Since I was 16 years old I’ve always had a job. I’ve had jobs back to back while in school, through college, and every time I’ve moved. I’ve done everything from telling at a bank, to fast food, to movie theaters, day care, janitorial work, and of course all sorts of journalism jobs.
After having my daughter I knew I’d go back to work because my husband was finishing up school and looking for a new career himself. This time I’ve had a little more leeway in deciding what I want to do job-wise, but I’ve been in no hurry to leave the workforce just yet. I told myself maternity leave would be a good trial for me to see what life is like as a stay at home mom, and boy has it been interesting.
I’m only six weeks in with six weeks to go and so far we’ve gone on several play dates, soccer practices, a trip to the pool, and other random outings. I always thought if I was a stay at home mom, all of those kids activities I’ve been pinning on Pinterest boards for my kids would be put to good use. We’d be doing science experiments, making our own playdough and sidewalk chalk. I have more than 100 pins on that board and guess how many I’ve done on maternity leave? … ZIP.
First of all, I don’t know how people manage to keep the house clean when they’re home all day. I admire people who can do that, but it’s just not within my capabilities. Then, when I think of doing some DIY project I have to ask myself how much messier the house is going to get. I used to just pick a few crafts up on the way home with my daughter and we’d craft it up between dinner and bed time. Now I have all day and I can’t seem to make plans to create something fun. Then there’s the planning and prep work involved in “what are we gonna do today?”
Playdates have been lifesavers for my lack of creativity. We went to my friend Taylor’s house and the kids made juice and played til dinnertime.
A few weeks ago I made a nice list of free story times around town, and other free regular events like music time, or baby day at the children’s museum. I had it down to a schedule–And I lost it. I haven’t had the energy to attempt to make another yet.
I can’t help but feel like my child is now dumber for having hung out with me for the last six weeks. The other day I told my daughter I’d help her with something in 10 seconds, and she started counting “One, three, four…” Really? Have I been that horrible of a mom to where she forgot how to count already?
I tried to make up for this, and her break from preschool by “homeschooling” with cool writing and reading ipad apps. Then I’ve been making dotted letters for her to connect on her own, spelling her name and other words. Yea, that’s about the extent of my education system during my time as a stay at home mom. I sorta suck. And she’s played with my ipad so much that it’s no longer cool anymore. She’s much rather play pretend with me or color.
I’m thinking I may end up investing in *one of these BabbaBoxes for the summer. They’re suppose to have all sorts of activities and games cut out and prepared already with different themes for each month of the summer. Less work for me! It may actually be the answer to my prayers, but we’ll see. Anyone tried one? They’re 10% off right now using the code: SURVIVE. I wonder if they’ll start making these things for moms who need help preparing dinner too. Now there’s an idea, order a box that comes filled with everything you need for dinner the whole month.
On the positive side of my stint at home, I did complete all eight seasons of Desperate Housewives and I’ve begun to embark on Scandal and Parenthood. Don’t worry… I don’t watch those shows when the kids are awake. Those are for my enjoyment between the hours of 10pm and 2am.
My husband works nights so in the morning when he goes to the gym he’ll take Lil’ J so I can try to get a little work done if the baby decides to nap. Other than that it’s just me and the babes from about noon til bed time, since he gets home after they’re asleep. So I’m counting down til his days off when I can catch a bit of a break and go out by myself or heck… use the bathroom alone.
My daughter NEEDS to start taking naps again. She did at preschool but I haven’t made her at home and I’m regretting that decision. A two hour nap would really help me get a handle of things. I could even do “lesson planning” during that time, make crack at Pinterest things, or if I get a BabbaBox to plan for me, I could use that time to sew.
I get it now. I never understood why stay at home moms said they don’t get “a break”, I mean it’s not like I get a break when I’m working then coming home to kids. But I do get a break from doing the same thing every day all day, day in and day out.
I’m turning things around though. I’m going to try to find a new groove and plan a schedule. Is that the key to doing this right? I’m determined to end my maternity leave on a good note, and not feel like a total loser.
How do you plan things to do with your kids during the summer, or the time you spend extended periods of time together at home?
*= Sponsored by BabbaCo. Click to learn more about the all-inclusive boxes filled with learning activities, books and more for the kids.