Random bullets of stay-at-home mothering

by DaniGirl on May 7, 2008 · 16 comments

in Mothering without a licence

So I survived my first few days full week week and a half (it’s taken me a long time to finish this post!) of being at home full time with all three boys, without daycare. Barely. Even if I did have time for a full post with proper paragraphs and segues and actual, you know, thought, I don’t have the brain cells any more. Bullets is the best I can do for you.

  • My overall impression? What the hell was I thinking. Three? Why didn’t you stop me? Or warn me at least.
  • Seriously, it’s not so bad. It’s worst when the baby is fussy or needy or being fed, which is only about twelve hours of the day. The sleeping times are good.
  • What the hell is it about the arsenic hours of 4 to 7 pm? If a day is going to go sideways, it’s going to happen during the arsenic hours. And it does — often.
  • Earlier in the week, I had my first genuine fight-or-flight moment. I’ve never been closer to bolting. No joke, for a delicious minute I seriously considered just dropping everything and walking away for good. A new parenting experience to add to my resume.
  • I feel much better now.
  • As if simply getting through an ordinary week weren’t enough, this week Beloved worked late three nights, leaving me to fend for myself with three at bedtime, the neediest time of day.
  • Thank god for my mother and pizza delivery, or else we all four might have starved.
  • Now, just getting through an ordinary day at home with the boys seems like a breeze.
  • Because I love a challenge, this was also the week I decided to volunteer for “Snuggle Up and Read Day” in Tristan’s classroom. Lucas was a celebrity on par with Hannah Montana in the six-year-old girl crowd. The boys seemed nonplussed.
  • It was, in retrospect, prolly not the best week to implement my new “less videogames and computer and TV” policy. But I stuck to it, sheerly because I am so damn stubborn.
  • I remember a time when I used to use my stolen moments to read a book, or a magazine, or even (gasp!) sneak onto the Internet. Now I use my stolen moments to empty the dishwasher or (gasp!) fold the laundry.
  • After two weeks of stunning warm temperatures and sunshine, the weather this week has been nothing but cold and rain. We’ve visited the grocery store with the free drop playzone (twice), the mall with the $4 drop-in playzone and Ikea.
  • I heart Ikea madly. You simply cannot beat an hour of free childcare in the ball pit during which you can leisurely browse Swedish ingenuity with a hot coffee, followed by lunch for four for less than $4. I knew we couldn’t stay broken-up forever.
  • Next week, we’re planning on two trips to Ikea and at least one to a McDonald’s playland. And Costco. Staying at home may just be as expensive as daycare after all.
  • I really, really have to get Lucas to start napping in his crib, or in the swing, or somewhere other than in my arms. Thank goodness he’s amenable to a good snooze in the car seat.
  • I’ve also discovered that if you run the dishwasher and the exhaust fan over the stove and put the sleeping baby in his car seat in between the two, you can drown out the sound of just about anything and pretty much double nap lengths.
  • I’ve also discovered extended amounts of white noise make me twitchy.
  • Or, that might be the boys who are making me twitchy.
  • I really, really like staying at home with the boys. But I really, really miss having intervals of longer than two minutes to myself.
  • This is going to be a stellar summer!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenn May 7, 2008 at 12:57 pm

Your laundry gets folded! You are doing much better than me.

2 Javamom May 7, 2008 at 1:28 pm

I currently have the kitchen fan and the dishwasher going, also the vibrator on the bouncer chair. She’s sleeping. Knock on wood, I HOPE she still is, because I can’t hear her screaming in here over all this noise. Which is why I’m in here to begin with…

3 sounds like fun!!

3 nomotherearth May 7, 2008 at 2:34 pm

I managed to give birth to a child who will not sleep in the carseat OR the stroller, which means, if he sleeps at all, it’s at home – and that’s sketchy to say the least. I do have to go outside sometimes, and boy does that make the arsenic hours SO MUCH FUN!

You, are brave.

4 Karen May 7, 2008 at 2:41 pm

Your post reminds me of my first post after Emily finished daycare and I had both at home on my own (granted you have one more than I did). I compared my first full day to an episode of Nanny 911 without all the screaming. Things got better, I hit a groove and now, even though I also wish for a few more moments to myself, I really thrive on it and love it. Still, a Starbucks break on a whim would be nice once and a while. Ooh, there’s another idea for you: Chapters – the Thomas set-up at South Keys is great. My kids love that. The other place we love is the Greenboro library on Lorry Greenberg – new library, huge car to climb on, lots of kids books (and free although there is a cafe serving hot coffee right there). Last idea is the drop-in playgroups at Ontario Early Years Centres – free, kids older than 2 or so can roam free without getting into too much trouble and there is a baby/mum/dad area roped off that you can nurse in etc.

I’m with you on Ikea as a haven.

5 Miche May 7, 2008 at 3:03 pm


6 Barbara May 7, 2008 at 6:15 pm

You’ll hit your groove and then, watch out! I’m glad you got through newborn bootcamp before having all 3 on your own.

And, because I’m a worrier, can I just say I’m trusting that Lucas is always on the floor when he is in his car seat while enjoying the exhaust fan-dishwasher combo? You’d be surprised at the number of kids who hurt themselves when they tip their car seats off of counters or tables. They manage it well before they ought to be that strong. Of course, I let Reid roll off of the sloped footstool and she survived …

7 Swirl Girl May 7, 2008 at 10:52 pm

So- after a mere 4 years of being a stay at home (or is it 7 years? – ) do what I do:

Plan at least 2 grown up , girl’s only weekends in Vegas a year (even if you start counting the days until the next one on the first Monday you get back)

Drink a lot of good wine (not the cheap stuff, nothing’s too good for my kids)

Get at least one lunch a week sans the kids – alone time is oh, so important.

Did I mention the value of a good glass of wine, yet?


8 Renee May 7, 2008 at 11:23 pm

Well, you’re doing it, girl! And there were a lot of ‘ups’ in that list which is great. I remember feeling extremely overwhelmed my first week alone with all three kids. The girls had been in school the first couple of months after I had John, and then there was Thanksgiving holiday and I had to face the reality of having 3 full-time kids. I did it but it wasn’t all fun and games. I remember thinking ‘this is it, this is my life, there’s no turning back!’. But there were so many sweet moments b/w the girls and John, that I overlooked many of the tough ones.
Now it’s SO much easier and I couldn’t imagine just being a family of four. Five is much better.

9 Mar May 8, 2008 at 7:33 am

I so hear ya on everything listed. Except the drop-in play zone??? HELLO??? Where is that!!!! I need to get me some of that. I also didn’t know that Ikea will watch my kids??? Please tell me more! I would be willing to drive across the city for an hour to browse Swedish stuff.

I also hate 4-7. For some reason that’s the time of day where I find I have the least patience. My hubby works 12 hours shifts which means he’s gone from 6:30-7:40 days and nights. It makes for some very very long days and sometimes come 7 all I can do is lay on the floor and let my kids crawl all over me.

Thanks for the reminder that I am not alone!

10 snackmommy2 May 8, 2008 at 9:31 am

Yup, that pretty much sums it up.

11 Linda May 8, 2008 at 10:11 am

Props to you! I only have two but sometimes I go out of my mind. And I love Ikea too! They just expanded the one here in Milan so the play area is even better than before.

12 Kerry May 8, 2008 at 11:41 am

Did I mention how great it is to have no dependents? :o)

13 Theresa May 8, 2008 at 12:24 pm

*Hugs* for you Dani!! You’re doing an awesome job!!!

My hubby also works wonky shifts and has a schedule so erratic that I can’t plan anything more than a week in advance. Never know when his days off are and never know if he’s gonna be sleeping during the day or night…..that being said – as soon as he’s ‘off’ I treat it like a get out of jail free card and bolt from home as fast as I can! LOL Not that staying home with the kids is bad….or anything…. but I LOVE to go wander around somewhere without my kids….

My mom always called the arsenic hours you speak of – the witching hours! I have a method to work with those hours (it’s not fail safe or fool proof though). I allow myself to have my stolen moments in the mid-am or mid-afternoon….it’s not lazy….it’s my ‘lunch’ break! We momma’s work 12 – 18+ hour days ….I save my energy for the 4-8 power burn!! If hubbie were working he would have received 1 1/2 hours off by then (or more) plus time and a half….. I save dishes or laundry till then too and do it in one big blast….. whatever works eh??? Plus that way once the kids are in bed it doesn’t look like a tornado hit….

14 Lynn May 8, 2008 at 2:17 pm

Hang in there…it does get easier! Time passes quickly and before you know it, you’ll be looking back at this post and laughing.

Where is this wonderful grocery store with the free drop-in play zone? Tell me, tell me!

15 DaniGirl May 8, 2008 at 2:36 pm

The grocery store with the playzone is Ross’s Independent Grocer in Barrhaven, on the southwest corner of the intersection of Strandherd and Greenbank. The other nice thing is that it’s almost always quiet and uncrowded on a weekday morning. Their produce and meat can be a little less than perfect, but I’m willing to forgive them that for the free playzone!

16 Mar May 9, 2008 at 6:09 am

I wonder if it’s worth a drive to “farrhaven” 😉 I wish we had something like that here in Orleans.

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