Life as a stay at home parent…
Spend literally all day cleaning and what do you have to show for it at the end of the day?
Having one child, being a stay at home parent was easy. I only had one little human to worry about. It was generally easy for me to keep a routine of maintaining the house, the child, and having food on the table by time my husband got home.
Having two children was not all that difficult. Though I do firmly believe that it depends a lot on the age gap. The closer together in age, the more difficult it would be I think. I didn’t know at the time when I was begging for a second child every day that the wait was well worth it. Pickle was 3.5 years old when Monkey was born. Pickle was pretty self sufficient, potty trained, and understanding.
When we unexpectedly got pregnant with Bug, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Monkey would be a roaring toddler when he would be born. Then everything hit the fan and he came early; which you can read about here. I really don’t think a person can prepare for things because a lot of it is variable depending on the children you have.
I really wanted to be THAT mom that could still maintain a clean household, happy kids, a happy marriage, and happy self. I won’t sit here and say I have it all together because I surely don’t. We are still in the early infancy age with Bug and I know as time goes on it will become easier. However right now, there is lack of sleep, lack of time, and everyday just tends to feel like I am spinning in circles.
I feel like I am constantly arguing with the older 2 kids to stop wrestling each other. Trying to keep them from eating the entire house. Trying to keep the 2 year old off the baby (she likes poking his eyes and pulling on his arms and legs) and keeping their germs out of his face. I feel like I spend 90% of my day feeding people whether that is cooking, making bottles, or breastfeeding. It is a bit overwhelming when my to do list is still ongoing from months ago.
Honestly the breastfeeding part is the most stressful this time around. I went from overproducing to not producing enough. I am trying to keep going, but I won’t lie, most days I just want to throw in the towel. I know he needs it though, so I continue to do it. It is easier to maintain a routine when you know when the baby needs to eat and how much. I have to be able to supply that adequately each and every time, it just isn’t happening optimally. It is tiring to say the least. As soon as I start one thing I can’t even finish because usually someone needs something. Days where everyone cooperates and things actually get accomplished are few and far between.
I love my kids, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like my identity has vanished most days. I know as Bug gets older it will get easier to find a steady routine again. I can slowly feel it approaching as he is nearly 3 months old now (holy crap already!). I know they are just kids, being kids, doing kid things, but I really wasn’t prepared. Is anyone ever prepared?
What I need is a good back rub. Maybe that would suffice. Or even just some solid sleep would be nice.
I just know they won’t be little forever and as hard as it is now, one day I will be longing for it all over again. I am trying to soak up as much as I can. The littleness, cuddling, late night feedings, and crying just to be held, all will soon be a memory. The days and nights are long, but the years are short. I want to enjoy it as best as I can without feeling so overwhelmed that joy doesn’t stick around.
I know a lot of people say self care this and self care that. I especially believe all parents should have and practice self care. It is essential to get through the long nights and endless days. Even if that means taking a bath at 1AM, which I do at least twice a week. You are a much better parent, partner, and person when you take that extra time for yourself. It is imperative.