Sunday, March 07, 2010

Over compensator

I was so not trying to be braggy or look-what-I-do in my last post, and I am afraid that's how it came off. As I said in the comments, I think it's all the same stereotype-- the over compensating working mom. Ugh. So, sorry to brag about my stupid schedule because that's not what I intended. (But seriously EVERYTHING is overcompensating-- my house has to be the cleanest, my food has to be the from-scratchiest, my kids have to do the most activities, etc. Ugh.)

When we used to take Saturday Little Gym classes with Jack and Harry (which we did one semester because Harry was not big enough to come hang out at LG while Jack was in class, so I needed Ben to take one kid while I took the other), I HATED the women I called (uncharitably) "The Saturday Mothers." These were the moms who felt so shitty about working away from home, that they squeezed every possible second of manic QUALITY TIME! out of their classes. They didn't let a moment go by without screaming the color of something or counting the number of times their child bounced or working on clapping an elaborate sequence to the Little Gym music. I hated "The Saturday Mothers" because I was working grad student hours (which? crazy, but 3 am crazy, so I only had like 15 hours of childcare a week) and was mostly a SAHM who had quantity time and didn't need to overcompensate like "The Saturday Mothers." My everyday was hanging out with my kids doing whatever the heck they wanted whenever they wanted to do it. But because I still thought of myself as a WOHM, I could bask in open judgement of "The Saturday Mothers" and think things like, "Why not just quit your job if you're so conflicted" and "Must suck to have other people raise your kid, but do you have act so obviously defensive about it?"

Then the last year of grad school, I worked the job I have now and stepped up my childcare hours, splitting them among 3 baby sitters, which was crazy but effective. I still made grad student wages, though, so I didn't worry about putting in full days at the office and instead worked in coffee shops frantically writing my dissertation. I worked more, but I still had the most flexibility you could possibly imagine. This year, I do the same job but more is expected of me as a real worker than as a grad student. I am much more accountable at work, and our nanny comes 3 days a week and we have another sitter one afternoon a week.

And suddenly, I am a Saturday Mother instead of an everyday one.

Look! Never before seen footage of Harry and Jack cleaning up their toys when told to do so! Also, do you like Jack's purse? He wears it when he pretends to be the mommy and go to work. But he always comes back.


  1. Love your blog - read it all the time. It's good birth control :-)

    So why am I finally posting? Because I believe that is a Dooney & Bourke bag you have in your toybox and I may come steal. it. from. you.

    I have some horrible Walmart knockoffs that Jack can have if he'll swap with me.

    ~Kelly Jo

  2. What is with all the guilt? I'm a WOHM too and I feel guilty all. day. long. I mean, it never ends. Right now, my kids are in no extracurriculars... we do baseball in the summer and theatre/dance for my daughter, but she wanted time off (???) and I was happy to oblige. too happy. It means less running for me!

    I sometimes think though that kids want to just hang out but they don't know how to say "Mom, seriously, let's get pizza and hang out..." so instead, I go, go, go...

    I am starting to learn now though that these unrealistic expectations I put on myself aren't working...and the older I get the less I care what other people think (Hallelujah!)

    All that to aren't alone. We all struggle with this battle!! And having been a SAHM too, the guilt is no less... it's guilt for needing to get away or wanting to lock yourself in a closet just to hear yourself think.

    we are so hard on ourselves!

  3. Whatever you "are", Sarah, you are an AMAZING mom. It is so obvious in your posts and your pictures that your kids are so so so so loved and happy. They are having the coolest childhood--no matter what you're doing, you're doing it right.

  4. I don't judge the full time WOHM's, I wonder how the heck they fit it all in! Not the fun stuff--the stupid boring stuff that I do during the week (laundry, cleaning up, etc).

    So, I dunno. It sounds like you are doing great with them, no matter what you try and fit in during non-work hours!

  5. I think when you try to put yourself into a category, you don't do yourself justice (and by "you" I mean "anyone" not just you, per say ;))

    I also think you're a great mom :) And didn't take your last post as being braggy in the least.

  6. I think every mom has to juggle something. You are juggling work and two boys - and you are doing it well. You are trying to give them as much time as you can while still working, which I hope is the goal of every working mom or even every mom, since even if they don't work at a paying job, we all have other things we do other than just being a mommy.

  7. Looooove the new haircuts on the boys!

  8. you sported that heart patterned Dooney & Bourke bag during our first week of training for Ca100! At the time it was the "gotta have it" handbag and I remember being quite envious. Wow, that seems like forever ago. And by the way, I think you're a great mom, your kids are very fortunate to have 2 amazing parents :)