Yesterday was B-aunty’s last day which meant today was my first full day with both kids all by myself and it was great. It was uneventful in the most amazing and normal way.
I took both kids to a local community park in our Graco double stroller that I bought at a consignment sale (Outrageous Outgrowns). It was predicted to be a really hot day so I decided to leave early. Of course by the time I huddled both kids together, got J’s snacks and water, a diaper bag for E and a packet of essentials for J, the KTan in case E gets restless and needs a change of pace, hats, sunscreen, water for myself, and whatever else I might have forgotten, it was 9:13 a.m. I walked the trail all the way to the park. Thankfully E had fallen asleep so I parked her in the shade and spent some quality time with J. He enjoyed his time there and so did I.
We followed our usual routine of lunch, milk, and nap time with lots of hugs and cuddles after returning home. Thankfully, I was able to get E to nap before J’s nap schedule. In fact, after laying her down on her swing (the only place she naps), I was able to perch J on the kitchen counter and prep for dinner (we recently purchased an Instant Pot and I made my first meal in it today – Lamb Loin Chops).
E was a somewhat fussy napper today but still gave me enough time to shower and have a shot of espresso. Eventually, both kids were up by 4:10. As is routine, we watered our plants and hung out at our neighborhood park before it was time for dinner.
“Surviving” On One’s Own:
Granted I am not in a unique place as a SAHM. There are millions others like me. Yet, when one is going through this emerging identity, transitioning into it hesitatingly, one moment at a time, encouragement from others feels great. The words don’t even have to be anything elaborate. Something as simple as, “You’ve got this” or even a simple “Hang in there, you’re doing okay” would be just fine.
While this may be commonly expected and expressed by contemporaries going through the same thing or well-meaning friends who are kind, it is the BTDT (been there, done that) moms who can be a little nasty. Now I’ve only had one such experience so I am by no means trying to generalize but I did want to put it out there in the blogosphere.
Someone to whom I said, “It was my first day all by myself with the kids today and I survived!” simply dismissed what I said with a slight of her hand and said something on the lines of ‘we all do it and survive’ offhandedly. I was a little offended. Of course everyone survives (not talking about mental illnesses like women with severe post-partum depression). Of course mothering is not impossible for the majority of women. Of course being an okay mom is just fine and perfectly acceptable (see meme above) but if someone even pretends to care enough to encourage you in your efforts, it is a huge motivator to keep carrying on. Encouraging another mom who is only recently transitioning from a full-on professional identity to an exclusive SAHM identity and managing two kids will be especially appreciated.
It doesn’t take anything away from one mother to compliment another one. Why are some women so nasty? Why not be supportive even if you did great yourself and your kids were angels in disguise and you had zero trouble raising them and therefore do not know or care about the big “fuss” mothers these days make about bringing up kids? It is easy to forget what you went through raising your kids over the years when they are all grown up and have families of their own but when someone is just starting out on that journey, a thoughtful comment, a kind word, or even an “I understand” non-verbal can send a powerful and empowering message to that incumbent. I wish more moms got that.