I often lament how much I wish I could be a full-time SAHM. There are lots of reasons why. I was blessed to have a mom who was able to stay home with us until we were in middle school. She took care of me when I was sick, taught me how to read before I started kindergarten (I didn't attend preschool), encouraged my imagination, redirected my energy into positive channels. I really feel like kids should be able to sleep in in the summer, play outside all day, and have the freedom to experience boredom.
That said, the decisions I've made in certain areas have required that I work full-time. I've made peace with that, for the most part, even though my feelings about it haven't changed. I have friends who say they could never stay home with their kids all day; it would make them crazy. I could never understand that. I get that you need a break. I get that you need adult interaction from time to time, and I can see how maybe a part-time job, mother's day out or volunteering would be something I'd want to be involved in if I was a SAHM. But if I were to prefer to spend 40 hours a week away from my kids, I would have to seriously wonder why I bothered to have them?
Weekends are difficult because I need to do things like laundry, shopping and cleaning, but I just want to spend time with my kids. I have let a lot of things slide around the house and tried not to feel too badly about it. For the most part, it's ok. I still have mom guilt, but my SAHM friends tell me that they have it, too - it seems to just a part of being a mom no matter what your full-time job is. It's impossible to cram a week's worth of "quality time" into a weekend though, so there are inevitable pitfalls such as overscheduling or frustration when plans don't go well or days when the kids are just whiny. It's never the perfect bonding time you hope for, but that's ok - that's real life.
But today, today was just awful. Today, for the first time, I thought maybe it's good that I'm not a SAHM; I just didn't feel like I was cut out for it. I was tired; S wet the bed in the middle of the night, so I was up with her for that, and then R woke up at 6am and wouldn't go back to bed for me; thankfully DH got up with her and got her a snack, but S heard the commotion, so I had to get her back to sleep again, too. Me being sleepy isn't all that unusual (if you'll notice, the subject with the third greatest number of labels on my blog is "sleeping"). But I was also incredibly cranky - I'm sure part of it is PMS, and part of it is PCC (Pre-Christmas Chaos). I actually made it to church today, so I would have thought I'd be in a really good mood (that's usually the effect it has on me). But S was pushing my buttons from the start - even in church.
It was like that at the grocery store, too. And when we got home for lunch. Every thing I told her, she did the opposite or ignored. I just didn't have the patience for it today. And I let my temper get the best of me 3 or 4 times. I had hoped to take a nap when the girls did and have the energy to do all I needed to do this afternoon, as well as be in a better mood. But S wouldn't nap. Nor would she do as I ask and play quietly in her room. So I did not sleep.
We had playdate dinner plans. I considered not going; DH also suggested I just skip it. But I thought maybe if I got us out of the house and around other people, I could shake off this funk. Plus, if the kids ran around and wore each other out, bedtime might be easier. Unfortunately, it was worse. S was too tired, and we were late getting home. So it was a nightmare. S threw a tantrum and woke Baby R up. I couldn't get her back to sleep. DH finally had better luck. I was so angry. I knew I was being unreasonable; S was just tired and needed extra TLC, but I couldn't give it to her. All I could think all day was maybe it's better that I'm not with them all day during the week. Awful!
So I'm heading to bed feeling spent and guilty and unproductive. Here's hoping to a better tomorrow.