It’s busy season for my hubby. Between January 25th – April 1st, he typically leaves for work around 6 or 6:30am and comes back between 8:30 – 9pm. The only day he has off is Friday.
After tax season, he works about 3-4 days a week. Because Michael is an active and involved father to our son Kai, this time of year feels drastically different. It’s quite an adjustment for our family.
I have been a full-time stay at home mom for about 16 months now. During this time, the most challenging part of my job is actually staying at home. I love going out. Whether it is going grocery shopping, going for walk, or just talking to people.
It’s tough to juggle everything. This job has truthfully been the most challenging yet most rewarding one.
I’ve had to figure out how to tackle an obstacle as it comes. These days, parenthood is figuring out how to survive the day with my toddler. One thing I am truly grateful for is the support I have received from family and friends. Most are always willing to watch and play with Kai.
Sometimes daily routines and schedules get messy a day or two after Kai sleeps over at his grandparents. And, Daddy misses him because he rarely gets to see him this time of year. So, keep in mind there are always trade-offs when you pawn your kid off.
If You’re Hungry, Eat and Be Satisfied
It’s different when you work full time in what most people refer to as the “real world”, and you have a daily routine that consists of sending your kids to daycare, a babysitter/nanny, their grandparents or other relatives, while you work to earn a living. I’m definitely not saying this is this easy because you may be internally grappling with the fact that you’re not with your child. Although, I know plenty of parents who successfully do this!
Before I started staying at home, I worked full time in an office. While I was fulfilling my career goals, I wasn’t completely satisfied or happy. I was yearning for something more. I was struggling with work-life balance.
At one point, I worked for Hasbro, the toy company, and felt like a number. I contributed to my team and did my job. I, however, didn’t directly see the results come to life. I enjoy making a difference and an impact. This is one of the reasons I truly enjoy spending this time with my toddler.
In the workplace, you may have to meet with your superior and discuss your goals for the year or review your past accomplishments and set expectations for achieving future milestones or develop specific action plans. In my current place of ’employment’, I try to set mini goals along my journey of parenting full time.
There is no pre-determined set of performance metrics in this position. Sometimes I wish it was a little more cut and dried than this. While I’m a planner, I love the spontaneity of parenthood!
Failing or Feeling Like It
Don’t be afraid of failure. Kai is getting potty trained now. We just got him his first pack of easy-ups or pull up diapers for him to test out since he’s been pretty consistent with peeing in the potty. I try to make it fun for him. Some days we have our setbacks. It’s usually when we don’t stick to a daily routine that he gets too comfortable with simply going in his diaper.
It’s funny because back when he was between 6 months old to about when he started walking, he was such a pro at going on the potty. Once he started walking and being a busy body, he didn’t want to sit still and go on the potty anymore. We have reintroduced potty training now that he has been understanding a lot of other concepts.
The other day, I feel like I failed. I got really mad at Kai for not going potty that I ended up not putting any diapers on him. I just put pants and socks on him. He, of course, peed his pants while we were in playing with our trains. I’m not sure if that helped him realize that it really does not feel good, but I feel like I failed because I lost my temper. Think motivation!
Some days are harder than others. Some days I feel extremely lonely, even though I have support. It just gets tough, emotionally.
And sometimes even physically. Kai is getting to be such a big boy! When he gets tired of walking when we go out, and I don’t bring a stroller, it takes a toll on my body to carry him. On the flip side, I’m burning calories woot woot.
Trial and Error
A lot of what I’m doing as a parent is experimenting. Everyday he learns something new. And I feel a strong purpose in life because I feel like I am directly contributing to his successes and development. I am constantly trying to figure out new ways to be a good parent.
While there are good habits, there are also bad ones. I need to be more conscientious about my language, emotions and my actions. Kai feels what I feel. Gets upset when I do. Gets frustrated when I am annoyed. Repeats almost everything I say. I have to constantly remind myself to be a good role model to him and for him to respect my rules because I am in charge. Not him. Don’t let your toddler bully you.
Learning by Doing
Yes, all of this is easier said than done. Every day I am learning so much about myself and my limits as a full-time mommy. There’s just so much to learn along the way. I have been learning by experiencing and learning by doing along my journey of parenthood.
It’s very hard to believe, but I honestly have never changed anyone’s diaper before my own child’s. Fast forward to the present: full-time mommy and owning it.