If you have been following along with my posts you will know that last week was my first run in with being a Stay At Home Mom. Catch up on last weeks post here: Welcome To The Stay At Home Mom Experiment Behind the Scenes. For a full week my 19 month old baby Morgan was on summer vacation. When she was 6 months old she started attending day care full time, and since then besides the occasional holiday I have not had the chance to stay home with her on a long term basis. This was a experiment for the both of us.
I absolutely love my career, but I have considered being a stay at home mom a few times since Morgan was born. That feeling increased even more when I became pregnant with my second. I am currently 6 months along. However living in Los Angeles that is virtually an impossible task unless a lottery win is in my future.
I knew that this week would not give me the perspective that real stay at home mom’s have since it was only for a week and I knew that I would return to my lovely corporate job very soon. However it did give me perspective into how hard, amazing, stressful and rewarding the task of being a stay at home mom really is.
I made sure that at the end of each day I reflected on the good and the bad that I experienced. Here is my break down, Monday – Friday, day by day! The Stay At Home Mom Experiment – The Aftermath.
Day One: I wanted to keep Morgan’s schedule pretty consistent this week so that when she returns to day care she wouldn’t be too thrown off. So I intended to wake her up by 7am at the latest. Lucky for me Morgan is a true morning person just like her mommy. She woke up right on the dot at 7am.
I had intended to start potty introduction/training with her this week since we would be home most of the time. Morgan just wanted to sit on the potty and read her book, nothing more, we would try again later. I made her breakfast, played with her and before I knew it, it was time for her pediatrician check up. Check up went great but Morgan was not too happy with her two booster shots she received. Time for lunch. I make all of Morgan’s food so I made her lunch and put in one load of laundry while she ate. After lunch it was time to play again and entertain the super energetic 19 month old.
I struggled to put her down for a nap for over an hour. Eventually she just sat in her crib for 30 minutes playing with her blanket (at least she was quite) I was able to finally eat something, string cheese and ice cream; and moved the load of laundry to the dryer.
Day one was a total disaster, it also happened to be Austin’s birthday. We had plans to go out with his dad and step mom that night. Morgan ended up being a total delight at dinner. On day one, I didn’t clean the house, make Austin a cake like I had wanted, didn’t do all of the laundry, and didn’t eat a real breakfast or lunch. I cried once during the nap time struggle and I wondered how I was going to survive the week.
Day Two: New day, new me. I woke up with optimism. Morgan woke up once again on the early side, 7:30am. She sat on the potty for a while but nothing happened. I then sat her in her high chair and set out to make her eggs and avocado for breakfast, this was great because I got to eat also! Morgan is now self feeding almost 100% so I am able to get a short break while she eats. After breakfast we played and then my mother in law came over for a few hours to spend time with Morgan.
I was able to get a load of laundry fully done and folded while she was keeping Morgan busy. Lunch time turned out not so great, all Morgan would eat was a few bites of broccoli and a ton of watermelon. She hated her pasta which was all my fault because of course I used a new shape, how dare I! After lunch we took a short stroll around the neighborhood which made Morgan sleepy! YAY NAP TIME! Morgan took a 2 hour nap. I wanted to get so much done during nap time but I also fell asleep for 30 minutes.
When I woke up, I found myself really missing her. Her nap was running long and I didn’t want her to sleep too long since I definitely wanted to get her to sleep at night, so I opened her room door and started putting away the laundry. Luckily that small amount of noise woke her up. The rest of the day was spent playing and being tired. I did however make dinner- whoo hoo! Day two potty training fail, nap success, one more load of laundry done and dinner cooked.
Day Three: Breakfast success day two, potty fail day three. Today I scheduled a toddler music class for Morgan and I. It was super cute with stories, music, instruments and other toddlers. Morgan 100% hated it! I had never seen her behave that way before. All she wanted to do was sit on my lap or cling to my leg. We had taken Gymboree classes in the past and she was fine, this was a whole new reaction.
Trying to salvage the day I went out to lunch with Morgan, lunch was great, Morgan is always a joy at restaurants. The service however was a disaster, so much so that the manager comped our whole meal. Afterwards we went to Home Goods to pick up some items for my upcoming baby shower.
When we arrived home nap time was easy, Morgan fell asleep right away. However one hour into her nap Morgan woke up screaming, it was a night terror which she has had one time before, she was asleep but screaming. It scared me to death. Last time she experienced this the recommendation was to let her sleep (do not wake her up) however I couldn’t stand her crying so I picked her up. It took her over 30 minutes to calm down. Day three music class, potty training, nap time, making dinner and laundry fail.
Day Four: Same routine, breakfast, potty attempt, playtime. Today we went to the mall to get a few things at Joann’s Fabrics. The mall has an indoor play ground which is fantastic and has air conditioning. It’s been extremely hot and humid lately. After Morgan played around for a bit we sat and ate lunch at the food court. Luckily Morgan liked most of her food, especially the avocado. We continued to shop for a bit and then headed home.
On the way home Morgan fell asleep in the car, but thankfully I was able to successfully transfer her to the crib when we arrived home. Another day with a 2 hour nap, hallelujah. I finished my last load of laundry for the week and cooked dinner. In the words of the infamous Ice Cube It was a good day!
Day Five: Austin’s home YAY! He has every other Friday off. Today I was able to go see my trainer in the morning and shower when I got home which has been a few and far between routine for the week. Today was great, Austin and I went out to lunch with Morgan and afterwards I spent the day playing with her, taking her for a haircut and bonding. Nap time was a struggle again but she did finally go to sleep with Austin rocking her. I was so glad to have Austin’s help throughout the day. I was exhausted after the week.
To recap my stay at home mom experiment in one word – Exhausting. Morgan is quite the handful. She requires constant stimulation. I let her watch cartoons which she wasn’t too interested in, there were also times I had her play alone so I could get a bit of a break. I failed at potty training her, and I spent a ton of money that I normally wouldn’t have on going out to eat and going to stores just so I could get out of the house with her and have a change of scenery.
Although I am extremely happy that I had this experience I am overall so happy that I got to return to work today. There is a huge part of me though that is missing Morgan like crazy! I saw how happy me staying at home made her, she loved seeing me each morning and spending the day having fun. That is the hardest part about being a working mom. But we can’t have it both ways, for our family our current situation works. I will just make sure that when I do see Morgan at the end of the school day that I give her all of the attention and affection she deserves!
Thanks so much for reading!