(Sing to the tune of Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?)
Where is my babysitter?
Where is my full time nanny?
Where is my in home cook?
Where have all the good maids goooone?
My sister and I often console one another over the impossibility of "getting it all done". We are both stay at home mothers, we both have four children, we both homeschool, and are both involved in the managing of very tight budgets. We are constantly asking, "How is it that we spin our wheels like crazy and still feel like we are standing still?" As I type I am rubbing the bottom of my foot across the cuff of my jeans to wipe off crumbs, AND I JUST SWEPT 15 MINUTES AGO!!! By the end of the day it is obvious that something always has to give. If I am a good homeschooler I usually miss the laundry and dinner. If I am a good neighbor I never seem to manage homeschooling or sweeping. When I am a fun mom I usually haven't done any of the things on my perpetual "To Do" list on the fridge. And if I manage to get everything done in one day I am hardly a good wife by the time hubby gets home. I have heard it said many times that stay at home moms work the equivalent of 5 full time jobs. That sounds great, but I'm sure that I'd have been fired from at least 2 of those jobs by the end of every day (and, honestly, some days I've even fantasized about getting those pink slips). And even though I am the first to tell other women that they shouldn't feel guilt just because they aren't Superwoman, I am all too ready to add "self beater" to my professional resume. Well, Ladies, I am here to proclaim that I officially
NO LONGER FEEL THE GUILT!
I know, you either don't believe me or you are insanely jealous (or you just think I'm crazy and have skipped to someone else's blog by now). No, I am serious. A lot of my guilt came from this stupid pride I've always had that "If the pioneer women can do it, so can I." But I am learning that the pioneer women either had awful lives that I don't want to have, or they didn't do it all because they lived with family, had slaves, hired hands, servants, or young ladies to help them. Heck, they even hired women to breast feed their babies for them!!! I was recently reading Little Men by Louisa May Alcott because it is about Jo and her husband running a school for boys (basically an over grown homeschool) and they had little money and I thought it might make me feel better. While it is a great book I couldn't help wincing at yet another "nanny" and "cook". The straw that finally broke my back was when my sister called me with the disgusted proclamation that I wouldn't believe what she had just found out. Apparently even my grandma had a young girl from down the road come in to help her with the cooking and cleaning while her children were young. My very poor grandma, I might add. So, were is my "young girl from down the road?" She is at the mall. She doesn't need my very piddly $8/hour for watching my kids or scrubbing my floor because her parents gave her an ipod and $20 last night for nothing. Well, I may not be able to afford a french tutor for my children, a maid for my floors, or a cook for my kitchen, but I will be darned if I ever feel guilty for not making the 10 Greatest Homemakers of America list anytime soon. And with that, I am making frozen corndogs for dinner!