Friday, 24 May 2013

Reality Check

As I registered my kids for summer camp last night, I was surprised and pleased to run into a former colleague. Naturally, one of her first questions was whether or not I was enjoying my time at home.

I chose to be honest.

"I'm not sure, even after two years, that I have this whole 'stay at home mom' thing down yet" I admitted.

It's hard for me to admit this. When my oldest daughter was growing up, I desperately wanted to be at home with her; however circumstances did not allow for this to happen. After the other children were born, there was still within me a strong need to work - to contribute financially to our family. However as our situation changed and life happened, the opportunity to remain at home with our kids arrived. My dream could finally be realized!

When I eventually made the decision to stay at home, I was excited to embark on what I anticipated my life would now be. I could have a nice, leisurely shower each morning without worrying about getting out the door to work. I could do educational activities with the kids. I could spend an hour each afternoon either reading a book or starting to write one. My house would be spotless and healthy meals would be prepared each day. Heck, there might even be meals pre-made in the freezer, to pop into the oven on those super hectic days. The yard would be mowed. Toys would be organized and put away when they were finished with. Laundry would be done and put away each week. The kids would be thrilled to spend time with me - we could play, do craft projects, and sing songs.

BOOM! Reality check!

My nice leisurely shower usually takes less than 3 minutes and only happens every few days because:

  • Lingering in the warm water is significantly more stressful when you can hear shrieks of terror (or glee) coming from the other side of the door.
  • It's hard to relax and enjoy yourself when three faces are pressed into the glass asking "why is there hair 'there'?", and "does it feel like the hair on your head Mom?", along with "Can I touch it?" and the obligatory whine "But why not???"

My educational activities with the kids include (but aren't limited to):
  • Exposure to curse words in other languages, some of which don't even exist yet (I'm a visionary).
  • Proficiency in counting backwards from 3.

My hour of afternoon reading or writing:

  • This is usually the time I spend frantically going through countless stacks of paper and other discarded items on the counter looking for the school consent form that was due yesterday or the bill that needed to be paid last week.
  • Is spent researching the most effective way to get rid of the urine smell caused by boys who can't aim.

My house is spotless and healthy meals are prepared daily. OK, let's be real.

Source unknown
  • There are definitely pre-made meals in the freezer. We are fully stocked with frozen pizza and microwaveable dinners I am happy to report. 
  • I 'make the rounds' to each toilet in the morning and regularly throughout the day to ensure that little presents are sent away before starting to smell. Usually Occasionally I forget to check the basement toilet. My apologies in advance if you need to go down there. 

The yard will be mowed regularly:
  • This does happen regularly . . . only because no one - and I mean NO ONE bugs Momma on the mower. WINNING!

Toys are organized and put away when they are finished with:
  • The toys are all organized according to 'where they land' and their relative position to being stepped on.
  • My house looks like the toy box went on a bender and subsequently spewed everywhere.

Laundry will be done and put away on a weekly basis.
  • We all have beautiful closets in our bedrooms. Some even have clothes in them.
  • We have re-purposed our pool table and games room for use as a walk in closet and dressing room. It's a little awkward when we have parties, but hey, they came to see us, not the state of our house, right?

The kids are thrilled to spend time with me doing fun things:

  • We play a lot of hide and seek. They hide because they are in trouble, I seek because I yearn for revenge.
  • I start counting down to bedtime around 9 a.m. most days.

Yup, I'm living the dream! It's not the dream I had anticipated, and it's a heck of a lot harder than I figured - but I am grateful nonetheless. Because let's face it, if things were perfect, I would never be able to appreciate the humor in things like this: 

P.S. - popcorn is a food group, right?

I'm stepping outside of my comfort zone and submitting this to the Yeah Write Moonshine Grid for the weekend. Click on the link below and head on over to read some amazing writing from some wonderful people :)  Happy Weekend Everyone!


  1. Being a stay at home mom is the hardest job on earth. Never let anyone tell you differently.

    1. I dunno Vanessa, I think I'll take my kids over The Swinger any day. But on the plus side, at least you get to look at phallic tomatoes each day ;)

  2. Yeah, the SAHM thing is no joke. I'm part time and, honestly, the non-parenting work is way easier.

    1. I did the SAHM thing part time for a year before deciding to stay at home full time - one would think this would be the best of both worlds, but in reality it was the hardest year of my life! I had such a hard time trying to shift between the two 'identities' if that makes sense - when I was at work, I wanted to be at home, and when I was home I wanted to be at work. It's much nicer (for me anyways) to be home full time, and I am happier (although totally exhausted) but I do still miss the social aspect of work ;) Thanks so much for your comment - I'm looking forward to reading your blog :) Have a great weekend!

  3. THis was one of the best , most honest and therefore funniest things Ive read today! Thanks...I never ever ever wanted to do what you do...being able to escape to the insanity of work was a major necessity for me. My kid has made it to 24 and is doing great living his own life, but Im not so sure either of us would have made it if I did what you do.

    1. Thank you for your kind words! Some days are less challenging than others - and there are days when I fully understand and appreciate why some mothers in the animal kingdom eat their young ;) Thanks for stopping in :)

  4. Glad you joined us on the Moonshine Grid.
    I sometimes wish I could be a SAHM, but I've never stopped to think if I'm idealizing it or not. My husband does the honors in our household.

    1. Thank you for the welcome! In my house, my hubby works away all week and I am the primary caregiver. Some days, I would give anything to switch places with him for a few weeks! That is awesome that your husband has stepped into that role - what a wonderful gift for you and your children :) Have a fantastic weekend!

  5. Popcorn in most definitely a food group. Other food groups include nachos and pancakes.

    1. Oh thank goodness because those are on the menu regularly :)

  6. I love this!! Huge dose of endearing honesty... thanks for not pretending to be perfect!

    1. Thanks Kyla! It was so great to see you again the other night - plus you gave me just the writing prompt I needed ;) see you this summer!

  7. Love the humour in your honesty :D

    1. Thank you! I think it's better to laugh about it than cry (some days anyways haha) :)I appreciate you stopping by :)