Are You Kidding Me?!

Let me preface this rant by saying that I’m not sure that I should post it to my blog.  I’m writing this to vent and venting doesn’t always need to be made public…  I just have to get this down.  Writing about it helps.  I’m sure there are other women in my position who ‘get’ this.


I met the wife of one of my high school friends for the first time this weekend.  Several of us met up for lunch at a local BBQ place on Saturday.  We were all having a great time chatting, reminiscing, catching up and getting to know the people we’d just met.  A bunch of folks were in town for Dr. Cindita’s wedding reception so it was a great opportunity to socialize before the party.  When meeting people for the first time the question “what do you do” will almost always come up.  Saturday was no exception.

The wife asked me what I did.  The conversation went something like this:

Wife: What do you do?

Me: I stay home with my boys.

Wife:  Oh, wow!  That’s a hard job.

Me: Yeah, it’s pretty tough.  Much harder than I’d imagined.

Wife: I don’t think I could do it.  I mean, what do you do?

Me: Well…

Wife: There’s just no way I could do that.  I mean, how do you get to know people?  Aren’t you bored?

Me: My life is surprisingly full and busy.  I’ve met many people with kids my age through my cousin and various activities I do with my boys.

Wife: Oh, I guess you would eventually make friends who have kids.  I still don’t think I could ever do that.  It’s just so hard to be at home with kids all. day. long.  Do you think you’ll ever go back to work?

Me: …  Yes, I probably will…

You’d have to have seen the almost horrified look on her face to get the full effect of this conversation.  I understand that it’s a natural reaction for some women to behave this way when all they’ve known is working.  But come on!  I don’t sit at home all day long beating my head against a wall out of the sheer boredom of being trapped with my children.  This is not 1950.  I made this choice.

I am thankful everyday that I am able to be home with my children.  Truly thankful.  Not everyone has this opportunity.   I value this precious time with my babies.  They won’t be young forever.  In the blink of an eye, they will be in the school system for 13 years.  I have the chance to make their toddler and preschool years as full of fun, learning and new experiences as I can manage.  I see it as my job to enrich their world and shape them to be curious, compassionate, expressive little people.  I want them to have the skills to be successful both academically and socially.

I am not outsourcing the early childhood development of my boys to some underpaid, overwhelmed daycare workers.  That’s a harsh statement.  Many moms don’t have this option and I am not directing this rant at them.  Like my own mother, many moms have to work to make ends meet.  And I understand that there are many wonderful daycares out there.  But I want my position to be clear.  I made a choice that was right for my family.  I am highly offended by people who think that all I do is sit on my rear end watching my kids eat play dough all the livelong day.  Who think that I am boring or wasting my time or raising socially isolated children.

I’m not saying it’s not hard, frustrating work being with them all the time.  Sure, I want to pull my hair out.  Quite frequently, actually.  But, you know what?  Time is fleeting.  And I want you to know that I am certainly not wasting my time.

I’m going to be sitting at a couple of college graduations one day.  And I’m going to think back to this time in my life  like it was yesterday.  The happiness of picnics in the park, zipping up and down the streets on our bikes, dancing around wildly in the living room on a Tuesday afternoon,  cooking experiments, trips to the zoo, blowing bubbles, sketching Elmo on the sidewalk with chalk, and all those spontaneous hugs and kisses will not be looked back on with regret.  My time with my boys these past four years has been amazing.  I won’t remember the whining or temper tantrums so much.  What will stick out most in my mind will be the joy that they have brought me.  The pride of hearing my son use his words to avoid conflict with another child or express his feelings to his friends or declare his love for his brother and knowing that I taught him how to do that.

The truth is I can have it all.  But just not all at the same time.  I’ve chosen not to short change my children when it comes to quality time with their mother.  I can be a stay at home mom and I can have a career.  Work will always be there.  My sons will not always be this young.

Just for the record, I can still calculate the fugacity of carbon dioxide, tell you how to make phosgene gas, negotiate a contract, design a distillation tower, conduct a cost-benefit analysis, create a mean spreadsheet, wow you with PowerPoint, perform a triple integral calculation, explain Bernoulii’s principle and at the same time create a win-win solution.  Don’t ever assume I’m less of person because I’ve chosen to stay at home for a while.  I have priorities.  My goals do not involve doing anything halfway.

I think I’m done with this explosion of frustration.  I hope I haven’t offended anyone too horribly.


Haircut for Partying

I finally got my hair cut last Thursday night.  It had been a long time coming.  I was looking pretty shaggy.  It seems like my haircuts always get pushed to the back burner.  My long brown hair is very low maintenance so if  I let it go 12-18 weeks between trims, it’s not such a big deal.  I don’t have any highlights or roots to touch up.  I don’t have a perm or anything else either.  It’s easy to let it slip down the priority list.

Dr. Cindita and Secret Agent Man’s Florida wedding reception (married in Fiji, live in San Francisco, grew up in FL) was this weekend.  That lit a fire under me to do something about my shagginess.  I couldn’t show up to a mini-high school reunion looking like a Muppet.

Saturday was the reception.  My in-laws took the rug rats for an overnight stay at their house.  It was so nice to enjoy a night out with so many dear friends.  The party was beautiful.  We ate, drank and danced the night away with some people we haven’t seen in years and others we’d only just met.  We stayed out until almost 2 AM and woke up at 11 AM.  It was a small luxury that J and I haven’t enjoyed since our D.I.N.K. (dual income, no kids) days.

Dr. Cindita, Yaya and Me

Dr. Cindita, Yaya and Me

Doesn’t Dr. Cindita look gorgeous?  Marriage definitely becomes her.

This morning found us at a beach enjoying Starbucks and pumpkin scones before we picked up the boys.  It was a small slice of Heaven 🙂