I noticed a screen shot of a newspaper (Yes, newspaper! Ha! They exist.) advice column in my Facebook feed the other day. It was about a single, childless woman wondering why her SAHM friend doesn’t have time for her, wah.
“Like, seriously? She’s a stay-at-home-mom. What does she do all day?” this single, savvy woman pondered. “I do dishes and laundry AND work!”
I wanted to flick my iPhone screen. I seriously wish someone would videotape a Saturday of JD and me. It starts at 6 AM and it’s constant. Even if he’s self-entertaining, I’m still making sure he’s OK. I’m still on duty. Bedtime is amazing, because I can let my guard down—not my hair. I know you read about my oooo la-la-la date nights and birthday party dance fest, but this is far and few between. I usually crash at 9 PM or, shameless, before. I watch Mob Wives, Girls, and Parenthood and call it a party! I’m happy to be laying down watching non-squeaky cartoons. My mom friends text me about our kids’ day at school.
The advice columnist schooled this broad and I applauded her for it. Working as a Market Editor at a national magazine is easier than being a SAHM. While the wardrobe and deadlines and superiors are of my main concern, it is less concerning than if my kid is going to fall off the jungle gym at the park and crack his head open. That’s part of being a SAHM. Being on 24/7. Feeding, soothing, teaching, disciplining, cooking, rocking, singing, begging, playing, entertaining, hiding … seeking. It’s all good, I chose this life, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exhaust me.
I had a falling out with a friend because I supposedly had no time for her, and she considered me a recluse, even though I live with my kid and (second) fish (RIP LEO) and sometimes mom and her dog Max … and have a million friends and lovely neighbors.
First off, I’m a working single mom, so you’re right. I don’t have time and I do have to carve out time for you, for a date, for a trip to, wait for it cause we’re getting glammy, the OB-GYN. My kid busted in on me this morning when I was in the freakin’ shower. “Mom, can you take this Lego guy’s hand off, it’s stuck.” There was shampoo in my hair. I took the hand off, but see: I’M NEVER EVER ALONE. This means when I get a chance to be, I don’t always want to carve out time for a friend, boyfriend, parent, sibling.
Take last night. GF Carlo was in the area working on a top secret mission and picked up JD from school. (More on that tomorrow, oy!) He told me to meet them at the diner after work. Gah. I contemplated just going to a Happy Hour with friends—a real quickie. Maybe I should visit my guy friend ooo la-la-la. Then something came over me and I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
I went home.
Washed my hands and face. Put on sweatpants and an over-size tee and collapsed on the couch with a brimming glass of gingerale. I watched the nightly news with Diane Sawyer. It was calm and quiet. It was an incredible hour of nothing. I didn’t have to watch cartoons. I didn’t have to force feed. There were no dishes. No one was “mommy-ing” me. Carlo sent me a text of JD eating a mound of steak, fries, and mushrooms.
Carlo and JD brought me a salad from the diner. I was happy to learn Carlo did homework with JD. He also took on nightly reading. Behold:
Don’t take it personally people, but sometimes moms just want to be left alone in their sweatpants, because the precious time we do have alone is … never. It’s like a birthday wish.
I love you, JD. I’ll pay for the therapy this blog will cause. Fret not.
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