Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Let Someone Else Do It

I often wonder if I'm truly fortunate to stay at home and raise my twins.  Few people talk about the solitude that surrounds staying at home with children who prefer speaking in tongues over plain English.  Or having to play the never-ending game of 'guess what I need/want/gotta have/can't find/won't stop whining till I get' because they haven't formulated words yet.

Then there are the countless hours spent second guessing your parenting decisions.  Does Finn throw his plate because he doesn't like the food or is no longer hungry?  Do I give him something else or ignore the poor table manners?  Should I go ahead and start mealtime on the floor since it typically ends up there anyway?

So many of my friends are working mothers, some by choice and others out of necessity.  I'm constantly wondering, are they happy?  Have they found the right balance between career and parenting?  If money were not an issue, would they prefer staying at home with their children?  Or is it comforting to know a trusted care provider is teaching your child how to eat, drink, sleep and poop while you mingle in the adult world for a while.

Rationally, I know there is no right answer to this question.  If I had a job, I'd most likely cry myself to work everyday, gain an extra 20 lbs. from stress eating peanut M&Ms and hide in the bathroom around 2 pm every afternoon for nap time.  I'd hate every single one of my coworkers for not being as entertaining as my children and probably get fired for overusing Facebook while on the clock.

Here's a list of parenting duties I would willing outsource to India and/or China if possible:

  • nail trimming
  • diaper changes
  • meal planning, feedings and post-op clean up
  • tantrums
  • errands to the post office or any other place lacking a drive-thru service

Ultimately, I love staying at home and raising my 'babies'.  I'm exceedingly fortunate to have the option.  My goal was to devote at least the first year to caring for these munchkins.  Now that we've reached that goal I feel it's safe to reevaluate our routine.  There's some wonderful value in finding a part time structured program for the twins and I'm confident they'd actually enjoy the new adventure more than I'd enjoy the 'free time'.

I'm actually ready to consider letting someone else do this child rearing crap for a bit.  Who knows, I might actually finish grad school before the babies are potty trained!


Zoo Keeper said...

Since I'm not a parent I can't really contribute to this discussion. But I will put in my 2 cents anyway - 'cuz I'm that kind of girl.

I think working moms are 1) wonder women and 2) completely insane. I couldn't do it. That said I don't see anything wrong about either situation. What I do have problems with are those people who don't parent well. (remember BIG difference between doing your best and not doing it well. If you're not doing it well it's probably because you aren't even trying...) But a person can be a good parent whether they spend 24/ 7 with their kid(s) or only 8 hours/ week.

And there, my friends, is the difference.

debbie phillips said...

Wow, it sounds like you had a bad day! Being a fellow mother of twins, I don't know how you do it. Ever since I had my twins, I have a whole new outlook on stay-at-home mommying. Don't get me wrong, I love my children dearly, but I enjoy my time away from them, also. However, my situation is different. I work almost full-time (30-35 hours/week) out of necessity, but my mother or mother in-law take care of the kids in my absence. I think that they did a good job with me and my husband, so I am not worried about them and am able to enjoy my days at work.

I hope that everything works out for you and your family!