Saturday, July 5, 2008

Congratulations on Your Future Insanity

My dearest sister and sometime commenter on this blog, imme, has taken a big step in her life - one that she has been dreaming of and working toward for many years now. Although she has reached many goals in her life, marriage, college degree, CPA status, motherhood three times over, high powered career, having an island in her kitchen (a goal that has still eluded me) - this one has remained out of her reach until now.

I don't see what the big deal is. It doesn't take any special training or requirements. All it takes is mindless, repetitive work worthy of a factory assembly line, putting your brain in sleep mode, risking humilation every time you go in public, and enduring an emotional roller coaster ranging in extremes of joy, frustration, tenderness, hope, and utter boredom.

Yes, my sister has finally become a stay at home mom!

In my 9 year career as a SAHM I've had many intriguing experiences, including the number of phrases that have left my mouth that I never thought I would have to say. Like, "Why is there a dead bird in a jar on the counter?" or "We are NOT going to wait and see what those small, squirming things in the water will grow into."

I also have a growing list of seemingly benign items that have become off limits to my children due to their "creative" use including thread, paint, food coloring, avocados, super glue, nails, flour, and VHS tapes.

But for all my moaning and complaining of brain atrophy and lack of a stimulating environment, I remain in my current occupation, not for lack of opportunities to escape to the realm of working motherhood that I've seen many of my friends successfully navigate. Why?

I relish having my own, personalized insanity. I jealously guard it. I would never want someone else having the unique, challenging and hair raising experience of keeping my children happy and safe and providing opportunities for them to learn and develop (hopefully) into the adults I would like them to be. I would love to have more income, adults to talk to, and a chance to develop my skills and interests. But this insanity, my own personal insanity, only comes once in a lifetime. And I wouldn't trade it for anything.


Aimee said...

Congratulations, Emi! I hope you enjoy your "retirement" and the wonderful insanity.

Mama Mia said...

No one would ever raise your kids as well as you do Ray! I am laughing and trying to think how creative your kids were with those forbidden items! I hope you are writing a book! Congrats to your sister!

Tim said...

If I had the choice, I'd be SAHD. I love the weekends, when I get a chance to be SAHD. Yeah, for sure, I'd be happiest if I were SAHD.

Jared has been SAHD for as long as Isaac, Gabe, and Maile have been alive. He may be glad to be working full-time, but I'll bet he'll miss being SAHD.

ray said...

Tim, I think you'd enjoy being a SAHD for about 2 weeks, then it would get old. Yeah, it's fun to play/interact with the kids, but the endless housework is serious drudgery. For the record, I've never wished for a nanny - just a maid.

Mama Mia said...

Yes a Maid is at the top of my list! It will never happen so I just hire a "Mia Maid" to come once a month to help with the dusting and things I never get to like the floors :) They are a lot cheeper!

imme said...

Thanks for all the well wishings. I haven't gone insane yet, but of my three full days of SAHM-hood thus far, I did get just a tiny bit bored on one of the days. But, just to set the record straight, if I do go insane, it'll be my own dumb fault and not the fault of my children. I'm determined to be a happy, well-adjusted SAHM because I've witnessed waaaaayyyyy too many Enrichment meeting crabby chatty sessions of I'm-training-for-a-marathon-as-my-only-way-of-feeling-self-worth, I-had-planned-to-go-to-law-school-but-sacrificed-and-had-kids-instead SAHMs in my lifetime. Ya, I definitely won't be attending Enrichment this month where we get too hear a former Mrs. America speak - is this really what SAHMs do with their discretionary time? Somebody shoot me!

ray said...

haha! Mia, I honestly didn't know whether to say "Mia" (like your name) maid or mia maid (like the stage between beehive and laurel). Great idea. Maybe one would clean for free as part of her personal progress projects.

Em, I'm definitely chatty/crabby. I think those are two really good descriptions of my regular moods these days and hey, I did run a marathon as my only way of feeling self worth! That's part of the insanity of SAHM-hood. You have to find something to accomplish or distinguish yourself or just something new to do to break up the monotony.

But if you can achieve contentment without having to tell people you meet about your college degree or former career and can take pride in your well-swept floors and booger free kids that no one sees but you, and hum merrily to yourself after a week of seeing no other adult besides Maria from Sesame Street then pat yourself on the back - because there will be no one around to do it for you.

Otherwise, strap on your running shoes and hit the road with me, sis. There's a long journey ahead.

Cheryl said...

Congratulations, imme! I hope that you do love staying home with your kids! As a mother who stayed home full time with my 6 older children, (I went back to work when Luke went to school.) I think I am qualified to say that it is a wonderful, crazy ride!! Sure, there were things that I wanted to do with my life and most of them waited for me to launch my children into the world.

Seeing my children become, kind, responsible, contributing members of society is amazing! I see my daughter mothering her children with love and skill and I know that every day I spent mother her and her siblings was worth it! My son is an amazing father and they are all just such awesome adults!

Cherish these times, girls! These little ones grow so fast and every moment is priceless!