Welcome to Educated, Common Sense Parenting! This is my parenting education/commentary blog. Start here and read About This Blog.

I believe too many parents today have let their children rule their households. Their children dictate their daily lives, demand every ounce of their attention and do not show any respect for their parents. This needs to change. The only way to do this is if parents start letting good old common sense start dictating their parenting practices and stop letting their children run the show. You're the parent. Act like one.

Follow this blog! I always like to know who my readers are! Just scroll down and click on "Follow" on the right-had sidebar.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Moms: What do you do all day??!!!

Being a mom--and even more so, a stay-at-home mom--is a serious job. Moms--and all parents for that matter--have one of the toughest, but most satisfying jobs on the planet. But parenting is not always a job that gets a whole lot of credit.

I came across this article below which I thought was entertaining. Both stay at home moms and working moms will be able to relate. It's not the most well-written article, but it gets the point across. It was published in the Washington Post in advice-column format by Carolyn Hax. Enjoy!!

The Letter

My best friend has a child.

Her: Exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me, etc.

Me (no kids): Wow. Sorry. What'd you do today?

Her: Park, play group . . .

OK. I've done Internet searches; I've talked to parents. I don't get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day? Please, no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners. . . . I do all those things, too, and I don't do them every day. I guess what I'm asking is: What is a typical day, and why don't moms have time for a call or e-mail? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events), and I manage to get it all done. I'm feeling like the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy — not a bad thing at all — but if so, why won't my friend tell me the truth? Is this a contest ("My life is so much harder than yours")? What's the deal? I've got friends with and without kids, and all us child-free folks get the same story and have the same questions.

— Tacoma, Wash.

The Response

"Relax and enjoy." You're funny. Or you're lying about having friends with kids. Or you're taking them at their word that they actually have kids, because you haven't personally been in the same room with them. Internet searches?

I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand — while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are that your mom friends are either lying or competing with you — is disingenuous indeed.

So, since it's validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get. In list form. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries and questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.

It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.

It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.

It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family members and friends, well-meaning and otherwise. It's resisting the constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense.

It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything — language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity, empathy. Everything.

It's also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy — and then when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, you wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend — a good friend wouldn't judge you, complain about you to mutual friends or marvel at how much more productively she uses her time.

Either make a sincere effort to understand, or keep your snit to yourself.

-Carolyn Hax


  1. This struck a chord. :-) I was totally the naive DINK who had no clue what the heck my stay-at-home mommy friends did all day and couldn't understand why their house was such a mess when they were home all day. But you know what? I get it now. I understand that the friends who do not have children will NEVER understand until they're in your shoes. I am now in their shoes and I think I've apologized to everyone who have had children before me. SORRY, Casey! :-)

    I remember asking a friend a few months ago about something baby-related and was shocked that she did something that I was having a hard time mastering. I asked why she never talked to me about it or why I had no clue she was doing it ... that's when she explained that it wasn't in my line of sight at that point in my life. Even if she did tell me about it, I wouldn't have cared or understood. And now, I do. Because I am walking in her shoes.

    I think that's the key, here. And, why there's such things as SUPPORT groups. Support = understanding.

    There may be those few friends in your life who truly do understand (having lived through it with a sibling or close friend/relative) but they are few and far between.

    I'm glad I waited to have children. Now I have a HUGE support network of friends who know EXACTLY what I am going through. I know I wasn't of much help when they were new moms but I appreciate their insight and support, now, as I am navigating through the wonderful bliss of motherhood.

  2. Haha! You are forgiven! :-) I think most of us were like that! I remember one time when I was about 25 I distinctly remember saying something to the effect of, "When you're a stay at home mom, you better look HOT everyday for your husband because you have TIME to take care of yourself." HUH???!!! I have more time to primp when I'm working!! :-)