12 Surprises of Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom (SAHM)

I had an idealized image of being a SAHM when I found out I was pregnant with Oliver. I knew it’d be hard but I imagined playing with Play-Doh, doing puzzles, coloring, and having fun while being home with the kids. I knew there would be days that I missed interacting with adults (which is a big part of why I work part-time at Evereve) and I knew there’d be days where I didn’t get out of my pajamas. But, I thought overall, this would be a blast! Most days it is a blast. Everyday I do consider myself lucky that I get to stay home with the kids. To be honest, though, there are plenty of days that I wish I was getting ready for work with my husband and not being thrown 16,000 curveballs in the process.

Below are the things that I didn’t expect to happen while being a SAHM. I am not (I repeat, NOT) making a generalization about all moms so don’t flood my inbox with complaints. I am a feminist. I am a Stay-At-Home-Mom. They are not mutually exclusive and I am aware of this. Calm down.

1) There are no breaks. Ever.

When I was in my first trimester and managing a retail store, I’d run to the bathroom to get sick and tell my coworkers that I needed to sit down. I told Fiona that I couldn’t go down the slide with her at the park when I was 9 months pregnant and she had a meltdown. I somehow fit my huge self into the child-size slide and had the most uncomfortable ride of my life. Oliver came 2 days later. Coincidence? #howtoinducelabor

2) Meals? What are those?

My husband, Chris, called on the way home from work the other day around 5 PM. He asked what we were doing for dinner. I realized I hadn’t eaten since a bowl of cereal at 8 AM. You’d think all SAHMs would be super skinny but unfortunately, I snack on what the kids eat all day so it probably adds up to 7 meals in one day.

3) Running errands during the day isn’t worth it.

We had to go to Target to get Oliver some formula on Monday morning. I had him in the swing and Fiona was messing around in my room while I got ready (which means emptying the drawers, hiding things, laughing and running away). I straightened my hair, threw makeup on and put clothes on (I can’t wear yoga pants outside my house. It’s just not in my DNA). Then, I got Fiona ready: new diaper, clothes, brush her teeth, hair.  Check. Then, we got Ollie ready: new diaper, clothes, hat, put in carseat. Check. We make it downstairs in record time.

Then I smelled it. That smell that every parent knows when you’re sweating from spending the last half hour getting ready to go on a super quick trip. Fiona had pooped. I say, “Okay, Fiona, let’s race upstairs and go change!” We change her diaper and then come back downstairs. Ollie had spit up all over himself. He needed a new shirt. We finally left about an hour after we started getting ready. I was pouring sweat and in that crazy/determined state of mind (Fiona would say, “Home? Home?” and I’d reply, “WE JUST LEFT HOME, FIONA, WE’RE GOING TO TARGET. WHY DON’T YOU EVER LISTEN TO ME?”)

4) The downtime is AMAZING. Cherish it. It’s rare but beautiful.

When it’s half an hour until Fiona’s nap, we’ll put on a movie or a show and sit on the couch and cuddle. There is NOTHING BETTER IN THIS WORLD. My favorite is when I’m holding Oliver and Fiona wants to cuddle on my other side. Literally the best thing in the world. That and wine.

5) I am now the default parent/family person.

Dentist appointments for the family? Bills? Husband’s doctor’s appointments? I make ‘em and take care of ‘em. My husband better never leave me or his health will quickly decline (and no, that isn’t a threat).

6) My idea of pop culture has changed.

3 years ago, I was working at Evereve and a customer told me they hadn’t seen The Godfather. My response was a horrified, “WHAT?!” I didn’t understand how someone my age hadn’t seen one of the greatest movies ever made.

2 weeks ago, my customer said she hadn’t seen Frozen and my response was the same… horrified. How could she not see the greatest… kids movie in the last… year? I didn’t even realize how ridiculous that was until I was telling my husband about it later.

7) The movie Groundhog’s Day is too painful to watch.

This is my life. 90% of the days are the same.

8) Instagram is NOT REAL LIFE.

If you follow me on Instagram, please note that those moments are 1/200th of what happens. When I post a picture of my toddler hugging my newborn, it was right after she was attempting to pick him up by his head. If I were to EVER post food on there, please realize that there is no way in hell that I made it myself. I picked that shit up from Byerly’s.

9) Being a SAHM is perfect for someone with AD/HD like me.

The attention span of my toddler is 10 minutes, 15 at best. I’ll spend 20 minutes getting fingerprint out, moving her high chair into the kitchen, stripping her, prepping the kitchen to avoid paint splatter and she paints for 5-10 minutes. Then it’s time for a bath, clean the kitchen, and get her to start a new activity so she doesn’t get in the way of cleanup time. The whole process is an hour for a 5-10 minute activity.

10) I spend WAY less money on a daily basis.

Go out for lunch? Yea right. I’m also not using my car as much so I save a ton of money on gas (I know that when they start sports that is over). I don’t go out for drinks with friends as often and, when I do, I have to leave by 9 so I don’t fall asleep on the bar so I only buy a drink or two.

11) I never pee alone.

‘Nuff said.

12) I get to witness my kids’ constant transformations (no matter how small!).

Fiona loves the baby doll and stroller my mom got her… she pushes it around and yells, “BABY! BABY!” Today, she wanted her baby to do what Oliver did. If I was feeding Oliver, she fed the baby. I held Oliver at the table while she ate breakfast and she had to hold her baby. She had to give the baby a special chair when we watched a movie before nap time (since Oliver was in his swing). She is becoming a KID! I remember playing with toys like they were real people…. that transition happened overnight for Fiona.

Oliver just rolled over. He just freakin’ rolled over! He’s 5 weeks old already and changes everyday. I am SO LUCKY I get to witness all of these amazing transformations and see how it all plays out!

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Postpartum Style- Mom-On-The-Go

Thank God we had the baby. While there are so many crazy things happening with my body right now, at least I don’t need my husband to push me out of bed in the middle of the night 18,000 times to go pee. At least I don’t waddle anymore. At least I don’t have 25 lbs sitting on my front (which makes back-aches and running into things like ALL THE TIME completely inevitable).

Another reason I’m so happy to have the baby (please note that I am intentionally excluding gushing over how much I love my son) is that I am SO excited to wear normal, cute fall clothes again! I can’t fit into my regular jeans and I refuse to wear maternity clothes anymore, so I’m stuck in leggings and a couple of pairs of novelty pants (like the Free People plaid ones below).

Below, see my postpartum style that is also my “mom-on-the-go” style. Everything is washable (or I can at least put on the Hand Wash cycle of my machine) so I don’t have to worry about ruining my clothes with the wonderful things that go along with being a mom of 2 under 2 (spit up, poop, puke, pee, oh I could go on).

Outfit #1: Walk around the neighborhood, dinner with the kids, shopping!

I paired the Free People plaid pants (that I was so obsessed with that I purchased while 9 months pregnant) with a graphic tee and sneakers. I put a lace tank under it because the outfit was feeling a little edgy/masculine and I decided on a blazer instead of a leather jacket to make it more sophisticated. Of course, I don’t have any regular blazers… only ones with zippers and leather on them but still! I wore this out to dinner with the family and felt totally rocker-chic!

FP Pants

Outfit #2: Walk around neighborhood, Park, Grocery Store, Coffee with a Friend

I paired a Free People sweater from last year with a long, striped tank top. I can’t wear my jeans yet so I’m stuck with leggings and, since I refuse to wear leggings without covering my butt, I threw on a long tank top. The sweater is pretty flowy so I wanted to put something that shows I’m not as wide as the sweater is. I finished the look with a headband that my toddler kept taking out… fun times.

I wore my Aquatalia riding boots with this outfit. These boots are an investment but I swear, when you have young kids, with the amount of shit you chase them through (sometimes it’s literally shit- goose or otherwise), it’s worth it to invest in a great pair of black and another pair of brown riding boots.

FP sweater

Outfit # 3: Yet another Free People sweater (do you sense a trend?) with the Free People lace slip underneath. I am OBSESSED with this lace slip! Slips with lace at the bottom are SO trendy right now and it’s absolutely do-able as a mom! It makes any outfit look romantic and dressed up but it feels like a basic tank. I already bought a second one in gray and can’t wait to wear it!

Because there isn’t too much going on in my outfit I added a really big scarf that I took off about 100 times because I get the postpartum sweats (which is SUPER glamorous).

FP sweater2

One thing that is REALLY exciting for moms-on-the-go right now is that layering is still so trendy. Layering can SAVE us! I know we all know the feeling of going into Target in several layers because it’s 40 degrees out. Then your kid escapes the cart and you’re running after him or her. All of a sudden, you’re pouring sweat just trying to keep them in the stupid cart. Instead of wearing a tank with a Lululemon zip up and yoga pants, we can wear multiple layers that we can shed during our Target trips! It also makes it easier when a friend calls for an impromptu drink of cup of coffee…. It’s hard enough getting my kids ready. When I have to get myself ready on top of that, it’s all over.

Life After Pregnancy… 2 Under 2

I’m BAAAAAAACK! So Oliver was born 3 weeks ago! It’s true what they say: the second labor is WAY easier (although the fact that he weighed 2.5 more than Fiona— that was definitely worse). He was also face up with his head to the side so it was especially difficult. He was in distress so I needed oxygen and at one point, I just tilted my head to get the oxygen mask off because I was so tired I couldn’t lift my arms. The doctor laughed at me and it took everything inside of me to stop myself from flipping her off (and… I couldn’t raise my arms. But I was mentally screaming at her).

Oliver is super cute. He’s pretty good at letting me sleep (he wakes up a couple of times throughout the night but is okay at getting back to sleep… I won’t complain because I’ve heard horror stories from other moms!). Fiona absolutely loves him and is obsessed with holding and feeding him (see picture below). She really loves to pick him up by his feet and by his head which is a super fun twist… keeps me on my toes!

Pic- Fiona and Ollie

(One of) The only issue(s): Fiona has become a crazy person. She is mommy-obsessed to the point where she’ll cry if someone talks to me! She wants to be on my lap/in my arms/holding hands/the only person in my world 24/7. Has anyone else experienced this? I know it’s because of the new baby… her world has been rocked and she wants the attention. The problem is my brother came last weekend and she wouldn’t separate from my husband or me and play— not the best way to get to know your niece!

Do you have any tips on how to reassure a toddler that you aren’t leaving them? That they’re still important in your world? I’ll tell her, “I’m going to get the laundry, I’m coming right back” and she’s screaming as though she just fell off the monkey bars. I feel like if I hold her hand/pick her up all the time she’ll just keep this going until she’s 18 and still sleeping in my bed (okay, maybe it won’t be that bad), but is there anything else I could be doing? HELP!!