So, I’ve made it through the first week of being a SAHM.
AND… I’m ready to go back to work. Naah, just kidding. Sort of. Here are my first impressions, based on one week at home with the kids:
First of all, the term “Stay-at-Home Mother” is a misnomer, at least as far as I am concerned. I think I spent about twenty minutes at home during this whole first week. The rest of the time was spent schlepping my kids around the world, bringing them to 83 different museums, 47 libraries, and 76 playgrounds. I think “Roam Around Mom” is a much more appropriate term for what I’ve been doing.
I may have overdone it on my first attempt at keeping my kids entertained for seven days straight. But we did enjoy ourselves, and we didn't make a huge mess of our house (because we were never there), and we didn't lose any limbs or end up in the emergency room (though there were definitely some very close calls), and for those reasons alone, I feel incredibly triumphant.
I also feel incredibly exhausted. Dude, this gig is tiring. I love how in my delusional pre-RAM state of mind, I was trying to figure out where I would fit in time to exercise. HAH! There is no need to exercise when you spend ten hours a day chasing a near-three-year-old and a seven-month-old child. My body is sore. Mama needs a massage. Maybe next week I’ll teach Emmy how to walk on my back and knead my achy feet (and if she resists the idea, I will bribe her with Oreos).
I have realized that my children are more hysterical than I thought they were. When I say “hysterical,” I mean that they are immensely funny. I also mean they are prone to unpredictable bouts of hysteria -- at the most inconvenient times. For instance, my dear son chose to have an overtired meltdown in WalMart on Monday, which caused a total stranger to come up to me and command me to make him stop crying. That was an awesome way to begin life as a Roam Around Mom, let me tell you.
I have realized that I will miss adult conversation, but conversation with Emmy is much more entertaining than any conversation I ever had with my officemates. Today, in the car, we talked about how she does not like it when I get angry (apparently I am more strict than her teachers and her Baba, and she was offended when I gave her a "time out" for running through the museum parking lot like it was a grassy meadow). The conversation went a little something like this:
“I don’t like it when you get angry, Mama.”
“I don’t like it when I get angry either, Emmy. That is why I ask you to behave and cooperate. When you behave, I can be Happy Mama, and I would much rather be Happy Mama than Angry Mama. But when you don’t behave, sometimes I become Angry Mama.”
“I like Happy Mama.”
“Me too, Emmy. Most of the time, I am Happy Mama, but sometimes I am Angry Mama.”
“And sometimes you are a FROG!!”
“Um, yes, that’s true. Sometimes I act like a frog, too. Who do you like the best? Happy Mama, or Angry Mama, or Frog?”
“FROGGG! Ribbit! Ribbit!”
I never had conversations like that with my co-workers.
I have realized that I have more resilience and more patience than I thought I did. Because this first week of “stay at home” life included my son having constant antibiotic induced diarrhea, and me having a sinus infection, and my husband working late pretty much every night, and Emmy nearly scraping off her entire nose on the pavement in front of our house. Despite all these lovely hurdles, I still made it through the week with a relatively clear head, and a relatively loving heart (and a LOT of gratitude for Desitin, and for my antibiotic, and for the half-hour of conversation I have had with my husband this week, and for what is left of my daughter’s nose).
I have also realized that I will likely be blogging a lot less. Which is okay, because I would rather be the kind of mom who has tons to write about but no time to write than the kind of mom who has tons of time to write but nothing to write about. I’ll try to keep writing regularly, but if I don't, it’s probably just cause I am busy having fun with the kiddos (or perhaps just trapped under a huge pile of their toys).
This coming week, we will be visiting with my parents and relatives in New Jersey which means we won't be at our house at all, and we likely won't stick to much of a schedule. My only goal for this week is that the kids have a wonderful time with their family. I'll deal with my other goals when we get back.
Parenting with imagination. Or at least trying.
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