Saturday, December 25, 2004

SAHM'hood is like...

Being a stay-at-home-mom feels a lot like living in another country. I have fond memories of friends I used to work with and nostalgia for my old daily routines like driving to and from the office, alone with the radio for a whole hour every day! Yet immersed as I am in the constant demands of a 15-month old and three-year-old, my former working life has faded quickly away.

I am most surprised by the difficultly of this new job, by how the simplest tasks of rising, dressing and eating breakfast can consume the whole morning. I still have trouble getting the three of us out of the house before 9:30 a.m. I am also surprised by how little time I have to make a note of Wolfie or Mattie’s latest accomplishments - and how quickly the days run together so I forget who did what when! I honestly thought by Christmas I would have redecorated every room in the house and sent out so many pictures of the kids that everyone would have my e-mail address blocked from their address books. So that offers a little explanation as to why you haven’t seen Wolfie’s very grown up 3-year picture.

A few days I have felt completely exasperated, particularly when I was trying desperately to do a particular important thing like folding laundry or go somewhere special like to the portrait studio for 3-year pictures. I’m learning a lot about reading my kids to gauge their readiness for a particular activity and finding that a little flexibility goes a long way - even if it’s just waiting until the end of a show to leave the house. I’m also becoming the queen of fruit snacks and diversions. My very best tip so far is to save the toy aisle at the grocery store for last - they get a reward for being good and you get a little time to sort through your coupons and make sure you got everything on your list.

Most days though I feel so blessed and lucky that I am able to bask in the joy of childhood every day: Mattie’s pride in walking or covering her eyes for peek-a-boo, Wolfie’s wild abandon on his trapeze or can’t-keep-still thrill at petting one of the cats. Mattie’s tiny voice saying ‘Maa maaa’ is the sweetest sound, especially 50 times a day. Even hearing Wolf say ‘Mama!’ 300 times a day still reminds me of my joy when he first said it.

I live now on the other side of the world in this small cocoon of love, where I’m free to wrestle on the floor, have hour-long tickle-fests and make endless play-dough pizzas. Someday I might get around to sending out postcards or attempting some other adult-type connection, but for now my life is completely full with just loving these kids.