Sheryl Jesin

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What do you do all day?

I recently made the decision to not return to my job and instead stay home with my kids. This was a hard decision to make, but I am absolutely thrilled that I am able to be at stay at home mom right now.  I’m not going to turn this post into one of those mommy-war discussions, debating whether it is better to be a working out of the house mom, or a stay at home mom.   I think every mom should make the decision that works best for her family.  There is no right answer.

That being said, when I have told various people about my decision to stay at home, they often give me a slightly quizzical look and then proceed to ask me:  What do you do all day?  Aren’t you bored?

I’m honestly shocked that people feel the need to ask me what I do all day.  Especially people with kids.  Have you not spent an entire day with your kids?  What do you do on the weekends?  That is what I do everyday.  And do you really not know that I’m busy non-stop from the moment the kids wake up in the morning, until they go to sleep at night?  (Oh yeah – I’m often quite busy doing things AFTER they go to sleep too).

If you are honestly confused as to what a stay at home mom does all day, I suggest that you read this amazing article published in the Washington Post by Carolyn Hax.  This  quote pretty much says it all:

When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm’s way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.

So yes.  I am doing something all day.   I don’t sit around eating bon-bons.  A couple weeks ago, someone asked me what I do all day and I responded by listing everything I do in a typical day.  Then they proceeded to tell me that I should be grateful that I can do it, because they know a mom of five kids that has a back problem and can’t get out of bed.  REALLY?  Yes, I know I’m grateful that I can walk and take care of my kids.  I wasn’t complaining about all the things I do everyday.  I was just telling them because they asked!  SHEESH!!

I find the “Aren’t you bored?” comment slightly insulting.  Yes, I really do.  Do you really care if I’m bored?  Or is the question some sort of veiled insult, insinuating that being home with kids is mindless work, and henceforth a non-worthy expenditure of time?  Of course, some parts of my day are boring.  It can be boring wiping the kitchen counters, or folding laundry.   However, I am willing to make the sacrifice and be bored sometimes if it means I get to be home with my kids and experience all the amazing parts of the day.   And let’s be honest, isn’t work sometimes boring?  When someone asks me if I am bored at home, I am tempted to ask them if they are bored at work.  When I worked as a lawyer, I sometimes found it boring riding the subway to and from work.  It was boring reading a document over and over a million times making sure there were no typos.  So whether you stay at home with your kids, or work, your day will sometimes be boring.  That is a fact of life.

This post ended up as a bit of a rant/vent.   It felt good to get it out.   For all you working   parents out there, please don’t read too much into this.   I’m not insulting you in any way.  As parents, (and in particular moms!), we are all doing our best to make it through the day!  Let’s support each other.   Just please stop asking me what I do all day!!!!