Last Wednesday, I returned to work for the new school year, and my whirlwind summer as a stay-at-home-mom with my ten month old daughter came to an end. Needless to say, it was quite a bittersweet morning when I dropped her off at her great-grandmother’s house for the first time in two months. During the many mornings and afternoons spent alone with my daughter this summer, I learned that staying at home is rewarding, but at the same time extremely exhausting.
There is no “alone time” when caring for your child on a day to day basis, all day long. As a human being yourself, you can become extremely reliant on an infant for entertainment, which can be tricky since they are entertained by everything around them and are bored easily. While I wanted to play with my daughter, she wanted to destroy my book case and picture frames. However, when I would take the hint that I was not “cool” enough to hang with her and turned on some television, she decided I was not allowed. It was quite a conflicting scenario for me since she was the boss and I merely her five minute pit stop on her many endeavors throughout our living room.
I very quickly came to the conclusion that I would need to have a system in order to get things accomplished, spend time with my daughter, and have some much needed mommy alone time. I would have to wake up at least thirty minutes before my daughter in order to make my bed, attend to my bathroom needs, and have a quick bite for breakfast (a full bacon, eggs, and toast meal was barely doable, so I quit while I was ahead on that one). For two hours after her wake up, my daughter would predictably destroy every part of our living room, eat, and eventually whine and rub her eyes when she needed her nap. During nap time, I enjoyed tea, reading, and catching up with my favorite TV shows (this became my little piece of mommy heaven everyday). The rest of the afternoon after her morning nap, my daughter would fight sleep, and I would gain more and more patience. The sound of a whining, sleepy baby can be quite the patience teacher.
As a result of my “busy, yet boring” summer, I have decided that staying at home as a mom is rewarding, filled with thrills and shrills, and ultimately not for me. While I immersed myself in bonding moments with my daughter such as reading stories and teaching her new skills, my brain is not made for staying at home and feeling restless. As stated above, I was extremely busy taking care of my daughter, but I was also quite bored this summer. Too much silence due to my daughter not yet being able to speak tied in with constant repetitive motions such as changing diapers five times a day made for a tedious day, with only the five minutes of attention at a time that my daughter would give me as something to look forward to.
So in essence, stay-at-home moms are a unique brand of women that I admire, yet I am completely baffled by them at the same time.
Kudos to all the stay-at-home warriors out there,