I admire stay-at-home moms and moms who work full-time jobs. Either way, those moms are Wonder Women. I am a real estate agent so I have the ability to set my own schedule…when I’m not catering to everyone else’s anyway. Not gonna lie, it’s pretty awesome some of the time. And it’s one of the reasons I got into real estate in the first place- the hubs and I decided it would be especially nice for me to have a flexible schedule once kiddos were in the picture. I am incredibly lucky and grateful for the opportunity to keep my son home when I can, and I’m relieved I don’t need to have us both up, dressed, and anywhere by a certain time every single morning. That’s not to say I don’t have to do that some or even most of the time, and I’m only able to keep him one day a week every once in a while, but still, I really do have the best of both worlds.
Even with a non-strict and varying schedule I find myself annoyed, tired, and stressed much of the time. In my opinion I’ve done a fairly decent job these past 9 months so I’m thinking each mom struggles because each baby is a challenge in it’s own nerve-racking way, or ways. If it’s not a struggle with sleep it’s with poop, or nursing, or bottles, or allergies, or God knows what. There’s always something. But if there wasn’t something to complain about what the hell would we do with our time? Maybe I overreact, or expect too much, or have a short fuse, or feel sorry for myself…but I’m gonna pretend none of that is true and blame the kid. It’s been working well for me so far.
I remember around the 8-week mark admitting to my friend that I believed having a baby was the biggest mistake I ever made. And I meant it. It was horrible. That morning I’d given up trying to get the little jerk to go back to sleep in his room and brought him into bed with us, hoping for maybe an hour or two of sleep. An hour or two of sleep was like a vacation – a depressing one where maybe you get the runs and lose your wallet, but you’d still rather be on vacay than the office, ya know? Anyway, there he was laying between me and my husband, sucking away on his paci, and it was all I could do to not scream because that sucking noise made me wanna punch a hole in the wall, and I knew that d@mn baby was only doing it to piss me right off. I left the bedroom (baby and dad can fend for themselves – peace out!) and went to the guest room to attempt sleep, but instead I ended up ugly crying for the next 2.5 hours.
Things didn’t exactly get better by the time I officially went back to the office. With the opportunity of dropping the boy at daycare and working from home when at all possible, how was it such a struggle? I’m starting to use the past-tense because in the past month things have really turned around. So it wasn’t after 4 weeks or 6 weeks or 3 months like the liars all lied- I mean, like my friends all encouraged, but whatever, I’ll take it and try to repress the memories the best I can.
At the start, in order to be somewhere by 9:00 am I had to get up by 6:00, usually on 4-5 hours of sleep that was broken up into 3-4 chunks. Dumb. Granted, I was still nursing (time consuming!!) and the daycare we decided on is a 20-25 min drive from our house. I know there are moms with rigid schedules who make it work day in and day out, and I just ponder to myself…how do they do it? It’s easy to come down on myself for being frazzled or feeling overwhelmed because in my mind I have it relatively “easy.” But everyone’s definitions of hard and easy are different, and honestly I have nothing to compare all this motherhood cr@p to. Maybe my baby is a total psycho. Maybe he’s an angel. Balls if I know. All I know is he’s my greatest challenge, my favorite, and the cutest baby that ever was and ever will be. My apologies to all the other moms and babies out there, and also to any future children I may bear, but it’s science.
My mornings don’t start much later these days but at least I have more sleep under my belt and I get more things accomplished. They are spent changing, dressing, and feeding my son, changing him again, and trying to keep him happy and within eyesight while I’m getting ready by singing and dancing around naked, & making funny noises and faces while trying to do my makeup and hair. When he’s cranky all I can really do is get ready faster, which is quite an accomplishment because I’ve been doing the mom speed shower and get ready routine for a while – it’s impressive when I can shave off even more time (and that’s the only shaving happening in this scenario). Throw in my workout before he gets up, feeding and letting out the dogs, and trying to make-shift some sort of breakfast for myself, and BAM! I’m a scatterbrained, sweaty mess who mumbles to herself and forgets something just about every time she heads out the door.
When the time came for daycare and going back to work, it was definitely bittersweet. I was emotional about leaving him and how quickly it came, but at the same time I was grateful to be able to pawn him off on someone else, especially on the rough mornings after the rough nights when I would sob right along with him the entire drive to daycare. Having time for myself and some adult interaction is key to maintaining my sanity.
My productivity level is shockingly low when I’m taking care of the kid. Everything is a production and takes 3x as long, from grocery shopping to going through work emails, so I typically opt to accept it, turn Netflix on in the background, and do what the baby wants to do. Housekeeping, cooking, errands, fitness, personal hygiene…these are all things that suffer unless he’s asleep or at daycare. So when it comes to stay-at-home moms, again I find myself wondering, how do they do it?
I guess the easy answer to how a mom has the super power ability to take care of her kids and manage a household regardless of if she has a job or stays home is ya do what ya gotta do. That seems like downplaying things to me. Moms are heroes. So, For Those About To Mom…I Salute You.
Note: This is about moms because I’m a mom. But please replace all the “mom” verbiage with “dad” if you’d like. Unless it has to do with pushing a baby out a vag or feeding a baby with boobies, “mom” and “dad” are interchangeable. Don’t mean to discriminate against all the BA dads out there.