Breaking Mommish

Only a few months after I married my husband back in 2006, I peed on a stick, there was a plus sign, another plus sign, and two lines a couple of times (this was kind of a shock, so I needed lots of confirmation), and I became a mom.

I had always wanted to be a mom, and while marrying Prince Charming made the picture even more clear, it was a bit startling to have this go down about 15 minutes after we returned from our honeymoon.

When our daughter was born, I became a working mom… I was a high school English teacher in and around Nashville, TN for 11 years, but two years ago, we moved to Arkansas and I decided to try staying at home with our three kids.

And I became Mommish (Mom + Amish = Mommish…see what I did there?)

My life is much simpler now, and in embracing my mommish lifestyle, I want to point out a few ways that motherhood is like being Amish (even though I have only the vaguest concept of Amish lifestyle, learned primarily from three episodes of the very *documentary-esque* TLC hit show Breaking Amish).

1. Unflattering Clothes. So no one is burning up the runways here. And my SAHM clothes aren’t as bad as the mom jeans from SNL. I still try to revive moments of fashion greatness because it’s fun, but I am so old, so cheap, so larger-than-I-used-to-be, so not-fooling-anyone. And I think all my clothes have permanent kid-food-stains. So yep, not a fashion icon.

Sweet family, but not strutting the catwalks anytime soon, amiright?

2. No Make-Up. Neither the Amish nor I go for make-up. Yes, I donned the requisite bit of make-up when I was working, but now that I stay at home? Well…let’s just say mornings are a lot easier. Even though I look like I haven’t slept in days (no eyeliner), I did enjoy those extra 10 minutes of sleep this morning when I wasn’t applying make-up, thank you very much. #sorrynotsorry

3. Hair Back. Here’s another difference in Working Carrie vs. SAHM Carrie. The Hair. Dear me, the hair. I used to make an effort, y’all, but ponytails, messy buns, pinning my newly-cut  bangs (I have NO CLUE why I did bangs to myself except for a sordid haircutting history) back with bobby pins…that is my hair these days. The Amish girls understand, and maybe they might lend me a bonnet on particularly bad hair days.

4. Limited Technology. I barely watch TV anymore. I get my news not from actual news channels or even our local news…I subscribe to the Facebook school of very-important-news. I assume that if anything is cutting-edge (TV shows, music, etc.), then I will eventually hear about it on FB. Many people wrongly assume that the Amish reject all technology, but that isn’t the case. They just choose technology more carefully and make sure it’s for the greater good. On the “greater good” note, I have close and loving relationships with my dishwasher, my washer and dryer, and my iPhone…because motherhood.

5. You Would Think I Drove a Horse and Buggy. Y’all, I love my car. It’s a paid-for GMC Acadia, and while still an SUV, it has the soul of a minivan. And though I’ve only been on maybe three carriage rides in my life, I know that it’s sometimes smelly to ride behind a horse. I can easily commiserate with the Amish about smelly vehicles, seeing as how my kids eat 85% of their meals in the back of my car. While I send food to the back seat and no matter how much I threaten them to neatly dispose of detritus, leftovers and trash inevitably go on the floor. Our dog loves to ride in my car for the free buffet when she gets in. I know…ew. At least my buggy goes faster than a horse because we’re always late, y’all. Always.

6. Simple Food. I.Love.Food. From a fairly early age, I became an adventurous eater, and I’ve been rewarded with fantastic meals and happy taste buds because of it. However, since I became Mommish, not so much. I eat like my kids because kids are picky and who wants to cook even more? Not this girl. So now it’s endless chickennuggetsmacandcheesehotdogsfruitgoldfishveggiesifIgetatreatlater… I will keep trying to give the kids more adventurous, healthier food. But I will also not be purveyor of the three-times-per-day meal fight because…ugh.

This weekend, for the first time in two years, I will be Breaking Mommish. I’m heading to Baltimore for my very first BlogU Conference, a place where I will learn the science and art of blogging, as well as learning how to reach more readers and perhaps make a little spending cash. I am BEYONDEXCITED. I get to meet writers I admire already and those who are new-ish like me. I want to soak it all in and my inner nerd is dying to pull a Hermione Granger and be in every class they offer all at once.

And here are a few ways I’ll be Breaking Mommish this weekend:

  • Cutest clothes I’ve got (except for when I dress like a middle-schooler on Saturday night at the Nickelodeon #MiddleSchoolAwkward party)
  • Make-up…don’t want to scare anyone (AND I won’t be getting anyone else ready except myself! Score!)
  • Hair: making.the.attempt. You’re welcome, BlogU folks!
  • Technology: bring it. Even when I’m clueless about blogging terms, I will soldier on.
  • Transportation: teeny rental car, baby!
  • Food: as adventurous as I can find. Sushi in the airport? Yes, please. Seafood since I’ll be right by the ocean? Yum.

And y’all, as I’m Breaking Mommish, please forgive me for any stories and blog posts that begin with, “This one time at blog camp…”  Until next time!

 

 

Bartending for Moms Everywhere…You’re Welcome

One of my favorite movies from childhood was the 1991 blockbuster hit City Slickers. You’ve probably seen it, so I won’t bore you with the plot summary, but the screenplay’s writers were definitely onto something with the Barry and Ira Shalowitz characters, a pair of adventure-seeking brothers who owned an ice cream empire and one of whom, purportedly, could name the “perfect” ice cream flavor to pair with any possible meal.

The whole idea is ridiculous, of course, as the perfectly-paired ice cream flavor is a 1,000% subjective talent, but actor Josh Mostel’s Barry Shalowitz bravely soldiered on in the face of such adverse conditions as being asked to name the perfect ice cream flavor for sautéed sea bass.

As I’m familiar with both parenting and drinking, I propose, a la Barry Shalowitz, to name the perfect cocktail to go with any parenting situation. I dare you to contradict me. Enjoy.

Bringing Home the Newborn Baby…The White Russian. It’s practically milk, so that’s good, right? With a little Kahlua and vodka thrown in?

Letting Junior Cry It Out for the First Time…Bourbon and Coke. You will NOT, under any circumstances, give in on this. You have to sleep, for goodness’ sake. There is a camera’d/wired-for-sound baby monitor…right…there. Junior will be fine. Will it suck to listen to his heart-wrenching screams for 45 minutes? Sure. Will a glass of Jim Beam and Coke perhaps take you back to college football games and make you believe the screaming is for a first down or tackle for a loss? Sure.

Teething…Whiskey. This is pretty self-explanatory. If you ask Granny, it’s for the baby. If you ask the parents, well, be prepared to wrestle the half-empty bottle from their nerve-fried shaking hands. I grew up right down the road from the Jack Daniels’ distillery, so I’m a bit partial to JD. But the main thing is that you don’t want kids (in pain from/screaming about) teething longer than necessary…that would be the real tragedy.

A Huge Pile of Laundry…Red Wine. Ever noticed that huge pile of laundry looming in the laundry room at the end of the day? It’s the job that’s never finished. Have some vino while you sort, fold, and pair the socks. But be careful about spills. Red wine stains on freshly clean laundry would be unholy punishment.

Post-Target Tantrum…Beer. Any beer, your choice. You may need three. One for each judgmental old lady who gave you the stink eye while your kid lost it in the home goods section. In fact, have an extra for that mom who had four kids who were pretty good considering they outnumbered their mom 4-1 and only one melted down briefly. You can drink one for her, too.

My Kid Is Hosting a Birthday Slumber Party…Sleeping Pill. This is happening later in the summer for me. I’m pretty sure that swallowing a Tylenol PM with a chaser of just about anything will ensure that I sleep, even if the girls don’t. Right? (I’m so nerdy-rated-PG that I can’t even fathom figuring out how or whom to ask for a stronger sleep med. Feel free to make fun.)

Any Girls’ Night Out During Motherhood...White Wine.You know that night out you’ve been dreaming about? The one where you and your girls have on your new cutest post-kid-married-mom-on-a-wild-night clothes, have a sophisticated meal that doesn’t involve chicken nuggets, get hyped up to dance all night, and end up with two awkward girl-jams on the floor before you’re all yawning? White wine is the answer. I recently saw a shirt that I need that said: “Trust me, you can dance. –wine.” Yes, ma’am. I’ll have another.

I’m happily open for suggestions on any parenting situation cocktails. And I have a few situations that I just can’t quite match. If you have the right Barry-Shalowitz-esque cocktail for “my kid flooded the toilet three times today,” “I’m not judging the who-can-scream-louder contest,” or “why do my kids only quote me when I have road rage,” please let me know. Thanks, y’all.

 

T-Ball Practice Is Cancelled, and Other Ballpark Drama

Every time a t-ball practice is cancelled, the coach gets his wings. Yesterday afternoon, I received the BEST group text ever. IMG_3626 No practice tonight and NO GAME on Saturday morning? This is my kinda team! Can I tell you how happy things like this make me? Just…giddy, if we’re being completely honest about it. I will not pause to evaluate why we sign up for all this crap these extracurricular activities when my 4yo Tate spends most of his time on the t-ball field with his hand down his pants rather than in his glove, but…what-ev.

We’ve all heard stories about horrible parents at the ball field, and by comparison this incident is quite mild…but still… I was literally the only person who heard it, but it has bothered me ever since.

I was sheep-dog-herding my two boys at my 7yo daughter Sarah’s softball game. I can’t sit in the stands with the boys…they’re too annoying to people around them, and they’re easier if they have some room to play.

A few weeks ago, I sat on a low brick wall behind the plate next to a mother whom I didn’t know, and we had a nice but brief chat about how hard it is to take little kids to the ball field, watch out for them, and still manage to watch your kid on the field. After our exchange, we sat in amiable silence, watching the game, my head turning like a submarine periscope to make sure the boys weren’t being too rowdy or trying to go home with strangers.

And then I heard it. The mom sitting next to me said, Drop it.

Drop it, drop it, DROP IT! She said it urgently, gaining momentum as she repeated, but certainly not very loud. I’m sure I was the only person who heard her. A kid on her daughter’s team had hit a grounder and was running to first base. A kid on Sarah’s team fielded the ball and threw the runner out at first base. To the chorus of this mother hoping an 8yo little first baseman would drop the ball so the runner on her daughter’s team would be safe.

Really?!? the word came out so quickly that I had no idea I’d even spoken it out loud. My “really” was no louder than her tacky comment, but I’m sure there was no doubt it was aimed at her. She stood up, huffed away, and proceeded to middle-school-whisper to another mom behind her hand while giving me dirty looks. Maturity levels were skyrocketing at that point.

But really…can we please not cheer for 7 and 8yo little girls to fail? Doesn’t that seem way harsh for girls who were probably picking daisies on the t-ball field only two or three years ago?

Since then, I have had time to gather my thoughts on this subject, and I have laid them out here, advice for both myself and Drop-It-Mom (DIM).

  1. DIM, our daughters are 7 and 8 years old, and this is a game. It’s supposed to be fun. Our priorities should be encouraging them, helping them learn the game, and teaching them good sportsmanship. Not in any league is it appropriate for parents to encourage children to fail.
  2. DIM, in ten years…hell, in ten minutes, our daughters will not remember or care who won this game. They are thinking about the popcorn at the end.
  3. DIM, where did you learn sportsmanship? From the Texas Cheerleader Massacre mom?
  4. DIM, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and hope that I caught you at a bad moment. Surely you don’t normally go around hoping that other little girls mess up for the betterment of your daughter, right? I purposefully waited to write this post because I didn’t want to remember anything about you. I don’t remember what you look like, what you were wearing, or even which team your little girl plays for. I haven’t felt death stares at the ballpark, so you probably don’t remember me either.
  5. Carrie, maybe this is a bit neurotic to worry weeks later about an incident that only took about 4 seconds? Let’s take ‘er down a notch.
  6. Carrie, stop judging. Not your monkeys, not your circus.
  7. Carrie, how would you feel if Sarah heard you being the morality-sportsmanship police? Thanks goodness that DIM didn’t start some crazy altercation. Behind your sass mouth lies someone who doesn’t want to be “that mom” at the fields.
  8. DIM, how would you feel if your daughter heard you cheering for another child to fail? Is that a lesson you’d be willing to teach her, or one that you want her to learn??

Sarah had another game tonight, and her team didn’t win. I don’t know if this was the team DIM’s daughter is on or not, and I really didn’t care. I watched Sarah run to the concession stand for her popcorn, a beautiful smile on her face just to have played this evening. I asked her if she had fun, and she said it was one of the most awesome plays of her life when she dove for (and missed) a ground ball late in the game. If DIM was in the other stands, I hope she was happy that my precious daughter missed that ball. I didn’t care either way.

A Dose of Sweetness, Reality, Humor, and Murder on Mother’s Day

You know the Mother’s Day when you get the sleeping late, the spa pedicure, the cut flowers in your favorite colors, the showering of gifts, gift cards, the afternoon nap, the blah, blah, blah? I got some of it. Not all of it. And I totally love my Mother’s Day, complete with its dose of sweetness, reality, humor, and murder. Yes, MURDER.

Sweetness: I got breakfast in bed! Coffee, milk, and cinnamon rolls from the pop-open can that 7yo Sarah baked herself. She was so proud as she tottered in, fully dressed for church holding the tray (decorated cookie sheet). Adorable, appreciated, and I wish I could wake up like that more often. I didn’t even have to cook lunch…ordered out my fave BBQ, y’all.

Reality: 2yo Sawyer had to be excised from the lunch table for excessive, inexplicable crying. Jeff bought me a steam mop for MD, a nod to my hatred of all things cleaning but a Prince Charming-esque valiant attempt to alleviate my hate/hate relationship with my white tile floor. 4yo Tate peed in his pants while on the couch but swore it was his younger brother, and he and Sarah almost got into a fistfight about who had actually urinated more in his pants, Tate or Sawyer. (Magical.)

Humor: The kids got in trouble with Jeff for saying “What the what?” Yes, there have been a few slip-ups and bad parenting moments lately wherein the kids may have overheard me use language I’d rather they not repeat. So I’ve replaced my usual under-my-breath-mutterings with “What the what?” ….What?!? It’s way better than other things they could hear me say. As it is Mother’s Day, I pled the Fifth and let Jeff referee that one. And secretly giggled…so…humor.

Murder: We wanted to get a few pics of the kids and me on MD outside on our front porch. It seemed to be going well (except for my unfailing ability to look weird in pictures, squint at the camera, smile too much, smile too little, and hold my body at awkward angles so that I actually appear at least 40 pounds heavier than I actually am, etc…we found this all out later upon closer photo inspection).

It seemed to be going well until Sarah let out a bloodcurdling scream, followed by about 8 birds, also screaming and mad.

Followed by our golden retriever Lexi emerging from the bushes with, you guessed it,…a baby bird coming out of her mouth.

Our screams startled Lexi, who proceeded to drop the bird and pick up it several times. Each time she dropped it, the bird would attempt escape, Jeff would try to grab Lexi’s collar, Lexi would wiggle out of his grasp, and the kids would yell, “NOOOOOOOO!!!!!” It was a macabre display, and we had to hustle the kids back in the house before all was said and done and before we were attacked by an angry mob of birds.

Crime Scene Photo. Don't be fooled by the adorable kids. Note the dog going off the front porch. Something is about to go very, very wrong.
Crime Scene Photo. Don’t be fooled by the adorable kids. Note the photo-bombing dog going off the front porch. Something is about to go very, very wrong.

Has it been a perfect day? Almost. I could’ve done without peed pants, screaming toddlers, unflattering pictures of me, and bird murder (bird-er! Lexi is a birderer!). (Gosh, sorry for the slap-happy wordplay joke.) But…it’s just another day in paradise. Not sarcastic paradise. Real paradise. I’m the luckiest mother ever.

Y’all, A Versatile Blogger Award Nomination? Yep!

versatile-blogger-award-51

Oh my goodness! Someone thinks I’m versatile (not usually the first, middle, or last thing anyone would normally say about me), so I’m jumping up and down thinking that I might not be so bad after all! My buddy Brandi over at A Girl Named Wanda nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award, and I’m so grateful! Brandi (and her awesome alter-ego Wanda) write(s) about being a SAHM (and how hard it can sometimes be), and she eloquently quotes conversations with her two children as they grow up, say funny things, and learn to make sense of our crazy world. I’m a fan, and YOU SHOULD BE, TOO! Get over there and follow her, y’all!

Thank you, Brandi, you sweet rock star!

Here is a list of rules to accept this award:

Show the award on your blog.

Thank the person who nominated you.

Share seven facts about yourself.

Nominate 15 blogs.

Link your nominees’ blogs, and let them know.

Seven Facts About Me:

  1. I’m a Tennessee girl by birth, but the Hubs swept us away to romantic Central Arkansas (which I really love!) almost two years ago. I stopped teaching high school English, which had been my thing for 11 years, and started my new gig as a SAHM. Best. Decision. Ever. We have a girl (7yo) and two boys (4yo and 2yo), and they are a hoot. Sometimes I have bad parenting moments, and lucky for y’all, I’m not ashamed to share them on my blog.
  2. I’m a recovering teacher (thank heavens I’m no longer grading papers during every waking hour…that can drive a person to drink… a lot more than usual). I still fly my nerd flag, though. And I’m a YERD (yearbook + nerd = YERD). I ran the yearbook for the high school where I taught, and because I love it and can’t seem to stay away (and I’m a glutton for punishment), I produce the yearbook at my daughter’s elementary school.
  3. I was once a contestant on Wheel of Fortune. It sounds crazy, I know. But I did it. The Hubs, my mom, and my 92yo grandmother who never missed a WOF episode flew to LA in September, 2012 (when I was 6 weeks preggo with Baby #3, thank you…not fun partying in LA) and my episode aired the day before Thanksgiving of that year. I was the second place player, bested by a lady named Kat (I still cringe when I think of her), but I won the prize puzzle, which was an all-expenses paid trip to MAUI. Yes. MAUI. We had a blast.
  4. I am a crappy housekeeper. Since keeping house is now officially part of my job description (according to the Hubs), I’m getting better, but y’all will probably want to leave the eating off the floor to my golden retriever. And the white tile floor and I have a hate/hate relationship, too.
  5. I should not be allowed near scissors or hair clippers. I think this is the blog post where Brandi refers to snorting out her coffee.
  6. I do not give fashion advice on my blog, but I do have some questionable fashion magazine choices where I try to match my activities as a SAHM with fashion I see there. It’s an award-winning two-part series. Okay, not really. But it’s kinda funny.
  7. My best friend and cousin Randle encouraged me to write a blog because she loved following my misadventures in parenting on Facebook when I moved six hours away. I’ve been blogging less than a year, but I love writing again and sharing sometimes serious, mostly idiotic stuff about life with my kids and husband. And I will be attending BlogU in Baltimore in just a month! Cannot. Wait.

And now for some Versatile Blogger nominees…

  1. Underdaddy – This sweet dad is all about his wife and kids. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes sweet, always worth reading.
  2. I Refuse to Follow Your Blog – I feel like I’m reading a continuation of Office Space, as written by Peter Gibbons. Check out the snarkfest. And I’m kind of honored that, despite the name, he follows my blog.
  3. Within Normal Limits? – I have the honor of knowing Lauren personally as well as admiring her writing. Lauren is a mom, a therapist, and I love how she writes about her own quirkiness. She is one funny gal.
  4. Imperfectly Nice – April is another writer I know personally (okay, so we were sorority sisters and drinking buddies in college), and I just appreciate her outlook on the world. Her post about choosing to have only one child is just amazing.
  5. Domesticated Momster – Trista is a fellow SAHM, and I feel like she gets what I’m going through, and we seem to cope similarly (wine).
  6. Ben’s Bitter Blog – Ben has found over 500 things to be bitter about. And that’s just today. Just kidding, but Ben has an awesome, snarky take on the world, and I appreciate his humor.
  7. Modern Mommy Madness – Harmony has it all: humor, heart, and her kids manage to drive her crazy, too. Check her out if you haven’t already!

I hope you will enjoy reading all these awesome bloggers (and if any bloggers aren’t into this sort of thing, you don’t have to participate). Thanks so much to Brandi for thinking of me, and I hope y’all have a great week! Thanks, carrie

Carrie On Parenting: You’ve Gotta Love Childhood Innocence

When the doctor first handed me each of my three children, I couldn’t believe that here in my arms was a perfect, untainted little soul, a sweet baby smell, a head full of soft hair (at least for my kids), and, scarily enough, a blank slate, completely devoid of experience in how the world works and as yet unfamiliar with our family dynamic.

Yep…that’s scary. My kids are still relatively little (ages 7, 4, and 2), so we aren’t dealing with the ever-frightening tween or teenager-y aspects of growing up too much yet. However, there have been a few instances of childhood innocence gone awry in my family recently that have given me pause to consider just how mediocre a parent I am.

Tate, age 4: “Please help me find my damn shoes, mama.” I *ahem* have no idea where he heard this *I could throw the Hubs under the bus here, but he could’ve heard this from either of us, most likely on a Sunday morning when we’re late for church*. I think the added bonus of the word please helped soften the blow. I’m sure we’ve never said damn shoes together in a sentence, right?

Sawyer, age 2: “Shit.” (after dropping a toy down the stairs) He was laughing and pointing at the toy as he said this. Again, who is cussing in front of these kids? I think they assume that the natural consequence of dropping something on the floor is to say shit. So…probably ought to work on this one, too.

Sarah, age 7: “Mama, we found a turtle in the yard!” Imagine how thrilled we were to find the box turtle in the yard, just hanging out. I’m sure he was less than thrilled that seven neighborhood children just happened upon him while he was minding his business and doing his slow little thing. I’m sure that, had he not been a turtle, he would have hightailed it out of there post haste. “Mama, we have to make a home for him!” Sarah begged.

I agreed, but only under the condition that Spatz the Turtle not be confined in a box (because I can’t be worried about another mouth to feed or keeping one more thing alive…RIP house plants). The kids had to make a natural habitat for him.

And this is what precious, innocent little Sarah came up with.

Phallus Turtle Palace

I hope that God will forgive me for snorting the afternoon iced tea I was drinking out of my nose when I saw Spatz’s new home, proudly displayed in my neighbor’s yard. You can even see Spatz, resting comfortably in one of the testicles of his flowered abode. When Sarah asking why there were tears running down my face, I had to tell her that it was just such a beautiful home for a sweet turtle that it made me cry a little.

So, you’ve gotta love the innocence of children. And y’all, please don’t ban us from play dates this summer because your kids might pick up bad language or phallic pet habitats. We’re working on it. Any charming innocent moments you want to share in the comments to make me feel better? I’d appreciate it!

Carrie on Parenting: 10 Truths I’ve Learned as a SAHM

Two years ago, if you had told me I would be a stay at home mom living in Arkansas, I would have laughed in your face and asked if you’d had your meds this morning.

I was days from giving birth to our third child and an 11-year veteran high school English teacher in the Nashville suburbs. I was trying to wrap up the semester and prep my sub for what she would be dealing with in the last few weeks of school (seniors who were close to graduation…you’re welcome, Mrs. Seat!). My plan was to give birth to this surprise baby on May 1, 2013 (the gender was a surprise, and well, the baby was kind of a surprise, too!), spend the summer at home with my three kiddos, and be back at work torturing a whole new crop of seniors who thought they knew everything by August. Easy peasy.

And then, when baby Sawyer was three weeks old, my husband got a job offer from his company in their Arkansas office, and there was the summer of PTSD: husband gone to work at his new job, moving to new state, buying new house, selling old house, and, oh wait…A NEWBORN BABY, a 2.5yo, and a 6yo.

So I’m now almost exactly 2 years into the SAHM gig, and I’ve learned a few lessons along the way as I navigate being a recovering teacher and newly employed as a domestic engineer.

  1. Expect to do at least one load of laundry and one load of dishes every day. Am I perfect at this? Nah. But this is the minimum standard to keep our house running. We wear so many outfits and use so many plates and dishes that the crazy piles up quickly.
  2. It never ends. SAHM’s, actually ALL moms, need to accept that your house will never be 100% clean and you’ll never have 100% of chores, toys, dishes be completed, put away, and washed and back in the cupboard. Want to know how I know? Look down. See those clothes you’re wearing? Gotta wash those.
  3. There is no shame in chicken nuggets. Or mac n cheese. Or Lunchables. My kids are healthy and outside all the time. And even when I make an effort to cook, I get the hairy eyeball about what awfulness I could possibly be feeding my poor children. And I am in survival mode sometimes, so…chicken nuggets for dinner. Again. You’re welcome.
  4. Silence is scary. Silence means someone is trying to flood a bathroom, burn down the house, or stuff our dog in a closet. Not good. I still have a message in deodorant on my bathroom wall from a mere 5-minute silence. That’s all it took.
  5. We are still late everywhere we go. Does it matter that we really don’t have to be anywhere on time except school and church? Nah. Even if we began leaving an hour in advance, someone would need clothes changed, someone has lost one shoe, someone needs to potty, and I can’t find the car keys (yes, it’s sometimes my fault).
  6. You may as well put them in the cute clothes. They’re kids, so they’re going to get messy, but if those clothes just hang in the closet and are never worn, that’s no good either. Better to have worn and lost than never to have worn at all. I received an awesome compliment on my daughter’s clothes the other day, and I couldn’t stop smiling for an hour. And yes, her clothes are nicer than mine.
  7. More kids at a playdate=they entertain each other. This was a new one for me and one I never would have tackled before SAHMotherhood. 7 kids in my house? Crazy!! But the first time I had my three kids plus another four and all I had to do was feed them? SO amazing. I never turned on the TV. I never refereed arguments (they did that themselves). They couldn’t eat until they had cleaned up the toys. The moms got to socialize. Winning on all counts.
  8. Exercise places with child care rule. I never worked out when I was a teacher. There were not enough hours ever, and if I had extra time, I wanted to hang with the kids rather than hand them off to another sitter so I could work out. Now that I’m at home with them, I love me some Jazzercise. It’s the place to be in our Arkansas town…a great work out and the kids are welcome there. Any place where you can work out while someone else watches your kids is the SAHM’s saving grace.
  9. Outside is always the best option. I would rather my kids be outside than anywhere else. They’re away from screens. They aren’t jacking up the house I just straightened up. And they’re happier. They are more creative, they make up games and role play, and they’re on their bikes and scooters. There’s nothing like Vitamin D and pink cheeks.
  10. This is the best job ever. I truthfully thought I would crawl up the walls like a crazy person after two months at home with my kids, but that hasn’t been the case. It’s exhausting and busy, but it’s also beautiful to step back and see them growing each day. It happens quickly, and I’m glad I have a front row seat.

This isn’t a perfect or definitive list, but it’s true. Anything you’ve learned in this role? I’m interested to hear!