When Desperate Housewives first came on the air I was glued to the program not because of the sex and scandal, but because of the character Lynette. She seemed so real to me and represented so much of what I felt and still feel today about motherhood.
In one episode Lynette was in the grocery store, looking frazzled and obviously terrorized by her boys when she has an encounter with one of those perfect mothers. This lady was done up beautifully with an angelic child that sat quietly in the grocery cart. This Stepford beauty smiled over at Lynette and said, “Don’t you just love being a mother?”
Lynette then did what anyone would do in her situation and simply smiled and nodded. But the truth was that she didn’t really love being a mom, that she didn’t fit into that mould like she thought she should and that she missed her old role in the workforce.
I feel like Lynette from those older episodes. As though there is a certain motherhood mould that I will just never be able to squeeze into. Although I love my kids with a fierceness I’ve never experienced before, I am ashamed to say that I do get bored with our day-to-day lives. I don’t find Treehouse TV intellectually stimulating and most children’s books are kind-of annoying (I mean, read Jack and the Beanstalk and think about what you would do as a poor woman with a stupid boy that just sold your last cow for a couple of magic beans!). To top it all off, cleaning the house causes my already mentally stunted brain to shut down. I usually count down the hours until Ken gets home from work each and every day.
I watched 20/20 the other week and they did a segment on an article from London’s Daily Mail by Helen Kirwan-Taylor entitled, “Sorry, but my children bore me to death!”. The author of the article is a little extreme in her boredom, but it made me feel better that I wasn’t alone in feeling a little mentally numb at the end of the day.
Well, until 20/20 interviewed other moms about the article. They crucified Kirwan-Taylor. One person wrote on their blog that she should “do the world a favor and don’t reproduce.” Another post read, “Your lack of parental love borders on child abuse.”
To be honest, after reading her article and listening to the scathing responses to it, I guess that it’s okay to be in the middle of the road. Even though I feel completely bored and brain-dead by the end of each and every day, at least I know that being a stay-at-home-mom is the most important thing I can be at this point in life. I truly do think it’s worth the sacrifice of a little less cash and a little less mental stimulation to be with them everyday during these important infant and toddler years. Plus, I do make a consistent effort to help my children explore the world around them through a variety of different activities.
We read books, watch some TV together, play with Play-Doh, build block castles, play with trains, do crafts and colouring and play outside (well, maybe not all those activities every day, but some or most of them each day). I take the girls to swimming lessons and take Devin to ballet (even though I may bring a book on the days that Teri and Cassie can’t make it). Despite not feeling like I fit the mould, I still try to squeeze into it on a daily basis.
So even though I do feel bored with many of the day-to-day aspects of being a stay-at-home-mom, at least I try, right? That should win me a few brownie points.
Jamie Leggatt is a freelance writer, wife and mother to two little girls. You can share her daily challenges as a stay-at-home-mom by visiting her blog, http://www.discoveringjamie.blogspot.com/. Or share in her struggle with depression at http://www.fightingthedarkness.blogspot.com