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The "greener grass" of the "other side"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

This is one of my mottos throughout my adult life. Whenever I look at other people's lives and I feel that they're lucky, I always say to myself: Don't just look at the greener grass, look beyond it. Things are not always what they look like. Unfortunately, not all people realise that.
Ever since I became a mother and I quit my job in order to stay home and raise my children, I heard comments from other people that were really hurtful. Friends would talk in front of me about their jobs and their difficulties and they would turn to me with comments like: "You're lucky, you just sit at home all day and have nothing to worry about." In the same, thoughtless way a relative said to me yesterday when I said to him that spending summer days at home with the children is not always easy: "You shouldn't be complaining. I wish I could spend summer without work!"
First of all, I DO work. And I don't get paid for it. I care for a house and a family of four and I do everything myself. I do all the housework and cook every day. I don't sit around doing nothing as some people may think. But that's not the only way they're mistaken. They think it's easy. They don't know how difficult a day in an apartment with two children can be. They can't imagine how hard you have to try sometimes to find ways to entertain them. They don't know that as an adult you sometimes need other adults to talk to and you are in no mood to play with children. But you have to. They think that because it was your choice, you like staying at home. They can't imagine that you may be happy being a real mom to your children but you desperately miss work. Because sometimes in life the choices which look so easy are the hardest to make.
On the other hand, I understand them. I've been there. I know how it feels to have worked for a whole year hard and wait for your summer vacation to get some rest. And when it comes and goes, it just wasn't enough. I know how it feels to miss your home and being able to relax and see your family after work. And that's why I never answer to those people. But inside me I hurt. Because they make me feel useless, lazy and thoughtless. I wish those people could think for a while and realize that I have difficulty finding some time for myself. That being all day at home with two children is not always easy. That I don't have the extra money they may have to take my children out because only one works in the family. I wish they could just look beyond the grass. The grass isn't always greener on the other side. It just looks greener.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNBEE 9/28/2012 9:44AM

    I too have stayed home since my oldest was born. People assume you have all kinds of time. People are also surprised that I have a university degree. It's almost like they feel that it was wasted because I"m not earning a living. I am working on taking care of me. I am enjoying reading your older blogs, Elle.

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BAKER1009 7/21/2011 8:25AM

    Oh, I so understand what you are saying. I have worked all my life since having my first child up until a year and a half ago. And let me tell you (as if you don't already know) my staying at home job is MUCH more demanding than working a regular job. There are days that I miss working and being out around adults. I have no family nearby and few friends (who all work during the day anyway) around and it gets hard. I have been trying to find things for my youngest and I to do so that we are not home all the time.
When you are at home all day "working" there is no "off" time. It's a 24 hour job. The only "off" time we get is when we go to bed!!
My husband was home a year with our youngest before I was laid off and then he went to work. Because of that, he is pretty understanding about how hard my job is. However, he did make a comment last night when we got to bed too late that he had to get up to go to work early and I have to do nothing. That hurt! Especially since I am now going to school full time online, as well as staying at home!!
I know he just had a few too many beers and was over tired, but still!

Hang in there darling! Many of us know what it's like, and I know that you work just as hard, if not harder, than your working friends!!

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MRSN1608 7/21/2011 5:27AM

    It sounds to me like you are doing a fantastic job. Being a mum is the hardest but most rewarding job in the world. Stand tall and be proud of your choices and try not to let it get to you. I am a sahm too and I get this a lot, I guess until these people are in the same situation they wont ever understand. Its not all about daytime tv and sitting down drinking coffee all day its a 24 hour day with no pay, no breaks, no holidays, no sick leave, no collegues to share the strain if its too much and most of it done on between 5 and 6 hours sleep! Its the most varied job you can get, you are a cleaner, cook, counciller, medic, taxi, bank, entertainer, referee (I have 3 kids who like wrestling lol), to name but a few! Some days I get envious of friends who clock off at 5pm and on low days wish I could just 'shut up shop' for the day but ultimately I wouldnt change it for the world and wouldn't dream of telling friends they have it easy since I remember what it was like when I worked and it is hard! I dont think people like this realise just how hard it is and that their comments are hurtful its just one of those things you have to experience yourself I guess before you get it. The main thing is knowing yourself what an amazing job you do and that the people that matter appreciate you. Personally I admire you and any other sahm's (and dad's!) out there for devoting your time to your children, keep up the fantastic work and dont let others drag you down.

Thank you for your lovely comments on my pictures btw :) Your pics are beautiful! emoticon

Take care

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ANNE7X7 7/20/2011 1:56PM

    I don't have kids myself, but I have SO SO SO much respect for mothers/fathers who choose to stay at home with their children. My mom raised all four of us and was home from the moment my older brother was born, until the day my younger brother was going to school full time. She gave up her life, her career so that we would be raised in a clean, positive environment where her and my father's values were at the core of our education.

What you are doing is AMAZING. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Instead of paying someone else to take care of your kids (which is fine, it's a personal choice!), YOU are raising them.

Be proud. Your kids will thank you for it one day!

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LIVINGTHELIFE78 7/20/2011 1:54PM

    People have a hard time when they haven't done something to understand what it's like. I'm sorry you have been hurt by these comments but there are plenty of people that understand how hard being a SAHM is. Hopefully you are appreciated by the people that matter most in your life and let the comments of other ignorant people go as best you can!

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APARKE41 7/20/2011 1:40PM

    Unfortunately, people like that will most likely not ever understand until they're in your situation. I used to feel that way about people who stayed at home for whatever reason, but I've now been out of a job for almost a year and completely understand that even if you're not "working," there is ALWAYS something that needs to be done. Staying at home, whether as a mom, or because you work from home, or because you can't work for whatever reason, does not mean that you are not doing anything. You have just as much to do! Try not to let it get to you. I think it sounds like you're being an excellent mother to your children.

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Fall nine times, get up ten!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

So, here I am again! With a new name, a new page, new decisions, new commitments. I won't start saying that this time it's different and I feel more determined and all those things that I've said again and again and I've proven myself wrong. It's all about what the title says: I've fallen many times. I'll get up once more.

The past months - or is it years? - I've felt defeated many times. There were moments that I felt like a complete failure. A person with no personal success. A woman who would count the failures and just give up on everything else in her life. I had planned things differently in my mind. At 35, I had imagined myself as another person.

A friend of mine says that when we, people, make plans, God laughs. I don't know if that's true - I want to believe that our God is kind-hearted and loving to all his children - but I'm sure the meaning remains true: plans are never sure to become reality.

I thought that at this time of my life I would have a great family - which I do - I would have a job that I liked - which I don't - I would still be in touch with my old friends - but I'm not - I would have acquired new skills and learnt new things - which I always start and leave unfinished - and I would be able to look in the mirror and smile - you know I don't!

I live in Greece and I'm sure many of you know what that means. Things are really difficult for us and they may get even more difficult. I owe it to myself and to my family to be strong. And that's why I'll try to be the person I imagined I would have been at 35. This is not just a weight loss attempt. It's a journey towards a better person, one with more self-respect, more optimistic and more decisive.

I'm here to make a better me!
Dear Sparkfriends, I rely on your support.
And I just believe I can do it!



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WINTERRAIN 6/18/2011 10:55AM

    emoticon I just love your new name!!!! And you know I will be here every step of the way rooting for you my dear friend! I think we all reach a point in our lives sometimes (like you AND me) where we realize we must start again. I admire your honesty and also the fact you can look at things head on and plan the attack. emoticon

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