Yesterday I took the day off, not just to watch the festivities but we were having an issue with childcare anyway so I decided to spend the day with my daughter and President Obama. It was a good day but there were moments when I thought to myself…. “I am such a bad mom, I cannot do this.” It just seemed like my daughter would not slow down. She wanted to watch Elmo, then she wanted me to read Elmo, and wanted banana chips and nothing else. Of course, we ran out so that spelled trouble. Then, lunch time was trying. What do I feed this child? I mean, she snacks all day as it is, drinks milk non-stop, and then now I gotta figure out breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hmm… wow! It was hard, sure, but I gotta say, as the day wore on, it was fun too. For example, we went for a nice walk in the beautiful weather and she played at the park. She wore me out more than she herself got wore out. We were at the park a good hour but she did not understand the concept of “it is time to go home now”. She did not want to leave and it took some manipulation to get her home… for example, I had her running and we did a pretend race and then, we slowed down to take in the water stream and things like that – otherwise, she was not leaving that playground!
Stay at home moms have a tough job- they are constantly in a routine dominated by their children. If they have multiples, it is even harder I am sure. As a parent who stays home, you have to be mindful of many things for the care of an infant and young toddler: diaper changes (your sense of smell better be intact or else), feedings (not just basic meals but snack time too), play time (this may or may not include an outdoor play regiment – depends on weather really), and the ever important nap time(s). If the child is younger, they may take multiple naps. If the child is older, you may be lucky to get them down for an hour. Then in the evenings, you have to also focus on bath time and sleep time routines. Since I am a working parent, on most days, I have to try to get dinner and that usually means frozen stuff or going out to pick something up or ordering in, and give my daughter a bath and then try to get her down at a reasonable hour which these days has turned in wee hours of the night. Routine is not that important because I have to adjust it to meet my schedule some days as well. But, as a stay at home parent, I can see where routine is not only helpful, it is a must!! Without a nap routine, a feeding routine, or changing routine, you are truly run by your child’s schedule and as a stay at home parent, for your own sanity, your child needs to be on a timetable. I gotta say, I am looking forward to maternity leave, and after I work out some kinks in the system, I am sure I will be returning to work—right as I start getting used to being a stay at home mom. Go figure! All in all, I think parenting is the best job in the world – it is the hardest job but the one that yields the best rewards too! I cannot wait to follow the progress of my child as she grows into what I hope is a great person. Til next time, Happy Parenting!