Thursday, September 30, 2010

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Don't quit your day job.

I had the pleasure tonight of reading an article that was originally published in May of 2007 in the Washington Post ( so I'm 3 years late responding to this.... life goes on). I got to read this right after the Facebook discussion I've been promoting and promoting and promoting, most likely to the point of people being ready to block me! The discussion, as you all know very well, was about learning to take a time out from the kids. The article... as you may NOT know, was an Ask Carolyn article. (click link to view... we'll wait for ya. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/22/AR2007052201554.html

The person writing in, to paraphrase, wanted to know what SAHMs do all day, and why don't they have time for a call or email? This clueless letter writer proceeded to blast the heck out of SAHMs and say they were either lying about how busy they are or trying to have a "peeing contest" to make themselves seem important to friends who work and really are busy.

But.. that's not the reason I'm telling you all this.I'm weird. Everyone following the blog is aware of this. I like to read the comments after an article. I came across this one, and while I'm fairly certain this is illegal in some way, I'm going to copy and paste it... because it's beautiful! And the end was the thing that delighted me the MOST! This reader of the Post was responding to a reader comment (Tacoma) that mirrored the letter writer. Read on:

Eat2surf wrote:
Wait.. that was a good day.. what about Blowouts (diapers that leak foul, liquid poop).. teaching to eat.. flung spoons full of yogurt.. dealing with a child peeing on the chair in the food court.. stopping the kid from kicking the airline seat.. the sippy cups that shouldn't leak but do.. and the screaming 2-year-old that can't verbalize the the sippy cup isn't giving up any of its contents.. It's stopping the older kid from kicking the younger one... and vice versa.. It's keeping the fish tank from being hit with anything that can be picked up and thrown..

It's all these things and more.. and there is no agenda to tell you what to expect next. Everything you figured out today can be different tomorrow.. or if you expect it to be different it won't be.

... now take all that.. and double it... and tack on constantly cutting up food into non-choking bits.. then you're getting close.

Now tack on stopping the kid from eating too much dirt, sand, rocks, plastic, carpet, wood, asphalt, magazine, electrical cord, poop, other kid's fingers or toes or arms...

Then add teaching a kid to share (which I'm pretty sure Tacoma probably isn't that good at.. Tacoma.. can I borrow your computer for a minute?)..

After all that.. it's a wonder we can still have energy to respond to this type of moronic question.. I'd love to suggest Tacoma take care of some kids.. but what kind of a parent would do that to their kids??

Which reminds me.. add worrying that you can't see your kid at the park even though you know he's just behind the slide.. and worrying that the slide has be booby-trapped with nails or has simply not been maintained.. or that the nice gentleman with the dog is actually a child-molester.. or his dog bites... and to have all these worries without letting the kid pick up on any of them.. to worry gracefully.. to still teach the kid to be open and friendly in a closed and unkind world. .. to teach them to love even those that think they chose their job just to be lazy..

Now take all that.. and double it again and you're getting closer.

And for the record.. I'm a stay-at-home Dad.

Dave
 Dave, you're my hero! Allow me add my two cents to the moron:  Add  more than two siblings who love to fight, a child with special needs, allergies and several medications to be given at different times of the day. Nights where the special needs child doesn't sleep more than one hour, doctors appointments, travel time, therapy sessions, constant supervision to avoid anaphylaxis, seizures, hospital stays, and frantic researching for answers when your child is a medical mystery. Then QUADRUPLE it, and you're almost getting a glimpse into the life of a parent with a special needs child. 
Add constant worry about thriving or failure with therapy and diet, determination to be your child's advocate when no one else will, and crippling stress when professionals won't listen to you because you're just the parent. Toss in the heartache of seeing your child suffer and knowing you don't know how to make it stop. Then quadruple it.

I invite, with a great deal of malicious pleasure, any one who thinks I "relax and enjoy life" by staying home with my children, to email me. Oh, yes... I DO enjoy life. But I can't remember the last time I relaxed. That's okay. It's not my turn. There are things that must be done. But don't for one minute think that I am complaining about my 24/7/365 job. I wouldn't have it any other way. 
This is my child, my sweet little monster, that I would protect and defend until my last dying breath. My mini monsterlette that I have to, and will happily and fiercely continue to, fight for. This is the child that has no voice as far as the powers that be are concerned. And I am HONORED  to be able to be his voice, advocate,  bodyguard,  cheerleader,  caregiver,  nurse,  playmate,  friend, and his frazzledmomma. 'Nuff said.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember trying to work from home and nurse a recovering sister and my daughter simultaneously. I'd just sit down to work when I'd hear, "Dena, I need..." or "Mom, I want..." or else my alarm would go off to remind me that my sister needed her every-two-hour medications, which didn't just mean here's a couple pills, but also meant a couple homeopathic pills, picking the right pain reliever, dealing with the neediness, changing the bandages, not passing out if there was bleeding, reassuring her she WAS improving... Oh, I'd've loved to have had an office and "real work" to go to for a break!

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