This summer, I gave birth to my second child beginning a summer that lined up with maternity leave! Now by “maternity leave” I don’t actually mean someone paid me to stay home and heal from birth and bond with my child (like in most countries in the world). I actually didn’t even qualify for FMLA at my new job. So I cashed out what little vacation and sick leave I had accrued and said goodbye to my savings account and prepared to stay home with my brand new baby for (almost) three months.
Because I knew I would be home, I didn’t enroll my toddler in the summer child care program at her center, and would’t return to her regular program until August. My husband also cashed out his vacation time to stay home with us for a few weeks. What this amounted to would be exactly a month where I would be on leave, by myself, with these two monsters.
This may be an everyday occurrence for many families, but I am not a stay-at-home-mom. I have zero desire and zero skill set in this department. I loved being on leave when my daughter was first born because I have very easy newborns – I read so many books and got super tan! But now I have two and doing whatever I wanted for three months was not actually an option.
So here I have to share with you my month-long journey of being a SAHM of two!
Day 1: Netflix was already on by 9am. I am clearly rocking this SAHM thing.
Day 2: My house is covered in Flaxmilk and Cheerios.
Day 6: Success in potty training include cleaning pee off my bedroom carpet. (The bathroom is nowhere near my room!)
Day 7: She stained her shirt but cleaned the table. I’ll call that a win-win.
Day 9: Today I pumped, and dumped my family at home so I could go out with other moms. I have never been more thrilled to wear a (non-nursing) bra.
Day 10: “Please don’t color on the baby”
Day 13: Why did I mop before giving my toddler a pouch?
Day 15: 50% success rate in potty training! We celebrated by making toddler-friendly cookies. Mom of the year right here!
Day 16: Did you know that pee also works on those instant picture watercolor pads?
Day 18: We borrowed a goat. Her name is Waffles.
Day 19: Successfully took both kids to the park.
Day 20: Successfully chased toddler across park while holding newborn.
Now that my daughter is back at school, I can truly enjoy this time of bonding with my son. When he’s awake. Until then, I have a whole stack of books with my name on it.