Rawlins Family

Rawlins Family

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Fallout

So this morning my eyes popped open at 6:20 and my head was full of my post from yesterday. My very tongue-in-cheek-yet-extremely-emotionally-charged post. All I could think of was the conversation I had with Chase last night about this whole mess. My comment to him was that I think the biggest problem with what Hillary Rosen said (and I still think what she said was wrong - I've seen all the tape, and I've seen her rebuttals, and I get that she was pointing out Ann Romney's richness and therefore her inability to understand what the working poor are going through, and yes I actually have feelings about that argument as well but that's not what this post is about), is that one woman's attack on another woman was going to explode into LOTS of women attacking LOTS of other women. At the gym this morning CNN was playing a segment called (and I hate this term more than I hate most things in life) "The Mommy Wars."

So let me step back for a minute and say that yesterday I felt defensive. I'm an educated woman living in 2012 who made a choice to get married young, start a family almost immediately and then to stay home with that family. I have worked at different times during my mothering career. Some in the house, some outside of the house. I am currently working at home and can attest to the fact that, on the days I have students, my whole day is oriented around those working hours. It's a juggle to get kids and house taken care of, homework done, meals prepared, kids babysat and then home again to meet my students. And I do all of this not because it's good for my children, or because I need a small amount of extra income (though I'm enjoying it, I assure you). I do it because it was time for Mommy to become Anna again, if only for 4.5 hours a week. It's the same reason I recently started running a community food co-op a couple times a month.

I have friends who work outside of the home full-time and part-time. I have friends who run daycare in their home. I have friends who struggle to be stay-at-home-moms because their husband's salary is enough, but not a lot. Each of these women is different in amazing ways, and I've learned from all of them. And most of what I've learned is that there is no ONE right way to be a mom. And we ALL want to be the best mother and person we can be.

Unfortunately, something happens in public discourse that can be frustrating and hard to correct. Often, when someone gets up and says that they believe in something, or claims that something is good, that comment can be misconstrued to mean that something else is bad. Yesterday I wanted to stand up and say, "Being a stay-at-home mom is good! I choose this because it's good. And it's work! HARD work!" But that is all I was saying. There was no implication that not staying at home isn't hard work, or that there aren't other hard things out there. I wasn't rattling off a list of jobs I do to show that my life is harder than yours.

I think if you sat down with a group of moms who work outside the home and moms who stay home full-time you'd find that there are pros and cons to both. I have it good in SO MANY WAYS and I know it. And there are days I wish with every fiber of my being that I could put on a smart suit and pick up my briefcase and head off to work and do something that feels more productive or exciting than making peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches.

So, I hope we can make peace. And I hope that this idea of "Mommy Wars" goes away. It doesn't get anyone anywhere and is completely pointless. The only assumption we should ever make about anyone else is that they're doing what is best for themselves and their family.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Where I live: SAHM Utopia

Hey! Ms. Rosen! Over here. Or should I say DOWN here! Can you see me? Your nose is kinda high up there, so I can't tell? Do I have your attention?


So, man. You're having quite a day, huh? I mean, your hair is STUNNING! Who does your highlights? Kudos to them on a job well done.

But, is it just me, or are you feeling kinda stressed? You seem like maybe you could use a vacation. I have an idea! Let's switch jobs!!! You can take over my ultra-lazy job as nothing but a stay-at-home-mom and I'll do your interviews. I've been trying to get on TV, like, FOREVER. Is it cool if I leave you with a list of instructions for while you're here getting some much needed R 'n' R?

Okay, first, there are four kids. I know, that's a lot. But seriously. Not a big deal. Just make sure you feed them at least five times each day. The boys are in school, so get up early and throw together a couple lunches. Just be sure not to put any junk food in there. I'm kinda picky about that. No lunchables, k?

Backpacks on and get 'em out the door by 7:30 sharp or they'll be late.

The girls are pretty easy. Sophia will probably throw her first tantrum by about 7:35 because you don't let her turn on the TV. The important thing is to NOT GIVE IN. It may last all day, but again, no biggie. Haley isn't speaking yet (yeah, still waiting to see what that's all about), so you'll have to make sure to repeat all your words like a billion times so she knows that APPLE means APPLE. And then you can decipher her sign language from there. She is also still in diapers, so stay on that, okay? She gets rashes really easily.

So yeah. I think that's it! Have a great time! I'll see you soon!

Oh wait, crap. No. Um, can you clean up the kitchen after each meal? And can you throw a couple loads of laundry in? I promise it's super easy. Please be sure to use the laundry soap that I make because it's hypo-allergenic and it's easier on the budget (and the environment). Oh, and speaking of the budget - just maybe sit down and pay the bills and enter all of the spending into the spreadsheet?

Whew! So that's it. Done now. You'll be great at this!!

Shoot. No. Sorry. I forgot - can you put together the student directory for the PTA? And just type up a quick newsletter for all the parents. And you know, the fun run is coming up so you'll need to be there to mind the corners or the students might try to cut through. Yeah, you'll need to take the girls too, so bring the stroller and the sunscreen - don't forget Haley's part or she'll get a sunburn on her scalp. And since you'll be out, you should stop at the gym for an hour or so. Us stay-at-home-moms are so lazy we often get fat! LOL!

I feel like I'm forgetting something...Oh, right. Don't forget Haley's nap. Then there's carpool. And please engage with Sophia in some meaningful mother-daughter diaglogue so that we will still have a strong relationship when she's a teenager. And homework! Make sure both boys get spelling, math and reading done - and sign their folders! And please deal with any discipline issues that may have come up during the day. Those can be real doozies. And would it be okay if my 9 piano students stop by for a lesson? And cub scouts is Wednesday! Don't miss it! Also, there's a family at church that just had some bad news and they could really use a visit, and maybe a meal? Just throw something easy in the oven like lasagna, homemade rolls and an apple pie. Oh! And on Saturday you'll be running the community food co-op, just FYI.

Okay, that's really it! I'm sure of it. This job is so easy it practically DOES ITSELF, amiright?! ROFL!
Don't get hooked, though! Because I love this job, so I'm totally taking it back from you as soon as I'm done hanging out with all 360 of Anderson Cooper. Oop! They need me in makeup now, so you're on your own! Oh, did you bring your pillow? That's weird. Didn't anyone tell you you don't need a pillow for this job? You are too funny!