I’m sitting here at my computer, preparing myself for what happens next. The part where I have to go to the parent’s orientation at Cori’s day school (separate from actual orientation – because apparently they are aware that this is a hot mess for all parents, so we need to orient ourselves before we are forced to be actual adults and orient the children). I almost ALWAYS have anxiety about meeting new people, or going into a crowd of new people. Which may seem strange because I’m a fairly social person and I talk a lot… probably too much… sorry about that.
I must do this. So the husband is home to “babysit” for lack of a better word… he will most likely work while watching cartoons with the 3-year-old while she continues to recover from the 47th bought of strep throat (mental note… may need to emotionally prepare for a future tonsil removal).
The part that gives me the most anxiety is answer that age old question…
“SO, what do you do?” As if to imply whatever it is that they do is automatically infinitely more interesting and valuable than whatever it is you’re about to say. And I will give my little “Oh I stay home” deal. Which is complete bullshit. Any mother (or father) that “stays home” never fucking stays home. It’s a joke. I mean, yes, somedays we do have to. Like yesterday I stayed home because my kid was under quarantine (yet again) and I had to disinfect and feed them random things that they would accept. I had to do the laundry and bleach my shower and cook dinner and write more of my book… swallow another rejection and give the meds while making sure the proper Mickey mouse movie was on the TV.
So… yeah I stayed home… but I don’t remember (aside from when I was writing) actually ever getting to sit down. I desperately wanted a nap… I couldn’t even think straight when I finally got the kids down for theirs. But I really wanted to get SOMETHING written, so I forced out at least a paragraph and zoned out on some Real Housewives. Sue me.
But why is it that I always feel like I have to explain myself. Prove that I bring value to our home. That I’m not just sucking onto my husband’s income and spending all his money at Target and Amazon Prime. I love being home with my children. I love that I get to pursue my true passion of being a writer… but I don’t feel I am deserving of the title yet, so I feel almost embarrassed bringing it up. As if I shouldn’t even tell people that I’ve written a book, and working on another, or have a blog because what does it even matter? It’s a bunch of words that nobody is “the biz” cares about. Not yet at least. So sharing that is basically saying, “I like organizing colored pencils”. I feel like I get the same facial response.
That’s what I’m doing, though. Just sitting here… wondering how to say the same thing again.
I stay home.
I’m a stay at home mom.
I wiped a huge booger off my kids face yesterday. That was fun.
My husband works and I buy groceries.
I wrote a book. “Oh… that’s fun!” How condescending.
I have to leave in less than an hour and I’m just honestly glad I haven’t begun the nervous sweats yet because then, on top of stressing about answering that damn question, I will wonder if I smell. And I normally have an odor because I work out in the morning and sometimes don’t get to shower until after all errands are run and kids are napping, but I tried to pull myself together. I’m wearing the shirt I slept in… but like I have makeup and wedges on. That’s gotta count for something.
I’m telling myself that there will most likely be a ton of other stay-at-homers there because it IS a day school afterall. The average working parent can’t drop off at 9am and pick up at noon. So I do have that working for me. But will those moms have figured something out that I haven’t? I can almost guarantee there will be the know-it-all mom, who has to make sure you are aware of just how much she knows about everything. She’s probably just as freaked out at seeming useless as me, but works that out in the most annoying AF way possible by knowing everything about everything. As if you are a complete moron and need all of her advice and knowledge.
No… I can screw my kids up just fine on my own.
Then there will be that group of moms who already have their little “clique” and have all the preppy named kids who are already cooler than I am. They’ll chatter and roll their eyes and then leave to go get their weekly mani-pedis together and force their smiles at me on the way out… they’ll smell all the dry shampoo and know I haven’t showered.
I’ll probably most get along with that perpetually late mom, the one that’s always frazzled – but truly so, not the one that pretends like her life is a mess just to come off relatable/cute/down-to-earth. But the one that just accepts she’s a hot mess and will agree to eat mexican food with me soon… after she figures out what the smell is coming from under the rug in her kitchen. She’s got nothing to prove and I like her already. And if she ever reads this… I swear I’m not a creep. I just like stories.
I will just remind myself that today is about getting to know the teachers, whatever curriculum they might have in the 3 hours my kid will be in their care. Make sure she knows my kid is intensely OCD, much like her father and myself, and will definitely freak out about things one shouldn’t freak out about, but it’s cool. I’ll get all the info to relay to dad and pick up the waffles, because storm prep and pray the rain holds off until I get home.
Because I stay home.