Today marks two weeks of being a stay-at-home-mom. Two weeks. Only two weeks? While I have stayed at home each summer prior to this one, this one feels different because I know it isn’t going to end. And that, my friends, feels so daunting right now. I mean only two weeks? Hasn’t it been like two years? It feels like two years, or two months or two million hours? Yes, clearly I am adjusting well. These last two weeks have already been such a humbly and frustrating experience for me. One in which I have learned more about myself than my children. Here are some updates on our life right now.
Me: Staying at home is nice. I know, I just said it’s awful, but my house is clean. No really, it’s clean. Like I got down on my hands and knees to scrub the floor in the like the first time ever, although I won’t mention what this exercise taught about me the grout on our kitchen floor. My laundry is done. Books are being read. I get to drink all of my coffee in the morning. Breakfast gets eaten. It’s nice. But also hard. I have learned that while I worked so hard at trying to become more patient in my teaching career, I really lose it at home. Don’t get me wrong, I am still plugging away at it, but it is so much harder here. Why is it always harder to be patient with our loved ones than with strangers or people more in the periphery of our life? I have also learned that staying at home brings out the introvert in me. I just want to sit and read books and have everyone leave me alone. But then, the extrovert that often pushes her way around inside is yelling, “why are you doing this to me? Where are the people? You can’t keep me in here!” So we venture out, and I often regret it because naps aren’t had and children throw temper tantrums, and the introvert says in her Eeyore-ish way, “See, we should have just stayed home. Nothing good ever comes of going out.” Sometimes, I feel that going out becomes more about me escaping, although I justify it as “an outing for the kids.”
Charlotte, my first born, and my mini-me in most every way, ends up getting the brunt of what I have learned is often my brutal perfectionism. I have been starting to notice just how nit-picky I am. Too much noise bothers me. Too much movement bothers me. That’s not where those toys go. Why have those things been sitting on the floor for all of three seconds? It’s rough on both of us. And so it isn’t any wonder to me that my stubborn, willful, opinionated daughter, who also happens to be a three-year old, fights back and says “no” to all the control I put over her. Saaaay whhaaat? Now, now, I know you are all so surprised to find that I have a child like this. I can imagine it wouldn’t surprise you to hear that there is perhaps an unhealthy amount of the words “no” and “stop” around here. So, I’ve decided that I need to go back and read this because this girl need some breathing space from my control. I know because I would. My goal is to let it go a little – something I should know by now, since I hear the *bleeping* song every. three.seconds. I need to enjoy them more. I want to be aware of how playful and happy I am really being around them, so that I don’t feel like I am just grumpy and nagging. #difficultlifegoals.
Charlotte: She is a fierce little thing. She knows what she wants. She loves all things pink, sparkly, and Disney. She wants to wear dresses each and every day, and insists that they twirl. She is still baby enough that she wants to be held and snuggled and carried around at times, but she is also independent enough to insist upon buckling herself into the carseat, picking out her own clothes, and getting out her own food. Three is also such a wonderful age in many ways. She sings songs all the time, most of the time from the movie Frozen, but other favorites include: The Star-Spangled Banner, Jesus Loves Me, and lots of other little tunes she learned at school. She also pretends now. She cooks me pretend food, and gets her bags to pretend to go to the grandmas’ houses. She pretends to be the mommy – okay, no this one she sassily tells me she IS sometimes. I just tell her that if she’s the mommy, then she has to change all the poopy diapers. That usually quiets her down a little. She makes little houses out of blocks for her ponies and acts things out with them. She “reads” books to herself. When we aren’t power-struggling with each other, she is really rather pleasant.
Britton: Gah! Could this kid be cuter? I mean look at the guy. Those blue eyes. That round head. Those eyelashes. Why DO boys often get better eyelashes than us girls? This boy has my heart. He walks (yes, he walks now!) over to me, smile on his face, and plows into me to give me hugs. All. The. Dang. Time. It is wonderful. He loves to snuggle and give kisses. And just sit by you (sometimes, at least). Because Charlotte is so movement oriented, having a kid that just sits is, well…sigh…it’s nice. He loves his sister so much, and wants to do all the things she is doing, something she often finds frustrating. But sometimes they actually do play nicely together. Besides giving hugs and following Charlotte around, his other major passion is food. The kid can EEEAT. Any time you are eating, expect to be feeding him.
Dean: Is doing his best to adjust to the fact that now when he gets home, I need a break from those sweet darling kiddos. He will take them outside or play in another room with them, just to give me a small break. He also watches them for a good portion of time on the weekends. On the job front, he has had several interviews, which have gone well, but we still haven’t heard back yet. So we are waiting. We know we want to move, it is just a matter of when. He always seems to handle all this stress better than I do, and is not as put off by the clutter, chaos and mess that children are at times, as I am.
Overall, I am glad it is Friday, and that I have another week to try again. Only…let’s do the weekend first eh?