The Parents' Debriefing Post!

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  • The Parents' Debriefing Post!

    This is the Parents' Debriefing Post for stay at home Mums and Dads to unload about the tougher days, knowing they're among people who understand. There is no need to qualify rants with 'but I love my children...' or 'but I wouldn't change it for anything...' etc. We get it!

    The stay-at-home role is undervalued. We know that.

    Putting aside the fact that we're responsible for tiny humans and their developing lives, there is just a lot of hard work that comes with child-rearing on the domestic frontline and it's very rarely congratulated or celebrated.

    I'll be bumping the Debriefing Post to the top of the website every week. When you feel under-appreciated, when you feel like nobody's listening, this is the place to come.

    You can debrief in the comments section below this post. All new comments will be moved into the article before each reposting. Over time it will become a resource where we can spill our guts if we choose to, or simply read the stories of like-minded others, take a deep breath, and then go back to our lives with our efforts acknowledged and our place in the world reaffirmed.

    I will color my pick for 'Debrief Of The Week' in bold purple. My favourite rant from last week comes from Kate! A long ripper of a rant!

    So Let's get stuck in to it!

     

    This Debriefing Session Is Now Open!

    ~~

    From 17 August 2013

     

    Oh boy am I glad I saw this post! Needed it today!! Groundhog Day! For sure!!

    I'm a SAHM to one. I have been a full time working Mum as well for a year and a half. Whilst I much prefer to be at home with my girl now, (and I hated that I always felt too exhausted after working all day in faces paced retail to really talk with my husband and daughter and I always felt I was chasing my tail) I was finding i was getting bored, I needed stimulation that wasn't from kids shows, toys, playing princesses or riding bikes and having tantrums etc.. I needed a creative outlet. I have my own little blog and have started my own online boutique for handmade, new, and second hand/repurposed clothing, jewellery and homewares. I love it!!

    But What still annoys me, and always will, as already stated by so many, is the judgment, or question of 'what have you done today'?

    Really? Do I ask you 'how was your day'? Or do I ask 'what did you do today'? Because I'm suspicious you did nothing but watch kids shows with the kid and I want the specifics of what you've done so I know your 'contributing' to society and our family.

    Like keeping a 4yr old alive and educating them isn't enough....???
    And no matter how many loads of washing I can do in one day, it's all a waste of time if I haven't washed the one article of clothing that Husband needed (even though I wouldn't have been informed it needed cleaning in particular or its been kicked under the bed, or fallen down behind the laundry basket because someone doesn't know how to put a dirty piece of clothing IN a clothes basket...On the floor or just on top of the laundry basket is much better....!!????!?!!!!!!)

    Whilst I don't have to get up and go to work everyday, I don't get to leave the house either... I don't get much time away from the monotony....

    And since moving from Brisbane to Melbourne I've been even more alone. I don't mind it most days, but after a while I get that empty feeling like I'm missing something, and I realise I'm missing family and friendship... I don't really have any other parenting friends down here.... I have a neighbor who is a parent and have a chat to some of the mums at kinder occasionally, big no real friends, just acquaintances..,,

    Wow! Had a lot more to vent about obviously hahah. Xxx


    ~ Liz @theJoycollective

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    I long for the day when I get to eat a meal at home in absolute peace. No children climbing on me or over me - or even onto the table - just to steal my food, leaving me with half eaten and spat out scraps and cold coffee. My daughter calls it sharing, but yet she wont share her uneaten food with me. She just wants me to share with her ~ Stacey

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    Best way to ruin Friday? Husband is home from the office leaving his stuff everywhere, but oh not allowed to mention it because he's vacuumed one room and is therefore "helping". Awesome, that makes five kids to pick up after today. At least I can yell at the kids and they'll eventually pick up after themselves; husband just says "you can do it too, we're a team remember?" - may as well launch a grenade because then it is argument central. Ugh, don't get me started. ~ Valentina

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    Public toilets I loathe them, I just think here goes another bout of worms and combantram!! My 3 yr old loves them and touches them and leans right all over them, while I have a private mental breakdown. And her gross 'blankie' I scoured the whole shopping centre today for that feral thing cos I knew what would b in store at bedtime. Turns out a cleaner picked it up, I'm sure she wouldn't have even used it to wipe wormy toilet seats with ~ Roberta


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    It's great that you've created a safe space to rant. I personally think both stay at home parents and working parents each have their own challenges. And what's easier for one family isn't necessarily easier for the next. I've been a stay at home Mum, a part time worker and a full time worker. In my own personal experience, I find that working part time is a better balance for our family, as I get the best (and worst!) of both worlds - actual time with my 3 kids, time to do some chores and some time away interacting with other grown ups. Having both parents working full time is very tricky for our family. I don't see the kids before I start work early, and by the time I've collected them at 5.30/6pm, they're as tired and cranky as I am. I then need to cook dinner/organise homework/bath tired and cranky children - my hubby usually gets home around 6.45pm. By the time we get them off to bed, we need to try and clean up after dinner, get through some form of housework, prepare lunches for next day and collapse into bed exhausted and feeling guilty for being a cranky Mum. I get the other kind of judgment of the "how can you leave your children in daycare?"or "why doesn't your Mum look after your kids?", or my absolute personal favourite "The trouble with your generation is you just have to have EVERYTHING. You insist on having two cars per family, you live in a big house. We lived through interest rates of almost 20% and got by and we didn't get the baby bonus. If you would just settle for a house that cost $250,000, you wouldn't both have to work". Yes, that is an actual comment I got from somebody in the company I work with. In my ideal world, my husband wouldn't have been retrenched when his industry went belly up. He got another job after being out of work for quite some time, but it's a good 50% less than he was earning, and our mortgage is a lot higher than intended, as we lost a lot when he wasn't working and wasn't eligible for any assistance as I worked TWO days a week. In my ideal world, I'd be at home more with my kids, able to attend things at their school and my house wouldn't look like a tornado has ripped through it. But, it is what it is, and we're both working hard and doing the best that we can for our family. And I think that's what most people are striving for, so it would be great if the judgement could stop all round! It can be exhausting looking after kids all day and trying to keep a household running, as it can be exhausting to work over 40 hours a week, miss your kids like crazy and not actually spend any time with them because at some point you still have to do the housework or at least stop the earth trying to reclaim your house! ~ Kate

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    From 10 August 2013

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    It isn't just one moment really but as I head off to our bedroom of an evening snuggling our 11 week old I say to my husband "see you tomorrow for "Groundhog Day". Even though having a house of 4 children brings new things with it every day it still feels like I am plodding through the same crap day after day. Oh yeah and my house looks like a tornado ripped through it! ~ Caroline

     

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    after my son was 18 months old i returned to work 2 days a week ... i told everyone i considered it My Weekend! the bliss of starting and finishing my allocated work, and then being able to leave it behind at the end of the day ... it was pure parenting porn! xt ~ Traceyb65

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    My overtired daughters took ages to get to bed, and after stories and lights out one of them called out and I shrieked "I'VE HAD ENOUGH! GO TO SLEEP" and she started crying and saying "But mum I've got a nosebleed"!! Oh the guilt.

    I think work at home is undervalued because it's repetitive, dull and not especially glamorous BUT it is incredibly important. I wrote about this here http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/work-and-family/domestic-chores-the-beauty-in-the-duty ~ Sam Leader

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    From 2 August 2013

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    I have had an awful week. On Monday Daycare made me take my son to the doctor for his ear. It has crap coming out of it and he has been taken to the doctor 3 times but they wanted a letter saying he was OK. The feeling of judgement I got made me crack. That afternoon when I went to pick my daughter up she is covered in a rash. Turns out she has rubella.

    The next day my son comes home with one of those I have made bad choices letters. He comes home in a feral mood and. goes off at most things all afternoon. Then at night time won't go to sleep. The same crap happens Wednesday. On Thursday My other son comes out in rubella. So much for immunizations. All this while my 16 months old is teething and not sleeping ~ Jacqui

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    Ok so I've never vented publicly before and I'm not really comfertable doing it via facebook for everyone to see! I caught my 4 year olds gastro Saturday night ending all plans for the 2 year olds Birthday today. I spent all yesterday in bed and whilst my husband looked after the kids, housework is not part of his vocabulary. So this morning (after the present opening) I have caught up on 3 days of dishwashing, general clearing and clothes washing. I have just finished the last load of washing to find the 2 year old put a disposable nappy in with the clothes. Argh! ~ Sarah

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    I'm DYING to find some part-time work so I can have a break. The worst part of being this emotional wunderkind all day to my 3 and 5-year-old girls (MY GOD can they talk) is that I'm then supposed to be the LISTENER at the end of the day, like I don't have any dumping to do! It's enough to drive me to blog and drink. ~ Kim@FallingFaceFirst

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    I'm a relatively new SAHM (15 months and counting now), and luckily I haven't had any of these comments thrown at me yet, but my Mum has always been a SAHM raising 4 kids, and I remember hearing people say stuff to her all the time, that Woman NEVER sits still, but because of her example and support I don't think anything anyone would say to me would phase me! ~ Kelly

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    Anyone who doesn't understand how hard it is, has never had to feign interest in a small child's constant chatter from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep. That alone is enough to drive a person crazy ~ EssentiallyJess

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    I love the comment about stopping what you do all day to prove what you do all day. I always threaten it, but I just can't. I'm too... OCD... I would go crazy in an untidy house. Mess = stress! ~ Kelly HT & T

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    I know it is different for everyone, but to me, there is nothing harder than being a stay at home mum. I make sure I work now, so I can outsource some of the bits I found the hardest. I think you will have no shortage of offloading ! ~ Rachel @ The Kids Are Alright

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    "So, what do you do?"
    "I'm an evil genius. Well, Evil Genius Mum."
    "Oh. Right. okay."

    Why do you think I started my Evil Genius Mum blog? At least now, when the kids are unwashed, the house unkempt, and the husband...well, you get the point. Then people just ask "What experiment did you do this time?" HAHAHA!! Stops them from asking questions they don't really want answered, and stops me from slapping them for asking. ~ Evil Genius Mum

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    I hate when the person who just asked "what do you do all day?" doesn't stick around to hear the answer. Like it is too boring and tedious to even hear about. Or when my DH hangs up on me because he can't stand the kids screaming in the background. Try being in the same room as it, buddy. ~ Mumintheburbs

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    THANK YOU for all of these posts. I only have one child so far but at the end of each day I feel more exhausted - physically, mentally and emotionally than I ever did when I worked full time. My full credit to those SAHP with more kids. It is extremely frustrating when people judge and criticize, especially those that have been SAHP themselves (not sure what they actually did with their kids or what their kids did (sit quietly in a corner and entertain themselves all day??)). Ditto Lily Mae. But as I was told last week, I have it easy and live a life of leisure, taking my energetic toddler son to swimming lessons, music class, the library, parks, playgroup, doing crafts, reading books etc are all enjoyable activities, not work. Yes, I enjoy it, but I'm certainly not sitting on my backside in front of a computer or TV all day. And the washing, cooking, tidying etc don't do themselves either. ~ Rebecca Kingsberry

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    "Only one child" is still exhausting! Children, whether one or ten, take all your energy to be the best parent you can be!

    I remember when I had "Only" one, and he still got as much attention and activities as the four of our kids combined. We actually do a bit less since having kids, and my "clean" standards have dropped somewhat!

    I think I felt more tired (mentally and physically) when we had "only" one.

    You're doing a great job, and you'll have a lovely young man to prove it! *hugs* ~ Alisha Luxford

    ~~

    hi
    I've been a SAHM for 5 years and i still get from my partner when he is in a bad mood that i do nothing all day. Last night he opted for dishwashing over bath & bed for the kids. i knew he wouldn't do it and when i came out it was half done. When i asked was he going to clear the table I get yelled at that i do nothing all day and should do it.
    I'm slowly losing all sense of humour and feel completely drained. The worst is we have no family around us nor have the kids ever been to daycare. I don't get any time out and going off to do any activity on my own isn't much fun either. ~ Sharon

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    You are a legend! MY partner is my biggest enemy! If I have to hear once more about how centrelink pays me to sit on my ass all day long..... I may just do that!!!! He works 15 hour days as a welder, but I am looking forward to the xmas break when he has 4 weeks off and I "mysteriously dissapear" for a week! I only have a 6 month old a 3 year old and a 5 year old, such a whinger i know! LOL ~ Stay At Home Yummy Mummy!

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    Working with children at schools, working with children and their parents, having my own kids I hear you loud and clear, hope to see you dancing soon :) - easypeasykids 

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    I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN!!

    But yes, you're onto something.

     

    It's not only shit things that are said, it's attitude, pressure, judgement, expectations. Sometimes I feel so alone I just shut down, withdraw. Cry in a corner.

     

    What gets me the most is when it comes from people who have had children.. But they are either older kids than mine or they didn't stay at home as long as I have with mine.. When they say thoughtless things to me I feel speechless. ~ Lily Mae Martin

     

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    I've had a friend of mine, who is also a SAHM say to me "are you a board housewife, I notice you're spending some time on your blog?". The tone of voice she used was so critical!

    I have four kids under four, how can I possibly be board? I choose to spend the bit of "me time" I get of an evening blogging about what projects we've done, or things that have happened, and I get criticised for it. ~ Alisha Luxford

     

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    You want to sit down at the end of the day and they all jump on you.
    My husband has just really started to take on what I have been saying about what I do all day. Yesterday was the last straw with kids screaming at me left right, centre and from behind I said stuff this I am going to this bloggers brunch cause I deserve it. A couple of hours with no kids.
    When he is at home with the kids for a couple of hours he thinks they are so easy. I would gladly swap the stay at home parent role for the work 8hrs a day role ~ Salz

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    I've been asked what i do all day lol well there's housework, washing, nappies, sibling fights to referee, mess to clean, discipline to serve out just to name a few and today i shall be drinking mister bigmouth wine lmfao... oh and decide what to cook for dinner and then try to cook it without totally destroying it whilst breaking up the fighting of a 2 and 3 year old lmao - Catherine Franziska Keevers

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    I had a neighbour who used to constantly tell me how much he would love to bludge of his other half like I did. Another told me he would never allow his wife to sit on her arse all day watching the soapies. I had 3 under 3, including 1 with autism who did not sleep and hubby in the military so away a lot. I would much prefer to work a full time job - Jacqui Ross

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    My Fav was a mate who said that when his baby is born he's gonna be a stay at home dad playing Playstation all day.......
    I laughed & replied that he'd be lucky if he could go to the toilet without being interrupted or have an audience - Penni Perrin

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    I only stay home three or four days a week and it's tough! Don't know how my partner survived and got everything done while she was off with the kids prior to going back to work... - Chris Bristow

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    Yep, a couple of weeks ago I had three ladies in ONE day tell me that it must get a little boring and "what do you do all day"? One was a stranger, one was another mum and one was a lady I spoke to enquiring about their pre-prep program. She was the third. Lucky she was on the phone or I may have slapped her! - Taran Tate

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    My three days a week in the office are my 'rest days' - Nicola Jones Lumby

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    I often get "do you work or just stay home with the kids?" Even though I do also work from home building up our business, looking after my 4 boys (oldest turned 5 end of June and will be starting school next year, the youngest will be 11 months this month) is the hardest I've ever had in my life! I would LOVE to have my morning coffee hot for a change lol Some people just don't get how hard raising kids is! - Anna Mann

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    I once got " so exactly what do you do all day" I had 3 under 4 at the time. So really not that much :p I mean after Oprah and dr phil and chatting with my girlfriends I was so exhausted ( rolls eyes) - Kerry Anderson

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    I have two boys, 3 +5 and there are days when I knock back a drink during bastard hour (as it is known in our house) as by that time it is truly all too much. Having said that, I work two days a week which I consider a break from my real job. Not sure I have the energy to be a full-time stay at home mum. I raise a glass to you all. Dads included. A bit later though as it is way too early for vodka. Shame really. Who made that rule anyway? - Claudine Berrisford

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    I am a full time headteacher looking after 200+ kids, managing 30+ staff members, working a 60+ hour a week job. I have a 3 year old and 2 teenage stepkids... I go to work for a break. Staying at home all week is hard and draining. Plus, nobody at work wants to sit on my lap when I go to the loo. - Jane Astrid Devane

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    same old argument isn't it? I constantly have baby on one arm, wine on the other (cask that is). What of it? Do I complain at those who clock in to work each day and all they do is paint their nails and sit on Facebook and Twitter? A week in my shoes people!! A week!!! Sure my hubby says he could do what i do hands down - as apparentely chucking a load in the machine and hanging it out doesn't take all day(apparentely water takes toddler stains straight out), it's the other crap he wouldn't do ie; networking with other mums, taking kids to playgroup, taking kids to activities, kids parties, helping out at school, etc, etc, etc. And why is it sitting down for an hour whilst enjoying the luxury of what, say LUNCH is classed as bludging, but camping outside school for an hour on the iPad to ensure a park where my kids need not jaywalk is acceptable. What's the difference?? I'm still sitting my arse doing jack. Needless to say I laugh at these comments and give judgers what they choose to hear, as defending my role falls on deaf ears and is draining. - Michelle Toms

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    "Why take care of your kids? You should focus on your career. You can always spend time with them when you retire." - Colin Wee

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    In Hong Kong, it's all about what you do. In any new encounter, the first or second question will always be, "So, what do you do?" "I look after our daughter." "So, you don't work?" "Oh yes, I work, I just don't get paid a regular salary for it. Unless you count kisses and cuddles and life changing moments. In which case, I get paid in abundance!" - Diana Pizzari

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    I've been asked a number of times since being a SAHD how do I like the break, or must be hard getting coffee and going to playgroup every week. But I just say actually well I now know how hard my wife had to work for the last 18mths plus - Simon Gandolfo

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    At a party a man who knew my husband but not me asked me what my career was. Not 'what do you do?', but 'what is your career?'. When I said I was at home with my children, he responded, 'yes, my wife did that too. She stayed home for 6 weeks after our daughter was born before returning to her career as a lawyer'. Right-e-o then. - Susan Whelan

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    I liked the woman in the paper who demonstrated what she did all day,)_ by stopping doing it_. When there were no clean clothes and no shopping in the fridge, the household pretty quickly wised up. - Yolande Yolande

     

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    Comments (3)

    • Caroline

      Caroline

      01 October 2013 at 21:36 |
      Its school holidays ... I could rant for hours :-) We are a house of 7 these school holidays as my step-son visits us for the holidays so our 3 bedroom house is fit to burst at the moment. There is lego from one end to the other. The baby gets precious chance to nap properly as the noise levels regardless of my "Shuuuuusssshhhh ... be quiet ... baby is napping" always falls on deaf ears. The older 3 boys as they always do on the school holidays are horribly corrupting my beautiful calm and cruisy little 2 year old (it takes me a good 2 weeks to get him back after the school holidays) and my 4 month old has taken to waking every 1 1/2 hours to feed in the night. I am tired and a little bit grumpy at the moment.
    • Valentina

      Valentina

      03 October 2013 at 05:43 |
      Just. So. Sick. Of REPEATING MYSELF!! And I can ask again and again and again and again and be comPLETEly ignored. So I blow my top and then everyone's in tears - worst mother ever ...and I'm so fed up that I don't even care.
    • Caroline

      Caroline

      06 March 2014 at 23:25 |
      I made the hard decision to wean my youngest this last week as her intolerances were becoming a large issue with weight gain etc and knowing that this was the last time I was ever going to do this hit me emotionally really hard. Add on top of that the usual day to day issues of raising 4 little rats and I feel drained today and in need of a cup of coffee, a little nap and a little bit of a weep.

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