When I first started staying at home with my now 7-month old twins, I had these grand expectations of what being a stay-at-home mom was going to look like.
I would clean the house, make dinner, do laundry, and take care of the babies, all while maintaining perfect hair and wearing a cute outfit. I would be able to shop, visit with friends, and still have daily bonding moments with each child. And lastly, I would sit on the couch and indulge in Netflix, while my happy babies slept peacefully in their cribs.
Expectations vs. Reality for Me
Expectation: Being a stay-at-home mom means I have time to relax and recharge because I have all this time.
Reality: Exhausted by 6pm because from the second your children wake up to the second they fall asleep, it’s like a marathon sprint. This means our house often looks like the Allstate mayhem commercial. We’re lucky if I washed one load of laundry. Bonus points if I remembered to put it in the dryer.
Expectation: Having so much time that I could binge watch Netflix or read a book.
Reality: When my babies are asleep, I clean up the mess that they made while they were awake. I try to make myself something to eat but only warm it up before they are awake after only getting a 30 minute nap.
Expectation: Looking cute every day because I have more time in the morning to get ready.
Reality: Living in my leggings. My husband asked me the other day, “Do you even own pants?” And forget being able to fix my hair. My biggest day-to-day decision is bun or ponytail. And it’s a victory if I wear the same shirt all day without spit up, food or poop decorating it.
Expectation: I would have plenty of time to grocery shop and run errands.
Reality: By the time I’ve fed, changed, packed up the kids, driven to the store, unloaded, shopped, reloaded, carried both kids, and all the groceries back to the apartment—half my day is gone. And I forgot to run any errands.
Expectations vs. Reality for the Kids
Expectation: Having a baby that happily falls asleep and always has that wonderful fresh baby smell.
Reality: Bouncing, rocking, singing, holding. Doing anything humanly possible to get your child to shut their eyes for bed, only to have them blow out a diaper and smell like poop and pampers baby wipes.
Expectation: I would dress our boys in cute matching outfits all the time.
Reality: We go through two outfits a day minimum. They’re lucky if they’re even wearing the same pants they started the day in, let alone the same pants as each other.
What I’ve Learned from Being a Stay-at-Home Mom…
Even though it’s not what I expected, it’s unbelievably rewarding. I just needed a change in perspective. Being a stay-at-home mom is more than just being a mom. You become the dishwasher, janitor, maid, chef, entertainer and boss all at once.
I’ve learned that it means I gave up one title for a dozen others, but anything that’s worth having requires work. I am blessed with the opportunity to be at home with my children, and watch them grow up. I’m told the days are long, but the years are short. Though some days are longer than others, it’s absolutely worth it.
Hopefully one day soon I’ll have no bags under my eyes and I will trade my caffeine for a healthier alternative, but who knows! A girl can dream.