In my previous life (before being a mom,) I was an elementary school teacher. I loved my work, but when my husband and I decided it was time to start a family, I decided that I didn’t want to work outside of the house. I, like many mothers, wanted to be home with my children. I wanted to be there to bond with them, to experience all of the milestones, to comfort them when they were sick; I just wanted to be their mother. So, I decided to leave my teaching days behind and start working from home so that I could support my children, mentally, emotionally, and financially.
While it seemed like a great idea at the time, I soon came to the realization that staying home with the kids all day can really lead a mom to insanity. Don’t get me wrong, I love being here for my children, and I honestly wouldn’t change anything (except maybe having to work and having the chance to take a nap once in a while). But most days, being with my kids 24/7 really does drive me to the brink of insanity.
Moms out there who wish that they could be home with the kids all day, I have news for you: it’s not always peaches and cream.
14 There's Always A Tantrum
Yesterday, I spent about two hours trying to calm down a 3-year-old who was having a tantrum because I didn’t know what ‘berry burgers’ were. I kid you not. When he came to me and requested said berry burgers, I thought he wanted berries, a hamburger, or berries and a hamburger. Nope. He didn’t want berries or a burger. He just stood in front of the pantry screaming,“I just want berry burgers!!!!”
After pulling blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and a burger, out of the fridge, he screamed even louder because I wasn’t giving him what he wanted. Eventually, I gave him a lollipop just to get the screaming to stop (and to save my sanity). And PS- I still have no idea what “berry burgers” are! Any idea?
13 The Constant Caring Will Drive You Crazy
Unless your job calls for being touched by someone else (doctors, nurses, what have you,) most people who don’t stay home with the kids all day don’t have to endure being touched by someone else all day long. A handshake, a pat on the back, a hug; those are touch-involved gestures that most non-stay-at-home-parents contend with.
For parents who stay home with their kids all day, however, being touched by someone else is a constant. I love the hugs and kisses; but, when I’m trying to walk and my son is clinging onto my leg, or when I get a second to sit down and a child launches himself onto my back… It can drive me insane.
By the end of the day, I am touched out – sorry, husband!
12 Everyday Is World War III
I applaud my guys when they tell me that someone is doing or saying something that they find offensive, or that they think could possibly cause them harm. I mean, I definitely want to know when they are in danger, or if they are being bullied. However, there are times when they don’t need to come running to mama and tell her every little thing…
For example, my 3-year-old doesn’t need to tell me that his brother was looking at him funny, or my 7-year-old doesn’t have to come running to me when his friend is playing with one of his toys without his permission. I mean, there are some things that aren’t urgent matters. And they definitely don’t need to tell me about them while I’m on the phone with a client! Sheesh!
11 You'll Have To Force Down Every Spoon
I am a pretty eclectic eater. I love everything from seafood to veggies, and I really enjoy exploring different taste combinations and cooking. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I imagine that I would have to force my children to eat – healthy food, that is. Lollipops, ice cream, chips, fruit snacks… They eat junk food without any issue. However, when it comes to healthy, real, non-processed food, they act as if I am trying to poison them!
Every single meal time is a battle to get them to eat something. I eventually end up walking away, or I just cave in and make them a dang peanut butter sandwich (one of the few things that they will eat without argument) because at least they’re eating something reasonably healthy – and I don’t have to deal with the meltdowns (their’s, or mine!).
10 There's Loneliness - Even With The Kids
I know that it seems like an oxymoron, but being home with the kids can be very lonely and isolating.
While I am never alone, I often feel like I am. Why? Because even though my children are constantly with me, I often go for hours, and sometimes days (my husband works a very erratic schedule with crazy long hours) without meaningful adult interaction. Even though I have friends, and even though I speak to other adults on the phone, I still feel very lonely and isolated. Yes, my kids are with me, but our conversations consist of what happened at the playground, the latest episode of their favorite cartoon, or arguments over getting them to eat… Not exactly super meaningful stuff.
9 The Word 'Mom' Will Play On Repeat
Among the sweetest and most memorable moments in my life was hearing my baby boys say “mama” for the first time. I literally melted into a pile of goo! Fast forward to now and while I still do love hearing them call me “mama,” it kind of loses its appeal when I hear it non-stop! I mean, seriously, is there any need to say “mama” before every single thing you have to tell me?
“Mama, can I have a snack?” “Mama, not that snack, this one…”
“Mama, did you see this?” “Mama, did you see that?” "Mama, mama, mama, mama!!!!!!"
I actually counted how many times my 3-year-old said mama in five minutes. I kid you not, he said it 37 times! That’s a little overkill, don’t ya think.
8 Guilt Is A Killer
Why guilt, you ask? – Because, like all moms, I want to make sure that my kids are having the best childhood possible. When I have to get work done, need to start dinner, or just need a few minutes without hearing “mama” 12,034 times a minute, I’ll sit them in front of the TV or computer. And then I feel guilty. Or when they ask me to play for the 57th time and I just don’t feel like it, and tell them no, I feel guilty. Or when I lose my cool and snap because they are arguing about putting their shoes on, I feel guilty… The guilt (along with all of the other trials and tribulations) is enough to make me feel like I’m going bonkers!
7 The Potty Talk Is Non-Stop
I don’t know how it is with girls, but as a mom of boys, the non-stop potty talk is enough to make me want to pull my ears off and flush them down the toilet – right along with all the gross potty-related words I hear all day long!
Before I became a mom, I had no idea that little boys think bathroom words are hysterical. And I mean, they think that they are the funniest words that they have ever heard! It’s disgusting!
And it’s not just my boys; my nephew, my girlfriend’s sons, the boys in my son’s Cub Scout pack and on his soccer team – they all say potty words non-stop. And it makes me want to scream (actually, I do end up screaming over the potty talk a lot of the time). Gross!
6 There’s No Downtime. Ever.
To those who aren’t with the kids, it may seem like stay-at-home moms would have plenty of chances to enjoy some downtime. However, in reality, downtime doesn’t exist for moms who are with their kids 24/7.
When I’m not working, I am running around with my boys. And though naptime might seem like the perfect opportunity for some downtime, it’s the prime time to get stuff done without the kids in tow, like cleaning, laundry, prepping dinner, work…
After naptime, it’s back to running around with the kids, as well as feeding them, bathing them, doing homework, running errands, cleaning again (honestly, the cleaning never seems to end!). And once the kids are in bed for the night, mom may try to catch up on her Netflix, but alas, she’s snoring before the opening credits are over.
5 The Expectations Are Impossible
Now, this reason why staying home with the kids all day drives me nuts isn’t the kids fault; it’s my own…
I have placed this expectation on myself that I can do it all. I can be mom, business owner, errand runner, housekeeper, teacher, play date organizer, and playmate to my kids, without any help from anyone else. The truth is, however, that I can’t. I need help. It’s hard really hard to admit it when I need help, too. I feel like because I am the one who decided to work from home and because they are my kids, that I can do it all. If I can’t, or if I ask for help, I feel like I am failing. That, too, drives me insane. Any other mamas know what I mean.
4 The Kids Will Act Like They Don't Have Ears
Everyone knows how annoying it is when they speak and they feel as if their voice isn’t heard… Well, try having that happen about 7,000 times a day, and you’ll very likely feel as if you are on the verge of insanity – or you may very well cross the border!
For some reason, kids have a very difficult time with listening. It’s not that they can’t hear what I’m saying, it’s that they choose not to actually absorb what it is that they are hearing. I can’t tell you how many times a day that I have to repeat myself.
“Don’t jump on the couch, you’ll hurt yourself and break the couch.” (repeat 15 times)
And then, bam! There’s crying and the arm of the couch is broken… (this actually happened in my house!)
3 Good Or Bad? It's Not Up To You
Those who aren’t stay-at-home moms might think this is utterly ridiculous, but to them, I say: try it out for one day and see how it goes.
I start my days happy and full of energy. However, when big man refuses to listen when I ask him to stop using potty words, or little man refuses to take a nap (even though he clearly needs one), or when I tell them we have to leave in 15 minutes, and when it’s time to leave, they suddenly have to search the house for the action figures they haven’t played with since god knows when… I go from Mary Poppins to Cruella Deville.
The fact is, if your kids are being turds (yes, I said turds), your day can go right in the pooper.
2 There's Always Something The Baby Needs... NOW
It never fails; every time I sit down, my kids need something. I could ask them if they need anything 100 times before I take a seat, and they either tell me they don’t, or they don’t respond. And then, as soon as my bottom is about to hit the couch, they suddenly need something. Like blinking or breathing, my kids needing something every time I go to sit down is like an involuntary reflex. It drives me absolutely, completely, and totally bonkers! Why, oh why, couldn’t you tell me that you needed something when I asked you the 100 times before I sat down? Why?!?!? Sometimes, I think it’s like their idea of a cruel joke - like they get a kick out of watching me almost get to sit down 50 times a day.
1 The Non-Stop Talking
Now, I know that I said that being home with the kids all day can be lonely and isolating, but I didn’t say that it was quiet. In fact, it’s anything but. My kids talk to me all day long. From the moment they wake up, until the time I tuck them in at night (and even after), they talk and talk, and often in circles.
While I appreciate that my kids love sharing with me, sometimes, I just want some dang peace and quiet! When the incessant talking drives me the craziest is when we are in the car. All I want to do is listen to some non-child tunes while cruising, but all I can hear is “mama” 50 times from back seat. Ugh!