I worked in the childcare field for many years and really thought I had an advantage in this whole parenting thing because of it. Ha! Maybe in some sense . . . but the truth is, you don't know crap until you have kids of your own.
When Lanie was born I continued to work. She attended the daycare I worked at for a little over a year. A couple of months before having my second I left my job and became a stay at home mom. It was more affordable for us, and in my eyes a dream come true. This was a luxury! I didn't have to get up at 4:45am to shower. I no longer had to wake my baby and get her fed, dressed, and out the door by 6:30. To top things off, no more 45 minute-1hr 1/2 commute. Plus, I can wear yoga pants all the time!! This leads me to struggle number 1.
Struggle #1 ~ Full Time #SAHM
I now have a new understanding for the term "The grass is always greener on the other side." I love being a stay at home mom, and really would not have it any other way . . . but for those who think it's easy . . . think again. I sometimes go 10 hours a day without having a conversation with someone other than a mini me. It never gets lonely, because sometimes the conversations never stop. I don't get a half hour lunch break where I can drive off and gather my thoughts, or just sit in piece and quiet, and sometimes I find myself too busy to even sit down and eat lunch. When I opt not to eat my children's table scraps and actually sit down to eat with them, my plate usually turns into a community plate for 3. Luckily I like to share, and for some reason whatever is on my plate is always better than what's on their own plate. Even if we all have the same thing. But, you know what? At least I know they are eating. Also, I wear yoga pants all the time.
Struggle #2 ~ Bath Time
Oh dear God . . . bath time. Sometimes I think I am doing myself a favor by saving time and bathing them together. This is not a time saver, it's a stress maker. My oldest will flip her wet hair around like Tawny Kitaen did in the old Here I Go Again video by Whitesnake. (If you don't know what that is, YouTube it and watch for the scene where the girl is strutting her stuff on the hoods of Jaguars.) My youngest has mastered the technique of cannon balling. Between the hair flipping and jumbo splashes this always results in a flooded bathroom. It's not just bath time for them though, it's shower time for me too. My one goal a day is to shower, but finding the perfect 3 minutes is never easy. I can usually leave my oldest unattended for a few minutes with the iPad without having to worry. I set her up with some educational games, and frequently come back to find that she has updated my Facebook status with random letters like "gwhrbrvdine dhdi", or had started up several games on my words with friends. Just this past week when my youngest slept in I decided to take a quick shower bright and early. My oldest spent the 3 minutes that I was in there banging on the bathroom door and singing "Knock Knock Knocking on heavens door Aye Aye Aye Aye Aye". (Move over Axel Rose). And my youngest I can never leave alone. She is a climber, and I often find her scaling book shelves when I leave the room. This usually results in me dragging her high chair into the bathroom with me if I want to shower while she is awake. You may wonder why I don't do this at night. Truth be told, I'm just too tired and would rather spend the time I'm awake after they go to bed relaxing on the couch with my husband.
Struggle #3 ~ Potty Training
I consider myself a potty training failure. I have been working with my oldest for what seems like forever. I missed that window of opportunity when she was younger and Charlotte was born. She has shown an interest for a long time and I have been very consistent about taking her to go often. The problem is whenever I put her in underwear she tends to regress, and will have several accidents. Her pediatrician says not to stress over it and she'll get it in time. Truth is, I do stress. Working in daycare gave me lots of successful attempts with potty training kids her age, but for some reason she is by far my biggest challenge. The good thing is my youngest has shown a huge interest. (A second chance to redeem myself!). I'm hoping that Lanie will catch on quick now. I'm not making up excuses for myself, but she is strong willed and can be a tad bit stubborn at times. Actually, they both are. Which leads me to the final struggle.
Struggle #4 ~ Temper Tantrums
You know the embarrassing ones that happen in public? We had one of those this weekend while out getting groceries. We had made it successfully through the grocery store and were about to check out when my oldest broke down about not wanting to leave. She sat on the floor and wouldn't move. I ended up picking her up and carrying her out of the door kicking and screaming. While my husband paid, I exited the store and brought her out to the car. I'm pretty sure fellow onlookers thought I was a kidnapper since she was yelling at the top of her lungs "I want my daddy" as I was practically running out of the store with her.
Whether you have younger kids or older kids I'm sure there will always be struggles. I know someday I'll look back and laugh at all these minor ones. Being a parent is hard work and despite the hard times I find myself struggling the most not to laugh at all the funny stuff they pull.
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