I admit it, I have always dreamed of being home with my kids full-time. There’s nothing like seeing my toddler’s proud smile when she crosses the balance beam without holding my hand for the first time in gymnastics class.
tOr being able to pick my preschooler up from camp and play Candyland in the afternoon. It is so fulfilling to have the ability to witness the small “here and now” moments with my children.
t Then reality sets in.
t I never knew what being tired meant until I stayed home with my preschool-age girls. The days are long. (No I mean loooooooonnnng.) Exhausting, hair pulling, eye rubbing, on your feet all day and desperate for grown up conversation kind of days. After four glorious (yet arduous) weeks of summer vacation, I’m ready to go back to work. I totally suck at being a stay at home mom.
t Yes, I love to cook healthy dinners, juice, sometimes bake in the afternoons, plan perfect Pinterest art activities and swim and soak up the Florida sun. But I never knew being home could be so incredibly difficult. I truly believe that staying home with young children is the hardest job… ever. And I only had a small taste of it.
t Here are the unexpected real-life challenges I faced at home when I took a hiatus from broadcasting this summer.
- Never ending laundry: Seriously? How many outfits does a diva toddler need? I seem to have caught the dryer bug where I continually restart the dryer over and over again to avoid actually folding it. And why put clothes away when you can just dig them out of the laundry basket?
- Dishes galore: I think that dishes are like Gremlins, they multiply when wet. I’ve never seen so many sippy cup parts in my life! Paper products have become a way of life. And bonus, the girls think paper plates are special.
- Cleanup time: We gave up on trying to clean up after each activity because my Tasmanian devil of a 2-year-old can empty a Mr. Potato Head jug, LEGO bin, and Barbie clothes box in the blink of an eye. I learned quickly that cleaning was best before bedtime. Actually I just gave up on keeping a clean house in general… it’s overrated.
- When’s Mom’s nap time? Did I mention how tired I am? After Miami Heat games, I return home and get to bed around midnight or 1 a.m. That is nothing compared to the fatigue of chasing around two little girls. I am bone tired by 9 p.m.
- Referee: I think hospitals need to add whistles to the supply goody bags when they send you home from delivering a second, third or fourth sibling. I’ve spent more time breaking up fights than I thought I would in my lifetime. “Don’t lick your sister!” is the theme of the summer of 2014.
- Chauffeur: Might as well just add this to my resume; I feel like we’ve lived in my minivan this summer. Gymnastics, music class, art class, museum trips, grocery shopping… all before nap time, too.
- Accidents happen: Do you know how many times I’ve sung the “Accidents Happen” song from the Elmo Potty Video? She picked this month to potty train… hooray! Except for the aforementioned clean up of said accidents.
t Since becoming a mommy five years ago I’ve worked full-time, I’ve worked part-time, I’ve freelanced from home, and in-between I’ve taken short breaks. But now with two preschool-age children, I am here to tell you… SAHMs rock! And so does summer camp.
t I bow down to you moms, and am in awe of your stamina and ability to manage a household. It’s amazing that I can juggle several freelance jobs, meal plans, a blog and everyone else’s schedule, but never really got the hang of the full-time mom thing. Or maybe I could do it if I really wanted to… but for now I’m happy where we are as a family. Me home a few days a week, and the other time spent working on other creative endeavors.
t Is it NBA season yet?
t Photo credit: Silvia Boratti/Vetta/Getty Images