So, this came up towards the end of therapy today, and it’s been rattling in my head all day. Buckle up for a rant, y’all.
I work from home. My kids are school age (9 and 16), and they’ll be home all summer. Now, they’re good kids. Like SO GOOD. They never fight. They pretty much leave me be. If I ask them to be quiet, they are, without question. They spend the days pretty much tending to themselves.
But they’re still humans that are now in a space that’s exclusively mine for nine months of the year. My “office” is a section of our basement, and the basement also has their computers and our entertainment center. And they’re still kids, meaning I need to be roughly aware of what’s going on with them, especially with the 9yo who loves to play outside but ‘forgets’ to tell me where she’s playing.
I bring this up to friends, and I get the following reactions:
Advice on what to do
First, if I wanted advice, I would have asked for it. Second, it’s not even good advice. There are no jobs for 16yos in my area that my son can walk to. Most of the day camps don’t interest my daughter (and they have weird pick-up hours anyway). I can’t kick my kids out of the house for ten hours a day because 1. we have a ton of code red / orange days where we are and 2. their friends are either in day care (9yo) or across town (16yo). I don’t care if that’s what you did and boredom is good for kids and whatever, that doesn’t work for my family.
Oh, and for some reason, everyone thinks my kids are super little. Even someone who knows my kids are older was talking about setting up “sensory play stations” and I’m like, what the fuck, the boy can drive and the girl has to wear a bra. They are past this.
I have been parenting for 16 years. I have heard every fucking duct tape joke there is. Go find some new material.
(Side rant: Do men only have, like, five fucking jokes in their repository?)
“You should be grateful to spend time with your children”
I love my kids. I do. But my day is for working so we can pay the bills. We’re not spending time together. We’re doing this because they’re happier at home and I’m happier not dealing with a day care.
But we’re not hanging out. We’re not hitting up the pool. We’re not doing day trips. I’m doing deployments and dialing into meetings.
So what do I want?
All I really want, really, is for someone, ANYONE, to just say “That sounds hard” and mean it. Not to give me mommy guilt or make light of it or make it sound like I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing (REMEMBER: SIXTEEN YEARS I’VE BEEN IN THIS GAME).
Even Mr. Cunning does all of the above. I should do X or Y. It’s no big deal. Whatever. Just... just sympathize, okay? That’s all I’m looking for, ffs.