Thursday, June 26, 2014

10 secrets a Stay-at-Home-Mom doesn't want you to know

As I start my third year as a stay-at-home-mom, I answer the question, "How do you like being a SAHM?" a lot. How do you answer that question?
"Yeah, it's busy but great."
"Yeah, but it's harder than I expected."
"I miss socialization."

The people who ask have never experienced the joys and struggles of the Stay-at-Home-Mom job. To them I offer: 10 secrets a Stay-at-Home-Mom doesn't want you to know.

10. Occasionally it's a race against the husband walking in the door and putting on real pants.

9.  Lunch options are not as glamorous as Pinterest makes it look.  Chicken nuggets, PB&J, Fish sticks, repeat.

8.  Make-up? Hahaha

7.  Somedays, we don't need to go to the store, we need someone to be buckled in one place for a little while.

6.  Other days, getting everyone packed up and in the car seems impossible and nothing is worth it.

5.  Showering is a luxury. Showering with no one else in the bathroom, a fantasy.

4.  The amount of dishes that are used throughout a day is insurmountable. It's a feat just to keep a few clean dishes in the cupboard.

3.  Same with clothes. And getting all the laundry folded (without someone unfolding them) is a pipe dream.

2.  Listening to others talk about lunch dates or coffee breaks is irritating.

1.  It's isolating when everyone else has peers and you're stuck talking to a 1 year old.

But I love it and wouldn't change a thing! 

I want to hear what you would add to the list!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Why we stick to a strict bedtime

How do you handle bedtime? It can be a tricky subject with it comes to parents.  Some have a laissez faire attitude toward it and others hold a strict regimen. Since Fitz has been a few months old, we have always leaned more toward the strict regimen. 7:00 is bedtime. It's something we have stuck to with Monkey and are looking forward to getting on schedule with for M.

We leave places to get home for bedtime. We end movies for bedtime. We make sure baths and dinner are done before bedtime.

It's hard. I'd never say it isn't. 7:00 is early, especially during the summer months, or when my husband doesn't get home until 6:30 from a long day at work. But we stick with it for important reasons.


Our girls know what to expect at 7:00 every night. Fitz and Monkey are two of the most active kids I've met. All day long it's GO GO GO. By 6:00, both of them start running low on energy and listening skill but will fight with everything they have to keep going, which of course leads to meltdowns. It helps us keep our cool to know that soon they will be in bed, and it helps them to know that soon the fight will be over (whether or not they want it to be). 

*On very special occasions we will let bedtime slip and will struggle through the tantrums and grouchy attitudes, but it is almost always with regret by 7:45. It just doesn't work for our family at this time.

Alone Time

Whether it is much needed alone time with yourself after a rough day, or alone time together, we cherish this time every night. It gives us a chance to talk without interruptions, watch whatever we want, or sometimes eat without our food getting cold. 

I think this is an important part of a happy marriage as well. Many days end with exhaustion and/or frustration and spending time with the husband is calming and refreshing for both of us. 

Morning Routine

When my girls get enough sleep overnight, they wake up happy. If they wake up happy, we all have a better beginning to our day; I do not do well dealing with fits and whining first thing in the morning. 

We've caught a lot of flack about our unwillingness to change our schedule over the years. As the girls grow and become more involved in activities, we will have to change but for now this is what helps keep the sanity in our house. 

Are you flexible with bedtimes or hold firm? How does it work with your family? 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

How we survived colic

Monkey was 2 weeks old when the crying began. It was slow and subtle at first, each day was just a little more crying than the previous. By 3 weeks, she was crying between 6-8 hours a day. What was I doing wrong?!

When she turned 6 weeks old, the crying and screamed lasted upwards of 14 hours a day. I was drowning in self loathing. How could I let my baby cry like this everyday and not be able to soothe her?

Colic is no joke. And until you experience it for yourself, you can't understand how grueling it is.

Monkey was a baby of firsts. First child I nursed exclusively. First to not go to daycare. First to not gain weight likes babies should. First to make me doubt my own sanity. Because of these firsts, I knew the only reason for all of the screaming and crying was me.

I tried cutting certain foods from my diet (dairy, sugar, gluten, caffeine).
I tried holding her in every imaginable way ever (cradle, football, tummy on my arm, upside down, rightside up).
I googled every topic of crying babies ever for some glimpse of hope that it was something I was or wasn't doing (I could fix it if I just knew)
I screamed back at her when I had nothing left to try.

The doctor was little help. She offered a sympathetic look when delivering the news of colic and what it meant, and then moved on to her next patient. We were on our own.


I nursed Monkey exclusively during her colic and questioned myself every day because of it. Is she not getting enough? Could she be allergic to my milk? It MUST be my milk causing her to have such terrible tummy pain. Do we switch to formula to see if it helps? Is she sensing that I don't enjoy nursing and feels this way because of that? Everything I googled and every nurse I talked to recommended the same thing, keep nursing.  If it's bad with breastmilk, it will be worse with formula. Breastmilk is easier to digest on their tiny tummies and she was already having a hard time. 

I didn't switch to formula during this period for her. Mostly out of guilt. I am not a mother who enjoys breastfeeding. It was a hard task, made even more daunting by the endless crying and constant worry. 20 months later, I still wonder if making the switch to formula wouldn't have helped. 


My back and arms ached from holding her nonstop. I couldn't do anything around the house that I needed to do (cook, laundry, dishes, play with my 3 year old). I couldn't stand the intensity of the screams if I laid her down. I tried a BabyBjorn carrier which made the crying worse. I tried a sling that I couldn't ever really get comfortable for me or her. I tried a Moby wrap recommended by a friend. It didn't stop the crying, nothing stopped the crying, but it made it more manageable when I had my hands free to do something else (anything else). 

The trick that helped Monkey was folding her legs up (like they are in the womb) and placing her into the wrap. Her legs provided a small amount of pressure on her tummy while she was held against my body and it seemed to give some relief to the uncomfortableness. She was even able to take a few short naps while tucked tightly into the wrap. Hellelujah.


It was so hard to get away from her while she was colicky. I felt such guilt leaving her with anyone else because I knew how hard it was to deal with after only a few minutes. I was home with her all day and all night and it doesn't take long to be worn down completely. There were times listening to the neverending crying that I began to understand how parents could snap on their infant and cause great harm. Whether it's your husband, mom, sister, whomever... take a break from the crying everyday

Having someone help and understand what it's like, makes you feel less crazy. It's not just you doing something wrong. If you think you might harm your baby or yourself, seek professional help immediately, and please don't feel ashamed about it. 

When colic ended, it was slow and subtle at first, each day was just a little less crying than the previous. Then it was just a painful and distant memory.

How have you dealt with colic?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

When did letting our kids out of sight become so scary?

I don't remember when I started playing outside alone. I don't remember either of my parents saying "No" to a request to head outdoors for the day, or watching from the window constantly. I do remember having a curfew of street lights, or the dreaded yell from mom.  I do remember playing in the yard, at the park, or at neighbor's. Nothing terrible ever happened to any of us. We went home dirty, maybe a little bruised up, and ready for bed and a new day to play. 

Every day I fight the worry of what could happen to my kids. Monkey could fall off the edge of the couch she's always bouncing on. Fitz could be approached by a stranger outside and be her usual overly friendly self. Someone could get stung by one of the wasps that seem to make our deck their home every summer. 

When did I become that mom? I don't like it. 

When did letting our kids out of sight become so scary? 

Fitz has begun asking to play outside by herself more and more frequently. She loves riding her bike, she thrives on dramatic play, and could swing herself for hours. Everything kids should be outside doing. "Go outside and play" should be on the tip of all parents' tongues when the weather is nice and the kids are well. And yet, I hesitate every time. 

At what age did your kids start playing outside alone? Does it make you nervous, too? 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Who did what now?!

Imagine with me for a moment...

It's 7:36 a.m. The sun is shining through the window, birds are chirping outside, your bed has never felt more comfortable than this very moment. Your eyes open lazily as you begin to take in the world around you. Suddenly, a blood curdling scream. What's the first thought you have?

Mine? "Who did what now?!"

Life with 3 kids is hectic. Someone is always in need of something. A hug, a drink, a diaper change, a piece of paper. Life with 3 girls is loud. Someone is always screaming. About a toy, a snack, a song, a nap.

"Fitz" is 5. She thinks she's 17 and ready for the world. One of the most strong willed, expressive, and passionate children I have ever encountered. Surely she's destined for some sort of dramatic vocation.

"Monkey" is 22 months and an absolute peanut. 'Though she be but little, she is fierce' - William Shakespeare. She is either overrun with silliness and giggles or angry screams of frustration, there seems to be no middle.

"M" is 6 weeks old. Spends most of her days sleeping and eating and already has strong preferences for how to be held.

This blog is going to be a collection of sorts, more or less me trying to depict my successes and struggles with 3 kids, a home, a few crafts/home decorating, and maintaining some sanity through it all.

Join me, won't you?

You may also like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...