There are days when I love my life. While financially things may be strained, I’m able to stay at home with my boys and watch them grow into the young men that they will be. I should be happy, right? I am, sometimes. Other days I just cannot wrap my head around the anger and resentment that bubbles up inside. I’ve got a list of pet peeves about being a work at home mom that I want to share. Okay, honestly, I just need to get it off my chest before I explode. Don’t judge. You’ll understand in a minute.
We Want a Dog!
When Mollyanna became a member of our family years ago, the boys were excited. Echos of “we’ll walk her and feed her mom, we promise!” still ring in my ears. I can count on two hands the number of times that they have fed or walked her – and only then after being told to.
I didn’t want a dog. I wanted a cat. If we had to have a pet, I would have wanted a cat. Why? Simple.
- Cats know how to use the bathroom by themselves.
- You don’t have to walk a cat in 10° weather because they know how to use the best automated litterbox.
- You don’t have to freeze your ass off waiting 30 minutes for the cat to sniff every bush, blade of grass, snow pile, or rock formation before they decide to go to the bathroom.
- You don’t have to worry about the cat refusing to go to the bathroom with anyone but you.
- You don’t have to worry about the cat hogging up all the covers on the bed or the blanket on the couch.
I resent the dog. There, I said it. It’s out there in the universe. She is hubby’s dog – she’s not mine. So he should be responsible for dropping everything he’s doing to go stand outside and freeze his ass off while she sniffs every ounce of the territory she sniffed 20 minutes ago. He should be the one to get up at 4 AM to take her outside because she’s whining. But no … that duty is my responsibility because she’s made it my responsibility by not going with anyone else unless you physically make her go outside.
Just Because I’m Home Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Work
Those of you who work from home know all about having to set boundaries with your friends who just don’t get it. While you may be at home, that does not mean that you’re not on the clock, that you can just drop everything to run here and there, or that you don’t have a daily schedule of things that need to be done and interruptions upset the delicate balance of being a work at home parent.
So what do you do when it is your family that doesn’t get it? I think this is my biggest pet peeve of everything. I try my best to not call my husband at work and disturb him. The only time that I will call him is if it is an emergency and the boys are about to strangle each other or there’s water pouring from the ceiling. The reason being is because when I did call him just to tell him something that could have waited I got snapped at and told not to disturb him at work.
So you would think that the same would apply to me, right? Unfortunately, the mindset of my testosterone carriers is that working from home isn’t a real job and I’m pretty much at their beck and call to do their bidding when they want. At least that’s what they think.
Top Complaints of this Work at Home Mom
- I am not here to wait on you hand and foot. This isn’t a restaurant and I’m not the waitress. You clean up behind yourself, put your dish in the sink, and no – I should not have to fix you a ( insert whatever here ) at midnight because you’re still hungry because you think I’m not doing anything. (I’m actually working on a post that is due before 1 AM EST – that’s all)
- I am not your personal laundress. Yes, I do the majority of the laundry – the washing, the drying, the folding – but if you know that something or other is dirty and you need it for tomorrow, don’t wait until 2 AM to tell me when I’m getting ready to go to bed.
- I stay in a perpetual state of tired. I’m tired all the time because during the day when I should be working I am usually running errands for you, taking the kids to appointments, attending meetings at the school, calling to schedule appointments for you, doing research for you, or attempting to clean up the mess that y’all made the day before. That means that I’m up till 2, 3 sometimes 4 AM working because I didn’t have time to do it during the day.
- Nobody listens to me. I ask my children to do their chores. I’m ignored. I ask them again. I’m ignored. I get busy trying to get an assignment finished or finish working on a post, and I forget. Hours go by and when I go to do what I needed to do – I can’t because what I asked them to do hasn’t been done.
- I am not your short-order cook or waitress and this is not the local diner. I love you dearly but God gave you two hands, two legs, and a brain. If you come home for lunch and you see I’m busy – don’t make me stop what I am doing to place your order for lunch and then sit there and wait for it to be served while you watch television.
- You’re old enough to clean up behind yourself. There is absolutely nothing more frustrating to this mom than to wake up to a kitchen that looks as though it exploded overnight. When the kids are on break or on the weekends, I seriously consider putting up a locked door that bars their entrance to the kitchen between the hours of 10 PM and 8 AM. There is nothing worse than waking up to a kitchen full of dirty dishes, stuff spilled on the countertops, wrappers and empty containers everywhere and crumbs on every surface – including the floor.
I could probably go on and on and on … but I’ll stop there – for now. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, love the damn dog but some days … let’s just say that there are some days when I wish I could stow away to Fiji in someone’s suitcase for a few weeks!
I have talked until I am blue in the face to all of my beloved testosterone carriers about all of this. See #4 above. Is it possible to change them? The younger ones, yes. Hubby, no. He’s set in his ways and no matter what I tell him, explain to him, show him – my blogging will always and forever be “playing on the computer” and that’s all he’s going to see.
I need a vacation. Just when we were thinking that we might be able to take a week off to go to my sister’s house in Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving or Christmas, or maybe a couple of days here and there, my eldest went and landed himself on house arrest. So, since I’m a work at home parent – guess who is the one who is on house arrest too because he has to be supervised by a parent at all times? Yup. Mom is on house arrest.
Sucks too – especially today. Temperatures were up in the 70s and tonight was the annual Richmond Christmas Boat Parade on the James. I couldn’t go because hubby was too busy at his son’s house screwing around with his fish tank. It’s bad enough he spends so much time screwing around with his fish tank here at home … now he’s got his son setting up one as well so all of his free time is spent playing with the damn fish.
I thinks it’s time for a glass of wine and some Christmas music to get me in a good mood again. Want to join me?