When I was little, all I ever wanted to be was a Mom.
I thought it would be awesome. I'd just hang out with my kids all day, snuggle with them and then tuck them into bed with a story and a kiss every night. Now that I am much older (and a tad bit wiser), I realize that I was missing a few parts of that equation...
- Kids don't do what YOU want them to do....they do what THEY want to do.
- They are incredibly messy.
- They can be more exhausting than running a marathon, and you don't get a medal at the end.
- For at least the first decade of their lives, it is probably not a good idea to let them wake up before you. If you're lucky, this just means they may order a movie (or 3) and have it added onto your cable bill. If you're less lucky, they will paint the house in a jar of Nutella. (If you're incredibly unlucky....that's not Nutella....)
- When they are awake and under your care, your own wants and needs fade into the background. Basically, you become invisible. YOU will probably forget you exist sometimes!
- They can toy with your emotions more than a middle-school boyfriend. (But oftentimes you will get a big hug in the end, or maybe a cup of freshly-picked flowers!) (....from that garden you've been working so hard on all spring!...)
These days I find myself worn out by noon and ready for bed at 7pm. The 3rd child that is turning into an actual being is already adding onto the weight on my shoulders and the panic is beginning to set in. How am I going to be able to do this with 3 kids??? I just got the routine down for the first 2! And having a toddler and an infant at the same time? Clearly I have lost my mind.
Note to self: Buy twin beds for the master bedroom to be sure this doesn't happen again...
I honestly thought that being a psych nurse was the hardest job I've ever had....Now I glare at my husband as he leaves to work on the same type of floor I used to frequent 40 hours a week because there is a very good chance that his day will be easier than mine. Not necessarily physically easier (usually), and requiring the use of higher functioning brain cells (probably)....but easier.
To put it in words my former-coworkers (and perhaps even my husband) may understand best:
Being a stay-at-home parent is basically being on a 1:1 with the same patient every single day for a few years at a time until they are old enough to reliably contract for safety.
And when they are asleep, they remain on random frequent checks to be sure that they are still breathing/not playing with electrical sockets/actually in their room where they are supposed to be and not wandering the neighborhood wearing just a pair of your slippers and their underwear.
I now LITERALLY live at my job.
Even the most hardcore workaholics can't say the same.
I wouldn't trade it for the world, but maybe for a 15 minute nap?
Parenting is not for the faint-of-heart.
Twin beds for the master bedroom....put it on your to-do list!
Stay sane. (...At least give it your best shot!)