Dear Stay at Home Mom,
I used to judge you so hard. I used to think you had it so easy. You didn’t have to work, you just took care of your kids. You played all day, and had time to do whatever you wanted to do. Your house could be immaculate if you took the time to clean it and pick up—I don’t know why you wouldn’t since you didn’t go to work. You cooked dinner at your leisure and tried all kinds of fun recipes. You worked out—or should be, since you aren’t working—and so could be in great shape all year round. Yes, you had it good, and I would be slaving away at my 9-5 envious of your life.
Then I had a baby. Then shit got real.
During my maternity leave I felt like all I did was feed and change my baby. I didn’t sleep much. I didn’t take good care of myself—even just showering!—because I didn’t have the time. We decided I would stay home when baby was two months of age. My dream come true! I figured it would get easier once the baby was older and had a little bit more of a schedule. It didn’t.
Now I understand all the coffee and wine memes. Now I understand the moms who sport yoga pants and haphazard buns, wearing nothing but dark circles on their faces. Now I understand the messy house, the baby belly that never went away, and the takeout meals. Now I understand you. When baby is sleeping, I usually choose either shower, food, or laundry, but never all three. I’m always tired, I never have time for myself, and my entire day is based around when my baby eats and poops and sleeps. I get irritated when [childless] friends ask me why I can’t just do things when baby is sleeping—I have a hard time keeping myself from laughing at them. And now I feel judged. I feel judged that I– like my house, kitchen sink, and laundry basket—am a mess.
It takes having a baby to turn your entire life upside down. It takes having a baby in order to be able to walk in another woman’s [mom] shoes. It takes having a baby to understand not only the exhaustion, but also the deep and infinite love for something you created. Funny thing is, I wouldn’t have it any other way.