I am totally taking a chance today by blogging about something that has me pissed off on the hopes that those involved won't read it. I have a couple of friends who have me feeling a little....used. I love all of my friends, I really do, and I will continue to try to help them out whenever I can, but I need to rant. (Oh, and you guys need to vote -- go ahead and click on that brown button over there on the right hand side of the page.)
I am a stay-at-home-mom. I stay at home because I want to, because my husband works a job he hates with crappy hours so that we can afford for me to, and because I would spend more on childcare working outside the home than I would make. I don't mind helping out my working mom friends -- I really don't, but when I feel taken advantage of, or just down right used, it pisses me off. I have a friend who is nursing school. She has one kid, who happens to be my oldest's best friend. The kid is really a sweet kid, but he is LOUD. He walks loud, talks loud, and is just loud. I normally don't mind, I mean I've got 4 kids so noise doesn't generally bother me. Well, this week, my friend has clinicals and has to be at the hospital at 6:30am and her husband is out of town. She doesn't have any family nearby, so she asked if I could help. Because she would have had to drop him off a my house at about 5:00am, I told her to just have him spend the night. Big. Huge. Mistake.
The first night that he was to spend the night, we had tornado warnings and bad storms, so before he came over (around 10pm because I told her to wait for the weather to calm down), my kids, my dog, and I had been huddled in the closet under the stairs several different times. Because of the weather, I couldn't have the kids sleeping upstairs, so I had both boys on the couch in the den. I sat in there with them for over an hour -- until 11:30. When I went to go and try to o to bed, the boys started goofing off. It was close to 1:00 before they finally went to sleep. I was pissed at them and I let them know it. I got the boys and Bella up for school the next morning and got them ready for school, but I did not have it in me to get the 2 littlest minions up and dressed so that both me and dad could go to Bella's awards ceremony and field day, so dad went alone and I stayed home. When I picked them up from school, I reiterated that this staying up all night thing had me in a foul mood, was not appreciated and would NOT be tolerated again. He had to stay with us that afternoon too until about 6:00 when his mom got done and picked him up. I asked her to have a talk with him about going to bed when told and let her know that I was completely wiped out. She brought him back around 9:00 (even though I had asked her to have him there by 8:30 since that is normal bedtime in my house) and in front of her, I told him and my kids that it was bedtime. Period. No talking, no getting up, no giggling -- just go to sleep, or I wasn't going to let him spend the night for fun anymore (like on the weekends). She just stood there. She did not back me up at all. Well, guess what happened? Yep, it was after midnight AGAIN last night before they fell asleep. I asked nicely. I raised my voice. I seperated them (but they kept sneaking back together) and then I out and out YELLED at them. I put William on restriction from everything except eating and using the bathroom, but I couldn't do anything to her kid. So, in a repeat of yesterday, I got the 3 oldest up and ready for school and dad went to William's field day while I stayed home with the 2 littlest minions. I texted her and let her know that they were up late, again, and that I had to miss field day, again, and she texted back what could only be described as a reprimand for "letting" her kid stay up too late and saying that he would be exhausted on at school today. I am thankful that she texted and didn't call, because after 2 consecutive nights with less than 6 hours of sleep, and dealing with her loud kid, I could not be sure of what I might have said to her. As it turns out, I didn't reply to her text, I decided to blog about it so that all of you can back me up. I will have him here this afternoon until about 6:00 as well and I will do my best not to take my anger out on him.
This is not the first time that I have felt wronged by trying to help someone else out. Another mom and I trade off picking up our kids from school -- I do Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and she does Tuesday and Thursday. She works, and is not home when we get home from school on my pick-up days. Sometimes her kid is at my house 10 minutes before she gets there, other times its an hour or more. I agreed to pick up, not babysit every other day. A few weeks ago, I got a text from one of my daughter's friend's mom -- I have never met this woman and did not know who she was. The text said basically "I'm sending so-and-so's car tag home with Bella for Friday." I was like "What the what?!" So I texted her back and said "Who is this? And what's Friday?" The text I got back was "I'm so-and-so's mom. I have to work late on Friday and [friend I carpool with] said you wouldn't mind picking up so-and-so for me Friday and watching her until I could get there around 6:00." Now, maybe its just me, but I wouldn't ever presume that another mom with 4 kids who is already stuck watching my kid wouldn't have a problem picking up yet another kid that she doesn't even know and watching her too. I also would NEVER send my kid home with someone I've never met. Granted, when I asked my friend about this, she told me that she had planned on the little girl coming home with her when she got back from work, and that she had forgotten to mention it to me, but still. When did I become the neighborhood daycare center? "Oh, Ginger already has 4 kids. A few more won't make any difference." Wrong. I had my tubes tied after number 4 because I was afraid that I might go homicidal if I had a number 5 or a 6. (I hope that she doesn't read this post either because I love her to pieces and have not told her how much this annoys me sometimes because I get that she works, but still...)
Look, I NEVER have childcare, so I get it. That is why I try to help people out in this area specifically, but really??? I am stuck in my house with the kids 5 or 6 days a week, 24 hours a day. No one ever offers to take on my FOUR kids, offers to pay me when I watch their kids (or if they do offer, they never actually do it), or reciprocates in anyway other than the occasional "thanks." My husband is gone to work from about 1 in the afternoon until about 1 in the morning, so I handle most parenting on my own. I am half nuts most of the time because I need a freakin' break from my own kids and when I agree to watch yours I'd like a little more than a "thanks" tossed over your shoulder as you walk away. I cannot actually ask the ones that I help to thank me (I am pathetic enough without saying "Hey, could you validate my feeling that I've done you a huge favor by professing your never-ending thanks?") So I will just say to all of you who are reading: if you have a person in your life who continues to step up for you, get them a gift basket. Send them flowers. Buy them a bottle of their favorite wine. Keep their kids so they can get out for a bit. Write them a sonnet. Name a star after them. Do something that they would love and appreciate to acknowledges the fact that your life would malfunction in a major way if they weren't there to help you out. It's the right thing to do. And now that I've gotten all of that off of my chest, I will go back to being the doormat that everyone drops their kids of on.....