By Suzanne Mazer Stewart

I'm tired. Tired of being categorized, labeled, stereotyped. Tired of being cubbyholed by somebody every time I turn around. Tired of explaining myself.

I'm tired of people thinking just because I'm a stay-at-home mom, I've somehow given up something. That I'm not as happy as I could be; I've somehow denied myself. I'm tired of explaining that I chose to stay home, that I never really liked the daily grind of working, that I don't have to have a job and a paycheck to have self worth. I'm tired of working moms treating me like a second class citizen because of the choices I've made. I'm tired of my single friends acting as though I've betrayed Susan B. Anthony, Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinham in one fell swoop. I'm happy with my life; leave me alone.

I'm tired of folks thinking that because I'm a stay-at-home mom, I have all the time in the world. That I do nothing all day but play and read storybooks. I suppose they think the 3 loads of laundry every day wash and dry and fold themselves. I suppose they don't realize that dinner doesn't cook itself, that the weeds don't hop right out of the garden spontaneously, or that the broom, mop and dust cloth don't swish around the house on their own. That when I say "no" to this or that, I'm not being rude. I'm not being mean. I'm just trying to make sure that I do have time to play and read storybooks. And go to baseball games. And to chorus concerts. And to doctor's appointments. And Children's Hour at the library. I'm happy with my house and my family; leave me alone.

I'm tired of those who think because I go to church that I shouldn't get angry. That I can't yell at my kids. That I can't have a bad day. That I should always be willing and ready to help out everyone and everything they think I should. That if I don't, I've somehow not lived up to their expectations of righteousness. I'm only human; I'm fallible. I make mistakes. I think that's something between me and my God; leave me alone.

I'm tired of others thinking that because I'm from West Virginia, I must either be illiterate or backward or racist. I chose to leave, once. I missed the people and the places and the lifestyle so much, I chose to return. I have a college education. I yearn for a better day for my children so that they don't have to leave to fulfill their dreams. As to the racist part, well, that just shows their ignorance, not mine. People are people, not colors. I'm proud to be a mountaineer; leave me alone.

I'm tired of those who think that because I'm a woman, I'm somehow inferior. Somehow helpless. Somehow powerless. First, let me say that I have the power of the pen, and while I may not be able to reach the top shelf in my pantry, I can reach people around the world with my words. How powerful and weak is that? Second, I'd like to say that I am a mother. The attitudes, the ideals, the opinions of the next generation are partially in my hands. The hand that rocks the cradle, remember, does indeed rule the world. I'm a very capable PERSON; leave me alone.

I'm tired of defending my decisions, my actions, my lifestyle, my home, my personal beliefs, myself. I'm tired. Leave me alone.

You may e-mail Suzanne at

Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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