Monday, January 30, 2012

when is this class going to end?

I met a woman last week who went on and on, (and on and on), about how much she loves being a stay at home mom. She has three young kids and, according to her, she spends every waking moment with them. And, also according to her, she loves every waking moment of it. Every. Waking. Moment. And I do not believe. No one can possibly love every waking moment. No one.

When I was a young girl I always pictured myself staying at home, being a good wife and loving mother, supporting my hard working husband by keeping the home fires burning. Maybe I saw my future this way because my mother didn't work outside the home. Although my mother never really worked inside the home either, so I certainly didn't grow up wanting to be like her. Where ever the dream came from, I always thought that was what I wanted. Until I was a stay at home mom, I mean.

I needed to be home. And I wanted to be home. I loved taking care of our new 24 month old. Changing diapers, cooking, cleaning, oh my god, the cleaning. Reading books and cuddling at nap time, hanging out with him on our bed, hiding under a blanket and giggling. Teaching him what he needed to know to catch up to the other toddlers. Yes, I loved it. But every minute of it?  No way!

So many times I felt like I was back in school, being forced to listen to a boring lecture on something I couldn't possibly be interested in, and certainly would never one day need. So many times I would watch the clock. When is this class going to end? When is this day going to end?

And I don't think it was all because it was, to be perfectly honest, very hard work. My tiny toddler was often angry. He cried a lot. He wouldn't let me put him down. He hit me. He was a handful, to say the least. So I every day occasionally, OK, frequently watched the clock. When is this class going to end?

So how does one maintain their sanity when trapped  happily staying home to raise children?  Here are a few of my well used go to moves:

  • make the baby wear mismatched socks. say it was "his choice" when older women shower you with disapproving looks in the grocery store.
  • give baby numerous baths a day while you lay on the bathroom floor with your head next to the tub and your feet in the hallway. allow baby to toss plush bath toy/finger puppet at your face repeatedly.
  • sit on living room floor and teach baby how to throw cheerios into your open mouth.
  • allow baby to tear apart older brother's bedroom while you draw mustaches on models in magazines. (this is a trick I learned from my older sister. she was a pro at mustache drawing, although I think she used fingernail polish.)
  • pretend both you and baby don't speak English while wandering the aisles of Target.
  • wander the aisles of Target. often.
  • play fetch  toss a favorite toy into center of room for baby to retrieve. this allows baby to work on motor skills.
  • take baby to indoor play place and place on (very safe and secure) trampoline. allow baby to jump to heart's content while wistfully staring at the woman behind the counter and restraining yourself from running over and offering to answer her phones if she would just play with your baby for 10 minutes.
  • pretend stairs are a train and "take a ride" every day around the time Daddy comes home from work. Slip off train when you hear Daddy's car pull into the driveway so that Daddy walks into the house and sees baby, first thing. Immediately hide in bathroom with door locked so Daddy and baby will leave you alone  bond. Daddy surely thought Mommy had some horrible intestinal troubles that hit  every day at 6:00pm.
  • play hide and seek with baby while reading your kindle.
OK, so mother of the year I clearly will never be. And I am thrilled to have found the perfect stay at home/working mother balance. oh my god am I thrilled. But for a while there, it was touch and go.

Gotta run- Daddy will be home soon and I have to go pick up all those cheerios off the floor...

1 comment:

  1. I did the hide and seek game last week (with no intention of completing the seek part) right before Daddy got home. When Jason walked in the door, I told him the kids started playing it and were waiting for him to find them upstairs. It had been a long day.