I must confess. A few months ago, I was pretty scared of what it would be like to not work and stay home. Would I have the energy (or time) to shower? Would I lose patience with the constant demands and requests and thereby lose my temper? Would I cry from exhaustion and just have us watch PBS Kids Go all day long?
Two months in (really just over one month since jacob has been back at work) here are a few things I have realized: I usually do get to shower, but I have gotten to feel okay with my hair just down and frizzy (even the bangs.) I have lost my patience a few times, but I extend grace to myself when I do and thereby am able to extend grace to my kids. We do watch PBS Kids Go way more than we should, but we also PLAY. Sophie and I play school when Cohen is at school. Cohen and I play stratego. We play “spy” and look for clues in the basement. They play “moving truck” and I sigh and tell them they better pick up everything they dump out and they usually do if I bribe them with food. Sophie and I play dollhouse with her scooby doo characters, and Cohen and I play hockey with a hockey stick, a sword, and a small soft stuffed owl as a puck. We take walks. Cohen has to balance on the side of the double stroller and I constantly worry that it will tip but it never has. At first, we had dance parties to mumford and sons, but I foolishly introduced them to this “silly songs” CD and now our only dance parties are to “Bingo” and “down by the station.” We eat together. Sophie requests about one snack an hour and I have managed to convince her that a gummy vitamin is a snack. I try to feed them healthy stuff, and I have successfully discovered they like cucumbers and celery, but I have thrown away untouched carrots, beans, and zucchinni. We pray together, usually before lunch. Nearly every prayer devolves into bathroom humor or sheer silliness (God thank you for poop, or thank you for suitcases.), but we usually start with a sincere effort (Sophie’s current mantra is “God thank for eating and for walks with friends.) We tell jokes to each other, but I am wary to start any knock knock ones because Sophie will proceed to list off everything she sees in the room as a punchline. We read together. Cohen currently likes non-fiction, especially books about dinosaurs. He listens patiently to the facts and doesn’t let me skip any notes. Sophie will request little critter stories to be read over and over again and when I get too tired she reads them herself. We read Jigsaw Jones mysteries together before bed and Sophie even turns the pages of chapter books and makes up stories to herself after we turn the lights out.
So yes, we watch too much TV. And I probably should arrange more playdates and read more “educational play blogs” and clean their rooms with pinterest-inspired organizational bins. I should put more clips in Sophie’s hair and I should make Cohen brush his teeth more. I should give Ellie more tummy time and I should listen to NPR and make my own organic dish soap. But I won’t let guilt over not doing things get in the way of appreciating the sacredness of my average day and admitting that I am so blessed to be home, blessed to have multiple forms of help from every single family member and friend in my life, and blessed to be the mom I am able to be at this particular moment.