After one week home with the kids, I noticed some minor changes from the working mom life. Granted husband was home for three out of the five days last week, but it wasn’t exactly easier. We also had the two amazing foster puppies on top of the change in routine but, here are five things that subtly changed since staying home full time. **In all fairness, this is just my brief experience, and does not represent every stay-at-home-mom’s life.**
1. No Diet. Naturally, in the working mom days you have to craft perfectly portioned snacks, healthy and fiscally responsible of course, and in reusable bags so you don’t destroy the planet. Your snacks should be packed with protein to build those mom muscles, and you need those fruits and veggies to give that body energy. Maintaining mom energy from wake up to bed time was NOT easy. (Quick recap: wake up, kids up, breakfast, daycare drop off, work 8 or more hours, daycare pick up, dinner, dishes, cleaning, prepping, bed time, quiet time, sleep.) Now, my day is one long snack break with various activities strategically placed through out. With two overly-active kids, I often forget to sit and snack and opt for that tenth cup of coffee. I didn’t say the diet change was healthy! Cold brew homemade coffee might be in the near future.
2. The Laundry. When your clothes consist of leggings, sweatpants, long sleeves, and sweatshirts- let’s be honest, you re-wear those items until they’re visibly dirty. Which means, LESS laundry. That’s right. Less trips downstairs to wash, forgetting to transfer to dryer, rewashing sitting laundry, drying, and then leaving clean clothes in a laundry basket until you wear again. Oh, and the kids clothes? Aside from my toddler wearing her entire wardrobe in a day, those clothes get reused until they’re actually dirty. It’s fantastic!
3. Netflix Lineup. We have two profiles on our subscription tv, mine and my toddler’s. I still don’t understand the capabilities, but you watch two kid shows under your own profile and those “suggested titles” DRASTICALLY change. Your crime drama, Rom-Coms go away for the likings of My Little Pony, Masha and the Bear, and Nursery Rhymes. I’m actually thankful Netflix brought back some of my childhood favorites, so she’s educationally exposed to Magic School Bus (original) and Scooby Doo! I’ll get better with separating profiles, but I’m not complaining. Yet.
4. Clean Sink. If you’re anything like me, dish washing is my least favorite activity (see Dishwasher Debacle for more information). We regularly load the dishwasher and forget to run it at night, leaving a short supply of coffee mugs in the morning, and a full sink the following day because- #life. NOW, I can rinse those toddler utensils, one coffee mug, put them in the dishwasher and wash it WHENEVER I remember. THEN, when it’s done, I can unload the dishwasher when the kids are running wild through the house. It’s amazing! I don’t feel rushed, I don’t feel behind, and best of all I’m not miserable doing it. Clean dishes, clean sink, and when we inevitably forget to buy more dishwasher cleaning pods, and there’s a back up in the sink, it’s organized and ready for loading when I get my grocery store act together. Guess what, I have time for that too!
5. Hygiene Schedule. What schedule? Working mom days brought morning showers, mostly because my hair needed to be a certain way, and it was only relatively attainable after a shower. Full disclosure, I now lose track of shower days. That’s what deodorant is for right? Thankfully, my kids LOVE brushing their teeth so that’s still a regular reminder. Now, I try to get that water going before the kids wake up as usual, but this schedule is still a work in progress. Until I figure it out, I’ll enjoy this cold weather justifying my warm cozy Kubota hat over my unwashed hair.
Ultimately, Stay-At-Home-Mom life is different than my old working days. So far, it’s less stress (minus those adorable puppies), less pressure, less obligations, and less mundane chores. I’m now into week 2 and I expect the above list to change- as does life. It’s not that one way is better than the other, because honestly there are pros and cons to working life and staying home. However, for me at this point in life it feels like everything I’ve done until now has prepared me for this venture. Speaking of which, I should probably go make that next cup of coffee!