I recently quit my six figure job to become a stay at home mom. Let me set the record straight that there is no such thing as eating bon bons on the couch and watching soap operas. Sure, there are quick chocolate breaks while hiding in the pantry but that is purely a means of survival. This job is hard.
I’m quickly learning that in order to be “successful” at this new gig, I’m going to have to learn to be okay with far from perfect days. This is not as easy as it seems. When I worked, checking off my to-do list was generally within my control and I could get a lot accomplished in a short period of time. That felt good. At home this is MUCH more challenging. Most days I’m lucky if I get 2 of the 5 items checked off my list. And setting my expectations too high has only led to an unwarranted feeling of failure. Because in stay-at-home-mom-land I can only control so much. My kids don’t always listen, they need a lot of my attention and I have to learn to be more realistic about what is achievable on any given day. Attempting to make more than one phone call at a time is pushing the limit when little people constantly need me. And we aren’t going to get through 5 errands in one day. I now have to account for unexpected tantrums, a LOT of potty stops, and an overall much slower pace. “I want to do it myself, Mommy” takes time! And so I’m starting to appreciate the daily little wins like:
My kids were fully clothed all day. Sounds simple but let’s face it, toddlers love to take their clothes off and when you are in the potty training years there are days pants just seem like more of a problem than they are worth. And then there’s the food on their shirts, the dirt from the backyard, the water from the water table… One way or another my kids often end up running around in their underwear. But on our best days I’m determined to keep those darn clothes on. And one of these days I’m going to invite the FEDEX delivery guy in for coffee just because everyone looks descent for once. This is good. Supermom good.
No one got hurt today. I’m not saying we totally avoided wrestling or that no one fell. That would be pushing it. But we actually made it through the day without pulling out the Mickey band-aids. There were no bumps or bruises or even scratches. That I know about. They are finally listening to me about being careful. Or maybe we just got lucky. Either way, I’ll take it. Go Mama!
I took a shower. It was glorious. All 2 minutes of it. I may not have make-up on. Yes, I’m wearing yoga pants again but I swear this is a different pair. And my hair is in the usual pony tail but damn it, I am clean! That was until I got an applesauce leg-hug. Well I WAS clean for at least 10 minutes and that’s all that matters! Someone should take me out to dinner.
One of my kids said something really nice and I didn’t even initiate it. “Mommy, you look weally handsome.” I don’t even correct him. Handsome… Pretty… it’s all the same thing. I just take it. I might even Facebook it. It’s definitely a sweet moment to savor. And even brag about. Listen up everyone, my child is so sweet… Or at least he was for that 30 seconds. Just, please, like it. Make me feel good. My days are long. I’ll take any sort of validation. Even Facebook likes will do.
I made it ALL THE WAY to Daddy coming home without losing my cool. This is like the gold medal of a successful stay at home mom day. I start out the day with so much patience. Oh, little love bugs. There’s no need to fight. We take turns. We love each other. But after the 210th “Why?” and the 70th high-pitched scream, it becomes extremely challenging to keep my cool. But if I can do it, if I can just hide in the pantry, eat some chocolate and bite my lips for the last hour of the day until Daddy gets home, I deserve a gold medal. Seriously. That last hour is like the final stretch of a marathon. Every. Single. Day.
I made a healthy dinner and my kids ate it. A little of it. Okay, even if one of them just licked it, that counts. Grant licked his broccoli. Did you see that, honey? He LOVES broccoli! I gotta get a picture of this. I give myself a pat on the back for making a lick-able dinner. If it touched their mouths, I won. Dinnertime success! Someone give me a raise. Or at least a glass of wine.
I may not get a paycheck. Though I definitely deserve one. Or even a simple thank you. But this job is harder than most and I AM successful, damn it. I’m raising my children to be healthy & clothed gentlemen one little win at a time. It’s time to upgrade my chocolate stash.