I returned to work last week after my maternity leave and I’m now sitting here reflecting on how those three months went at home with all my children. I think one word sums it up: Madness. Lets rewind to October and November when I was very pregnant and looking forward to my time at home with my kids. I thought, if I can just make it through these last few weeks of work all will be good in the world and I will be able to finally relax. I’m laughing just thinking about those thoughts. Silly me for forgetting what it’s really like to be at home all day with little children.
Since Makenna was born things have gone pretty smoothly and the older siblings have been excited about being home, hanging out with mom, watching movies all day, and not having to get dressed until 2:00 in the afternoon when we have to run an errand. Watching the ipad, playing with toys, and coloring seem to keep the boys entertained most of the day.
The boys are constantly crying because they want to go somewhere, constantly fighting over the ipad(they cracked the screen) always fighting over toys, and some days they think they might die of pure boredom. I’m constantly yelling at my kids to stop teasing each other, to stop bringing more toys into the living room, to stop making messes, and to stop using so many dang dishes, to stop spilling water on the floor, to stop peeing their pants, and the list could go on forever… Not to mention most days I feel like I’m drowning in laundry and dishes.
I’ve started to lose track of what day of the week it is and find myself counting down the minutes until my husband comes home from work. Will I be relieved of my mommy duties as soon as he returns? Heck no, but at least I’ll have an adult who actually listens to me to talk to. Most mornings I’m so busy taking care of the kids, unloading the dishwasher, switching the laundry, pouring a cup of milk, or turning on Netflix that I don’t even get to brush my teeth until 10am or even eat breakfast before noon. My kids are very early risers so I’m up before 6a.m. in the morning and can count on one hand how many naps I’ve had since December. Can someone please say a prayer that my children will all fall asleep at the same time one day so I can get some peace and quiet!?
April 2016 (Back to work)
My alarm sounds at 5:15a.m.. I get dressed and ready for the day, I wake the boys and have them get dressed(dad leaves clothes out for them to put on-thank goodness!), I pack all bags(purse, diaper bag, breast pump, lunch, Brett’s backpack), I wake Makenna to change and feed her, I grab the boys something for breakfast, and we all head out the door by 6:10a.m.. Whew! I drop the kids off at the sitter’s house and head to work.
I pick the kids up at 2:45p.m., we arrive home around 3:30p.m., the house is clean and dishes are minimal because no one has been home all day. We play outside, we run some errands if needed, we make dinner, exercise, take baths, and all the kids are in bed by 8:15p.m.. The weeks go by quickly but I find myself enjoying my precious hours with my kids and spending way less time yelling at them.
I give huge kudos to moms who’s full time job is to stay at home. I have the privilege of experiencing both (I’m a teacher and get 3 months off in the summers) and let me tell you, summers can get loooong. It usually takes me a few weeks to get into a routine with my kids at home and I’ve found that the less there is to do the more maddening it gets. If I make plans, do activities, and stick to schedules it goes very smoothly but boy do I get tired.
My point is, moms who stay home are working moms too. Honestly, I think they work harder. If staying home with your children is what you choose to do I respect that. Wether you choose to work, or you have to work to make ends meet, that’s ok too. Neither one is less of a mom than the other. There are many days during the school year when I wish I could just stay home with my kids because I feel like they need me. There are also those days I feel guilty because dropping three kids off at the sitter’s house is a bit of a relief. What it comes down to is I love my kids, but I love my sanity and I need to keep it by going to work 9 months out of the year.