Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This Is It: An Invitation

DISCLAIMER: In my last post I tried to express my utter frustration at the way stay-at-home Moms are treated. in this post, I am proving - through my own idiosyncracies - why these stereoypes just might be warranted.

Tonight John informed me that our family now celebrates half birthdays. It must be quite the coincidence that HIS is coming up. On the same day as a major Ohio State football game. Not-so-coincidentally, is the fact that John will not be working on this all important half birthday, and so he will celebrate. At the game.

I'm totally fine with that. He should be able to do something he enjoys. He's been working a lot of extra hours and saving up. But using his half-birthday as an excuse? Come on!

Then I got to half-birthday is coming up, too. I'm really good at games, and decided I could play the unbirthday game, too. Unfortunately, there won't be any off-Broadway shows in town on my half-birthday. Lucky for me, I figured out how to change the rules, and now I'm going to celebrate on my quarter birthday (or somewhere around there...). It works, right? I've been trying to decide how to commemorate my all-important milestone. And I figured it out.

I really want to go see "This Is It". I'm not sure why I am so obsessed, but I have totally jumped on the Michael Jackson hoopla bandwagon. To my credit, I started getting back into him before he announced the tour, well before his death... but still. Michael Jackson??? I know, it's embarrassing. But I really want to see it. I never go to the movies. Seriously, like, once a year I hit the dollar theatre. But "this is it"! I have to see it.

So here's the deal: I'm going to go see "This Is It" in early November. But I don't want to go all by myself. Since we're now celebrating half- and quarter-birthdays at my house, I've decided to throw myself a big bash. Not really, but I am going, and I'd love company. Anyone want to come? Seriously?

PS Lest I get too excited and begin planning something bigger and better (hard to beat, I know)for next year, John says we will not be celebrating half-birthdays again next year. Hmmm.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Self-affirmations for a Stay-at-home-Mom

Sometimes, we go through crazy times. And sometimes, at least for me, they make me want to scream, and make my voice heard. "I DO have something to say, and I AM worthwhile!" But most of the time, I don't say that.

Is blogging the easy way out? A way to have a voice when you're too afraid to voice it for real? Maybe. There's been peer pressure for a long time, to join the blogging buddies, but I resisted. Until now. Because for today, I need to rant. So, maybe I'll post again, or maybe this is all I'll say? I don't know.

I need to go on the record: I'm a stay-at-home mom.

I'm mostly happy with that. Sometimes I feel like I should be doing great things to change and improve the world - you know: building schools in Pakistan, digging latrines in India, sewing clothes for naked, pot-bellied children, and holding community composting rallies. I have talents -not so obvious ones, mind you (I am not musical, artistic, exceptionally bright, or good looking...) but I can do a few things. Need a well-organized, color-coded grocery list? I am your girl! I can even walk and chew gum (my mom said it couldn't be done; I think she's just anti-gum-chewing). But seriously, when I look at all the things I could be doing, I sometimes feel lame that I stay home taxiing to soccer practices and playing Candyland. I wonder if I am worth the education I completed, if my non-domestic skills are a waste, or if I'm really doing my part as a concerned citizen. That said, I have made this choice; no one made it for me. I want to be home with my kids. I love who they are, and I love that I've been involved on a daily basis in helping to create that. I'm proud of them. And sometimes, I'm proud of me.

So here's the problem. I feel like I'm doing something of value, but I feel like lots of people don't get it. It shouldn't matter to me what other people think, but it does. I've noticed that nothing can make a conversation stop faster, than answering the question, "So, what do you do?" I hate that question. It makes people sqiurm. They don't know how to respond. If I'm lucky, they might say, "Oh, that must be so, uh, rewarding." It is, actually, but then the conversation seems to end, unless I quickly return the conversation to their career, vacation, ambitions, or work out plans.

I'm tired of feeling like a creature from another planet, that super-educated people can't relate to. They just don't know what to say to me. I want to scream, "I am a normal person!" Staying home IS my career. You can ask me why I chose to do it. You could ask me what I do all day. It's a legitimate question, and I'd be happy to answer it. Or, I might be dreaming of a vacation, too. I have ambitions, and not just for my children. For me. I have hobbies, and sometimes, I work out. You'd find that out, you know, if you ever asked - if you thought that maybe, there was something more to me, than my skill at hog-tying a poopy child.

I realize this is my issue. I'm the insecure one. It's not anyone else's fault - though it would be nice not to be ignored! Nevertheless, I know that people don't try to be unkind. They legitimately just don't know what to say. And so, I'm writing this post. On behalf of stay-at-home-moms across this nation, I would like to say:

1. We're good enough (to speak with you intelligently)

2. We're smart enough (to have been able to choose a prestigious career, too. We did.); and

3. Doggonit, people like us (or at least, they might, if they tried to get to know us!)

Thank you. I feel much better now. Anything you need to get off your chest?