Motherhood can feel like a lonely place sometimes, and when you're exhausted, dirty, and knee-deep in poopy diapers, a good laugh may be just what you need. In her new Netflix comedy special, Ali Wong breaks motherhood down in the funniest of ways, and takes a few hilarious jabs at the deceptively glamorous idea of staying at home with your baby. In short, Netflix’s Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife addresses what it’s really like to be a stay-at-home-mom, and well, totally nails it.
I have to admit, much like Wong, I too imagined the stay-at-home life to be an easy, breezy lifestyle. In her first Netflix comedy special, Ali Wong: Baby Cobra, she described her colleagues and friends being concerned over her choice to stay home with her new baby. "Ali, why are you gonna have a kid? You just gonna become — You’re gonna disappear, and you’re gonna become some lame stay-at-home mom," said Wong at the time. "I was like, 'Yeah, that’s the dream.' That’s the point. This is the ultimate trap. I won, you know?"
But sometimes in life, you don’t know what you’re getting into until you actually step in it. Sure, the thought of staying home may make you innocently believe that you'll get to stay in bed, relax, hang out with friends, watch TV, and eat snacks, but the reality is far more hellish than that. After spending eight weeks at home with her baby, in her new special, Wong described how merciless it really is:
I tried being a stay-at-home mom for eight weeks. I like the stay at home part ... not too crazy about the mom part, that sh*t is relentless! I was stupid and naive and I thought that being a stay-at-home mom was about chillaxing, getting to sh*t in your own home, watch Wendy Williams, and go out to brunch with your sassy girlfriends.
The thought of being home with your baby, all day, everyday, may seem amazing at first and it definitely does come with a few benefits. You do get to spend quality time with your baby while lounging in pajamas all day, but after weeks of scant showers, sleepless nights, and all the feeding, cleaning, and continuous attention your baby demands, it can get pretty overwhelming. It also puts you in a state of constant giving, and unfortunately, when you think of taking back a little time for yourself, the inner guilt and outside judgement kicks in. Not many mothers will admit it out loud, but I’m sure they can relate to Wong’s reasons for wanting to get back to work, and how she badly needed a break from her baby:
Listen… I’ve been with my baby girl since she was born, all day every day. And I love her so much. But I’m on the verge of putting her in the garbage. I need to be here to miss her, so that I don’t go to jail.
I was a stay-at-home mom for years, and after two babies, I realized how much I needed a break. I honestly believed that life would be easier staying home, but I didn’t account for the amount of responsibility that would be thrown on me. As a stay-at-home mom, not only are you a full-time mom, but you’re a full-time cook, cleaner, manager, and supervisor, all with no thanks. Wong nails it when she describes the thankless, lonely job of being a stay-at-home mom and compares her baby to a "human Tamagotchi":
You get no 401-K, no coworkers — you’re just in solitary confinement all day long with this human Tamagotchi that don’t got no reset button, so the stakes are extremely high!
Whether you stay-at-home or not, being a mom is a tough gig, so it really feels good when you hear someone understand your pain and help you turn it into a laughable moment. Sure, motherhood is one of the most underappreciated and thankless jobs in the world, but it's also beautiful and rewarding. So, try to take it easy and laugh a little, because you're doing the best you can do.