best" (Don't get me started on the whole parental instinct myth...) Kudos for tackling it, and best of luck getting a day off now and again (even the best work gets tedious without a break in the routine.)

Oh - on the parents-who-don't-parent front, I remember the CR telling me about an article she saw in Money magazine, where there's supposedly a big upswing in people hiring strangers to teach their kids to ride bikes (because they don't have time.) Actually, what she read was the response letter in the editorial column of the issue after that article, a letter from a psychologist who said that those kids would be on his couch in a decade or two screwed up and maladjusted and complaining that their parents never even took the time to teach them to ride a bike.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Greta said...

oh girl your sister is a mess....just a damn mess and that is all i have to say....

being a stay at home parent is more work then someone working....you never get a break!

I think i would have to cuss her ass out real good!

9:29 PM  
Blogger LauraJ said...

those damn ducks better stop nibbling your @$$. you won't have anything left to sit on!

8:05 AM  
Anonymous regina said...

Let me say that as a SAHM running a PT business but cleaning,cooking and washing for 6, I FEEL you! WTF? I would love to have a pedicure, but who would walk the dog?...I would love to stock the pantry but who would fix dinner and change the baby's diaper while I was gone ( after The Hubbs got back with the car?)? I have been hopped up on fertility drugs for 3 years. After 41 lbs countless hyperdermics and vials of hormones...NO one has earned the right to walk a mile in my shoes...(let the church say "AMEN") :)

5:21 PM  
Blogger Jade said...

Brightdreamer - AMEN! The Idiot (my sister) is the poster child for "they should require you to pass a test before being allowed to have kids"!!

PPG - AMEN to you too! Yeah, other people have other stuff and don't feel overwhelmed... and the knowledge of this is useful to you in what way?!?
It's not about measuring what you have to do, but also the circumstances under which you are working. Number one... your attention is divided. If you didn't have to worry about caring for your daughter during the day you could probably accomplish the same amount of work with your businesses and PT job with less stress. Number 2... you are on fertility drugs. The hormones alone would make you feel a whirlwind of emotions regardless of how much work you had to do to begin with.

Yeah... you both have kids and have work, and on the surface maybe she thinks you shouldn't feel any more overwhelmed by life than she does, but it's like sleeping. Two people go to bed at 10 p.m. and set the alarm for 6 a.m. One sleeps through the night without a problem. The other gets poked and prodded about every half hour... maybe they have to get up, maybe they just roll over and drift back to sleep eventually. Technically they both had their scheduled sleep time, but which one do you think is going to feel well rested, and which one is going to wake up stressed?

It's the same with work. Tell her to try getting through her workday being poked and prodded to draw her attention away from work every half hour and see how she feels at the end of the day.

(Can you tell I'm sick of this "Wow, you are so LUCKY to work from home! It must be so restful!" thing as well?)

8:22 PM  
Blogger JerseyTjej said...

Back to finish my rant. *( said in the voice of Sophia in the Color Purple) I loves mah kids, I REALLY do!* But they are a pain in the ass! Summer vacation is the worst for me with all of them underfoot, saying it is too hot to play or cycle; swim or jump on the trampoline; mow the lawn or walk to the grocery store... I finally lost it yesterday and asked the twins " When do you think I get vacation? When can I go and visit my friends? When do I get to ride my bike or play Playstation? The only time I can use the computer is one of you is not on it. And God forbid I should need the laptop...( thus interupting the constant playing of High School Musical or Jump In!)! I could tear out my hair if the baby wakes up 2 hours earlier than her normal time. If The princess cannot distract the baby long enough for me to hang out the wash, it just has to sit there until someone comes home... Yes, I signed up for motherhood, but as I said to my husband this morning, "If I never become a grandparent, I have done my job well", lmao!

4:39 AM  
Blogger smileymamaT said...

Well, that was very well put, and it sure does explain my 8- or 9-year-long urge to strangle anyone who ever said "I don't understand why you get so stressed out just going to the store...after all you only have 3 children, not 12....." AAAAGGGGHHHH!

7:08 AM  

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