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!

Advertisements

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!!

Maternity Style- 37 weeks & Toddler Style- Way Cuter

So I’ve had enough- I’m sick of being pregnant. Everyday tops out at 70 degrees and it’s becoming the perfect fall weather for fashion. I can’t WAIT until I can fit into my jeans and regular clothes again… I LOVE playing dress up! I’m at the point in my pregnancy where I can wear only about half of my maternity clothes because at the slightest gust of wind, all my “mid thigh” (but no longer mid thigh) dresses fly up and show EVERYTHING because my belly is so big and it’s stretching out my dresses. I have 25 pounds sitting on my belly, pulling all my tops and dresses up. Therefore, I only have a few clothing options which leaves me with incredibly tight, long tops with skirts, jeans or shorts (depending on the weather). I love dressing it all up with a LOT of jewelry and fun shoes (and a jacket at night). Below is a typical (kind of boring but like I said, not much fits me anymore!) outfit for a 9 month pregnant lady who would still like to like put together 🙂 It’s a Splendid tissue tee with maternity shorts and Evereve jewelry.

maternity style- 37 weeks maternity style- 37 weeks- 4

Okay my husband was taking these pictures and he said, “Now you’re digging, you’re an animal!!” like Austin Powers and I can’t help but post this really cheesy picture!

maternity style- 37 weeks- 2

Aaaaaaand here are the shoes– I’m OBSESSED with these shoes. They’re by Dr. Scholl’s- real calf hair and an Evereve exclusive! They are SO comfortable!!

maternity style- 37 weeks shoes

Okay, now for the fun part! Just because I am sick of my maternity wardrobe, doesn’t mean I don’t get to be creative and trendy. Having a little girl means you get to dress them up and live vicariously through their style (until they spill all over the outfit). Just for funsies, below are a couple of outfits I put together for Fiona… combining pieces we already have and new ones. It’s so nice now that she isn’t growing out of her clothes every 2 months, I feel like I can finally get trendy pieces and she’ll ACTUALLY wear them! I don’t see the need of buying her bootcut jeans…. I just won’t put her in them. The best investment we’ve made are vests because she’s been wearing them all summer and she’ll wear them through the fall (okay, maybe the fur one isn’t the BEST investment but how could I NOT buy her a fur vest? Seriously?). Also… gray jeans? So trendy right now so again, how could I NOT buy them for Fiona? That’s talkin’ crazy….. Fiona- Clothes 1 Fiona- Clothes 2 Fiona- Clothes 3 Fiona- Clothes 5 Fiona- Clothes 6 Fiona- Clothes 7 Fiona-Clothes 4

Sir, Please Remove Your Hand From My Belly. Immediately.

I’m sure this topic has been written about extensively but I can’t help myself. I was at the park the other day with the tyrant also known as Fiona (she’s 20 months old now!). She was owning the park, flying down the slide, trying to climb up the rock wall meant for 10 year olds (that I can’t physically follow her on because I am the size of a house and have my own orbit). At 8.5 months pregnant, I surprise myself when I make it all the way to the park without having to stop for a snack break (let alone attempt to climb a rock wall).

So it’s only 9 AM because I won’t go after that because I’ll start melting once it hits 80 degrees (pregnancy is very glamorous) so we’re alone at the park (except for the geese that are NOT afraid of us and put the “squeeze” on us by coming right up to the edge of the park and daring us to go out into their field). All of a sudden, these 2 guys walk up and I assumed they were just casually strolling until they park it on a bench nearby. The weather is unusually crappy for summer in Minnesota: super humid, 85 (feels like 100) and kind of misting/raining. I brought a towel to be a dutiful slide wiper-offer for Fiona so she could get in her daily kicks.

One of the guys waves at me and points up to the sky and shouts, “RAIN!” It was barely sprinkling… as in, I wasn’t worried about my IPhone sitting out. I’m on level 199 on Candy Crush; trust me, if anyone’s worried about their phone getting destroyed (and all that hard work), it’s me.

This guy was probably late forties and had a huge smile on his face. Fiona said, “HI!” with a huge smile and walked up to them and started dancing. My little ham. I walk over in case she attacks them with hugs (or, let’s be real about my biggest concern, they pick her up and run away). The guy LITERALLY STANDS UP AND TOUCHED MY BELLY FOR A FULL 7 SECONDS (I counted) and said, “What are you, 7 months pregnant?” I was horrified. Not only was he way off (although let’s be honest, I was a little flattered that I look like I’m ready to pop and he thought I had 2-3 months left but that wasn’t the important part!!) but he was touching my belly! It wasn’t in a weird, sexual way that made me uncomfortable it was the fact that, oh, I don’t know, A GROWN MAN WAS TOUCHING MY BELLY. I literally moved away while he was touching it, grabbed Fiona’s hand and said, “Well, have a good day. Hope it doesn’t rain all over you” and I put Fiona in her stroller and we left. I’ve never been more uncomfortable (okay that might not be true… I’m very awkward by nature).

Why is it that people think it’s okay to touch a pregnant woman’s belly? Have you ever walked up to someone that isn’t pregnant and stroked their stomach? Oh, that’d be weird? SO IS TOUCHING THE BELLY OF A PREGNANT PERSON! Okay, if you know me you can touch my belly— it’s hard not to when it’s likely in your personal space. If you don’t know me and just want to remember the days when you/your partner was pregnant… hands off! I wish this was a singular event but this is probably the 3rd stranger to touch my stomach this pregnancy (and the 7th from both my pregnancies). I don’t understand the motivation or frankly, the balls someone must have to reach out and touch someone’s body in such a weird way.

If you’re someone who touches pregnant bellies and you can’t help yourself, please enlighten me. Is there something I’m missing? Is it now socially acceptable to grab the belly of a stranger?

Here’s a picture of Fiona on the way to the park that day. I am no longer posting photos of myself because when I see a camera aimed at me I literally scream and ninja jump away (nothing against pregnant women… I’m all for women being beautiful at every size but I just don’t really want to see myself through a lens right now…).

Fiona- before walk

Well That’s Why You Have a Black Eye…..

Fiona and I were at Target last weekend. Please note the context of the situation: the two of us flew down to Florida to see my mom (my mom was hospitalized with pneumonia but had to drive back a couple of days later. My 19-month old and I went down to help… then we realized that we were the saddest road trip group of all time: my mom had to stop every 4 hours to avoid blood clots since she still had pneumonia, I had to stop every 1.5-2 hours to avoid blood clots since I’m pregnant and the size of the house, and Fiona…. well, let’s just say bringing a 19-month old on a road trip isn’t the most fun thing in the world. Also, none of us were allowed to lift over 20 lbs. Winners.).

Below is a picture of Fiona passed out in the car… she did such a great job on the trip!

Fiona- Road Trip

Below is a picture of Fiona with her new shades on in Florida… She had so much fun!

FIona- FL

When we came back, we had one day without my husband and my 11 year old stepdaughter. Fiona did so well at Target, she said “Hi” to everyone there at least 15 times (or until they said, “Hi” back). I’ve noticed she gets very forceful with her “Hi’s” when it’s a frat-looking type guy… I think she already has a “type.”

When Fiona says, “Hi” her whole face lights up, she waves and she has a huge smile on her face. It’s impossible to be upset when a toddler says hi. Am I right?

Except for this one B (I didn’t really set that up so you could make an objective opinion, did I? Oh well, I forgive myself). We were in line at checkout (Fiona had done wonderfully…. even after just getting back from a 5-day road trip). She was saying, “Hi” to everyone and the woman behind us was probably mid-50’s and had a black eye. Fiona said, “Hi” to her and she said, “Hi” in an unhappy voice. Then Fiona said it again (okay maybe like 3 more times) and the woman said, “Ummm… can’t you say anything else?” with a super snotty tone. She continued, “Can’t you say puppy? Happy? Anything? How old are you, 1 1/2? You should be able to say more than, ‘Hi.’”

WOW was I annoyed. Fiona was being so sweet and here this woman is, reprimanding her on her vocabulary. I replied (maybe in a bit of an aggressive tone), “She can say about 50 words… she just chooses to say, “Hi” to everyone because she’s in such a good mood.” The cashier got uncomfortable… I could tell she agreed with me and she kept smiling and saying, “Hi” every time Fiona said it first. Everyone else in the store was eating out of the palm of her hand… except for the crazy woman with the black eye.

So the woman responds, “Well… I guess I’m just sick of hearing her say, “Hi.’” I went silent because otherwise I might say something else… something that I would either regret or be SUPER proud of later. On our way out, the black-eyed woman said, “Can you say bye? Puppy? SOMETHING other than, ‘Hi?’” Fiona looked at her, said, “Hi” and then said, “Bye” to everyone else while waving. That’s my girl- NEVER GIVE IN!

It reminded me of one of my super close friends on a trip to Macy’s. She was there with her 10-month old and 3-year old who was being pretty difficult. My poor friend had been by herself with the kids for a week while her husband was out of town. She was in the state that all moms know: sweaty, trying to wrangle both kids while somehow completing your mission. Her oldest let out a really high-pitched shriek while laughing and a woman nearby said, “Well, THAT hurt my ears.” My friend turned to her (she had been putting up with her toddler’s mood swings all day) and said, “You know, it’s people like you that make moms feel bad about themselves” and walked away.

When my friend first told me this story, I thought, WOW she must have been fed up with her kid to say that! Then about 2 minutes later, I thought…. wow… that stranger who said snapped at her was so rude. I hope I would have just said what my friend said (and not included anything that showcased my sailor’s mouth).

I’m not one of those people that brings my young kids to nice restaurants and expects everyone to be accepting when they throw tantrums. However, as a stay-at-home mom, I have errands to run and I expect to be able to bring my kids to the coffee shop, the mall, Target, etc. and not have other people say rude things to me (whether it be, “Can you say SOMETHING other than ‘Hi’? or “Well, that hurt my ears”) just because my toddler/child is acting like… well, a toddler/child. Kids throw fits… it doesn’t make me a bad mom. I think it’s better for me to let them sort it out than to give in and rush out of wherever I am without getting my errands done.

Now, when we were in St. Charles, MO on our road trip last week and Fiona had what I think the book of world records would even admit was the biggest blowout of all time… I get why we got some dirty looks. I’ll accept wrinkled noses when my toddler gets shit out of her diaper, up her back and even on the floor (REALLY? THE FLOOR? Yes, the floor.). Okay, I get it. But is it too much to ask for people to be civil when my kid’s saying, “Hi” or when my friend’s kid has had enough and let’s out a shriek? Thanks for the commentary but…. no thanks. How should we respond? My friend is right… it is people like her that make us feel bad about ourselves… but we shouldn’t be put in that awkward position of having to apologize when we’re the ones dealing with our kids, right? So what should we say?

Below is Fiona with the crazy eyes… okay I can maybe see why she’d freak someone out.
Fiona- Crazy Eyes