Irene Barnett's Blog

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Irene Barnett

Irene Barnett
Santa Barbara, California,
September 23
Wherein I share some personal information with you in the 3rd party voice of Morgan Freeman – please adjust your internal audio accordingly. Irene Barnett is a working co-parent of twin boys named Drew and Sean. Her partner in the lunacy of raising children is Jim, a lovely, mild-mannered balance to her impatience, irritability and general weirdness. Irene is currently making the rent by assuming the identity of a high-powered executive for a software consulting firm that is based out of Seattle while she really tries to live the life of a writer in Santa Barbara, CA. Check out more of her rants at

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JANUARY 30, 2013 9:51PM

The Stay-At-Home Mom – Your Lady Balls Are Bigger Than Mine

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Im tired just looking at you.
I’m tired just looking at you.

I’ve been asked repeatedly over the years about why I am a working mother. Are we poor? Am I a narcissist? Is your husband a drunk or something?

Of course, the answer to all of these queries is YES. I am a poor narcissist with a drunk husband. Duh!

But, there are actually a couple of other reasons too.

Like the fact that my kids love me a lot more when they see me a little less. This is an absolute fact about how most people feel about me. Ask any of my ex-boyfriends. You can get overwhelmed by me pretty damned fast. But, when I’m not around, I am thinner, prettier, wittier and smarter. So, I choose to keep that mystery alive for as long as I can.

This is also why I work remotely. It’s like that scene out of Hello Dolly when she goes back to the Harmonia Gardens every time I visit the home office.

This would be our casual Friday look.
This would be our casual Friday look.

And, that’s how it is every time I come back home too….for about an hour.

The simple fact is that when I’m at work, it’s the only time anyone listens to me (or pretends really well) and sometimes they even do what I say. I’ve even had times when someone asked me for my opinion on something and sat, in rapt attention, waiting for my response.

Needless to say, I don’t get a whole lot of that at home.

But, the absolute, number one reason I work is the fact that I am a big yellow-bellied coward. Being a stay-at-home mom is HARD! I’ve only done it a couple of times for like a week over a school break and was in the fetal position by hour 12.

I still have a loop of “I’m bored” and “I’m hungry” sing-songing through my brain like a bad Michael McDonald song.

Ya Mo Be There&. Ya Mo Be pouring me a big ass drink about now.
Ya Mo Be There…. Ya Mo Be pouring me a big ass drink about now.

The idea that a human female becomes more patient and kind once they have children is as confusing to me as my kid’s math homework.

But, given that the children of most of my stay-at-home-mom friends are alive and seemingly healthy, I must assume I simply missed out on that hormone. Along with the hormone that makes you forget the pain of childbirth. Didn’t get any of that one either.

So, I salute you, my bad ass sisters! You have thrown yourself on the parental grenade and I stand in awe. 

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It seems that you just don't want to take advantage of all the good things that America offers you.

You could have a rich husband who just tipples, instead of a poor one who drinks. You could have a full time nanny for the kid(s) if they're young. You could be spending your time doing charities and getting you name in the society pages.

But no. You've just gotta be different. You've gotta be poor! There you were with all the talent and brains in the world and you just went merrily on your way never once taking life seriously enough to be born to rich parents and inheriting $zillions like so many others who "earn" their fortunes by dint of hard inheriting.

I don't know what gets into you women some times. Guess you're all just lazy, no count, good-for-nothings......

I've been both a stay at home mom and a working mom. There are pluses and minuses to both. I had the best of both worlds when I worked 20 hours a week at a job I loved and still had time to spend with my kids. But when they were really young and I was home with them full time - I loved it and never regretted it for a moment. Just one mom's experience.
For years I've been fascinated by the working parents who treat their children like adults and their co-workers like children. Maybe we all need to take a breath... before the diapers need changing.