The Vacation that Wasn’t

I once wrote about how I could be a good stay at home mom. What a crock. I would be a terrible stay at home mom. Like, Class A, TERRIBLE. I’ve been home the past 11 days and at this point, I am fiending to go back to work. I knew going into this (wait for it) “vacation” that it realistically couldn’t be what I wanted it to be. A break. I wanted some time for me to read, write, create our annual photo book, watch bad television. While I manage to do these things at a basic level during my workweek, I was hoping for a little extra of the simple pleasures.

Oh the folly.

“Hey dummy,” the Universe said, “how ’bout THIS instead?” Developmental surge Part Deux, featuring Beefy this time (about a month ago we went through this with Juju, when she started really walking everywhere) which equals sleep issues extraordinaire. And during waking hours, teething. You know, for good measure. And rain, lots of rain, leaving us largely housebound. Not to mention, they’re 18 months old, it’s just a tough age to begin with. Needless to say, the past 11 days were not exactly rife with extra time for me to do Me Things. Yesterday Mr. Sagittarius manned the helm while I spent a solid 4 hours working on our 2012 photo book. I only got about halfway done because SO MANY PICTURES, HOW DO I CHOOSE?!?!? Aside from that little slice of time, I did have some help while my brother and sister-in-law were visiting for a few days. Adults outnumbering small children? A good thing. But their visit was all too short and by day nine I found myself in my pajamas for the 38th hour in a row, unshowered, waving around a mixing spoon, yelling at the kids.

No, that’s not true. No yelling or mixing spoons were involved, but my patience was paper-thin and I felt like within such a short period of time I totally lost my sense of Me. Where’s the coffee break in Stay At Home Mom Land anyway? Oh right, NON-EXISTENT. Stay At Home Mom Land must be the only place in the world that does NOT have a Starbucks on every corner. What I have discovered is that I need my work day. I need that time to recharge. I need that time to regroup. I need that time to use my brain (in a professional working environment way). I need that time to blog, read celebrity gossip, and play Draw Something (none of which falls under the category of using my brain, but all of which is important in other ways).

I would suck as a stay at home mom because I cannot be the mom my kids deserve when I am being a mom for so many hours in a row. That is simply the truth of it. When I wrote my recent post on balancing work, life, and motherhood, I don’t think I really understood that what makes my life balanced is precisely the crazy diversity of it. If I didn’t have all those balls in the air, I would be standing there holding my one ball: Motherhood. And I’d probably be standing there, holding that ball, in my pajamas, unshowered, yelling at the kids. That’s not the experience I want for me. That’s not the experience I want for them.

Thankfully, tomorrow is Wednesday. The end of my (wait for it) “vacation.” I have a huge project to tackle upon my return to work and I’m looking forward to it. Almost as much as I’m looking forward to coming home from work tomorrow afternoon and hearing those little voices squeak “Mommy!” (and then “Ball! Outside? UP! UP! UP!”) as I walk through the door. As contradictory as it may seem, nothing makes me a better mom more than having my many other roles to play. That, and possibly Starbucks.

About Gemini Momma

Lucky momma to identical twin girls. Visit us at threegeminis.wordpress.com
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24 Responses to The Vacation that Wasn’t

  1. slese1014 says:

    Definitely Starbucks….That’s what I credit for my excellent parenting skills. I love being able to stay at home with Raegan 95% of the time. But those 3 short days when I’m away from home? They are my “vacation.” Last night I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off admitting twin after twin after twin…..I came home exhausted and deflated, but I felt accomplished. That’s the one thing I get out of working and that is what makes me a better mom than I would be without it.

    Happy return to work and normalcy for you!

    PS I’m terrified of the walking milestone….TERRIFIED!

    • Gemini Momma says:

      Walking makes ALL things more interesting in toddler land. Having two go in two different directions means “interesting” becomes “frustrating, dangerous, and crazy.” I’m the same, I’m a better mom having that other component in my life. (And YAY starbucks? LOL)

  2. SRB says:

    DUDE. This is kind of where I was heading with my “grass is greener” feeling in my balance post. I couldn’t do what you do!!! The idea of having to get myself, and the kid ready to get out the door, then to daycare/work is WAY too much for brain to even consider. Then I would have to go to work and do a job, then be mum again after that? Mrrrrrrrp. Does NOT compute.

    What I gather from the above though, and from other foxy ladies like you, is that you have a *routine* for how these things occur in a timely and manageable fashion. And as a SAHM, you need/find a routine as well. It isn’t as ‘by the clock’ as a WOHM has to follow, but it’s there. It takes a WHILE to find that groove, and get into it. (It is vitally important to build in showering and coffee into this, for obvious reasons. I have made it a point to shower EVERY day since HGB was born, no matter what!) Then you have a few blissful weeks where you OWN THIS SHIT and then the offspring go through a massive developmental shift as above and FUCK your shit up. And then you start again! (But honestly, I lose my patience, I cry, I lose my shit in inglorious episodes of ranting to BJB, I feel like “just Mum” a lot… ’tis the mark of motherhood methinks.)

    So… what I am saying is. You could do it. And by that I mean, if in your heart of hearts you wanted to stay home with the lady babies you would find a groove that works for the three of you. (And by ‘want to’ I mean that in the ‘I choose to stay home FT for now” way – not the guilt way! I wish I wanted to work, and feel guilty that I don’t… is that weird?) It would be awesome and hard, rewarding and challenging, just like the path you are happy being on now. Mums just DO it, you know? Similarly, when I go back to work, I will figure out how to get everyone fed and to school and do the job and pick them up and feed and bath them… OH GOD.

    Wanna go get a coffee? Like, now?

    • Gemini Momma says:

      Does that offer for coffee still stand? Because Friday is my “work from home” day and it’s, oh, 8:40 and I’M READY TO GO. That “just Mum” thing popped up SO fast for me. I missed all my other hats. I missed professional discussions. I missed wearing dress pants. ;) I imagine it takes a herculean effort to create that kind of balance as a SAHM. I salute you.

  3. Jen says:

    I am right there with you. We had the Blizzard from Hell, (well, they’re all from hell really, amirite?!), which turned into Christmas “break” from work, which equaled 6 days home with them. Whoah. Just whoah. 2 babies and a toddler? No. I cannot do it. I really can’t. My hat is OFF to those who can.

    • Gemini Momma says:

      Potentially the only thing that could top that is two toddlers and a baby. But yah, either way, NO THANKS. Agghghgh. I’m glad you survived. My hat is off too. WAY off.

  4. Stephanie says:

    Ugh, this post makes me shake my head only because I’m right there with ya. I had 12 days off and even though they were glorious, JJ was home with me, and I was still itching a little bit to come back to work. What scares me though is I most likely will become a SAHM once Baby J #2 is here and I can’t quite imagine doing it with one, let alone two. How is it that we can be so happy to go to work, yet so happy to come home to those little faces? I don’t know, but the truth is we can!! And I may or may not have stayed in the same shirt for more than 38 hours…just sayin…:)

    • Gemini Momma says:

      Haha, MORE than 38 hours? I’m sure I did too, but I refuse to admit it! ;) I think all the other ladies’ comments really hit the nail in the head… once you find your routine as a SAHM you can get into a groove. A short vacation is simply not long enough to get it all sorted out. You’ll be great at it!

  5. missohkay says:

    I am right here with you too. We are on “vacation” in Colorado right now. We’ve all got a cold from hell, Miss E hasn’t slept for shit due to unfamiliar surroundings and the aforementioned cold from hell, and I don’t know what to do with her all day. We go out and do stuff obviously, but when we get back to the condo we’re renting, we have seven books, a toy car, and a TV. Guess which one gets used the most? I mean, she loves it when I sing “row row row” but that only fills up so much time. When we get back on Friday, I’m taking her to daycare and staying home from work by myself to get stuff done. Guilt and mrrrp. (Oh and did I mention this condo isn’t babyproofed so toddlerhood is extra fun! Stop touching the outlet, stop touching the trash, stop trying to make the TV fall and squish you, all. day. long.)

    • Gemini Momma says:

      I was cracking up at your tweets about everything you got done while Miss E was in daycare today – impressive!! ;) Also, I must have sung twinkle twinkle little stay 8,932 times in the past two weeks. Stupid star, I DON’T WONDER ANYTHING ABOUT YOU, SHUT UP! ahem.

  6. mandski says:

    “Vacation” definitely means something totally different than it did pre-child(ren). There’s not much resting for mom, that’s for sure. I brought four books on my holiday trip to visit the in-laws in CA, and exactly zero got read. It wasn’t because I was having scintillating conversation! I hope work today was everything you hoped it would be. ;)

    • Gemini Momma says:

      I was so happy at work on Wednesday. But then yesterday I had a two hour meeting first thing in the morning that dampered the shine on my Work Rainbow. Still, I’ve felt much more “centered” since going back to work. And honestly? The girls seem happier too. :o/

  7. Why did it take me so long to find your blog? I absolutely adore this post. I, too, had more than one moment over the holidays where I found myself saying “are you SURE I don’t go back to work tomorrow?” You explained it so well.

    • Gemini Momma says:

      It feels so taboo to say it aloud, but staying at home is HARD! Hard hard hard! Hey, this comment reminds me, I don’t think I’m seeing your posts in my reader! Must fix that. :)

  8. Courtney says:

    Oh my… so true on so many levels. And THANK YOU for saying that there is no break in SAHM-land. This is something that my husband just does not understand. He was home for the last – count them – 14 days and I finally said, “this is YOUR vacation, but where is MY vacation?” Not that I’m comlaining, but all I wanted was some me time and all he wanted was together time. NO!

    I have spent a lot of time – A LOT OF TIME – lately thinking about what I’ll choose to do when I decide it’s time to go back to work. I love staying home, but dreaming about what I could do in the future does excite me a bit. I love being home with Matthew, but these last 14 days have really challenged me because B wants to be together – he doesn’t understand that for me to be sane – I need to GET OUT OF THE EFFING HOUSE EVERY SINGLE DAY.

    Sorry to make this about me. I can’t put this on my blog or B will read it and feel all hurt and sh*t.

    Sigh.

    I’m thrilled for you that you got back to your normal routine today! I think that’s half of it – you just missed your routine. I missed my routine. Different routines, obviously, but so incredibly important to both of us :)

    And THAT is the point of my long comment ;)

    • Gemini Momma says:

      I think you are SO right, it really is about the routine. I didn’t have the time to get into one so I was sleeping in until the girls were awake, and then had no time for a shower, the house was a wreck, it was like I just became this lump. Because Hey! I’m On Vacation. Except, that was just dumb. Just as there are no breaks in SAHM land, there are virtually no vacations either. ;) Feel free to use my comment space as a safe place to vent anytime! heehee.

  9. I’m so sorry that it was such a rough “vacation.” There are weeks as SAHM that are REALLY FREAKING hard and it sounds like you unfortunately hit one of those, and with twins. With the teeth and learning all the things and the not listening. It can drive you batty! Okay, it has driven me batty. I have put the kid in the car JUST to escape to the coffee shop for a change in scenery and different battles. There are days when C comes home and I just give him a look like take this kid right now, because I am done.

    I like what Courtney said above, you missed your normal, your routine. I would feel off-kilter and strange and chaotic getting ready for work and leaving my son, because that’s just not my normal. I hope you’re back to normal and feeling a little more centered after a day back at the office and the girls are being a bit more kind to you.

    • Gemini Momma says:

      Yep, you guys are so right on. I was floundering without my routine and just let it all get away from me. I think the girls missed their standard routine too because as soon as the nanny came back a lot of their “behaviors” went away. I don’t know if it was just passing stuff or if they were overwhelmed “fighting” for my attention with me home all the time. It was exhausting for all of us, no doubt.

  10. glumbunny says:

    Sigh. When you said you were yelling at the kids and waving a spoon I was like THANK GOD IT’S NOT JUST ME! But it is. I love this post in spite of this sad fact.

  11. Fiona says:

    I hope you are enjoying time back at work now!! It is funny how no matter what we do (WOHM, WAHM, SAHM), we feel like we couldn’t do the others…. but of course, someway, somehow, we would get into the groove and we could do whatever we had to do to make it work for us, and more importantly, for our kiddos. But with twins?!? Okay, yikes, I still say I don’t think I could do that as a SAHM!!! ;) Over the holidays is especially tough so I am sure you got an extra rough patch of the year to be home. You would do fine if SAH was the path you decided. I know it. I work at home now with Alidia and it took some time… as in, for months I barely did any of the work I should have been doing and paid for it later uggg… but eventually we got into a good groove and manage to get everything done in a day…. no no, not EVERYTHING… but everything we need to in order to keep Alidia happy, my job done most of the time, and the house in pretty good shape… but holy, it can be exhausting at times! For now, enjoy that time away at work to do YOUR thing and then soak up those awesome moments when you get home to their exciting shouts and cries and that time to do THEIR thing. But if ever things change and you do become a SAHM, you totally could do it and would rock it!! :)

    • Gemini Momma says:

      Thank you for all this! I didn’t think I was pulling for a lot of “you could be great if you wanted to SAH!” but now that I’ve gotten it, I feel better. I think I was pretty down on myself realizing that I really didn’t do a good job while I was home all those days. But it’s gotta be true that it takes a while to establish a groove, just like with any new job!

  12. robin says:

    Yeah… I am living in SAHM land for the foreseeable future and I’m not sure what the terrain looks like. Am I an unshowered, spoon waving SAHM??? I am trying to start out with daily coffee breaks masked as naps but it’s not always working out (typing this on my phone on one of these outings). IDK. Enjoy going back to work!!

  13. No Baby Ruth says:

    YES! Staying home is HARD. My last day of work was the 21st and I was supposed to be off until the 2nd. It was… exhausting, and for most of that time there were other adults around and, hello, I have ONE kid. I cannot imagine you having TWO. And you know what happened towards the end of that time? I got sick. Like, really sick. So sick that I had to stay home the three days of last week that i was supposed to work. And so sick, in fact, that there was no pondering for even a second having Sofia stay home with me. And those three days – three days of lying on the couch, watching bad TV, eating lots of toast and feeling SICK – were the closest thing to vacation I got. They were actually pretty damn nice once the tylenol kicked in… ;)

    Back at work today. A struggle of a different kind – but a more familiar one to be sure. i think that’s the biggest difference. I KNOW what I’m doing as a working mom… the same canNOT be said for being a SAHM. I have no groove.

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