Monday, October 14, 2013

SAHM blues

So, I know many of you don't want to hear what's in this post. I know many of you would give your eye teeth to be able to stay home all the time with your child and not have to work. And I still feel very grateful for this fact. However. Spending all day, 24 hours a day, alone with a toddler, with no help and no breaks, right now - totally, totally blows.

I would give my eye teeth for a little part time pre-school or daycare right now. But apart from the occasional few hours on a weekend, that is completely out of the question financially. I am so envious of people who can escape to a job during the day and then really spend quality time with the kid(s) in the evenings and on weekends. 

It's not that I was unprepared for how hard it would be, or how hard this age would be, or how hard it would be when l'il B finally escaped his playpen. Much like being induced, I knew it was going to be horrible. And it was. And at this moment the toddler phase is just as awful as I had anticipated.

I spent the day with a child who would not stop screaming. He's not mad or upset - he just enjoys it. And it makes my ears ring and gives me headaches. Nothing makes him stop. Not covering his mouth, not ignoring it, not pleading or threatening. Today I had to endure fellow shoppers covering their ears and glaring at me, no doubt thinking what a horrible parent I am because he won't stop screaming. If I were a different kind of person I would have hauled off and slapped him. HARD. But please know I would never do that, ever. I can only imagine the look of hurt and betrayal he would give me and the guilt that would plague me for the rest of my life. So no, no hitting. But boy did I feel like it for a minute there-!

Every day he tears the entire house apart. It's like a hurricane hit that I have to clean up after he's gone to bed every single night - when I'm already exhausted and fed up and my new belly makes bending over already very unpleasant. He doesn't play with anything - just dumps everything on the floor, climbs on something, falls, and screams. That's our day. And it fucking sucks.

Fortunately I was able to spontaneously meet up with a friend with a similar aged child and we were actually able to sit and have lunch, and she made me feel slightly less of a horrible person. She said that yes, being home for any length of time with a toddler is miserable, and she also hates the screaming/dumping of toys etc etc. Thank God, I'm not just an evil control freak! 

I do believe many women just LOVE kids of all ages and think everything they do is precious and a gift from the baby Jesus. I SO wish I were one of these sweet women. But I am not. I lead a very adult life for a very long time and this is all a total shock to me. The last couple of weeks I've felt like a marauding rhinoceros has moved into my house and there's nothing I can do about it - and that complaining about it makes me an ungrateful witch. 

However, I would like to point out with much gratitude that B's sleep has been awesome (not so much as a toe over the edge of that pack 'n play since I told him he'd better not dare get out one more time); because he dropped naps he now sleeps until almost 8 sometimes (awesome); he eats like a champ, actually enjoys brushing his teeth (God bless 'm), and from what I witness in my mommy groups is still a really good, easy kid. It pains me to call the kid I endured today "easy", but believe you me, I know there are a lot of mothers of toddlers out there suffering way worse than I but in silence because it's not ok to admit motherhood is anything other than kettle corn-scented rainbow-striped unicorn farts.

In other news, going for my anatomy/gender scan for little bro or sis tomorrow. If all goes well I will know the future profile of my little family tomorrow. I'll know whether my old Barbies will be played with or stay on the shelf until grand kids come along; how long the kids can share a room; and whether we'll be talking about a Baby I or Baby T. Stay tuned!


  1. Can't wait for the news tomorrow!

    You should come down and let B tear apart my living room (if there is anything left that hasn't already been dumped and strewn about). And maybe seeing two other kiddos will give him enough to think about that he won't want to scream. :)

    We are into the full throes of toddlerhood yet, but I know that I fully enjoy going to work those two nights and having my hour and half away to grade on Fridays. I come home recharged and ready to go. I don't think I would cope if I had a 8-5 job 5 days a week as I get too little sleep, but I feel like I have the best of both worlds (but also the burden of two full-time "jobs" with not enough time or energy to do either quite as well as I would like).

  2. Toddlers are hard as fuck. They just are. You're allowed to say it. I've done all three things. I've worked out of my home for a zillion hours and had full time daycare. I've stayed at home full time. Now I work at home full time, but my kids are all school age. There are pluses and minuses to all of it. Basically I complained at times no matter what. Ha. Kids are hard.

    Right now I feel like I'm not enough. They all have school stuff that I can't go too, because my employer gives me next to no paid time off. When they're sick or when I am, lots of times I work anyway, because I can't afford time off. My ex doesn't pay child support and just canceled my nine year olds health insurance. Life man, it sure as shit isn't easy.

    I think that you trying your hardest to be different than your parents or parent, is wonderful. Your kids will have a great life with a mom who they will know loves them. Toddlers are a handful, they just are. The more verbal he gets though, the easier it will get. But you are allowed to whine or complain or well all of it.

    Can't wait to hear if you're having another boy or a little girl.

  3. Looking forward to hearing the news today!

  4. I hear you, after a long weekend with L, I race back to work. I'm not one of those women who gush about wanting to be with their kid every waking second. A friend of mine, who has a partner, said she felt the same way but didn't want to express it because of the judgement. Truth is we need and break every once in a while so don't feel bad about saying it.

  5. That sounds SO hard. I can't imagine being home all day! Can you trade babysitting with another mom, and have two toddlers for a couple of hours? It's definitely hard... but then you'd get a break when it was her turn.

    I'm grateful for a job that gets me out of the house nowadays! I miss my girl... but it's better that way.

  6. Hey, just because you don't go to a 9-5 job doesn't mean you don't have your own challenges. It's like saying someone can't complain because she chose to be a single mom. Just ridiculous!

  7. Those sweet baby Jesus mamas are lying! They come out in secret complaining in the birth clubs online about how stuck and bored and frustrated they feel. Felix is exhausting and I'm glad I work, and I hate it when people tell me "that's too bad" when I say I can't attend a daytime play date because I work. Nope, it's all good!

  8. Tho I don't really consider my job as an escape & hate missing so much time with Elena, I also know & recognize being a SAHM is effing hard!!! When I do get to spend many days home with Elena, I question if I really could survive being a SAHM. so nothing but huge props from me to you for actually doing it!!

  9. When Sidekick was home from school a couple of weeks ago ALL week with Hand Foot and Mouth, I wanted to strangle myself after being home with him for nine days straight and not even 5 minutes away from him! He is such a good boy and a good sick boy, but holy smokes I felt so trapped in my own home, and I kind of felt like my brain was turning to mush. BTW, I limit the toys available to him and rotate them so that he doesn't entirely destroy my already cramped condo. At 15 months old, he is learning to clean up his toys, so I hope he masters this by 18 months and learns to do his laundry by the time he is two years old. Hahaha!

  10. So he's not napping at all? In my attempts to fix our bedtime woes, I've done a lot of reading about sleep, and I wonder if some of his hyperactivity might be better if you made him take a short nap. Finn frequently skips a nap, but when he does, he's SO much harder. Not usually too grumpy, but just crazy hyperactive.

    I wish I had more time at home, but I'd never survive as a SAHM - I know it's rough!

  11. Can you create a space where B can only access so much at one time, to dump and "destroy"? Then you'd not have as much to clean up, at least not at once! And I agree with Shannon that even a short nap might help. Most kids don't start dropping all naps until at least 2, so you should have at least a few more months... Or even just implement a "quiet time" for some portion of the day, where he's limited to his crib, books, and stuffed animals, maybe with soft music playing. Then, even if he doesn't sleep, you can get a little break. Just a thought. Hang in there, this toddler stuff really IS hard, and it's ok to say it! I do!