Y’all want the real deal, I’m gonna give it to ya! But here’s your warning, I am a sarcastic person. I love my kids and I love my life (and I know how blessed I am to have healthy kids). However, I love to complain about things and make jokes which helps me keep my sanity. You’ve been warned…
Staying at Home Versus Working Outside the Home
I have stayed at home with my kids full time and also had a full time career. Here’s the thing, both of these jobs are incredibly hard, but for me I have a harder time staying at home. I seriously have felt like I run a mental institute lately. When I saw this E-Card I thought WOW, this is perfect!!! For me it was easier to clean my house, take Gavin to school, hand Jude over to his wonderful teachers and go off my merry way to work. After a long day we would return to a clean house, because no one had been home. I would put a hot, un-healthy, fast, Chick-fil-A meal on the table. Then, quickly tuck my little ones to bed all before 9pm. However, easy it was, boy, did I miss out on so many things. And they’re not all roses and sunshine.
I was reading My Life and Kids by Anna which is a lifestyle blog that is quite hysterical. She was reflecting on all the beautiful moments she may have missed if she was still a working mom. In this post she took some pictures of her kids doing things like playing in their pool and pretending to be super heros, so adorable. The captions all read something like ,”If I was at work I would have missed this, and this…and so on.”
I hate to say it, we don’t have too many of those moments here. Remember the rock box I built for Jude, yes, that one, he’s used it once. ONCE!!!!! I think I should take a few pictures and show you what I would miss if I was back at work. But for now I will just give you an idea of a few things that constantly test my sanity, let’s see who can relate..
Sleep and the Car Seat
Jude is almost three. It’s so crazy how two children can be so different. When Gavin was born, he was calm, quiet and content. Not to mention he slept through the night at 5 weeks old. Jude on the other hand came into this world screaming like a banshee. He screamed for hours after he was born. Then came the ride home which was only five minutes but, he screamed then too and every other time he was put in a car seat from that point on until this moment in time. Yep, for 3 solid years my child has screamed nearly every time he has been put in the car. Lastly, Jude will fall asleep really fast, but never sleeps through the night. Again for 3 years Jude has not slept through the night. It doesn’t matter if he’s had a nap, not had a nap…whatever he just won’t do it. So there you go,Jude never sleeps and cries anytime he’s in the car seat oh and forget ever sleeping in the car seat HA HA HA!
I Sits for No One
Jude does not sit in things, I mean anything. Yep, that means, no sitting in strollers, no sitting in highchairs, no sitting in grocery carts. Torture, sheer torture I tell you!!! We have tried and tried and tried and only now thanks to modern technology he will sit and watch YouTube on my I Phone while I grocery shop. Otherwise forget it. We pretty much gave up completely on eating at restaurants for a long time and have started going back to the really fast ones. However, he has to sit in a booth on a side that is against a wall. We have had two food bombing incidents, thank goodness they were near misses. The food hit the people’s bench and not them. Phew!!! Forget nice leisurely walks around the neighborhood, it’s a scream fest and if you let him out of the stroller, it’s a chase fest. He sits for no one.
About 98.2% of the time my sweet precious child has a monster living inside of him. Seriously, I think I am raising Rosemary’s baby. I can’t even do “the voice”. It’s this monster growl voice that he uses constantly when he’s talking and it’s not cute, not in the slightest bit. When he’s not possessed by this demon he is either screaming at the top of his lungs or howling, yes, howling like a werewolf. That’s the latest and
greatest Jude trick. Every time I am on the phone the howling begins. I was on an extremely important professional call and yes he did it the entire time, there was no escaping. Oh, and if that’s not good enough, thanks so much to his 10 year old brother, we now constantly get to hear Jude tell us that everything is “Stupid” or ” a piece of Crap.” Yes and the mother of the year award goes to ….. somebody else. Thank you…..
5 Fingers to the Face
Jude was a large baby and is now a very tall and strong 2 and a half year old. But no matter his size he has very little impulse control and that’s pretty typical for this age. However, he has less control than most. It’s difficult to take him around other children that I don’t know, because, you just never know if his demonic voice will surface or if he may just give a kid five fingers to the face. He has slapped me a few times which given my work experience I have received my fair share of smacks, bites, kicks, and more. But let me tell you, this last smack I received was like nothing I have ever felt before, he could have held his own with Mohammed Ali or Mike Tyson, with that smack. Let’s just say he hasn’t tried to smack in a really, really long time. However, his size is still quite challenging, because he looks so much older, yet acts his age which is really 2 and a half. It’s very, very frustrating and I’m almost afraid to send him to preschool now. We’ve decide to wait just a little longer.
With Great Knowledge Comes Great
I know I’ve told you this before, I’ve spent the majority of my life studying Early childhood development, child psychology, and child guidance. I know a lot about kids, why they do things, how to prevent them from doing things and how to guide them to more appropriate behavior. I was really, really good at this in my career however, I absolutely suck at it as a parent. These little guys have a hold on me like no other. It’s like I have the knowledge to be “SuperMom” but they are my Kryptonite. It’s like everything I know gets thrown out the window and all I know how to do is yell and threaten. It makes me feel very guilty knowing that I could do a lot better as a parent.
So Why Do I Stay At Home
Are you asking by now, well if it’s so hard why do you stay at home? Just like Anna, from My Life and Kids I really felt like I never saw my kids and I did not know them at all. As crazy as I feel sometimes, and as wild as they can be, they are my heart and soul. The good or the bad moments, I’ll take them all. But I’m not going to pretend that my kids are well behaved. I am not “SuperMom” who decorates and DIYS by night and super parents by day. It’s just not at all how it is. I do the best I can in my crazy little chaotic life and don’t want to miss a single thing. Even if it is 5 fingers to the face. Better me than someone else.
Thank you for your honesty! I recently gave up my job of 7 years to stay home with my 3 boys, ages 6, 3, & 1. I sometimes wonder what in the hell I was thinking. But you sum it up perfectly! No matter the crazy days, the days that you feel powerless and struggle, you get to see it all, you get to know your kids! I’m not a supermom or a DIYer either. My house is never clean, there is always something that needs done, and my 3 year old sounds very similar to Jude! 😉 Lord, help us both. But I am grateful that I get to be here everyday with them, even the days I don’t like them!
Jami, I am glad you can relate too. I try to remember that these crazy behaviors will pass. I remember myself as a horribly sassy pre-teen and my ten year old is acting just like me. I try to do my best but boy it is hard some days. One day at a time is what I tell my self. Thanks for commenting!
I have had a Jude, and I stayed home with him, and am currently homeschooling him. He is 16 years old now, is a wonderful teenager, responsible and loving. I remember being in your shoes though, there was the day a banker told me I should “keep that child at home”. There was the time he jumped out at the mailman and almost knocked him over because he was pretending to be Garfield and we went from being first to get our mail to last. There were the complaints from the preschool that he strangled everyone and never listened to directions. There were also mountains of tears from my eyes as I struggled trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. None of the parent books worked, I finally shut the books and depended on God to teach me how to parent him. We still faced tantrums and long years of dinosaur sounds instead of words when people spoke to him, but as I said he is 16 now and he sleeps, he talks, he no longer strangles (except when play fighting with his brother) Oh and he no longer cries non stop in the car!!!!
Victoria, It’s so good to hear when others have been in your shoes. I know the “looks” all to well. I get them all the time. Like you I use all of the techniques and they rarely work. It’s taking a lot of patience and understanding but knowing that this will pass brings me comfort. Thanks so much for commenting.
I just want to thank you for your honesty in posting about being a stay at home Mom. Just this evening I found myself crying and wondering why I gave up my job to stay at home with my 2 year old twins. I needed so badly for someone to remind me of how lucky I was and then came acrossed this article on Pinterest. Sometimes I just need someone to remind me of how how lucky I am (especially on the days I feel so Crazy :).
I’m so glad you can relate. Some days are so hard and it gets even harder when you don’t have a break, even a lunch break. I think it helps me to just realize that it’s just not all going to be perfect and just let go. One day they will all be grown up and we are gonna miss these crazy days.
Shauna@Satori Design for Living says
Thanks for your honesty! When my son was young and we were trying to get our careers going, I felt like I went through the motions as a parent a lot, but wasn’t really connected. I was distracted with creating lesson plans and marking, trying to keep the house in order when I could, and all the other things that go on as a working outside of the house mom.
When I decided to make a change, it was difficult to be home more and even got bored at times, but gradually I found the balance between my own work, quality time with my son and keeping everything running as smoothly as possible.
My son is graduating from high school at the end of this school year and I don’t have any regret about being home. Sure, I run a business from my home, but I feel like “mom” has been my number one priority and, although I’ve made a lot of mistakes, I know I was there for him as much as I could be. It’s challenging, but we have a strong bond that I don’t think would be there if I stayed working full time outside of the house- just a personal choice and no judgement towards those who choose to work outside of the home full time. Lesley, I think you will look back and feel the same way, so keep plugging away! xo, Shauna
Thanks so much for sharing you story as well. I am so glad I do get to be with them even if some days are more challenging than others 🙂