As of a few months ago, I was a “professional career woman” working on “building my resume.” Now, I am “a stay at home mom” working on “teaching my toddler not to hit, spit, eat poop or let out blood curdling screams.”
It’s been less than a quarter of a fiscal year, but I’ve learned of a few universal truths about being a WOHM-turned-SAHM.
1. There are too many hours in a day. At an office job, days tend to pass quickly as you meet deadlines, drink coffee, walk to the bathroom and even pee alone several times in an 8-hour stretch. There are co-workers to share jokes with and validation for a job well done. Contrast that with life at home. When the clock hits 3 p.m. and you’re home with a toddler who didn’t nap nearly long enough, minutes turn to hours. Maybe you head to Target. Yes, for the second time that day, but hey, it passes time before dinner goes in the oven.
2. You suddenly feel inadequate compared to your child’s former daycare provider. There are only so many ways to play Ring Around the Rosie, and your “At Work” playlist featuring old school punk rock is not exactly toddler friendly. Oh, and you’re SOL if you think she’s going to take a nap at the same time every day. Never mind that she did exactly that for nearly two years for her teachers.
3. You may have a burning temptation to pay for a babysitter so you can grocery shop alone. Daycares open past 5 p.m. are a godsend to parents who can run a few errands before pickup. Once that’s gone and you find yourself juggling sippy cups and trying to sneak one more free bakery cookie for the kiddo, the hundreds of dollars spent on daycare prior to leaving your job seem worth it.
4. Your days of lunching out with co-workers and being served food by actual wait staff instead of miniature humans with grimy hands are over. Lunch will now consist of crushed goldfish crackers and other un-identifiables picked out of car seats. But hey, maybe this will jump start that diet you’ve always talked about doing.
5. Speaking of dieting, you may find over time that you’re in the best shape of your life because of four letters and a magic word: YMCA babysitting. For a minimal fee, a young college student who most likely adores your children will watch them while you work out. And you may even have time after to shower alone.
There it is. The universal truths of changing motherhood. Good luck keeping up.