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Things No One Told Me About Being a Stay At Home Mom

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I want to preface this list by saying that, of course, having a child is a blessing and being home with him is an amazing opportunity. However, that doesn’t make it easy or enjoyable all the time. So many women told me how incredible it is to be home with their children every day (and it is, sometimes), but no one shared with me how hard it can get. So here it is: my cold hard truth about stay at home mommyhood.

Things No One Told Me About Being a Stay At Home Mother

1.)    Being a stay at home mother is sometimes like being sentenced to a prison in which personal space is nonexistent. A little 16 month old ball and chain follows me from room to room, begging and whining for my attention every single moment. I love spending time with him, but every few hours I am naturally craving a break.

2.)    Parenting has so many joyful moments and exciting events. However, when you stay home with your child all day and you get up with them at night, it sometimes feels like a never ending shift at an exhausting job working for the most demanding boss you can ever imagine.

3.)    For the very short time that I actually sleep at night, I dream about what it’s like to get more than five or six hours of sleep.

4.)    After being a stay at home mother for almost a year, just about every item of clothing that I own is now stained in some way.

5.)    You can read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” or you can save your time and just accept that you will literally NEVER know what to expect when it comes to the challenges of parenting.

6.)    As a stay at home mother, I can easily go more than two weeks without ever being alone. I haven’t spent a full day without my child in more than six months.

7.)    My husband counts the hours until he can come home from work and spend time with our son and I count the hours until the baby’s in bed so that I can relax.

8.)    The only other person I have to interact with most of the time is a baby who can only say about 15 words. And so developed my social media addiction. Being able to connect with other parents when things feel out of control has kept me sane.

9.)    If I take my eyes off my 16 month old for more than the blink of an eye, I usually find him eating dog food or playing in the toilet. Yesterday, he opened the back door and walked out in the 25 seconds that I was on the toilet. Ridiculous, right? Being on such high alert all day and all night is the most mentally exhausting task I have ever endured in life. And I do it on very little sleep, nonetheless.

10.) I dream about having a full time job every day because doing anything else for 40 hours a week has to be easier than dealing with a teething toddler all day.

11.) At night, I spend about fifteen minutes clearing the dinner table and scrubbing a massive pile of dirty dishes. I bleach the counters and wipe down the stove. I empty the trash and sterilize the baby’s bottles. And honestly, it might be the most relaxing fifteen minutes of my day simply because it doesn’t involve chasing children, wiping asses, or dealing with tantrums.

12.) Even though I chose to be at home with my child, it’s still ok for me to miss my career and to daydream about going back to work someday soon.

13.) After a really long night when the baby’s been up several times and he’s overtired and throwing tantrums at 7:00am, I’m jealous when my husband leaves for work.

14.) I mentioned that I was a stay at home mom in a conversation with another woman one day. She commented on how amazingly clean my house must be since I’m home all day to keep up on it. FYI – I spend my day chasing a toddler who is usually trashing my house, so no, it’s not amazingly clean around here.

15.) Nap time is the only little break in my day and I will literally do anything and everything necessary to ensure my son stays asleep. Seriously, ring my doorbell between 12:00pm and 2:00pm at your own risk. Just saying.

I know many years from now I will look back and treasure the time I spent with my son. In the mean time, I’m going to take it day by day and try not to completely lose my stay at home mommy mind.

 

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Delivery Disasters

The Epitome of Parenting: When the delivery guys asked where to setup the treadmill, I said, "In the family room, right next to the Sesame Street kitchen." Totally normal.

The Epitome of Parenting: When the delivery guys asked where to setup the treadmill, I said, “In the family room, right next to the Sesame Street kitchen.” Totally normal.

For my birthday, my husband purchased me a treadmill. I know what you’re thinking. Some women might find this offensive, like maybe he’s trying to hint that I should get my ass back in shape. But don’t worry – I asked for it. Thank God, he spent the extra cash for delivery and assembly so that we don’t have to attempt this task on our own. We’ve already built enough equipment (crip, infant swing, glider, etc.) to know that these kinds of tasks can seriously damage a marriage. We are both entirely capable of doing it on our own, however men and women are just not supposed to assemble things together. Probably because women like to read the directions and men think they’re smart enough to wing it. But, I digress, today was the scheduled delivery day for my new treadmill.

On Mondays, I’m off from work and my son and I are home alone together. If you have a toddler and you spend 10-12 hours alone with them regularly, then you know that playing with shape sorters and mega blocks gets tiring after a certain length of time. I can only pretend to be interested in reading a book called “Roadwork” over and over and over and over again for about 45 minutes before I have to take a break and send my husband a text message to remind me that there are other adults in the world. At the same time, I’m sure my son gets tired of looking at my face after 12 hours, too. Sometimes when I get him up from nap, he looks at me like, “You? Again? Where the hell is Daddy?”

In order to avoid losing our sanity, I try to make lots of plans for the days that we are home together. We attend story time at the library in the morning and we schedule play dates in the afternoon.  Unfortunately, because of the treadmill delivery today, we couldn’t make any definite plans since I wasn’t sure what time they were coming. I find it very annoying that you have to wait until the morning of a delivery to have ANY idea of when to expect these people. Needless to say, we had to skip story time because I was afraid we’d miss them. Finally, around 11:30, the guys called to let me know they’d be at my house within the hour.

Clearly, whoever decided that scheduling a four hour block of time for a delivery is not a stay at home mother. First of all, we need to leave the house!! Sitting around for four hours, especially on a day when the weather isn’t nice enough for me to take the baby outside, is torture. Secondly, you’re going to show up at my house at exactly the same time that my son goes down for a nap? Do you realize how detrimental this is to my day??? I can’t take the baby upstairs for his nap until the delivery guys show up because the doorbell/dog barking will wake him up, but I can’t let him nap too late in the day because he’ll be up all night. It’s a science, people. And lastly, why is it that delivery men get a FOUR HOUR time frame to show up for their appointments??? If I could schedule all of my appointments like that, my life would be a hell of a lot easier. Like, hey doctor, I’ll be at my annual exam anytime between 9:00am and 12:00pm, whenever it’s convenient for me to get out of my house today. Maybe I’ll tell my boss that I’ll call him tomorrow morning to let him know what time frame I’ll be showing up for work, anywhere from 10:00am to 2:00pm, depending on how much wine I drink tonight.

Fortunately, the guys showed up and were able to build the treadmill while I put my son down for a nap. I’m actually pretty impressed that they were able to get out without waking him up, so maybe today isn’t a total disaster after all. And on that note, now that I have absolutely no excuse, I should probably get off my computer and get my ass on that treadmill before the baby wakes up.

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