Stay at home? Not so much.

It seems like forever ago that I was on maternity leave for 4 months. It was pretty phenomenal, however, it was not the cakewalk that I had envisioned. Some days the babies were fussy and would cry for hours. I would get so frustrated, the tears would flow and I would look forward to walking around a grocery store or Target by myself once my husband came home. When I went back to work, I felt so much more patient and the boys got into a wonderful routine and slept through the night. As they’ve gotten older I think of all the great stuff I could do with them during the day and I sometimes wonder if I could pull off being a stay at home mom (Ed. note – my student loans total more than some countries GNP so it’s not really an option, just me daydreaming).

Well today, I got my answer…. and it was a resounding no, I couldn’t. Our daycare is closed for the week for summer break and luckily my parents are coming tomorrow afternoon. But for today, I took the day off for some quality time with my boys. When I work nights, I usually spend the morning with them but take them to daycare around 9:30 so my morning started like any other. They had morning bottles, then breakfast, we played and I stretched Caleb while Wyatt tried to climb up me like the AggroCrag. After their first nap (of their three daily naps, don’t judge me) I got them dressed, teeth brushed (all 6×2=12!) and we headed out the door.

Our first stop was to Michaels to look for some crafty stuff for their party. I really just wanted an actual crafty person I met in the aisle to volunteer to make all the crap I’ve pinned on Pinterest for me. No such luck. We spent the first 20 minutes aimlessly roaming the store while I got my bearings and then I managed to get what I needed. I noticed Wyatt was crying and when I instinctively reached down to give him his binky I couldn’t find it. Oh dear Jesus. I needed to find that pacifier. I asked a staff member who made an announcement while I tried to retrace my steps. Luckily, it was located in the framing section, crisis averted!

The other funny thing about Michaels is that they don’t have automatic doors. You really take note of these things while pushing a double wide stroller around. I opened one side of the double doors but of course it was too narrow. Then I pulled a move where my right arm was reaching over the stroller holding one of the doors and my left butt cheek was holding the other door open. All the while my left hand was pushing the stroller through the doorway while simultaneously trying to avoid rolling over my toes. It’s not pretty folks, but it gets the job done.

At this point, I was starving so I did what any self-respecting mom would do. I ordered Chik-fil-A through the drive-thru and ate in the parking lot. Yup, no shame. At least I got a salad… with fries to counter the healthiness of the salad of course.

On the drive to the mall the boys decided to take a nap and so I was forced to sit in the parking lot once again with the car running for 40 minutes until they woke up. Seems counterproductive but if I would’ve gone home they would’ve been awake the minute I took them out of the car, so I chose to ride it out.

Once awake, we made our way to the family bathroom in the mall only to find it terribly crowded. One woman was sitting on the bench inside nursing her little baby, another mom was with a toddler waiting for her other child to use the restroom and a third mom had just stepped up to the changing table so I had to wait. I pride myself in how fast I change diapers. I’m no muss, no fuss and I guess because I have to change two at a time I’ve had extra practice (one could even say double). This mom took a while and when it was finally my turn I thought I would show these other moms how speedy I could be. Pretty pathetic now that I write it, but whatever. I grab Wyatt first and immediately feel his rump is wet. Oh geez. This isn’t good. Low and behold, we have a repeat of a few weeks ago and Wyatt has once again blown out his diaper. It was pretty ferocious and sitting in a carseat really didn’t help his cause. Of course he happened to be in a squirmy mood and his hand made his way to the dirty diaper. The convo with my son went a little like this:

Oh, no. Wyatt. No. No. Don’t do that. Oh no. Give me your hand. Mommy’s got to wipe it. Oh no. Don’t touch that. Oh God, Wyatt, no not Mommy’s sunglasses. Oh geez.

Meanwhile, I’m frantically ripping wipes out of the case and trying to pin him down to get him clean. It was not my finest performance. His shorts were soiled and of course I don’t learn my lesson and we don’t have another pair (but there was a clean onesie!). All the while, this small, cramped family bathroom is starting to reek.

The little boy, waiting with his mom, comes up with this gem, “Mommy? Why does that baby’s poop smell so bad?” Oh man. I was super embarrassed. Good thing my back was to them. The ladies were super nice and I managed to change Caleb without incident. Wyatt remained pant-less for the rest of the day. At least this time we were at an outing where we could purchase more clothes!

The boys ate their lunch and we walked around for a bit but they got a little stir-crazy and Caleb screamed his head off the entire way out of the mall. The pity looks are really funny when you’ve got a screaming kid. You kind of stare straight ahead and try not to make eye contact with anyone.

At home the boys were both really active and wanting my attention at all times. Wyatt is able to pull up to a stand but I’m his favorite thing to pull up on. And then he just stands there clutching onto me, so proud, while I’m rendered motionless so as not to make him fall. I say this like I really mind, which I don’t because it’s just so cute. Admittedly, it’s not always easy to play with Caleb because we have to stay in arms reach whenever he’s sitting on the floor or on his little step. He doesn’t like being on his tummy for too long and we try to limit the time he spends in his little seat. After spending the afternoon playing with these two on my own, I was utterly spent. When Shane came home, I felt that sense of relief that I did so many months ago during maternity leave. Maybe I could get used to staying at home if I gave it a few more days, but let me tell you, I worked harder today, on my day off, then I ever do at work. Seriously. Props to all stay-at-home moms out there! You’re my heroes!

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I'm a working mom of three fantastic boys: Caleb, Wyatt and Parker. My husband, Shane, and I live in the Washington DC suburbs where we enjoy playgrounds, pools and never getting to sleep in. This blog is a journal of our day-to-day lives as well as a chronicle of Caleb's progress after a recent spinal surgery to alleviate the effects of his cerebral palsy.

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3 comments on “Stay at home? Not so much.
  1. Tante Chris says:

    Hang in there Ali…Mom help is on the way! You deserve the break !! Enjoy your visit with your parents.

  2. Sharon says:

    Have a great time w/ your parents. And knowing your Mom she will be a big help..

  3. Corrie Anne says:

    Oh wow. That sounds like a crazy day!!! I would love for someone in the aisle to craft all my Pins for me as well!! Haha

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