Two months ago yesterday I left my job in the corporate world to “take a pause” and stay home with my girls. It was time to slow down a bit and hit the reset button. It also meant that the girls would no longer be in daycare 5-full days.
Now, I went into this with open eyes and what I thought were reasonable expectations of what life as a Stay At Home Mom would be (you can read about that here.) To say that the past two months have been a walk in the park would be, well, a lie. During the first month I think I text my husband at least once a week telling him that this wasn’t working and I was going back to work.
There were days that the kids wouldn’t nap at all (usually on the days that I desperately needed a nap myself, or a shower!) There were days where I would yell and give time outs (sometimes by 9:30am!) There were days where I had planned outings but because we couldn’t agree on what to wear, or to brush our hair/teeth/etc. we couldn’t even make it out of the house. There were even days where I felt like I was failing as a mother, the days where I sat on the floor on the verge of tears because that’s not the kind of mom I wanted to be.
But each time I text my husband, the next day would somehow seem better. There were days that I rocked at being a mom. Days where both kids listened (all day!) and even took naps. Days where I made good wholesome meals, three square plus snacks! There were days where I was able to execute the activities I had planned – and the kids loved it! Days where the dishes were done and laundry was put away.
But the best days? Those are the days where my 3 year old tells me that she likes staying home with me. The days where my 1 year old masters saying a new word that we’ve been practicing then we both clap and shout “hooray” because we’re so proud of her accomplishments.
Take today for example. The girls and I were getting dressed to go on an outing and, as I was tying Grace’s shoelaces, Rae threw up all over the floor. Two showers, one and half movies and two more spews later I’m standing in the kitchen holding my baby girl in my arms (because she cried each time I tried to put her down) while attempting to make a turkey sandwich for my other baby girl (who ended up crying because I made the sandwich with mustard instead of mayonnaise.) Ten minutes later Grace pulled her little stool up to the kitchen sink and started hand-washing dishes because she wanted to be helpful. A month ago I would have been texting my husband but today I just stared into their beautiful little faces and felt so extremely blessed that I get to be their mom.
Heres what I’ve learned so far:
I need a plan. I spent the past 15 years managing projects and clients, I’m a planner by nature I can’t just turn it off. I recognize that this isn’t the best advice for all SAHM’s, but for me having some sort of plan for the week (crafts, outings, meals) helps minimize the chaos. Even if we have to deviate from said plan, which let’s be honest with two toddlers things rarely go as planned.
You gotta go with the flow. Not to contradict my first point, a plan is all well and good, but you need to be able to pivot and not get frustrated — I’m working on this one and today was proof that I’m making progress. 😉
Get ready before the kids wake up. Honestly, I still struggle with this one. I have the hardest time pulling my arse out of bed at 5:30am to shower and blow-dry my hair before Rae wakes up at 6:30am. Of course it would help if I could find a dry shampoo that I actually liked – that would save me 45 minutes right there. I feel so much better on the days where I’m showered and can throw on a pair of black leggings and sweatshirt before little voices start calling me.
Excuse the mess. There will be days where my house will be clean and tidy (love those days!) but for each of those days there will be a night like tonight where there are still dishes in the sink, floor needs sweeping, etc. Sure I could choose to empty the dishwasher but instead I chose a little “me time” to write this blog post. And I need to learn to be ok with the mess.
Remember to breathe, You got this! This should be my new mantra. Slowly but surely we’re finding our groove. No doubt we’ll still have some hiccups here and there but at the end of the day it’s how I choose to deal with it that matters most. This season of my life will pass quickly so I need to soak up every moment that I can – and I don’t want to spend those moments stressed out about chores or schedules, etc. These kiddos are just loving being with mom, I should follow their lead.
Oh one more thing…Coffee. Coffee is my new BFF. ALL. DAY. LONG.
Thanks for listening 🙂