Monday, February 15, 2010

Is Everyone Else Just Faking It?

Raising children is hard for me. Very, very hard. There, I said it. The ugly truth no one ever wants to admit.

Hubband and I have always said that we are not actually raising children. We are raising adults, they just happen to be children right now. This is true, and a good child rearing philosophy, where a philosophy is required. But, let’s face it, if they don’t make it to adulthood, their good problem solving skills and willingness to accept the consequences of their actions will do them very little good.

My children are young. Most of their needs are immediate. Food, sippy cup, diaper, don’t stick that sharp knife into that electrical outlet. And it is meeting those needs that exhausts me. That and keeping the house just clean enough to be sanitary. I have very little energy left for the discipline, correction, and training that goes into making a decent person.

I know so many women who make mothering look effortless. Especially women at church. And these women homeschool too, so I know they have their hands full. Are they really as together as they seem? And if not, what do they have to gain from faking it?

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to listen to a bunch of women do nothing but complain. It’s not good for them, it’s not good for me, and too much grumbling is decidedly un-Biblical. But, just once, I would like to hear someone say, “Being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest thing I have ever done and most of the time I feel like I am failing.” Then I would know that I am not alone.


  1. Absolutely it's hard! LOL!

    Those women at don't see them at home behind closed doors.

    Take it one day at a does get better! :)

  2. Being a stay at home mother is unbelievably hard! I went back to work for a number of reasons, and luckily, it was part time for awhile, but the few years when I was entirely or mostly a stay at home mom were incredibly challenging. Hang in there! and p.s. the modeling you are doing as a parent is the best teaching you could do. it's not an event thing, it's a day-in and day-out thing.

  3. I suspect it depends where on the scale between drill Sergeant and earth mother hippy you sit.
    If ever I have kids, I will aim for educated Huck Finns. And I would prefer to see a good level of fearlessness like with your little one, than see kids so fearful they will dirty their cuffs. Both situations are directly drawn from parental influence.
    So, all in all I rather like the Moxy you are instilling.

  4. TOUGH! HARD...NEVER ENDING WORK! 24 hours ON CALL! I thought I had a tough job outside the house prior to kiddos...but when I stayed home I ANYONE that is doing it is SO MUCH WORK!!!! NEVER ENDING WORK!

    Those women that make it look effortless...I wonder about them...are they actresses? Do they have dual personalities? Ask a few specific question of their children and the truth will come out...

    Someone once told me that it is "EASY" when they are little...their needs are basic and easily is HARDER when they are older...I am definitely getting into the OLDER phase of mothering...I have to agree. BUT, the upside of it IS...they can talk, fix their OWN lunch and not involve me in toileting!

    Love your post Tracey!

  5. Love the 50's pic. I buy those cards all the time. One of my faves has a woman holding a platter of food and says: I always offer two choices at dinner - take it or leave it.

    There's no doubt about it - mothering little kids is above all, PHYSICAL. Mothering older kids requires more of a mental effort. And you are certainly not alone in finding it hard. But as a mother of the older variety I can tell you that the investment you make now will pay off later. My kids are, overall, really good company even though at times, when they were little, I could have sworn they were out to break me, especially the boys. You have such a good sense of humour and that really helps, too. I made it through the drudgery by watching a lot of movies and reading a lot (to keep my brain alive) and taking the kids outside my claustrophobic four walls as much as I could.
    Don't worry about the Smuggersons.

  6. LOL. I am not a stay at home mom, for good reason. I'd strangle my own children. Being out on maternity leave with Isabel and Daniel was challenging. Even now, I am constantly telling people that I haven't gotten the hang of this two kid thing. Daniel by himself. Easy Peasy. He was/is a mellow kid. Isabel. Not so much. She knows what she wants when she wants and so help you if you don't give it to her. Put the two of them together and all I'm doing is running from one "situation" to another. Laundry, dishes, lunches, toys, homework, play time, how'd she get into the mixer box? Is it broken? Wait, where's Daniel? He's at the NEIGHBORS? Did we give him permission to go to the neighbors? Well go reclaim him and ground him for life. Andrew says we are living with terrorists. I'm tempted to agree. ;)
    Parenthood is easily the hardest thing I have ever done. And working while parenting...Well, I have a lot of outside help. Aside from Andrew who works part time, goes to school part time, Debbie, Don, my mom and dad easily fill in where I am lacking. And my superiors at work are flexible, so my hours are flexible, I can work from home when needed, and I can bring the kids in when needed. Not to mention my kids can be flexible when needed. (Err...Most of the time.) And I work with a lot of moms (with kids of all ages), so when I'm really lost, I call on them and they give great advice. (Or at the very least, they can relate.) I have a village raising my kids. Literally.
    Smile. You are not alone. Trust me. ;)

  7. Yep, like everyone else said, "it's hard."
    Interesting that you mentioned homeschooling moms - "IF" I have "TIME" today, my post is going to be a little about homeschooling.
    "BUT," I have to go the allegist for my shots, after having to go back to bed for an hour this moring (very rare) because I was up very late helping my daughter with homework, which got my system off, causing me to wake up at 4 a.m. and not being able to get back to sleep.
    I have a school conference to go to at 4:20, I'll come home for 30 minutes and then head back out to pick up daughter #2 who is working at school as a stage assistant.
    Dinner??? Then I'll read a chapter of an assigned book that the whole elementary school is reading for "family time." Then help my youngest by reading another book that she is behind on that needs to be completed tomorrow.

    Yes, we are SISTERS!

    We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them (the kids) though.

    Thanks for giving me a forum to vent about my busy day. :)

    Do as the rest of us do...ignore the dishes in the sink, and blog or something else for yourself, if only for 15 minutes.

  8. Oh, my wonderful readers!!! You guys have all been so awesome. Sometime when we are too close to a thing we can not see it clearly. That is why it is good to get a fresh perspective. Thank you, thank you, thank you.