Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Why I Can't Be A Stay At Home Mom

Occassionally I'll entertain this crazy fantasy of wishing I were a stay at home mom. Fantasy goes as follows: I'll spend my days making cookies with my son, enjoying sunny days at the park, we'll quietly read some books, spend an afternoon with our coloring books and have play dates with friends.

Then I spend a week (ok, it's only Tuesday but it's already been a long week!) at home with my son. And I quickly snap out of such foolishness thinking.

While he can be sweet, entertaining and hilarious, the other 75% of the time he is a wild little adventurous boy with a mind of his own. He has his own little personality, he knows exactly what he wants and he is very vocal about expressing them. While I absolutely love this about him, it results in the fact that we often (very often) disagree. For instance he thinks he can have cookie dough for breakfast, he doesn't need naps, the coffee grinder is a toy, cat food should be recycled, and that he can watch Elmo 14 hours out of the day. When I try to tell him otherwise, we have plenty of tantrums.

The hard part is that he wants to play with everything and try everything we do. He is very independent and wants to be a big boy. He loves to explore and learn about the world around him. I want him to do this but I'll only let him explore the taste of cat food so many times. I'll let him play with the water in the sink until I've cleaned up one too many messes in one day. It's great he wants to learn but how do I tell him to ease up on the messes?

Some days it seems like all I do is follow Jacob around and clean up everything in his aftermath: cat food, water and juice on the floor, crackers ground into the carpet, an over turned box of oatmeal, every toy known to man strewn about our floor, the contents of my wallet (typically three times in one day). It's enough to make me scream sometimes!

But there are little rewards along the way that seem to come at just the right time. Like when the oven timer goes off and Jacob looks at me, giggles and yells "beeep!" Or when he points at an object and says it's name for thr first time. And just when I think I've had enough and I'm just about fed up for the day, he climbs up on the table, comes over to me and gives me three big mouth kisses.


Anonymous said...

I worked in a Montessori Preschool and we made the kids clean up their own messes. One boy liked to play with water (e.g., doing dishes) and he spent the bulk of his time cleaning up the spills (he'd clean a bit and say "all done," I'd look and say "you missed some here," then we would repeat). Because he knew he was required to do so there was no problem.

Shelley said...

Sigh. I have seriously been fantasizing about being a stay at home (er...work/write at home) mom again. Damn this needing to eat/pay rent business, anyway!

Write and Wrong said...

Aww the three little kisses sound perfect :-) Kids are so great when they aren't getting into trouble...

Tree Hugging 2L said...

My mom is a nanny and I filled in her for one day. ONE day. Kids are 6 months and 2 1/2, so I figured, no biggie. By noon I was ready for a vodka tonic. I might want to get a handle on that (no pun intended) prior to having kids of my own, yes?