February 13, 2012

The Many Hats We Wear

Women wear many hats, no?  I know I do.  I have my wife hat, first and foremost.  Then there is my mommy hat, my housekeeper hat, my teacher hat, my chef hat, my dog groomer hat, my worker hat, my personal assistant hat, my social media hat, my friend hat, my daughter hat, my accountant {bill payer} hat, my chauffeur hat,  my entertainer hat, my librarian hat, my police hat, the list goes on.
To say it's hard work to be a woman is an understatement.
For the most part I feel like I have all of these things under control and then other days I find myself wondering when I'm going to do it all and how.  I think it's safe to say I'm not the only one that feels this way.
Being a working mom was tough.  From getting up and getting out the door to bottles and baths, it's by far the toughest role I've ever taken on.  Often times I had people say to me, "I don't know how you do it".  Whether it was meant as a compliment or not I'm not sure, I know I always took it negatively.  I have no other choice. I have to wear all these hats, that's how I do {did} it.  I'm honestly hoping I can hang up that worker bee hat, at least for a little while, and focus on some of my other, cuter more important hats.
Above everything else is my role as a wife and mom.  Jimmy and Kendall are numero uno in my book and everything else comes second.  Now with my new role as SAHM I feel like they can both benefit greatly.  For example, Jimmy needed some things for his side job but was having a hard time finding the time to get to the store to get them.  Now that I'm home I was able to put my wife, chauffeur, and personal assistant hats on   care and of that for him which was a huge weight off his shoulders and I was glad to do it. 
Then there's Kendall.  I would love to say that this transition is going to be smooth sailing but I'm nervous.  Obviously I'm going to love being home with her, but will she love being home with me?  Will my entertainer, teacher, librarian hats be used to their fullest potential?  I know it's only been a few days but I'm already getting bored.  It's cold out, too cold to even go play in the snow, so we are limited as to what we can do.  This is where I need you girls.  For the SAHM's out there, what do you do with your toddler on a day to day basis to keep yourself from getting Cabin Fever {worst movie EVER by the way}.  
I plan on utilizing my {and Kendall's} friend hat by having lots of play dates.  I also fully intend on wearing my chauffeur, chef, and personal assistant hats on a daily basis, that's a given.  But there will be days, many days, where we will stay home, and I need ideas.  Do you cut out time to wear your teacher hat and learn numbers, letters, arts & crafts?  I feel like this is such a tough age to keep entertained because 1. I think she's too young to learn her alphabet and 2. she won't sit still long enough to even try.  But maybe I'm wrong, first time for everything, right?

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17 comments :

  1. My kids are older now (10 and 7) but when they were Kendall's age, I would make sure we had one errand to run every day. Best for saving gas? No, but it got us out of the house every day, even if if was only to the post office. Does your local library have story time or any programs for little ones? We utilized that alot. When it was cold, we would go to McDs with a play area (I know, gross food and germs, but we risked it to get out of the house).

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  2. We usually go somewhere every day. Whether it is to run errands or have a playdate, G and I both go stir crazy if we sit at home all day. He loves the library! We go a lot and switch out our books and stay for story time. I also just started letting him paint. It's messy, but he has fun!

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  3. Kudos to you, sister. You rock my socks. I have a tough time taking care of me and that's only my bag of hats to wear. But, I also know that you don't wear some of my hats - first thought is the boy chasing hat - so it all evens out.

    As for keeping cabin fever at bay and keep you from shaving your skin off (totes agree worst movie ever), I suggest some time blocks for "activities", whether it's book time, sensory time, sing-a-long time, etc. At least, that's what I would have to do to make sure that we both didn't end up watching Mickey Mouse Club all day everyday.

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  4. I'm not a SAHM, but I like to dream about what we'd do if I was! The library tops our list - around here they have fantastic story hours for kiddos and it's FREE! Maybe something like Kindermusik, swim lessons, etc? We also have an Arts and Sciences Center and a yearly membership is somewhere around $80 - they offer kids programs a couple times per week (usually geared to a specific age group, which is nice) and I would definitely take advantage of that!

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  5. I was going to suggest story time at the library too. Can't beat free with a stick. I have also signed my kids up for various inexpensive toddler classes through the local parks and rec. We did a lot of visiting friends and family,play dates, playing at the mall (nasty but sometimes they just need to run). I used to go walk at the mall before the stores opened & then let them play (first thing in the morning - few kids and it's just been cleaned hopefully!). Now that I have 3 in school all day and one at home with me, it seems like there are never enough hours in the day for me to get everything done on my to-do list.

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  6. We always did playdates once a week before Madison started pre k. There was a group of about 6- 7 of my mommy friends who also stay at home. Each week a different person was assigned a day (same day every week). In the winter we would meet at homes, children museums, or some other indoor place. (bowling is fun too when they are 2-3 yr old)In the warmer weather we meet at local parks. Playgroups are great and not just all about letting your kids play- adult conversation is the highlight:) Now we schedule girls night at least once a month so we all can still see each other. ALL my friends have had babies this past year, so I kinda feel like the third wheel. I am kinda glad Madison is in school now, but I miss our weekly get togthers. Find out when your local library has toddler story/ craft time. If you don't know many stay at home moms.... you will meet some at the library and parks. I find it much easier to start talking to other moms vs random other people. If you have a gym membership take advantage of the free daycare. My Ymca offers 2 hrs per day free. Madison loves playing in the kid area. Now that she is in school 3 days a week from 9-12 I love have "free" time to run and do errands, appts, go to the gym )since I am out of the house dropping her off I have made a habit of going to the gym after. The first day of school I went to Target and Hobby Lobby all by MYSELF. That was going to get expensive :O) So I decided to use my "free time" better. I wish you lived a tad closer to Dayton- I would hook you up with an awesome mommy group! It is such a blessing to be a SAHM! Enjoy every second!!

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  7. I totally agree with visiting the library. Our local branch has themed stories once a month and the kids get the chance to dress up. I volunteer on those days and love it. Also, the malls in our area have something called Momtopia. Momtopia is usually once a month and allows you to get together with local Moms and children for a few hours. It's a great way to let your little one play with others and allows you the chance to talk with other adults. Good luck! :)

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  8. I get to be a SAHM during the Summer months since I'm a teacher and we go the gym almost everyday. Hadley LOVES going there to play with the kiddos, I get my me and healthy time. By the time we get there, do our thing, and get back home it's almost lunch/nap time. It works out really well.

    I don't know if you're SAHM role will be permanent but if it is I would check out joining a gym...although then you have to find a way to pay for it too.

    If I didn't do that I do think I would get very stir crazy.

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  9. I definitely agree with the library! Most libraries have daily things for kids to do. Like storytime, crafts, etc. And, if you need ideas for crafts at home ... there are a plethera of ideas on Pinterest!

    She's not too young to begin learning her ABC's either. Just teach them in an age appropriate way. Obviously, she's too young to begin writing, but she can learn to say her ABC's!

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  10. Sing songs!!! That will teach Kendall lots of things & it's pretty fun for you both! AND it will make you feel like an even better mom!!! ;).

    It is hard to try to find things for little ones to do...we joined the local YMCA and they always have fun kids' activities! Good luck!!!

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  11. Once Trey turned about 5 months I started ITCHING for things to do with him outside of these house. The walls felt like they were closing in on me. We have one "Trey centered" thing to do every day of the week. We do The Little Gym - which is kind of expensive, but we have had a very positive experience so I do feel like it's worth every penny. We do baby rhyme time at the library. This is free (I like that everyone else mentioned the library too!) and it's NOT a storytime. We go to those sometimes but at 18 mo - the attention span is limited. This is songs, rhymes, activities and a small portion of reading together. We do lots of rhymes and it's fun because now T is filling in words (spider, again, sun, rain... etc and various letters of his ABC's) as I sing the songs. I use what I learn there and sing them at home, in the car, etc. We also have a playrgoup that we attend and host. It's 4 moms & babes, all around the same age. We rotate houses each week. No snacks, no activities - so no pressure or work! Just a few hours at someones house chillin' in our yoga pants while the kids play together.
    I also found a bounce house place nearby that has a discounted rate for under 3. It's for as long as you want and they have a special "under 3 section" so they don't get trampled. T loves, it, I love it and its and AWESOME workout!! We have one mall here that has a SUPER nice play area (it even has a security guard that mans it which is a little silly but whatever. No drinks, no food, no big kids) and it is AWESOME to go let them play at! We love it!

    Hmmm we also hit up barnes and noble quite a bit to "play" most of ours have train tables and lego tables to play with so that's fun. Trying to think of anything else. Sorry for the long comment!! Ha!!

    You will find your routine!! :) And I know you will have a blast being home with KP - and she will too!! xoxo

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  12. Definitely second what others have already said about the library and Barnes & Noble. The children's area of my local B&N always has toddlers climbing all over the place, it's pretty baby friendly.

    My babe is 11 months old so he's a little younger than Kendall but I try to get out of the house at least once a day. The mall is our friend when it's so cold because we can do lots of walking and stay warm. My niece is right around Kendall's age though and sometimes I have her and she loves when I tape a big piece of butcher paper (got a roll from Michael's) on the kitchen floor and let her go crazy with some jumbo crayons. Took her a little while to figure out what she was supposed to do with them (ie not eat them)but now that she has the hang of it she loves to scribble. She also enjoys when I fill up boxes and bowls with random stuff (blocks, tupperware, cheap toys from the dollar store) and just let her open them all up, dump them everywhere, put stuff back in, etc. Usually keeps her occupied for a good hour :)

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  13. Great post my friend. Because its truly a difficult thing to be a mama and a wife and an everything else. But you rock this like you do everything else. Lover you.

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  14. we usually pay for one activity a semester. I know that this was not a self imposed break from work, so that may not be something you're able to do, but the prices definitely range. Little Gym is the priceiest of them, but we have a group called North Carolina Dance Project that is only $25 a month for a creative movement class once a week. Our local gymnastics gym also has toddler time once a week and we can pay to go there and burn off some energy for an hour. It's a little pricey to do every week, but fun when it's just too cold to go out.

    We've also tried the bounce houses. I was surprised my son enjoyed them as much as he did even though I thought he was too little. Just avoid them on days when school is out.

    WE bought memberships to the natural science center and chiildren's museums-actually we asked grandmas to get them for christmas. We also went ahead and added the caregiver pass, so we can take a friend for free. That makes it a bit more fun for mommy. Sometimes we dont' even explore the museums, we just go to the toddler area and play.

    Our local toy store-a high end one-also sponsors a music time with a guy named Mr Nigel that is really fun. We've found the library story times to be hit or miss. They're all great, but some do a better job catering to his age group. But, it's worth a try to sample different branhes.

    We also met a group of friends in Little Gym. none of us go there anymore, but we still get together about once a week for a play date.

    I was also surprised that M enjoyed Chuck E Cheese already. We went, at a friend's suggestion, at 14 mos and he really loved the rides and it was much more affordable than I remembered.

    Swimming lessons are fairly reasonable too-but to be honest, I don't love doing it during the winter. I'm too much of a wimp. I hate dealing with all of the gear and being cold and wet.

    Our area also has a local branch of the mommies network. Ours is called triad mommies. It's an internet forum for moms and it's so helpful, but they also have playdates and post things that are going on around town. I know our group is unusually large, but you should look into it and see if you have one too.

    Good luck. By the way, it doesn't hurt to begin teaching that stuff...not drilling it, but singing or pointing things out (which I need to work on). I'm constantly amazed by the stuff he's starting to give back to me and it seemed like it came out of nowhere.

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  15. Unlike everyone else, I do NOT do something everyday. I try to plan 2 days a week where we don't leave the house- I think that's the only way I stay caught up at home. On those days the boys get some playtime with me and some playtime alone together...like I put the baby gate up in Manning's door frame and get busy. I think a lot of SAHM feel they have to entertain their children all day, but it's good to remember that they need to know how to play alone too. :) Then, on the other days, I try to lump all my errands together. I've figured out that it's not that much more work to go 5 places than 3, but it is a lot more work to go one every single day, so that's my game plan, BUT I have two and you only have one, so something daily might not be so bad. :)

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  16. Since Eva has transitioned to one nap, I've found this whole thing both easier and more difficult in different ways. Easier, because we now have bigger time slots to work with for getting out and doing things and more difficult because the days we don't have things to do, we have more time to kill in the house and I'm still trying to figure out exactly how to do it. Right now, on Mondays we go to library from 11-11:45 am so we usually either get groceries before or else just stay home until it's time to go. Then she goes to daycare Tuesday and Wednesday AM. I work on Tuesday mornings on campus and I work from home on Wednesday mornings. Thursday and Fridays we don't have scheduled plans but I try to either run errands, have a playdate, go for a walk (if we can, weather permitting) or go to the Early Years Center (which is a place we have here that kids can just go and play.

    The 'at home' days are definitely tricky sometimes. Some days, I totally feel like I am just killing time until nap time/Daddy getting home time. The attention span is so short that it's hard to do any focused activiites. Today she asked to color, and so I set her up with her crayons and paper, she colored for 2 seconds, put all the crayonson the floor and said All done. I try to limit TV to one show a day, but often days I break my own rule on that one because sometimes, especially in the winter when we're cooped up, it is just necessary.

    Since you and KP are both used to having time apart, maybe you could look for an MDO type program?

    I hope the transition goes smoothly for you both. I'm sure you'll be fine!

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  17. Girl, you are going to do just fine! With Pinterest, the Library and whatever else you can come up with...KP is going to saying her ABC's backwards in a week! LOL!! I have faith in you, and I just wish that we lived closer!!

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