Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Mom

To preface this, let me tell you that these confessions will not include: keeping a Vodka bottle at the bottom of my lingerie drawer (I don’t even have a “lingerie drawer”); having an affair with the gardener (the “gardener” around here is my husband, in any case); turning tricks on the side (though, I do need the money...); being addicted to oxycontin; etc.  

Confession 1: I use the TV as a babysitter/narcotic for my children so that I can get 30-60 minutes in the mornings to myself, in order to wash my face, change clothes, check my emails, do a load of laundry, etc.  I use it again in the evenings so I can cook dinner, in peace. I use it after school for about 30 minutes, because Zach comes in exhausted and cranky, and a half hour on the sofa staring at the screen seems to sort him out. I feel guilty about this, but for those 2-3 hours a day, the TV provides respite. This is not the 1950’s and I am not the perfect mother. Am I justifying my behaviour? Yes, and I’m sure some of you will call me on it. Fell free. Maybe I’ll reform.

Confession 2: I stay up too late. I get involved in a stupid TV show and sit on the sofa watching it when I should be in bed getting ready for the next day. I don’t even get to sit down in front of said shows normally until after 9, and I try to get up off my bottom by 10:30 – but really, I’m not getting enough sleep. I must ask myself: Do I REALLY need to watch that particular episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians again?

Confession 3: Which leads me to the next confession: I’m fairly educated, widely read, follow politics, read poetry, and in general try to function and appear like an intellectual. The intellectual life is a veneer. In the little time I have to devote to TV, I watch America’s Next Top Model (Living TV) and Fashion Police (E!), I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant (Discover Home and Health), and I Shouldn’t Be Alive (Discovery). They’re total escapism. They add nothing to my intellectual or moral development. They’re wrong to watch. WRONG-WRONG-WRONG.  They’re so indulgent that I feel like I’m eating a whole bag of chocolate chip cookies when I watch them (but no calories!). Yes, I have a stack of books on my bed side. I read periodicals, online fiction magazines, etc., etc. But...this just doesn’t square with the baby birthing stories I like to watch...over and over again. Which person am I? The John McGahern loving, Ann Enright reading, Theo Dorgan appreciating, Raymond Carver adoring, Cormac McCarthy admiring lady or am I the lady who watches Fashion Police and emits guttural laughs from the sofa?

Confession 4: I leave the radio tuned to Radio 1 all the time. I’m addicted to chat. I turn it on at 7 AM when Morning Ireland is on, and it stays on all day. At noon, when Pat Kenny finishes and Ronan Collins starts his 1 hour music show, I desperately tune in to Newstalk radio. I go back to RTE 1 for the lunchtime news at 1. Sometimes, I’d rather hear what he guy on the radio has to say, instead of my kids. This happens mostly in the car. When Max was around one or so years old, I had him strapped into his car seat, behind me as I drove. I turned Liveline on to hear the opening credits, you know, when the voice goes: “Jooooeeeee Duffffyyyyyyy!”  The guy on the radio said “Jooooeeeee-” and from the back seat I hear, “Duuufffyy!”  It was one of Max’s first words.

Confession 5: I’m running out of confessions, as clearly evidenced by my previous confession. My true confession, my core confession as it were, is that I have the same foibles as any mom. I use the TV as a narcotic/babysitter. I stay up late in order to get an hour to myself, and spend it filling my head with crap. I don’t clean the house as often as I should (not explicitly confessed to, above, but true none-the-less). I am addicted to talk radio. I love my children, but need moments of respite: deep and total respite.

Confession is a key instrument in purging the soul. It is the first step in change, to say it out loud. That first action, and it begets further positive action, that will, in turn, hopefully engender change.
I’d love to hear from other mothers out there – do you confess to the same? Or, would you like to suggest an alternative to any of these?

My guess is, reviewing the above, I’m not going to stop watching Fashion Police or listening to Liveline. I will, however, try not to let it interfere with listening to my boys’ chat or finishing that Zora Neale Hurston collection of stories I started.  It did feel good to get it off my chest, though.


  1. I love your blogs, Lory, and think you're doing a great job at tackling the plethora of demands: children, husband and IT ... and a life! Wow. Well done. :-) Cheers, Lyn.

  2. Confessions certainly are purging, aren't they? Zora Neale Hurston rocks! Enjoy.

  3. Your confessions make me want to be a stay at home mom....*sigh* I still work my 9-5 aka 7-3, but I'm also a life coach training others to become life coaches in my spare time. I wish I could be doing that in my pajamas, but I'm already dressed when I get home from

  4. We do what we gotta do. Well, okay, I do what you do, because I gotta do it.


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