Confessions of a Stay At Home Parent

Any other Stay at Home Moms out there? I know I'm not alone. Today's post is all about confessions. There are some things about being a stay at home mom that I absolutely LOVE, and there are others that make life really hard at times. My hope is that other stay at home moms (or dads) will understand that they aren't alone.... and those of you who are working parents, will realize that life as a stay at home parent is just as tough as being gone all day.

1. My kids are my best friends. This may seem like a weird one, but think about it. My children have seen the best and worst of me. They know my fears, they know my joys. They help me with my goals, they are my best critics and my biggest cheerleaders. I see them more than any other person, ever. We laugh together, we cry together. We face challenges and find ways to overcome them, together. When I am not with them, I think about them all the time. I want the best for them, and they want the best for me. That isn't to say that my husband isn't one of my best friends too. He absolutely is my ultimate best friend. There is no one I would rather do things with or hang out with than him, but my kids are right up there too! 

2. Everyday is like American Ninja Warrior. You know that show on tv where there are the crazy competitions and people get eliminated, until they reach the final challenge? Yep. Same thing. The first challenge is getting out of bed by the second (or third) snooze on my alarm. Then it's the race against the clock to get the kids up, dressed, fed, and ready for school. Only the strong survive! Then you get to take a break (if your kids are all in school, or the competition continues if you are in the thick of toddler hood). The next competition is the battle against the cranks. My children come home from school hungry, tired, and fighting. No matter what I do, it's the same. Every. Single. Day. So, I try everything I can to make it through this round of the competition. Snacks. Homework help. More snacks. Hugs. Listening to their day. Snacks again. Up next is the battle of wits. Me verses the kids. The theme: What's for dinner? Now, the worst thing about this competition is that no matter the planning and preparation that has happened, the outcome is always the same. Someone ends up in tears (either the kids because they hate what I made, or me because the kids hate what I made -- even if they ate it and loved it the last time). There is no winning this game. The final competition is bedtime. This is like the end of the Ninja Warrior show where they have to hop over things, swing across bars, and end by running up that HUGE wall. At the end, when you finally make it to the top of the wall (and everyone is tucked into bed), you either cheer (quietly so you don't wake them) or you just collapse because of exhaustion. The downside is... you get to do it all over again the next day, and the next day, and the next....

3. We have Teflon feet. You know how chefs can handle touching hot pots and pans, or hot foods? Mom's have that too, but with their feet. That's how we can get up in the middle of the night with a sick child, or to double check that we actually locked the back door, and we can handle the pain of stepping on Legos, Barbie shoes, and Hot Wheels left out on the floor. That doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt... because it TOTALLY does. It just means we can handle the pain (most of the time)

4. We see doing dishes as an Olympic sport -- and we can qualify every time! I've got this one down to a science. I can load AND unload the dishwasher in a total of just under 5 minutes. How? Well, let's just say I have lots of practice loading that dishwasher. I know how every dish fits, and where it goes. I know to load all the cups on the top rack first, followed by the larger dishes on the bottom rack. Last you load in the silverware. Here's the clincher though.... why? When you are a stay at home parent there is always something, or someone, needing your assistance. Whether it's a toddler at your feet, a teenager who needs help with a math problem, or a dinner pan on the stove that needs tending to, there is always something. Unloading and loading the dishwasher has to be done with extreme speed and accuracy, therefore...  Olympic Sport. Who do I contact to get that in the running for the next Olympics? 

5. Free time? What's that?? I know this is something that everyone can say. There just aren't enough hours in the day to tackle everything that needs to be done. If you are a working parent, your  "to-do" list will look different than this, but the concept is still the same. With kids at home all day there are constantly messy hands and fingers that need cleaning, meals that need to be prepared, and the activities/classes to go to. Library days, meet ups with other parents, the shopping, the laundry, the dishes, the homework, it never seems to end. Life is crazy busy ... until the kids get sick. Then everything goes out the window ... 

6. We have a nose like a bloodhound. It's true. At least when it comes to certain smells. If one of the kids (or my husband) is cooking in the kitchen, I can smell when it's burning from across the house -- even before they can standing right next to their culinary creation. My kids have a broken sniffer when it comes to their clothing, but my nose never lies. The sniff test works every time. I'll admit though, I've gotten so tired of smelling gross clothes that I just tell them now that if they don't know if it's clean, it goes in the laundry hamper. Better safe than sorry. We can also tell who needs a shower/bath without looking at the calendar. It's a gift. What can I say?

7. We feel completely inadequate. For reals. All the time. It's so hard when you hop on to Instagram or Pinterest and see all the other moms out there with perfectly clean homes, creative Bento boxes for their kids lunch box, homemade holiday decorations, and chore routines. You can't help but compare yourself to others ... even if it's people you don't even know. I know that no one has the parenting thing all figured out, but it's really hard to admit that we don't have it all figured out. I never feel prepared enough, creative enough, experienced enough, to handle my kids. I'm always afraid when I take them in for their yearly physical that the Dr. will ask me the series of questions, then look at me and say something like, "Well, that was a good attempt. Try and do better next year".

8. We can clean anything with baby wipes. Kool Aid on the floor. Spaghetti on the table. Little boys with bad aim. Play dough. Cake batter. Dirty hands. Dirty faces. Stains on your clothes. Everything can be cleaned up with a baby wipe... especially when you are out and about. Never leave home without them. Seriously.

** Just because I use baby wipes to clean up doesn't mean that real cleaning products aren't used when necessary. Germs are real, and they need to be handled properly. But, when you're in a pinch, baby wipes are tiny little miracle workers. 

9. We are better at predicting the weather than the local meteorologist. Do you remember as a kid, when you were leaving and your mom would tell you to take a jacket? I never understood how she always knew that it was going to be cold outside. Well, as a mom, I get it. I'm pretty sure that as soon as your little one is born, you are gifted some very specific talents. You can hear your baby crying from across the house or identify the "mom" of your kid on the playground. When we tell our kids they need a jacket, we mean, you will NEED a jacket (or umbrella). Then, when we get in the car and the kids are cold, we just shake our heads and say, "I told you to grab one"!

10. We have an impeccable memory.  Shoe sizes. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Clothing sizes. Food dislikes and likes. Favorite colors. Where the other flip flop is. The time for their baseball game. How to figure out 9's in multiplication.  We can change diapers in the dark, and buckle children into car seats blindfolded (not that I've tried...). One thing I've learned, and repeat to my children all the time is, I write it down so I don't have to remember it. My brain space is almost at maximum occupancy with all the things that I have to remember, that when it comes to our family calendar, I prefer to write it down and forget about it. I'm sure though, that the receptionists at my pediatricians office laugh when I try and tell them the birthdays of my children.... I sometimes have to stand there and do the math to figure out what year they were born. But I'm sure I'm not alone on that one ... there is only so much I can remember at one time ...

I know there are a lot more things I could write, but as I sit here ignoring the mountain of laundry that needs to be put away, and the dirty dishes in the sink that need cleaning, this is what comes to mind. If you have an awesome confession to add, leave it in the comments!

No comments

Thank you so much for stopping by. I would love to hear from you!