Stay At Home Pa-RANT: Facing The Day

One of the most difficult aspects of being a stay-at-home parent has to be not having time to compose oneself before starting the day. You just don’t have time. The day kind of creeps up on you when you’re sleeping, then pounces mercilessly. I’ve talked about hitting the ground running, and it’s no joke. It’s like when you’re a kid at the pool, and you know the water is cold. Do you start with your toes and ease yourself in, or do you simply jump right in and get used to it all at once? Well, the stay-at-home parents don’t get a choice. Every morning is a cold dive, whether you like it or not.

Maybe it’s just me, with my OCD and need to have things organized. But I think it makes a huge difference in someone’s day to have that moment. That brief few seconds after you shower and get ready in the morning, when you can smooth out your clothes in the mirror and think, “OK, I’m ready now.” Then you open your door and face the day. Not having that can be frustrating.

Have you ever had one of those days, when you get into work and there are already meetings you weren’t told about but are now late for? When people are already asking you questions, demanding answers and you’re thinking, “Hey, I just got here.” Being a stay-at-home parent is like that every day. We have to face each day with our little bosses yelling at us and making demands. But, “Hey, we just woke up.”

It is ironic or apropos that I was trying to write a piece this morning about the nature of time, but I can’t finish it today- because I don’t have time? And as always, I am doing five things at once- feeding the kid “breakfast” (in quotes because sometimes it’s more of a snack, psst- don’t tell mom), doing laundry, planning the rest of the week, thinking of when to get the house fixed, trying to write, and more. I know everyone works hard, everyone is busy. It would just be nice to start the morning feeling like I’m sorted out for the day. To take a shower, get dressed and feel like a normal person. But my boss won’t let me. Maybe I’ll bring that up in my next performance review.

[END RANT]

What helps you to face the day? Or if it’s missing, what do you wish you could have in your morning routine?

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26 thoughts on “Stay At Home Pa-RANT: Facing The Day

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  1. The saving grace is once they start school. Then you can finally breathe and focus. I miss my baby when he’s @ school, but I LOVE the quiet of an empty house, where I can read, blog, facebook, shower, and pretty much anything I want; without being bossed around by a wee person.
    How old is Piper? Will she be in school next year?

    1. She’s three. She’s actually in preschool now, part-time. Today was just a kind of rant-y morning. Things are better now that she is in school (some mornings). But old habits (of ranting) die hard. In a couple of years she’ll be in real school, and then…well, we’ll find out then, I suppose.

  2. Morning routine? What’s that?! If I’m going out to work then I have to get up at a ridiculous hour to get a head start on the baby, otherwise I’d be arriving at the office in my dressing gown. If I’m working from home then I grab a shower and get dressed while the baby has her morning nap. But if she refuses to nap then there’s no routine except attempting to drag a brush through my hair and put on some clean underwear!

  3. Oh God. You couldn’t be any more right and it can be soooo frustrating. I used to try to beat the clock and get up before my kids, but one of them has what I call “mom-dar” and it doesn’t matter how stealthily I try to creep downstairs just to get a MOMENT, she usually hears it.

    And to not be able to shower until later in the day, if at all, can be so hard.

    I get it.

    1. They know. They know when you’re up. They can sense it. At least that’s better than sleeping in, and waking to the little one screaming “Wake up!” at you. Mornings are always a mixed bag.

  4. Jeff, yes, it’s tough at Piper’s age when they are still waking at the crack of dawn, and you’re so tired from everything the day before that you can’t find the energy to get up before the little one makes a sound. Even if you do get up early enough, typically the ears are burning, “someone must be up” and pitter patter come the feet. But, eventually the morning hour does lessen and sleeping becomes more concurrent with mama or papa’s sleep pattern. THEN you can time your wake up to get that little moment you’re waiting for. However, keep in mind, the moment will be fleeting, for even once grade school begins, you still have to juggle, juggle, juggle just to get it all done-working away from home or not. You do great, and I love reading about it all!

  5. For the last several months, I’ve been crawling out of bed moments before Li’l D’s 6 a.m. rise time. The last couple of weeks, I’ve been making an effort to get out of bed at 5 a.m. (the way I used to ) and use that time for things that make me feel happy and/or like I’ve been productive–writing, editing, running (this morning–almost 30 minutes, woo!), catching up on comments. It’s less time for sleep but that extra time for sleep left me with a less sense that I’d had some time to just be me, and be ready. I’m so glad to have that back, and plantar fasciitis nigh gone!

    1. Yea, sometimes you’ve just gotta get up at 5 AM. I did that for awhile. It’s always hard to choose: should I get up super early for me time, or just stay up late to have time to myself?

  6. At the risk of jinxing it and completely ruining things for me, I have to say, N has slept late the last few mornings (albeit after being awake at 1 am and wanting to sleep with us then having a fit when he’s put back in his bed) and the “me” time before he wakes up makes all the difference in setting my mood for the day. If I could just get him to sleep until 6:30, I can get up at 6, and be ready for that morning attack! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  7. Oh to have that moment to myself in the morning. Some days I feel like I’m back in highschool pleading with my alarm clock for five more minutes.

    My daughter wakes up early in the morning but she’s slow to rise (unlike me). So she will spend that time happily nursing for the next thirty minutes until she’s ready.

    That is the time I use to collect myself.

  8. “To have that moment.” Love this post and look forward to reading more. I had a period where I awoke a half an hour sooner than I needed to just to enjoy the quiet of the morning. Sometimes, I even managed to meditate for 15 minutes, or make some coffee and edit some writing. I did certainly help. I found myself waking up my daughter with a smile already on my face, having already fulfilled my daily dose of “me” time. Of course, I’m not on that disciplined path at the moment…Ha!

  9. Ok, it took me two days to comment on this post, your rant was an echo of my own thoughts. I remember the days, pre kids, when I’d rise before the sun, shower and enjoy the me time during my commute. Now, after moving back the kids bed times so they wouldn’t get up so early, I still get up before the sun. Unfortunately I’m working on losing the weight I’ve gained over the past 10 years so my me time is workout time. I think one of the reasons I am able to get up is b/c when I get up I’ll be the only one up. In this next year my youngest will be getting out of the crib and then the whole game will change. One thing you can always count on is the kids changing and your day changing

  10. Wow! I think you just described my every day. Especially the “breakfast” – I completely laughed out loud. I wish I could enjoy my morning coffee before 2pm, not to mention take a shower every day. And how is it that we are always the last ones to eat, standing up at the dinner table going back and forth trying to grab something new out of the fridge and heat it up in the microwave to the perfect temp for one while the other one wants it cold???
    Anyway, loved your post. Thanks for the share and the honesty. It’s refreshing.

  11. Love the other comments on here, most of them echo our own experience. We always have five minutes in bed, the three of us, having a “family cuddle” before we get up, even if we’re running a bit late. This always gives us some peace and quiet and time to come to terms with the world. No way I’m getting up before the little chap! Then it’s chaos for a while, until he goes to preschool.

  12. I’ve found that as much as I try to talk myself out of it at 6:30 am, it is never, NEVER a good idea to hit the snooze button. I may think I need that time to prepare my day in my head, but what actually happens is I’m praying for 8 more minutes to sleep. Instead, I get up, and use those 8 minutes to pause for a moment throughout the day and just say, “Please let me be productive. Please let me be patient. Please (fill in the blank).” At least I try to remember to do that. My day goes infinitely more smoothly if I do.

  13. Oh goodness, those little bosses can be demanding, can’t they? Were you at my house for snack–I mean breakfast–this morning? Dry cereal, orange slices and a glass of milk. That’s balanced, right?

    I know if I could motivate myself to wake up an hour earlier than my children, I could probably have *that moment*, but…but…that’s 5am.

    Well, now that I feel sufficiently lazy, just wanted to say I really related to this post. Hope you had a productive day.

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