Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mommyhood. For real this time.

For the last 6 weeks, I have been a full time mommy. Before, I was a full time mommy and a full time employee, but since the first of November, I have given up one of those. I'll give you a hint: I gave up the one that actually MADE money. It wasn't really my decision, truth be told. The recession has hit hard here in the city and I was laid off. Although I'm looking for work, I'm still a full time mommy in the meantime. And it's kicking this mommy's ass.

There are several differences between our lives now and our lives while I was working full time. Not all of them are welcome changes, mind you, but we'll get to that later.

First off, the beauty of staying home:
I'm able to both drop Joci off and pick her up from school, which she loves. I'm also able to play Mommy of the Year and do the crap I never had time to do before like volunteering for PTO events (I recently took pictures of the kids at Jocelyn's school sitting on Santa's lap during a holiday festival), bake cookies (for aforementioned PTO event), help with Girl Scout cookie sales, and so on and so forth. Plus, much to Joel's delight, I'm able to make dinner before 8pm. Sometimes, it's even made BEFORE he gets home! I KNOW!

Also, it feels nice to know that I'm the one actually raising my son. Before, he spent nearly all of his waking hours at daycare. By the time I would drop him off, work all day, pick him up and commute home, it would be his bed time by the time we actually arrived home, and I was constantly feeling terrible about it.

Finally, I don't have to put makeup on. I could, but why? And I don't, frequently. Ask the people at Wal-Mart. Or my husband. Or anyone at Jocelyn's school. Truth be told, it makes me sick when all of the mommies show up to pick their kids up and are all made up with their bar hair on. They must not have a 2-year-old at home. And if they do I hate them.

The downside:
As mentioned before, I drop Joci off every morning at school. And while that's nice, I might note that since I have nowhere else to be at 8:30 in the morning, I don't do it in the most glamorous way. As long as she gets there and I have time to brew some coffee before I have to leave the house, those are my biggest concerns. Today, for instance, I dropped her off in my grey sweater, black lounge pants... and fluffy purple slippers. Even Jocelyn, with all the wisdom of a 5-year-old, said, "mommy, you're still wearing your slippers... you're not dropping me off at school like that, right?" before we left the house. I think it's high time she realize that I will spend the rest of my life embarrassing her, so it might as well start now.

Another little perk of my glamorous life is that along with "raising" my own son comes the task of changing ump-teen diapers a day. Holy crap that kid can produce some dookie. I swear that every time I put a clean one on him, he finds a quiet corner to squat in and make mommy a new gift. This mommy's hands are raw from all of the washing of the hands after all of the wiping of the dook.

Ok, now this one really chaps my ass - Everyday, I clean my home. I'm no June Cleaver, but I do know how nice it is to come home to a clean house, so I try to have it at least tidied up by the time Joel gets home. It's stressful to come home to a mess, and I appreciate that. But here's the catch-22 to it all - I wake up to a clean home. Then I... Make breakfast. Dress both the kids. Take Joci to school. Plop Jericho down to watch Elmo. Pick Joci up from school. Cook lunch. Lay Jericho down for a nap. Eat my own lunch in peace and quiet. Blink. Look around the house and realize it's filthy again. Seriously, it's that quick, and it's that bad. I'm looking around right now thinking that we could be on an episode of Clean House, and I have no idea how it got this bad. But it is and I'll clean it while Tiny is napping and it will be like this again exactly 24 hours from now. I'm an honest woman, and I know when I've been beaten. You win this time, house, but just know that I'll be back.

Now I've openly confessed several times that I could never run a daycare. Can't do it. Don't have the patience. I have now also realized that I don't even know if I could be a stay-at-home mommy. I'm loving spending time with my kids, but I think I may have had inopportune timing, seeing as how Jericho is hitting his Terrible 2's HARDCORE right now. He's in that stage when he's so cute when he's sleeping... and only when he's sleeping.

So this edition of The Mommy Diaries goes out to all of the stay-at-home mommies out there - yes, daddies, you too - for all that you do. God Bless You. Seriously. This mommy just can't hack it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Everything I need to know I learned from my kids.

Don't be afraid to dance to your own tune.

Work hard. Play hard. Fall on your ass dead tired when you're done.

Never be afraid to steal the show.

Life is too short to diet.

Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.