Originally published in April 2014
So maybe I’m a little grouchy this week. It’s been a long, tough week. One that got me thinking about the things that can just take the wind right out of a stay-at-home mom’s sails at the start of what should be a great day.
1. Tell her the repairman will arrive sometime between the hours of 7 am and 6 pm.
I know, technically, we “stay at home,” but really we don’t spend our whole day in the house. First of all, that can get old fast. Plus, rarely does a day go by when I don’t have somewhere to be—an errand, an appointment, plans with friends. So forcing us to wait around all day long, as if it’s no big deal to us, is not going to earn you a great review on Yelp.
2. Insist “The kids won’t mind if we…”
Have you ever been out with that friend or family member who doesn’t seem to understand that the children are more than cute accessories? They’re actual people with needs and desires, no matter how old they are?
That’s why it can really suck when we succumb to peer-pressure and take someone else’s advice that we bring the infant and toddler to a two-hour movie, or a fancy lunch at nap time, or on a major shopping spree on Black Friday. Because you know who pays the price with cranky, burned-out kids long after crazy Aunt Sue leaves town? Us. Sometimes for days.
3. Ring the doorbell during naptime
Don’t mess with naptime. Naptime = break time. So, to recap: DON’T MESS WITH NAPTIME.
4. Cancel a playdate
We’ve all had to cancel on a friend for one reason or another, but especially with big kids, any significant change of plans can lead to major meltdowns. Even that snow day that was supposed to be super fun is a major annoyance to little Timmy who had his heart set on sharing his brand new something-or-other-flashy-and-loud with his buddies at school.
5. Assume that mom’s in charge of the schedule
My husband is famous for this one: saying I can pretty much structure my days the way I want because I stay at home. Although we do have some flexibility, when you actually chart out the amount of time each day dedicated to meeting each child’s needs—the ones we don’t get to “schedule,” like feeding them, washing them, putting them to sleep when they become crazy balls of emotion—you’re left with little more than enough time to use the bathroom without an audience.
6. Forecast a week of rain
We all know it: kids are like animals that frequently need to be released into the wild to burn off excess energy. Without an outlet, our homes become indoor racetracks rife with messes, injuries, and tears (our and theirs).
7. Sneeze on her kid
Coming off three weeks of stomach bug triage and now a cold the whole family has passed around, I beg of you, don’t get us sick. With three of our four family members home, we share germs in a way that no amount of Lysol and Chlorox wipes can stop. And if mom gets sick, her boss doesn’t provide sick days. It just sucks.