Stay At Home Mom

The following conversation is proof of bad parenting:

Addie: Where are you going?
Me: I am going to a class to learn how to be a better parent.
Addie: No! I want you to stay the way you are so I can do whatever I want!

I have been parenting for twenty-five years, but apparently I have not mastered it as of yet.  I think I was a good parent to Andrew now twenty-five.  First of all he is a boy-way easier.  He actually cared what I thought, never held a grudge against anyone, and could not lie to save his life.  Also, I worked a million jobs and we had no extra money making it very easy to say no to things. On the other hand my Dear Sweet Boy just moved home from New York to “get back on his feet”. I suppose I should have taught him how to do things instead of doing it for him because that took way less time. Lesson learned, on to child #2- My beautiful, shy little curly blonde haired Sofie. When Sofie flipped out at 14( see the Sofie Saga) out we sent her away to people who actually knew what they were doing with teen agers and she came back a great kid.  So while Don and I didn’t actually guide her through her crisis we did make the painful decision to send her to “boarding school”.  I suppose we could make a check for that in the good parenting column.

But alas, now we are on child #3.  The ever capable and determined Addie. Addie is a species of child I have not yet encountered.  My other two kids are smart but this one is scary smart. She has a brutal scientific brain that doesn’t suffer from being overly sentimental.  When she was three were watching a nature program and when the cute little bunny was captured by the hawk I looked away cringing. She said, “Everyone has to eat Mom.”  And at five:

Me:  Addie, I have bad news, your fish died.

Addie: Can I eat it?

Me: No!  For one thing it is too small!

Addie:  Why can’t you just fry it up in a pan?

 Believe it or not Addie does have empathy and compassion but she very carefully choses when to use it.   She does recognizes your emotional facial cues- she just couldn’t give a damn.   That’s fine because I have ever so much energy to be parenting in my fifties (said sarcastically). She knows I’m tired and she uses it to her advantage. She is the most stubborn person I have ever met (author of this post not included in comparison). Good thing she is super cute.

 I know not how to parent her. Check and mate.

My crazy bosses.

I made a decision to be a stay-at- home  Mom when I had Sofie.  It actually wasn’t so much a decision as I was too old to be hired as a dancer anymore but whatever, the timing was good.  I would like to say I love being a stay- at -home Mom but I would be so lying.  It sucks the big one.  I work for really crazy little bosses who are never satisfied with your work.  They never tell you good job and at the end of the day you are always left feeling like you could have done it better.  Also, the hours are for shit. Mom’s can’t really catch a break.  If you stay home there is always a part of you that misses being a complete person and if you go to work you have guilt you are not with your kids. We are in teams, Working vs. Stay-at- Home, and we are not allowed to admit there is a problem with our choice and this can never can never be discussed with any real honesty.  We stay at home Mom’s are smug and self important because we have given everything up for our kids.  We are also often angry and unsatisfied.  Working Mom’s think stay at home mom’s are vapid cookie making twits that run the PTA like a business and make fun of our Martha Stewart inspired birthday party invitations.  They do not like to admit that their children really would rather have them around more.  Moms are screwed either way and we are our own worst enemy.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could respect each others decisions and know that people do the best they can for their families? I have a friend who shall remain nameless for purposes of this post (Peggy) who is not a Stay at Home Mom.  She isn’t even a Stay in The Same State Mom.  Peggy is a successful choreographer and travels a lot.  Peggy has two great kids who don’t seem to be any worse for wear. Molly is graduating from Berkeley and Gaby is going to be a Senior next year.  They are both smart, beautiful, capable and well mannered. Peg’s husband Tony more than picks up the slack when Peggy is away and Peggy is home big chunks of time.  It works for their family.

Perez’ and Huber/Todd’s -helping each other parent since 1987.

What works for my family is I stay at home with the kids and what works for me is having a Housekeeper and a Nanny to also stay at home a few hours a day with me.  I don’t regret my decision to stay home but there is a part of me that wonders, “What if?”

I have to go now because all three of my kids need me to do something for them and the dog is chewing up my rug.  I have to reboot Andrew, get Sofie through high school, and keep Addie from eating our pets.  Someones got to do it.

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