Thursday, March 18, 2010

The MommyLand Confessional: Welcome to the Little Box

Have you ever wondered if you're normal? If what you're doing as a mom is a little, well - out there? Think you need a reality check? Or maybe you just want to get something off your chest? Then welcome to the newest addition to Rants from MommyLand - The MommyLand Confessional! Send us your "mom confessions" and we'll give you our sage -- or more accurately, snarky -- wisdom. Then we'll tell you how awesome you are. Enjoy!


Dear Lydia and Kate,

Forgive me Mommies, I have sinned.

So, I often read your blog (okay, I'm addicted and read it everyday). I've been known to beg you for celebrity advice columns, such as John Mayer. I feel the need to give you this confession. I am dying to know that I'm not the only mom on the planet that does this.

I've been a SAHM for 10 years. Heaven help me. My kids are now all school aged. I say that loosely. My youngest is 6 and goes to Kindergarten in the afternoons only. So, this year I decided to get a part time job. And by part time, I mean that last month I logged 49 hours, total. Here's where the confession comes in to play. I had to find daycare for my daughter for mornings only. I had no idea how wonderful a daycare could be!! So, on the days I don't have to go to work (most days), I get up, get all dressed up in work clothes, take my older kids to school, take my daughter to daycare, come home, change back into my sweats, do my own thing, and then at around 11:45 I change BACK into my work clothes to go pick my daughter up from daycare to take her to school. I feel so much less guilty leaving her at daycare if the daycare lady and my daughter think I'm actually going to work. So, there's my confession.


First, a caveat. We're not Catholic. (Editor's note: Lydia claims to be part Catholic because her grandmother conditionally baptised her as a newborn. So she wouldn't go to hell. Also, she once worked for nuns at a Catholic hospital and they said they could tell by looking at her that she was Catholic. Also that she was "over-caffeinated". What does that even mean?) So our actual experience with confession rests solely in what we've seen in movies and on TV. And, we're pretty sure that no confession in the history of ever has offered absolution in the form of "Rock on with your bad self!"

But, here we go...

We sense that you feel guilty about your need for a few hours to do "my own thing". Woman, you've been a SAHM for ten freaking years! That's nearly four thousand days of doing everyone else's crap. We're going to delve even further into the math and discover it's more than 93,000 hours of NOT "doing my own thing." And you're feeling guilty about -- what? -- 10 hours a week? By our calculations, you can do "my own thing" without guilt, at the same rate for 178 years.

The above paragraph includes very important numbers and math and calculations and you know what they tell us? That you are long overdue for some time to yourself. Take it however you can get it, friend. And don't feel bad about it for one more minute.

Let us also point out that on top of all the SAHM stuff you do, you're still spending an additional 49 hours doing another job. One that pays you. Kate and Lydia have logged a total of about 7 minutes of paid time in the past year, and that's only because we found some cash under the seats when we were vacuuming out the car. One of us is totally going to declare it on our taxes.

Here's what we want you to do. And, bear in mind this comes with Kate's emphatic EVEN YESSER! You put on those sweats, coffee t-shirt, ponytail hair (but no clogs...Kate refuses to grant the clog allowance...b*tch) and take the kids to school, then take the little one to day care and say, LOUDLY, "yep, I'm goin' back home to sit in blissful silence and eat a box of Samoas!" And you know what, that lovely day care provider will think, "good for her, she deserves she's paying me, so giddyup!"

And then, when summer comes, say the same thing, but add " the pool" to the end. Kinda like with fortune cookies, when you add " bed" at the end and it always makes your fortune soooo much better. Even if totally unlikely. Because really, we're not sure that "You will find great fortune in your career" should really be followed up by "in bed." Mostly because we're not Heidi Fleiss.

Now, we absolve you. Go do one T-Box and fifteen Samoas. And, of course, Rock On With Your Bad Self!


Subscribe in a reader
(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010


  1. Ahh, I love it. And I really hope that someone will chime in and make me feel more normal :-) Thanks ladies! Off to T-box, because it would be a sin not to.

  2. Bravo!! On the days my office is closed for a holiday but the daycare is open I take my son for the morning so I can sit and watch the Today Show in relative peace.

  3. Totally no reason to feel guilty!!! If I had one of those random holidays off from work and my kid's daycare was still open, I would drop him off, in my pj's and go home to do NOTHING all day long! Your daughter is having more fun at daycare and your are maintaining your sanity. I call it a win-win!

  4. Fantastic confessional!!!!!!! Just this past week I too have discovered "preschool" ie. Daycare!!!!! I'm in love! I am a sahm mom to 3 kids and have been going on 8 years. Now 2 days a week IT'S JUST ME at home from 9-3pm I have found heaven I tell ya! I make no excuses and even went snow skiing last Thursday with an old friend, I plan on golfing with hubby, lunching with friends, and taking a nap by myself!!! No guilt required mama! Rock on with your bad self!! <3 jenn

  5. I totally understand this feeling. I work full-time but on "non-holiday" holidays when my office is closed and daycare is open I still take my kids to daycare. So I can be home. . .alone. I feel horribly guilty and then I end up using 90% of the time to clean, cook, and do laundry. So to the confessor of the day I say, "I smell what you're stepping in because I've been there!"


  6. I think this is awesome, providing that she's using an actual daycare service. I had a friend whose son I used to watch while she went to work- I did it mostly as a favor, but very occasionally she would pay me a small amount. I'm a SAHM myself, so my working mommy friends used to drop their children off here frequently. I was/am at the end of my own rope, but hey, I don't have a "real" job so I guess that the added stress didn't matter. Anyways, I found out that this mommy friend had done this exact thing to me quite a few times- dropped off her son saying that she was going to "work", adding to my own stress of my own 3 kids just so she could have a few free hours away from her 1 kid. I'm sorry, but THAT is NOT ok. What the writer is doing is fine- she's earned it!- as long as it's a daycare and paying for it. . . but adding to the stress of someone who is trying to do you a favor for little or no pay is not ok.

  7. When it comes to "Me time", here's what I always say, " A happy mom is a happy home:0)"

  8. Ha ha - love it! I worked at a daycare center through college and would always balk about the parents that were teachers and brought their 2 kids to daycare p/t during the summer months. Now that I am a M.O.M. I totally get it and will probably track them down on Facebook to apologize.

  9. Wait, you mean moms are allowed to do their own thing? WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME THIS?????? I am calling MSNBC right now because they are missing out on important news.

  10. "...giddyup!" you guys crack me the hell up.

  11. I completely understand! I work three days a week, but my daughter is in daycare all five. I figure it's the best option for both of us. She gets entertained and goes out every day to do fun activities and mommy gets some alone time. If I kept her home with me the two days I'm home it would be "Go watch tv while mommy does laundry". I'm guessing daycare is more fun!

  12. Hey, Anonymous writer up there. :-) It is an actual home daycare, that I actually pay for. And I'd be paying for it even if I didn't take her... so... lol. No brainer. But I totally get what you're saying. In my 10 years as a SAHM, I frequently considered posting a sign on my door that said "THIS IS NOT A DAYCARE" My working mom friends seemed to think that because I was home with my kids, it meant that I wanted to be home with theirs as well. I learned to say NO WAY to that one REAL quick.
    Lisa (writer of the original confession)

  13. Rock on! I took a personal day from work yesterday but still took my 4-month-old son to daycare because my husband had work off and we wanted to nap all morning and go out to lunch in peace. It was the most blissful 8 hours I have had since before my son was born.

  14. Woo Hoo! I'm not the only one. I'm a full-time student and a full-time single mom so even though I don't have classes on Thursdays, Big Time still gets dropped off at school! Used to feel really guilty, but I'm recovering from that.

    I graduated from college 18 years ago & going back has been insanely difficult. I'm technically on Spring Break right now and while most of my 20-something classmates are at the lying around drunk at the beach or skiing, I'm still taking Big Time to school and coming home to a quite, messy, laundry-still-needs-to-be-done house for some peace. Guilty...a little. Give this week to myself up...NEVER!

  15. been there, done that, thinking about doing it again real soon!

  16. I heart you two!

  17. I'm a single mom and work full time M-F. My 4 year old daughter goes to daycare and I will take days off but she still goes to daycare. Me time is such a rare thing for me and has been since she was born. I have no guilt for doing it. Like the other's said, she has more fun at daycare than stuck at home with me while I clean the house. Sometimes I go to the mall and stay for hours, just browsing....

  18. Heck, yeah! Mommy time is essential. Without it I'm not sure my children would still be alive. Or me. Either way it makes us healthier for sure.

  19. And when do you all think your daycare mom's get THEIR "me" time? Hmmm?

    To those of you who cannot manage to take care of your own children on your days off, shame on you!
    Your children are in their formative years. They NEED mom and/or dad time. The WANT that time with you...and for you to nonchalantly drop them off at daycare while you are home on your butts eating Samoa's and watching soap operas makes me SICK.

    This is what I see from you "ladies". Let's play the I'd rather game, shall we?

    I'd rather....go skiing than spend time with my kid. Sure my he's only a kid once, but skiing is MUCH more important.

    I'd rather....lay around in my sweats all day watching the Today Show than take care of my kid...because the Today Show is much more important than watching my little one grow and learn.

    I'd rather....go to the mall and "shop for hours" than take care of my kid, because shopping is, like, super fun and SO HARD TO DO WITH A KID IN TOW...besides who wants to change diapers when that's what I pay my daycare for?

    No wonder this generation of children are so screwed up...feel entitled, whatever...they learn from "mommy dearest" and their ultimate display of selfishness. How about taking your me time after they are asleep for the evening? How about having dad watch them for a few hours while you get out once in awhile?

    If you didn't want to spend time with your kids...why in the heck did you have them in the first place?


    Disgusted in MN

  20. Hey - disgusted in MN - have you thought about the fact that a stressed out mommy is no fun... That mommies need some me time to be good mommies.. I work full time and have 3 boys... If I am not at work (doing someone's bidding) or at home (doing someone's bidding), I am probably asleep (waiting for someone to wake up) or in the car... If you ask most moms, they spend lots of time with their kids... And to criticise moms for taking a little time for themselves is ridiculous...
    Have you walked in their shoes? Have you considered what these moms deal with?
    As for the daycare moms - my daycare lady takes a vacation every year for a week. Mine are not the only kids she watches, so even if I didn't take my kids to her, she would still have to be taking care of someone. If she told me she needed me time, I would do something else that day.
    As for "me time" after the kids are asleep - that is when I get to do dishes, vaccum, pay bills, do laundry, sorry, but I don't consider that me time...
    Mom who understands in Indy

  21. I am a daycare provider. As long as you pay me, and pick up on time, I don't care if the parent is singing show tunes in her birthday suit. But, just say "I'll probably be at home most of the day". No need to pretend.

    If I am open, I love to have your kids here. In fact, they are an important part of the group, and the other kids will miss them if they are gone. I really enjoy them, and like having them here.

    But, I'll be honest when I say I think stay at home moms have WAY more "me time" than work at home, or work out of the home Moms. When you work full time, take care of kids, take care of the home, shop and cook, you understand me time.

    Other than the fact that you are paying daycare, and should absolutely use it, and we WANT your kids here..... nobody owes you any "me time".

  22. When there is a holiday the next day or on a Monday we get a half day the day before so I take my son to daycare in the morning as usual and spend my afternoon half day getting my hair done, or getting a massage or even just grocery shopping alone!! It's fantastic and he's having more fun at daycare with all the kids anyways!

  23. As a daycare provider, I just wanted to point out that your kids are not necessarily "having more fun" at daycare than they would with you. If they were, they probably wouldn't be standing by the door waiting for you after nap time. They probably wouldn't be too concerned when pick-ups start. They probably wouldn't be jumping up every time the door opened, and they probably wouldn't be quite as devastated when they realize that they're the last one to be picked up ... again.

    I totally get "me time". Hey, if Jesus needed breaks, so do I, as a full-time mom and as a full-time (50 hours/wk) daycare provider.

    But don't kid yourself that your child would rather spend time with anyone other than YOU! The fact that your child calls ME "Mama" tells me they miss you, and they would much rather be with the one who loves them more than life.

    And as much as I love your kids, it's not me.

  24. Meagan, you are wrong. Your child would rather be with you than at daycare.

    Let's talk for a minuate about how much time kids spend at daycare.If your child is at care 9 hours a day, 5 days a week that works out to 45 hours a week!And i am willing to bet that it is more like a 10 hours day/50 hour week. Isn't that like a full time job for them too? Don't you think that THEY might like to be home, playing with THEIR own stuff, not sharing and taking a break too?

    But hey, as long as you get your ME time right?

  25. Your children are only small for a short amount of time. I would never have routinely paid someone else to care for my children when they were little. I actually enjoyed being with them, even when I was sleep deprived or stressed for whatever reason. I had kids because I wanted them, and because I was prepared to take on the challenges of parenting. Now that my kids are all grown up, I get plenty of that "me" time that I didn't take when they were younger.

  26. Another daycare provider here...

    I think EVERYONE is entitled to "me time", however, it would seriously rub me the wrong way if I found out a parent was lying to me. As a matter of fact, I would terminate your services immediately upon finding out, no notice, no nothing. I don't care if parents are brining me their children when they are not at work, you've already paid for the service, go ahead and use it... but to put on work clothes, drop your kid off, go back home and put your pjs on, lounge around for a few hours and then put back work clothes on to pick up is really pathetic. You feel guilty for a reason...

    There are moms/dads/caregivers who have earned their "me time" and pay for it, there are others who are just plain lazy and don't want to deal with kid issues and leave that to us providers... those are the people with kids who usually end up calling US "mom" - it happens way more often than those outside of daycare know.

  27. I'm a daycare provider who couldn't care less what you are doing during my paid time. Don't ask me what I do on my time off, and I won't ask you what you do.

    As long as I'm paid, your kids are healthy, and you don't pick up late... I'm a happy girl.

    But, no need to lie to the provider... I think we are smarter than you assume.

  28. as a mother, and a paying consumer, you the daycare provider have ZERO, and I do mean ZERO right to tell me what I can and CANT do while my child is at daycare, as long as I meet your pickup requirements. What kind of mess is that? As much as daycare costs, smh. I'll use it how I want to! That said, I love my kid, and we have "mother/son" days and sometimes I have "mother only days" and I might even sneak in a "mommy/daddy" day when we're both off work, rare as that is. Stop the madness! Don't feel an ounce of guilt up there, miss lady!

  29. Whaaaat is this?! A daycare provider is quick to take our money five days a week, even if our child/children wasn't THERE five days, and even if they're not there for an entire week you still have to pay at the minimum a partial fee, if not the full week. But we can't take them to daycare and take some time for ourselves?

    TRY AGAIN!!!!

  30. When I was working full time I would take a vacation day once a quarter to clean my house and do laundry. My DCP knew it and said it was genius. I always felt so bad doing it but I knew if I busted my butt to clean down to the baseboards every few months (i cleaned every week but not super CLEANED) then the time we did have together at night was all candyland and legos and not mommy freaking beause the dust bunnies attacked the dog. I was working my standard 9-10 hours during the day, hanging with smalls until bedtime then working more at the kitchen table until the wee hours. Hell I took my laptop to the hospital when I was super sick carrying the littlest just so smalls wouldn't have to give up any more of his few hours of me he got to my job. Now that I SAH I'll have my sister come over to play with one or both for an hour or two so i can go to the dentist or ob/gyn or take the littlest to his specialist appts or the oldest on a "date" but not for anything "fun" just for me. HOWEVER if I had 10 years at this - yeah I'd prob do the same thing - minus the work clothes. And just sit in blissful silence.

  31. Why do women, ( here, mothers) feel the need to attack each other about life choices? Are we unable to accept that others may choose to live differently to the way we ourselves do? Yes, everyone has the right to their own opinion and choices, but you do not need to degrade or abuse others in order to assert that opinion. Motherhood is a tough and often isolated place where you almost never hear " you are doing a good job" and where a little support, or a kind word, can go a long way!!

  32. Woot to that! Common folks....there's enough mean-ness and attacks in the world. We're all supposed to be here to support each other.




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts