Ever wonder what it's like to be a stay-at-home mom? Or maybe you are one, and you're wondering what the days of other moms look like. Well, here's a glimpse in my day. Eat your heart out!
I have newborn, so the ends and starts of days aren't really distinct. Life is a blur of events that could have happened today or yesterday or tomorrow. I couldn't fall asleep at night because I treated myself to an iced coffee when I did the grocery shopping (darn you Wegmans and your coffee bar) at 6:30pm. Then I had to blow my nose about 17 times (me and seasonal allergies are BFFs) and as I finally started to drift off to sleep I began coughing and couldn't stop, so I found myself fumbling around in the closet in the dark to find a cough drop. Then I eventually fell asleep. My 3-month-old, Greta, woke up to nurse once, which is considered an AMAZING night (thank you, thank you, thank you, sweet baby), but unfortunately I wake myself up a lot rolling over and adjust blankets. So the end to the night was sketchy, the the start to the day is equally as informal. It begins (unofficially) with my 2-year-old, Baylor, screaming, "DA-DDY. DADDDY. DAAADDY" from his crib at 6:30am. I generally ignore him until 7:00am but my husband must decided to get him out of his crib before he left for work because (as I later learned) Baylor was also yelling, "I HUNGRY! I EAT MY EATMEAL (oatmeal)." Which explains why the yelling stopped at some point without my assistance, and also why my 4-year-old, Finley, didn't wake me up slash force me out of bed by coming into my room up at 7am as usual. He has this clock that lights up yellow when he's allowed to wake me up. I'd drifted back off to sleep after the first yelling incident but was startled out of sleep again soon after by some more yelling. I figured it was my 2-year-old again so I yelled, "I'M COMING" as I tried to find my glasses. I burst into his room to find him crib empty. I learned after a minor panic attack in a previous week not to immediately assume the worst but instead figure that my husband must have taken the kids downstairs. So I started towards the stairs and was met halfway down by my 4-year-old, who was crumpled into a heap crying and moaning something about, "BayBay turned my show off." So I lead him to the living room and said something very authoritatively to Baylor (my 2-year-old) about how he's wasn't supposed to be touching the remote, turned the tv back on and restart Toy Story and then went about my morning routine... putting in my contacts, grinding coffee beans, etc. I'm sure I was interrupted about 47 times with a complaint about this or that but was able to be somewhat patient since at 7:11 am the day was still fresh and so was my reserve of kindness. I drank about half of my coffee and streamed a series of different shows for the kids on our Fire Stick, after much arguing about who wanted to watch what- some of the shows had to be purchased which I wasn't about to do, and some are brain melting and I couldn't even handle listening to them from the other room. I asked my oldest to tell me when each episode ended so I could turn it off and they didn't end up watching 3 hours of television, which they ended up watching anyway because he conveniently didn't tell me when the episodes ended and the following episodes played automatically. At some point the baby woke up and I nursed her and enjoy her, as she's the least-temperamental and most predictable one in the house and in our entire family unit in general. After diaper changes and tummy time, me asking my 4-year-old to sit by the baby so my 2-year-old didn't step on her, I made a salad for breakfast and sliced up some peppers and cheese and chicken for the kids because it was 8:50am and I knew they'd be asking for lunch soon (yup the legitimately want to each lunch daily around that time). I knew I had an errand to run, so I started to think about how to go about getting us all ready to go. I figured I'd better put my 2-year-old on the potty but just before I tried, my 4-year-old ran in and sat down on the toilet. As soon as he was done my 2-year-old was saying he had to go, which was convenient timing except for then my 4-year-old decided he needed the step stool to wash his hands at the same time my 2-year-old needed it to get on the potty and sit there unassisted (he likes his privacy and routinely demands, "GO AWAY MAMA" as soon as he sits down). So I had to wrestle the step stool out of the arms of my sobbing 4-year-old while trying to explain to him that his brother needed to go to the bathroom and that I didn't want him to pee all over the floor (I know, I'm really selfish) and that I would personally help him wash his hands. So I sat my 2-year-old down and he started demanding as expected, "GO AWAY MAMA" while was trying to help my oldest wash his hands, which clearly just wasn't something he wanted my help with. So I left the bathroom and let them fend for themselves. Soon after my 4-year-old emerged from the bathroom, rambling on and on in his angry voice about how hard it was to wash his hands without the step stool and how bad I was for denying him access to it. I started to respond but then my 2-year-old yelled, "MAMA DONE!" So I headed back into the bathroom only have him say, "Not done mama, go away." Meanwhile the baby was in her bed not crying, thank the Lord, and I somehow managed to get myself dressed, get the baby dressed after changing her poopy diaper. I went into the bathroom a good 2 or 3 more times to "MAMA I'M DONE" only to be told, "I'm not done, go away mama." How I fall victim to that cycle every day, I don't know, but I do. I picked out clothes for the boys to wear and as Finley got dressed we had a heart-to-heart talk about why he was having such a bad day- apparently Baylor ruined it all when he shut off Toy Story in the early AM- and I tried to explain why he shouldn't let everyone else's actions ruin him day and cause him to be mean to everyone around him, but then I stopped because that sounded like solid advice that I might also have to follow.
After much more ado we all ended up in the car, buckled safely, and the only real issue had been that Baylor wanted to wear his sneakers and they really didn't match his outfit. So I told hi he could "bring them" (but I never said he could wear them... sneaky mom) and bring them he did. It was raining and naturally he wanted to climb up into his car seat without my assistance and I let him. I just stood in the rain and watched. Which is apparently what I do these days. And then we headed off! The errand was to pick up some clothes I had dropped off to be sold to a local second-hand shop. The whole drive there the boys talked about how they wanted to go to BaBa's house (grandma's) and I assured them we would be going- later. Finley had to correct me, because apparently "later" simply cannot mean "tonight." We got to the shop and I parked curbside in front of the door because Lord help me if I would have had to bring them all in. Finley reminded me to lock the doors so no one would steal them- I told him I would and also told him I was going to be 3 feet away and that he would be able to see me the whole time. I grabbed the clothes the store hadn't bought and retrieved the money for the things they had bought AND the pacifier I had dropped there two days earlier, and we were off again. Except we had no idea to where. I knew I wanted a coffee from Dunkin' and I asked the boys if they wanted me to take them to the park. Finley said that he wanted to go to Target and for a fleeting moment I thought, "I love Target! Let's go to Target!" But then my common sense stepped in to remind me that while I do like Target, I don't like Target in the afternoon with a 3-month-old, a 2-year-old, and a 4-year-old. So I sadly denied that request and drove to the park where we sat in the car in the parking lot for 5 minutes while both boys cried and told me they just wanted to go to BaBa's, just wanted to go to bed. The baby was asleep. Didn't I tell you she was an angel?
So home we went. I mean I didn't want to go to the park in the first place and I certainly didn't want to go with 2, potentially 3, screaming young children. It had also just rained and was still kind of raining and no one had on play clothes. Once home, Baylor cried in the car for 30 minutes. First he wanted to get out and "Play in the road." When I told him that wasn't going to happen, he cried asked me to buckle him back in and go get his iPad from inside. When I told him that wasn't going to happen either, he asked me to shut the door... which I did except I didn't want to shut them all because it's still summer and it's a cool day but it's muggy and that makes me nervous. Our neighbors are probably used to the sounds of my unhappy children by now. Eventually we all got inside and washed up because everyone had extremely dirty feet from the 8-foot walk from the porch to the car. The baby was crying because she just wanted to go to sleep and not be interrupted, so I nursed and changed her and put her in her swing. It was about 11am so our errand and random loitering in the car had taken about an hour. Now they both wanted to go to bed, which I wouldn't have minded except they don't normally nap until 1am and it was just too early. So I occupied the boys by having them help me pack for BaBa'. Finley and I were upstairs, and Baylor was suspiciously quiet downstairs and I heard the clanking of silverware. I said, "Finley, please go see what he's doing" as I transferred underwear and outfits from the dresser to a suitcase. A few seconds later Finley yelled, "HE'S PLAYING WITH THE KNIVES!" So I ran downstairs and over to where Baylor had indeed pulled a chair up to the counter and was standing in front of a pile of knives he'd unloaded from their holder, yelling, "NO! WE DO NOT TOUCH THE KNIVES." I took him off the chair and put the knives back while he wailed away. We all returned upstairs to continue packing and at some point I said, "OKAY. NAPS." Bay decided he wanted to eat some more lunch, so I cut up some more chicken while Finley said, "After I eat these peppers and after I eat this chicken, what can I eat?" And I said, "Can we please just finish what's in front of us and we will go from there?"
I finally got Baylor up into his crib when I heard an obnoxious knock on the front door. I ran out of Baylor's room and called down to Finley, "Who is it?" I heard him say, "It's just someone." I ran into a room where I could glance out a window at our driveway and realized it wasn't the UPS delivery man, and then called down to Finley, "DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR, I AM COMING." Baylor's light was still on and his door was still open. There was a woman standing at the door, and I don't like to be rude but people are always knocking at our door trying to sell us stuff! So I opened the door a crack and said hi, and she held out her hand for me to shake which I HATE doing because, GERMS, PEOPLE. She then proceeded to tell me she was being paid to vacuum carpets and polish floors. We get people coming with this promotion ALL THE TIME. First of all, I don't want strangers in my house especially when Joey isn't also home. Secondly I don't let anyone wear shoes in my house- if you've worn shoes in my house it's because I rolled up the rugs and had my cleaning gear ready to go. I likely knew you were here to fix something and didn't want to inconvenience you and anticipated your arrival and my plan of action for the second you left. Thirdly, I don't want someone vacuuming inside my house with random vacuum. Fourth, just stop trying to sell me things on my porch, please. Please. PLEASE. I politely told her no, but the people with this promotion practically BEG me to let them do it because they get paid by the company to do it, and I almost want to be like, "I would rather pay you the $25 than have you come in my house!" Ahh. So I somehow got the lady to leave by telling her I don't want people here when my husband isn't home and she said she'd stop back when she saw two cars in our driveway, which I agreed to because we don't have two cars so hopefully no one will ever stop back!!! Finley took advantage of my being flustered and someone got me to give him YET ANOTHER SNACK, a nectarine. I must have said it out loud because I went back upstairs to settle Bay for his nap and he was laying there crying in his crib, "I want a nectarine." And I couldn't tell him no, that just wouldn't be fair plus he was breaking my heart. So back out of the crib and the sleep sack and down to the kitchen to eat a nectarine he went. Nectarines, as you may well know, make the biggest mess in the world especially when being eaten by preschoolers and toddlers, so my heart rate was already elevated in anticipation of the shower they would probably need after their "quick and easy snack." I managed to get them wiped off and back into bed within a few minutes so that I could avoid MY meltdown.
It's almost 2pm now. All three kids are napping. And I'm typing this. Because I want to remember. I want to know how it was. This is how my days go. Sometimes I laugh about it, and sometimes I cry about it. I know I don't handle it all well, especially not now in the hormone-ridden postpartum fourth trimester. I know I make things harder for myself than I need to. Maybe reading this in a week will reveal something I can change to make our days go more smoothly. Maybe I can realize teaching opportunities my for myself and my kids. Lord please grow me through these stay-at-home mom days; grow my love, my joy, my peace, my patience, my kindness, my goodness, my faithfulness, and my self-control. I hear my littlest love stirring now, so I'll leave it at that and take some calming deep breaths in preparation for for the second half of the day.
(Annnd wow my 4-year-old is walking down the stairs from his way-too-short nap. And he's saying, "I'm hungry." #help)