Confession: I underestimated this stay-at-home-mom gig. Good Lord, I thought parenting was hard work while they were in school.
This summer has taught me what real stay-at-home-mom work is.
Since school let out my dishwasher and my washing machine run almost constantly. It’s truly incredible how I can start the day caught up on dishes and laundry only to find every single cup I own in the sink and every towel in the house sopping wet by the time the sun goes down.
I can no longer tell the difference between weekdays and weekends.
When I was a working mom I would have laughed (and maybe felt a quick stab of envy) at this statement. When you’re working forty plus hours a week, man, what you wouldn’t give to be home all week!
Except now I know.
There is a disconcerting blend of sameness and total free-fall to my days. The lack of routine is more than a little mind numbing.
This summer there have been nieces and nephews in and out of my house almost constantly.
I love having them all over. I swear I do. After all the scariness of the last year I feel incredibly privileged and grateful to watch each and every one of them grow up.
That doesn’t make them any less overwhelming.
At one point I had three boys between the ages of thirteen and sixteen and four smaller kids between the ages of six and eleven in my house.
All. At. The. Same. Time.
I’ve learned that kids on summer vacation keep crazy ass hours.
Connor and I seem to be the only non-vampires in the family. Everyone else’s sleeping patterns are completely fucked up.
The teenagers go to bed at six in the morning and get up at four in the afternoon. And let me tell you, there are way too many pre-caffeinated mental gymnastics required to say ‘good night’ to someone first thing in the morning.
Even the pre-teens sleep late. This week I’ve had to wake Hannah up at noon. Can this really be the same kid that called my name from her toddler bed at five AM?
I cringe to think of the transition when school starts again.
This summer I’ve learned that teenage boys eat a lot.
I mean, I already knew that, but knowing a thing and seeing a thing is the difference between looking at a picture of the Grand Canyon and stumbling over the edge.
Teenage boys are human garbage disposals. They. Never. Stop. Eating.
Thanks to all the kids I’m receiving an unanticipated music education. This summer I’ve learned who Fallout Boy and Nicki Minaj are.
I’m not sure my life is better for either.
We’re half way through July and the kids all still think I’m taking them to the pool because I’m awesome. And while, yes, I am awesome, I actually take them because three hours at the pool makes them very, very tired.
My eleven year old niece came to stay with us for a while. In a summer full of boys, Hannah finally found a girl to talk to. The other day I taught them the sign language alphabet. Since then they’ve been spelling out entire conversations to each other.
As a result, this summer I’ve learned how parents quietly get their kicks.
The girls were determined that Connor not learn the sign language alphabet. They blocked my every attempt to teach him so they could keep their conversations about parents and nail polish and boys ‘secret’.
So this morning, while everyone else slept and the only two people awake were Connor and I, I taught him the alphabet.
Afterwards I said, “Shh. Don’t tell them you know sign language. Let ‘em think you don’t know what they’re saying.”
Connor grinned mischievously and nodded. He ran back to his room to watch Jake and the Neverland Pirates. I sipped my coffee and quietly chuckled to myself.
That’ll teach them to sleep in.
How’s your summer going? I love comments! Every time you leave a comment a teenager does a chore without being asked!