Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thoughts on staying home with the kids

You might be a stay at home mom/dad if.....

You receive high fives and hoorays for going to the bathroom...yes our two-year-old watches us's good modeling! 

You are ridiculously good at building legos, train tracks, and towers

You know the names of all the characters from Cars and Cars 2 and can recite lines from the movies using the characters' voices. I do a pretty good Mater, not gonna lie

Your bed is unmade, the dishes are not done, there are crumbs on every floor in your house, toys litter said floors, and you step on said toys multiple times a day

There are half empty bottles and juice cups strewn all about the house...and sometimes you even find one about two weeks later...don't "ewww" me, I didn't leave it there...

Your legs, arms, and head double as roads for toy cars

You have not showered in two days

Your hair is crazy wild because of the whole showering issue

You get frustrated when you are trying to color and your kid keeps scribbling over your artwork

You sing the Barney song...enough said

You dance around in your living room and jump up and down on the couch

Your meals consist of pretzels, cheerios, apples, bananas, grapes, pb&j, chicken nuggets, corn and leftover scraps from the kids' plates

I could go on and on, but really, what I want to say is that being a stay at home mom is HARD WORK!

I love my kids and being home with them during the summers is one of the perks of being a teacher! However, my hat goes off to moms and dads who do this full time. They are incredible people and should be acknowledged much more than they are. 

My average work day is me in a classroom with 28 kids. Who would have ever thought that 28 kids would be easier than 2!?!?

As a stay at home mom, your ENTIRE DAY is devoted to the kids. Depending on their ages, you can't leave them alone for one second. My daughter is a human vacuum cleaner. That girl will put every stinking little crumb in her mouth. Leaving her unattended on the floor is not an option. I'm constantly digging in her mouth, trying to fetch out foreign objects. You are truly tied down every second that the kids are awake.

If you are lucky enough to get them to nap at the same time......YES!! CELEBRATE! But then snap back into reality, because this is the ONLY TIME YOU HAVE to get anything done. This time for me usually consists of showering (which is a luxury and sometimes I skip in order to get other stuff done), making the bed, doing the dishes (BY HAND, no dishwasher = sadness & torture), catching up on emails, homework, laundry, and cleaning up in general.

Stay at home moms & dads have to be the most SELFLESS people alive. While I'm glad to have this title for just a season, I honestly don't know if I could do it full time. Like I said, my hats are off to you!! You guys have one of the most important jobs out there!!

Now because I'm still finding out about the joys and frustrations of this all important job, here are a few suggestions that have helped me while being at home with my little guys.....

1. Say yes. I recently read this post by one of my favorite bloggers Casey Weigand. It is SO WORTH READING. It has really encouraged me to slow down and not worry about having an agenda.

2. Change up the scenery. Get out of the house! While it can be super challenging to pack up and travel with two little ones, I find it is always worth it! We love to go the the park and the library. If it's too hot out, we'll head to Springhill Mall where there is a great indoor play place. Getting out of the house gives all of us a good break. Side note: if you do go the the park, plastic slides produce awesome static electricity!!

3. Get together with other moms who have kids. It's so fun to watch your little guys play with others, and it helps them learn how to play.

4. Go get ice cream! I already mentioned Van's in a previous post, but seriously we love that place. Now we don't go there every day, but I would recommend once or twice a week.

5. Listen to podcasts, sermons, or audio books while you work. I am pretty fortunate that my kids usually do nap at the same time. When I'm working I love to put in my headphones and listen to a sermon. Also reading is something I love to do and wish I had more time for. AUDIO BOOKS are the answer. I also feel double the success when I'm working and listening.

So moms and dads, nannies, and other care givers....what do you do to make staying at home with the kids the BEST it can be? I'd love to hear your ideas!!


  1. This is a great post! I was a stay home mom for 12 years. My youngest is now nine, but I remember all of the items in your list fondly. It is such a fun, exhausting, exhilarating time. Your advice is wonderful. The one thing I would add is this: don't worry. It's hard not to, I know, when you have little ones. The kitchen is a mess. Is my son saying enough words? Why haven't I lost all my baby weight yet? Looking back on those years, I realize how much that little stuff doesn't matter. Have fun with those babies, and RELAX.

    1. Such good advice! I am such a worrier! For me it's wondering if they are eating enough vegetables or if they will be have a bad allergic reaction to certain foods, or if they will play nicely together. It's so true I just need to relax and enjoy them!

  2. JeanaLe, your use of adorable photos interspersed with some thoughtful insights make this a great blog entry! My favorite photos are the first one of your baby in the high chair with a dirty face and the static electricity photo!

    1. Thanks Mary! It sure is fun taking pictures of them!

  3. I used to nanny during the summer in high school and college. It was a great job that gave me a lot of experience in life such as: dealing with kids, learning to cook, cleaning, registering them for camps, school, and other activities, and getting along with the other moms. At age 21, I felt like a mom. Nevertheless, while the money was great, it was such an exhausting job. Probably more exhausting than teaching at times. I would come home late at night drained of all energy and my mom would just laugh at me. She was a stay at home mom for a couple years while my brother and I were young. At that time, she was also trying to finish her undergraduate degree at Northwestern. I rarely remember her working on papers or reading because she always did this work when my brother and I were asleep. I hand it to all you people who manage a marriage, kids, and school.

    1. Katie it sounds like you are a pro! You will be so prepared when you have kids of your own! My mom laughs at me sometimes too! It must be fun for them to see things come full circle!

  4. This post made me laugh and nod the whole way through. Being at home during the summer is often more exhausting than being at school all day. I could not imagine doing it full time, and I too give credit to all those parents that do it. But reading your post also made me very grateful to be past the everything in the mouth phase. It is still a rare day that I can sit on the couch without clearing a space amongst toys first though. Thanks for making me smile and realize it's not just me!!!!

    1. It is not just you! I'm thinking a good cleaning/giving away stuff is in order! There is just too much stuff around here! And I'm just waiting for the putting stuff in the mouth phase is over. Today I fished out a leaf, a stick, lots of grass, and several unidentified objects!

  5. I love your entry! This totally reminds me of my niece and nephew that I fortunately get to spend lots of time with. My niece is two too and is very curious about the potty. She follows me in there and likes to just sit on the toilet even when she doesn't have to go. Kids are so active and you're right, changing the scenery helps! I've been on my fair share of park visits and love taking them to the zero depth pool. I thoroughly enjoy spending time with my niece and nephew so from the outside looking in maybe drop them off at grandma's, auntie's or another family members house one day to give yourself a well deserved break. It's a win win situation because we love seeing them and you love some alone time to get things done :). I'm glad you're having such a good summer with your kids!

    1. You aunts are SO SO important! I actually just had my sister here for three days! It was so nice to have her here. She even got up with them one morning and let me sleep in a little. And the kids just LOVE her, as I'm sure your niece and nephew do as well.

  6. This brought back so many memories for me! I can completely relate. My daughter is now 10, which brings a whole new level of challenges. :) Family was very helpful to have close by and your trick about leaving the house was HUGE. Even a walk around the block with your kids or a trip to the park can make you feel so much more sane.

    Enjoy every second! They grow up so fast. The crazy summers you spend with them will always be remembered with a smile.

    <3 Ash