Family CEO

December marked one year on the job for me as a Stay-at-Home Mom. In one sense I can’t believe a year has already gone by and in another it seems like so much has happened and the kids have grown so much that it couldn’t possibly have been just one year. I have this over active imagination that had me dreaming about how perfect staying home would be. For nearly 6 years I worked long 12-16 hour shifts with most of them being over nights. I was always tired and dreamed of the day when I wouldn’t have to work and could stay home to raise my babies. I imagined time to work out, time to keep the house tidy, time to always get those Thank You cards out, time to knit, time to read some good books, time to play lots and lots. Things are not just as I had imagined…
I haven’t worked out at all in the year I have been home. Somewhere between the sleepless nights with Hank, the running kids here and there, and the constant battle to just keep this ship afloat I have lost all desire to go make my heart accelerate, my lungs scream for more air, and my body sweat. No, sitting quietly alone on the couch sounds more like it.

I have never been one of those anal cleaners. I have imagined that one day I would, but alas some things never change. The house is still a pit, even more than when I worked. At least when I worked the kids would be out of the house for a brief enough period that I could actually pick it up and it would stay that way longer than a nanosecond. With all of us being home, it is just one big cycle of mess and clean, never really getting a hard core clean unless company comes. I just keep dreaming of a clean house, but a housekeeper is starting to become part of that fantasy.

As far as the Thank You cards, knitting and reading goes, I haven’t made much progress there either. How do I just have no time? Who am I kidding? I don’t even get to pee by myself. There is constantly some little person needing something, even when I am on the pot!

It starts around 5 am. Little Kaitlin wakes up hungry as a bear and wanting out of her wet diaper. I stumble out of bed as quickly and quietly as I can so as not to disturb Hank who is taking up ¾ of the bed because if he gets up now he will be fussy and get the whole morning off to a rocky start. I change Kaitlin, tell her all the names of the cereal we have and then fix the one she chooses. Then its time to make lunches for Karlie and Hailey. Quickly I try to fit in sips of coffee as I can. Karlie comes stumbling out of bed rubbing her eyes and wanting me to hold her so she can wake up nice and easy. The morning continues with feeding, dressing, fighting about hair, packing backpacks, finding coats, brushing teeth, and rushing out the door to try and make it on time.

The amount of loading and unloading with car seat buckles can be overwhelming at times. A simple trip for a normal person takes 15 minutes. The same trip will take me 45 minutes as I hold a baby, hold a little hand, and be sure my other little one holds on to me or her sister’s hand. We have to walk slowly for those little feet. We have to stop as they start to jump in the puddle. We have to have a mediator for which cart we will use. We have to discuss everything in sight and why we can’t get a balloon or candy or why the penny horse doesn’t work today.

There are always snacks in my purse to avoid the potential hunger meltdown that can turn any trip into a disaster. There are emergency trips to the potty. There are diaper blowouts. There are two-year old tantrums, four-year-old meltdowns, seven-year-old sensitive feelings, and a teething baby. The days seem to fly by and the biggest thing I will have accomplished is moving the laundry on. Staying at home is much harder than working.

At least when I was at work I could process things and have time to think. These days there is a constant level of chaos that never allows you to get a completed thought. Before I can finish one task with one child another needs something. While working I had time to be alone, take a lunch break. There are no breaks at home, not even bathroom breaks are alone. Even at naptime you are forced to decide between taking a breather or doing the thousands of things that you should be doing since you don’t have a little one demanding your attention.

I think I will talk to my employer about a raise. I mean, I am on call 24-7. I don’t get weekends or holidays off. I cook, clean, feed, teach manners, potty train, tutor, do accounting, run a child taxi service, am the entertainment committee, nutrition counselor, provide constant vigilance and safety management, and nurture.

Being the family CEO is the hardest and best job I have had. I am here for all those priceless moments. The first smile, step, and poop in the potty! I have grown so close to my kids and have realized that these precious moments (as busy and wild as they are) are blinks in time. Before I know it they will be grown and I will long for the days when I craved a little alone time because my days were so filled with holding and caring for them. I am thankful for this job even thought the pay sucks and its not quite as I had imagined it. ☺


Uncle John said...

Dear Katie, I'll put a star on the calendar for you.

Anonymous said...

Hello Katie, I don't know if I am terrified of the idea of having two of the same age or beyond excited. I have wanted to have kids for a long time, and now that I am my emotions are everywhere.
I sent a christmas letter to you guys through my mom and dad's email. Talk to you later.

Abbie said...

Oh Katie. You SAID IT! You said it all! It's the hardest, most emotionally/physically overwhelming job I've ever had, but when I sit down and really think about it, I just couldn't have it any other way. We are so blessed, Katie, to be able to do this, aren't we?

*OH* while I'm thinking of it: I have a christmas card for you guys, but not sure if you feel comfortable giving me your address. (for all you know, I'm a weird creepy guy sitting in my underwear!) HAHHAHA EW. I totally understand if you don't, but if you do, just email it to me: jaobudd at gmail dot com

Courtney said...

I agree!!!!! How is it possible that I am more exhausted after a 12 hour "shift" with Cate than I was doing a 12 hour shift at the hospital??? But I wouldn't want to miss all those firsts.;)

Lacey said...

As I read your post, I was thinking, "that's so me" all throughout it. I love the calling out cereals and sipping coffee between making lunches- SOOOO ME- EVERY MORNING. Holding hands in the grocery, fighting over which cart, what food...oh girl- so glad i am not alone. You are an awesome mom and I am so thankful for your friendship!