Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I'm a #SciMom and hear me roar

I got that from Dr.O

So this is mash up of two themes going on in the bloggy world.   One about being a mom and a scientist (thanks Janet for the shout out) and another about being a mom who doesn't really do it all.

Be pre-warned that its a ramble. As I posted before, I've been under alot of pressure to get shit done before the release date and I'm going to just let it the thoughts role out while monkey is in a class.

Motherhood is a hard role to fill. Personally, I feel like its still the one role where women feel perfectly fine in judging and critiquing another choices. Its also still the role, where many of us feel like we still have to fill the traditional idea of what a good mom despite working or going to school full time.  Its why my parents feel like they can constantly tell me it would be better if I worked part time, or at least they told me that until I asked them why they never said that to Mr.SM.  Like the other #SciMoms, I love what I do. I get excited about the data. As frustrating as it is not to know WTF is going on, I love getting it, looking at and pushing the boundaries of our knowledge.  I've been known to dream of myself sitting at my desk looking at my data. I have woken up with the the thought "OMG xx is the answer!!!". All because of a dream about my data.

These statements do not diminish the love I have for my child either. Note, no one would even think that if Mr. SM made the above statements. But neither of us are suited to be stay at home parents. We don't have the patience or the energy. And quite frankly the monkey wouldn't enjoy it either. He is thriving have "other people raise him".  He loves his friends at daycare and does not stop talking about the plans they make and the fun they have. So I feel no guilt about it.

Its taken me a long time, but I've actually stopped feeling guilty about my choices. Especially since I realize that most of my guilt was coming from the my parents making comments that questioned my decision. Being constantly told that its important to be home for a child, to a child x,y,z, that I"m not making enough time for them was taking its toll. The thing is when I"m 80 years old and looking back at my life, I need to be happy with my choices. I also need to live the life that I want to role model for my child.

Currently, I probably do most childcare. I'm OK with this. Mr.SM was raised in a very traditional family and is very very liberated from that viewpoint. I do not clean washrooms, do laundry or wash dishes and floors. Monkey has no idea there is such a thing as gender roles.  He sees his dad help his mom cook and clean. His mom helps his dad lay down floors and install baseboards (while she is 30+ weeks prego, WTFFFFFF!!!!!!).  These things are important to me.

Monkey get home cooked meals. I hate processed food and its important to me to eat well. Yes we eat out (its been 6 days straight due to kitchen renos) but it is not a frequent occurance. Rarely do I eat premade frozen food. What we do eat is alot of leftovers. I will make a big meal on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. This requires grocery shopping and planning, but its important to me so I do it.  But it means that we aren't doing something fun every weekend. We make time for things that are important to us - swimming lessons, hikes, skiing, walks with the dog etc.  We minimize are TV time. But we're not going on exotic vacations or spendings our days at the beach.

I'm OK with this. When my parents find out that we reno'd the house, they're going to wonder why we didn't send monkey away while we worked. Well we drop him off 5 days a week and would like our 2 days with him, even if we're doing construction. But also, its important for him to learn to contribute and that he is important in making our house work. At 4 he is able to help carry things into the house, run stuff between his dad and I.  He even helped hold baseboards in place while I nailed them in.

Well monkeys class is over so, theres my ramble.:) 


Anonymous said...

I actually feel no guilt about leaving Monkey at daycare. I went to daycare as a child, even though my mom taught and had summers off. And I think I'm a happier mom when I'm around him since I have something else to fill my time during the days. Besides, I think my Monkey likes day care better than me sometimes :)

Cloud said...

Nice post!

I don't feel guilt about day care, either. But I think part of that is because I grew up with a working mother (she went back to work when I was in kindergarten) and my family supports my decision. Like you, I'm a poor candidate for the SAHM job.

I've been musing a lot on the "what don't I do" thing over at my blog. I'm in the position to buy a lot of time- i.e., spend money to free up time that I would otherwise be spending on chores. It has been interesting to read the comments from other people about what they do!

ScientistMother said...

Micro Dr.O - I'm so much happier being a working mom, and I'm a much better wife too. Having your world revolve around little ones can make it hard to find common ground with a spouse who's world doesn't revolve around it.

Cloud - Both my parents worked while I grew up, but they did shit work so someone was always home. Thats not feasible for us & its makes it hard to stay connected as a couple.

It is interesting to see what people find important. If I could out source the cleaning I would. I"m not sure I would outsource all the renovation. I paid to get kitchen cabinets, tiles, and painting of the house done. I could not justify the labour cost for putting in the floors and baseboards. We saved >$1000 by spending our weekend doing it. I don't feel guilty about monkey being "neglected" as my parents would say since we were away at our cabin skiing the weekend before.

The bean-mom said...

First... the image of Monkey carrying things and helping you during your house renovations is just so cute!

Second...I have very little guilt about working and sending my kids to daycare. The little guilt that I do have is absorbed from my parents. My mother stayed home full-time for her kids and is of the self-sacrificing Asian mom variety. She supported me in working outside the home, but she also still makes little comments that have me holding back a scream (Example: "You pick up Bean-girl at five??? I thought you picked her up earlier than that. I mean, you just work in a lab so you can leave early, can't you?")

Good times. Anyway. I sympathize with family pressures. Hope these last few weeks of pregnancy are going well!

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