The Hardest Job in the World?

2 Oct

I’m a stay-at-home mom, by the way.  My primary job responsibilities are to keep my children alive, acquire and serve food, and generally try to make sure my house doesn’t end up on Hoarders.

I’ve never done anything like this before. Ever since I was 15 years old I’ve been an employee who reported to a boss. I know you’re wondering, so I’ll tell you that my first real job was sloshing mashed potatoes at Kenny Rogers Roasters. I saved enough to purchase a 1984 Dodge Omni and then quit (My parents made me go apologize to my boss and ask for my job back). I’ve had lots of jobs over the years. I’ve been a hostess, a waitress, a cashier, a receptionist, a Disney Cast Member, a telephone survey girl, a perfume seller, and 5 different kinds of customer service coordinator. I once had a job in which my title could only have been described as “envelope un-stuffer”. I’ve been embarrassingly underpaid. I’ve been the coffee runner far more than I’ve been the project manager. I’ve brought work home, I’ve stressed out, I’ve cried over cruel bosses.

But no, I’ve never done anything like this before.

People say being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest job there is. True, it’s not easy by any stretch. It’s certainly not popping kettle corn on the couch all day (not if you’re doing it right, anyway). Most days I don’t sit down until dinner is on the table. Are there frustrations and stresses in my day? Oh yea. But is it hard? Maybe it’s hard like when you’re on vacation at the beach and your sandal breaks. You’re still on vacation, man. You know what the real hardest job is? Talk to a mom who works outside of her home. Ask her if she feels like she’s doing a bang up job on either front.

No matter what my frustrations are at the end of the day, I’ve still gotten to spend it with my children. The honor of that is not lost on me.

Anyway, my children are currently on totally opposite nap schedules.

This has happened very slowly and without my consent. Not even one minute of overlap. On a good day it goes something like this:

1 year old, morning nap, 10:30 – 12:00

4 year old, nap, 1:00-3:29

1 year old, afternoon nap, 3:30-5:00

I think like this schedule most because I get to spend one-on-one time with each child while the other is napping, and each child allows me to accomplish different tasks. My 4 year old will sit still and color long enough to allow me to mop the kitchen floor, where my 1 year old would turn the entire kitchen into a Swiffer slip and slide in about 3 minutes. On the flip side, my 1 year old is perfectly content to sit in the office with me while I do computer stuff, but my 4 year old starts throwing a fit if I spend more than 15 consecutive minutes in the office.

Maybe once a month I’m granted a special freebie day that goes like this:

1 year old misses morning nap, and I try to hold her off until after lunch. She starts falling asleep in her green beans so I move her to her crib at 1:00.

4 year old falls asleep at 1:03

Both children sleep until 4 year old wakes up at 3:29 and begins shout-singing Love Shack throughout the house (not being completely sure of the lyrics to the song, what he actually sings is “Leg Shop, baby, Leeeeg Shop…”), which in turn wakes up the 1 year old.

While these days are nice for me because I get 2.5 uninterrupted hours to myself in the middle of the day, we all pay dearly around dinnertime when the 1 year old starts to get mean-sleepy.

Then there’s the occasional nightmare day where nobody naps. These are usually days in which I’m texting my husband at 4PM wondering if he could maybe please just go ahead and come home now because I’m seriously about to lock myself in the basement to hide from these monster children. Actually I wouldn’t really do that, mostly because we don’t have a basement. But seriously, those days are bad.

But then bedtime comes and my angels go to sleep, and again none of it seems so bad anymore. Anyway, if all those ladies in the grocery store lines are right, this part goes by in the blink of an eye and I’ll long for it all back. Not so hard to believe at all.

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