15 Confessions from a Stay-At-Home-Mom

Cherries

This morning, there are too many tragic headlines to count in our country– but the most imminent problem here in Chicago is all the rain and mass flooding. Highways are shut down, roads are flooded, flights are cancelled, a sinkhole just swallowed up three cars, trains are delayed. A lot of people are having a dilly of a time getting to work….but not me.

My commute from the bedroom to the living room went just fine. My breakfast meeting agenda of waffles and apple juice went over well with its attendee, and the rain was a non-issue. My bathrobe didn’t even get wet.

There is so much debate over who works harder: the SAHM or the Works-Outside-the- Home Mom. I won’t say for one second that I don’t work my butt off day in and day out. But would I prefer to be dragging my butt into an office everyday? HELL NO. And that’s the truth.

I am not saying my life is easy. Not at all. But not having to deal with a commute every morning is just one of the perks I retain in my life these days. And while some moms might not agree– or think I’m trivializing what those of us who stay home do all day– I’d like to run down a few of the other benefits I enjoy. And yes, I mean ENJOY– and don’t take for granted.

  • I finally had time to re-train my hair. As in, I don’t have to wash it every day anymore.
  • Got one “good” outfit? Me, too. And I can wear it four days in a row.
  • Omelettes for breakfast. Or homemade waffles. Or whatever. There’s time.
  • If my daughter is up all night, I don’t have to stress about being exhausted the next day. I mean, I AM exhausted, but it doesn’t affect meetings or deadlines.
  • Better control over my health: No stress-bagel binges, monthly birthday cakes, and the gym is now a place I WANT to go because it’s a reason to get out of the house.
  • I can stay up late watching TV.
  • I appreciate time with my husband more. I look forward to him coming home form work every day like a puppy.
  • We eat together as a couple now. When I worked full-time, I was rarely home for dinner. That’s important.
  • I can schedule doctor and/or hair appointments whenever. Tuesday at 1? Sure. Thursday at 10:30? I’ll be there. Total flexibility makes life so much easier.
  • Shopping during a weekday is peaceful. No crowded stores. No long lines. Having Trader Joe’s all to yourself is practically a luxury spa treatment. Was I supposed to rub my face with that lamb vindaloo sample? Cause I did.
  • I’ve diversified my friend group. A new schedule means meeting and spending time with people like me, and it’s opened me up to some great new or strengthened relationships.
  • Because I have such a supportive family, I’ve been able to explore new career paths and goals that were always just a dream for me. And…
  • I’m closer with my family, who I never had enough time for before.
  • I know my daughter better than anybody else. I’ve been with her almost every single day of her life, and no one can ever take that away from me. However, I was not there to see her take her first steps… because she hasn’t yet. PLEASE JUST WALK, KID!

I’m lucky, and now more than ever– I’ve been counting my many blessings every day.

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How to Fill Up Jogging Stroller Tires

Got one of these?

Me, too… and so does just about every other mom in my neighborhood. Posey and I go for our “serious walks” in this thing. It’s a perfect 2.4 mile loop to Target and back (2.5 if you count the lollygagging up and down the aisles… make that an even 3.0), and we’ve taken the trek about a zillion times during her 18 (yes, 18!) months.

Here’s something that never occurred to me. Notice this?

I didn’t, until last week. DUH. They’re like bikes tires, and they NEED TO GET FILLED UP.

I’ve been pushing the kid around on flat tires for months and months. Who knows, maybe there wasn’t even air in them when we got the thing. I wasn’t sure how to handle the situation. The last time I filled up a bike tire was before I was pregnant, and I over-did it at a gas station. The inner tube exploded, and I lost hearing in my right ear for an hour. Today is finally a nice, sunny day in Chicago, so I rolled her and her deflated wheels down the road to Oscar Wastyn Cycles, where the kind gent took one look at Pose and her sorry-ass ride and pulled out the air hose.

It’s kind of like when I got my first car, and no one ever told me that you have to get the oil changed. How am I supposed to know these things? So check your stroller tires.

Happy Spring.

Posey and Carl Jung’s Theory of the Collective Unconscious

heartofdarknessMy senior year of high school, I had a truly awful English teacher who did not care for me very much whatsoever. Towards the end of the school year, she asked that we go around the classroom and announce where each of us was to attend college the following fall. It basically went down like this: “Harvard.” “Yale.” “Stanford.” “M.I.T.” “M.I.T.” “M.I.T.” and so on. I have no idea why so many engineer-minded kids were in an AP English class, but they were. Then she came to me. I shyly said, “The University of Iowa.”

She glared at me, curled her evil lip up just like the Grinch, and snarled– “You don’t want to be a WRITER, do you?” Gulp.

This post doesn’t have much to do with that story, I just wanted to tell it. The segue is that in this class, I read Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and learned about Carl Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious:

“My thesis then, is as follows: in addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche (even if we tack on the personal unconscious as an appendix), there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited.”

So basically, we’re all born with inherited human experience collective knowledge. And you know what? I totally buy it. I’ve seen it in action. In the form of… THE TELEPHONE.

These days, the only phones Posey has really ever seen in action look like this:

iphone

So how the heck can I explain the fact that she totally instinctively knows what to do with THIS thing? Like, what do do with a handset? When she’s never seen one before???

chatterphone

But she gets it. And answers the phone. That Jung guy was on to something.

What to Expect When You Expect Your Baby’s Toenails to Grow, But They Don’t

*Toe-tally not Po's piggies

*Toe-tally not Po’s piggies

Posey is 17 months and 9 days old. Today, on this magical day, she hit quite the milestone– and Beef and I are mighty proud.

Did she walk? No.

Did she say “Mama?” No.

Did she scoop the poop out of the cat box? I wish.

On this magical day, my daughter grew her toenails long enough for me to be able to cut them for the very first time!!! But don’t get too excited– only 6 of them were ready for trimming. Is this normal? According to Whattoexpect.com, I need to “keep in mind that toenails grow more slowly and therefore require less maintenance.” Did they mean over 500 days?

For more of their advice on how to cut your baby’s nails, click on over to here. And no, I did not save the clippings.

3 Reasons I’m Annoyed My Toddler Can’t Walk Yet

1. The acute lower back pain I’m currently in physical therapy for from lifting a non-walking toddler.

2. The sprained rib I was diagnosed with today that I most likely got from lifting a non-walking toddler.

3. The kid pictured above, Kate Wood, is just a few months older than Posey and is already an international swimming star. A baby that swims laps? Maybe I need to re-direct my efforts and head back to swim school

Rating the Disney Princesses: From Skinniest to Fattest

Disney-Princess-Kida-disney-princess-30168400-2560-1117

Come on, give me a break! Could you imagine? Oh, wait. It kinda happened. Read Harley Pasternak’s stupid blog, and then come on back real quick-like.

I wrote about it today on The Huffington Post. Read it here. And then let’s you and me make a plan to have Ashley Tisdale’s jaw un-wired shut, okay?

A Mom’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

cupid

5:52 a.m. Awaken to breakfast in bed. How is there literally more Cheerios than there are grains of sand at the beach under your covers?

5:57 a.m. Change Cupid’s diaper. How did Cheerios get in there, too?

6:22 a.m. Give your honey a valentine. Draw a heart around the Post-It note you left next to his keys that says, “Remember to call your mother back re: goiter surgery. Buy cat litter.”

9:16 a.m. Indulge in a sweet treat. Play the Is It Chocolate… Or Poop? Game, Valentine’s Edition! (Hint: Poop isn’t heart-shaped. Usually.)

10:46 a.m. Remember to Flirt! When you pass those three post-college dudes buying bulk toilet paper and their first Swiffer at Target, suck in your stomach until you feel your bellybutton wrap around your spine.

High Noon: Crack open a bottle of the good stuff. This isn’t a clever play on words for something parenting-related.

5:01 p.m. Go dancing! The tango? Naaaahhhh. Your Hot Dog Dance would make Julianne Hough beg for Toodles.

6:44 p.m. Savor a romantic dinner. Those Fish McBites aren’t going to try themselves.

6:48 p.m. Bust out your special lingerie… not the ratty nursing bra you still wear daily, even though you stopped breastfeeding two years ago. Wear the new nursing bra with the tags still on it.

8:06 p.m. Retire to the boudoir for another threesome… your third one this week. Hopefully, the tiny person in the middle doesn’t steal all the covers this time. Hey, is that a Cheerio?

How to Hand-Wash Laundry

There is only one thing worse than checking the tag on your new sweater and finding the dreaded “dry clean only” label, and that’s finding this one:

handwashonly

There are about 100 things I’d rather do than wash my laundry by hand, starting with “pay someone to hand-wash my laundry.” It’s not that I’m lazy. If you have a hole in your elephant-print Sleep ‘n Play, I’m more than happy to mend it. If you want me to remove your duvet cover, launder it, then crawl inside it to smooth out your comforter, crawl back out to admire the fresh bedding, leave the house for an hour and return to find a fresh cat barf stain right in the middle of said duvet, forcing me to start the process all over– I’m game. In fact, I practiced just today, just in case.

But I’m stuck on the hand wash thing, mostly because how do you wring the water out without stretching the piece of clothing out? And get it dry enough that it doesn’t weigh a ton and drip pink water on the floor? 

Looks like I wasted a lot of years worrying, because today I looked it up from the place that would know about stuff like this. The answer was so simple. Almost too simple:

After squeezing out water, lay the sweater on a white towel on a flat surface (a white towel prevents dye transfer from towel to sweater). Gently roll the towel and sweater together to remove moisture, squeezing and pressing as you work.

It totally worked. Any even though the water was extra-cold, sending me into a Tierra-like fit… my expensive-so-I-don’t-want-to-ruin-it Banana Republic sweater and my cheap-so-I-don’t-want-it-to-fall-apart Forever 21 peplum top are saved. Thanks, Martha!