Tag: full-time mom

I Like the Sound of That

YOU GUYS. As I write this, Cian is sitting on the puppy, the puppy is drooling on the carpet, and the carpet has grooves clawed into it by the puppy’s last crazywackyhyper sprint around the house. (Wait. Did I tell you we got a dog? 

And Yet I’ve Never Been Diagnosed With Anxiety

The night before last, Quinlan, still recovering from allergies or a cold or something, appeared beside our bed (always my side) and said she could’t sleep because she’d had a bad dream. So she spent the night (again) with us (on my side. Of course). 

A Minute in the Life

It’s 4:51 p.m.

My oldest daughter is screaming at her sister to clean up the playroom because I told them I was throwing out whatever hasn’t been put away.  That includes the cute little chairs for their table that have somehow ended up WWE-style across the room. I won’t do it, but you won’t tell them that.

The second-born is declaring that she’s tired, and from what I hear, has lay down in the middle of the floor and is sucking her thumb.  She ain’t budging.

There was a loud smack, and now they’re both crying.  Apparently somebody did budge.

Maybe I will be throwing some stuff away.

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Cian is beside me, chewing on a Motor Trend insert, whining because he pooped his pants during his nap, wouldn’t go back to sleep, and has just realized that naps are awesome and it’s pretty crappy (ha) that he declined to take one.

I am sitting in the middle of the living room floor, laptop on my knees because I have a crapload of work–I mean, a to-do list longer than my exceptionally long minivan–to complete by, like, last Wednesday, and instead, I’m writing this. Yeah, electric bill, I’m looking at you.

Cian just shoved a fistful of dog hair in his mouth. Moving “vacuum floors” to the top of that list.

Second-born was sent to the girls’ room to “be punished.” She is most likely emptying Saoirse’s piggy bank into the bottom of the bucket used to store their stuffed animals.

Saoirse is quiet downstairs, which means she’s probably relocating those play chairs to the top of a trampoline.

Cian is kicking his legs, staring at me, scratching at my jeans, because yaaaaaayyy we’ve just reached the age where I am not allowed to move a foot away from him without him behaving like I’m ruining his life.

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Forget sending the kids to Catholic school. We need to start saving that tuition money for therapy.

Mine, I mean, not theirs.

And then.

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Cian rolls just a little away from me, and I look down to see him staring at me, his huge gummy grin taking up the whole of his precious face.

Quinn is fast asleep on her bed.

Saoirse is playing by herself, quiet.  She just asked me to play “Mommy” with her, and has an entire pretend picnic meal laid out for us.

The windows are open to the sounds of a mom calling to her child, and dogs barking. I can hear bugs in the trees and the breeze blowing through the shrubs in front of our porch.  As I finish this post, I see that it is well past the time I should be starting dinner. I don’t know what we’re having. I don’t feel like making it. But the house is quiet now, and dinner will happen when it happens tonight. Especially since David just called on his way home from work and offered to pick up some Thai food.

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I think I’ll go spend time with my kids.  After I remove their chairs from the drywall, of course.

As Simple as It Gets

I’d been reading a book on the living room couch with the girls. We’re all miserably sick–snotty, hacky-coughing, bleary-eyed, swollen-faced (pretty image, I know) messes, and we were experiencing just a little window of contentedness before the next round of nose-blowing and tissuing began. Then 

Straddling the Line

Okay, so we all know that I when I had Saoirse, I went on a maternity leave that sort of stretched indefinitely into full-on stay-at-homehood.  David and I had always said that if we could do it, it was important to us to have one 

Begin the Begin (thanks, R.E.M.)

I just had a conversation with a friend about her plugged milk duct.  That’s right, the one in her boob.  At one point, the conversation veered dangerously close to an actual competition about who’d had more plugged ducts in her breastfeeding experience, who’s was more painful and who used the best technique to work them out (feel free to cringe at that thought).  I’m shaking my head as I type this, because I know it’s ridiculous.  War veterans compare wounds and battle stories.  Religious missionaries in foreign lands swap their experiences.  But nursing moms going nose-to-nose (or should I say bosom-to-bosom?) in lactating warfare?  Now, that’s something I never could have anticipated.



But the thing is, as parents–and as stay-at-home moms, at that–it’s what we know.  It’s who we are.  What’s unexpected is how quickly the change happens–how rapidly our identities became wrapped up in the families we create.  I still feel like I’m only now getting my balance back after being knocked into this whirlwind two and a half years ago.  That’s when we had our first daughter, Saoirse (it’s pronounced “SEER-sha.”  Yes, I know it’s different.)  Two months into my maternity leave, I added stay-at-home parent to my resume (I know, I can’t actually put that on a resume, but danged if my time management and multitasking skills haven’t skyrocketed into awesomeness since I had my girls).  All of a sudden, I was wearing Converse and sweats more than stilettos and skirts.  I put my gym membership on hold:  no more daily kick-boxing classes for me because I spend most of my days weight-lifting car seats and diaper bags.  Instead of in-depth conversations with my 10th grade students–psychoanalyzing the characters’ motives in The Lord of the Flies, say–I was listening to friends discuss the latest parenting magazine and recommending online coupon codes.  

The biggest shock of all?  I was wearing yoga pants.  To the mall.  Without having actually done yoga first.  Oh, I am not proud.  

I sometimes feel like I barely remember what that girl (okay, woman.  I’ll admit I’m not in my 20s anymore…) was like.  The one who spent so many nights and weekends grading papers and writing lesson plans.  The one who’d stop by happy hour for a Guinness with friends on her way home on Fridays, or grab tickets to a concert with her husband without having to worry if I had enough breastmilk stocked in the freezer.  The girl who never, ever could have anticipated being someone who laughed out loud at a joke told by a two-year-old.  Someone who just happily spent an evening hanging out in the “fort” part of a backyard swingset.  Someone who works like a clown for her three-month-old just to get her to do that lopsided, dimpled smile that melts my heart.  That’s why I’m starting this blog.  Because sometimes I feel like I need to reconcile the girl I think I am with the mom I’ve become.  That even though, even as I wake up every day to two kids yakking away to themselves in their rooms and am fully aware of the blessing of being able to be at home, sometimes I’d rather poke out my eye than empty one more load of dishes, or pre-treat another load of laundry (which is currently sitting in a pile on the couch, waiting to be folded as I type this).  And I worry:  what will our children think of this set-up once they’ve grown?  Will they be grateful to have had a parent who was home full-time?  Or will they wonder why we bothered trying to raise them to be as strong, as powerful, as ambitious as men when their own mother played a traditional family role?  Socrates should have tackled that one in his spare time.


And since the best way for me to work out my thoughts is to write, I’ll write.  Not in crayon.  Not in ColorWonder markers (those things are awesome, by the way.  Right?  I’d hate to see what our family room carpet would look like without them…).  But here.  Because I’m sure there’s someone out there who struggles with the same issues I do–all the while wielding a spatula in one hand and baby wipes in the other–while totally realizing how darned lucky she is in the first place.  When I was pregnant with Saoirse (her sister is named Quinlan–we call her Quinn.  Because when you name the first child Saoirse, you can’t exactly call the next one Jane.), people were always telling me that old cliche–that I’d never remember what life was like before we had kids.  But those people were so wrong.  You do remember what life was like before you had kids–the thing is, you just don’t understand how anything ever mattered.  At least not as much as the  little creatures who call you “Mom” or “Daddy” (or in Quinn’s case, “Phbhbhbagoo!”).  Just remind me of this the next time I get a plugged duct.