I got nominated for this #RockingMotherhood challenge by Casey from Jesus and Wine like…a month ago… Proper blog etiquette would have me publish this within a week of the nomination. But what can I say? A lot of life has happened, and this blog post just kept slipping through the cracks. In fact, (as I’m sure someone has noticed), I have not written ANYTHING for the entire month of June. Again–life happens.
But I’m here now and ready to toot my own horn and tell you all how I am ROCKING MOTHERHOOD as a stay at home mom to 4 girls 6 and under.
I feed my children, multiple times a day, EVERY DAY.
Ugh Amanda…that doesn’t count because that’s like the bare minimum of what’s required of you.
Ummm–have you spent a day with my 4 kids? They put hobbits to shame. I’m talking breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, supper AND snacks in between all that. The baby is the worst of them, because she insists on 2-3 midnight feedings in addition to all the daytime meals. If that’s not a full time job, I don’t know what is.
I don’t play with my kids.
Pretty sure that means you are failing motherhood, not rocking it.
Hey, ‘dancing monkey’ is not in this mama’s job description. There is a reason I had 4 of them–so that they can play with each other. Mama’s got 6 loads of laundry to wash, another 6 loads from last week waiting to be folded and put away, and a perpetual mess in the kitchen from the 10 meals a day that always find their way to the floor. So no, I do not have the time or energy to pretend that I’m a lost puppy who gets found and is happy again. Besides, you and I both know that the only reason they want me to play that game is so they can put a leash around my neck. And in the long run, I am giving my children a gift, because they are growing to be independent creatives who don’t need people to tell them what to do all day long in order to function.
(Related Post: Grumpy Mommy)
I don’t do everything for them.
So, you don’t play with them, or do anything else for them apparently, so what exactly do you do?…
This always seems to come as a shock to my kids, but the fact remains that I AM ONLY 1 PERSON. I can’t be responsible for brushing everyone’s teeth, getting everyone dressed, feeding them alllll day long, playing with them, keeping the house up, and keeping my sanity intact. I tell my 6, 4, and 2 year olds to brush their teeth, but I don’t always stand there and supervise it, because ain’t nobody got time for that. The 6 year old is more than capable of helping the 2 year old, which is–again–why I had more than one. They may go out in their bathing suits and rain boots, or any other number of eclectic outfits, but they are dressed, so I don’t care. As I mentioned above, they are always hungry. I am not a short order cook and don’t actually want to spend my entire day fixing them food. So for all the in between times when they declare that they are starving again, I remind them of where the pantry is and go on with my life.
But you know what? I have kids who know how to do stuff for themselves! My pediatrician was impressed when I told him that my 4 year old dresses herself every day. Apparently they don’t expect that development-wise until 5 years of age. I laughed and told him my 2 year old also dresses herself. As far as I’m concerned, I’m setting my girls up to be independent and capable people, which is really the whole point, right?
(Related Post: It’s Just A Bit Much)
I allow TV days.
Your kids watch TV??? *Gasp of horror*
Yup, they do. And no, I don’t feel bad about it. Most days, they watch a couple hours in the morning, then a couple hours in the early evening, and maybe one more 30 minute slot before bed if I’m not at the point of wanting to murder them. Some days, the TV is on pretty much all day. Look, if the weather is keeping them inside all day long, there is only so much stampeding around like elephants that I can take. So some days, I let them watch TV for the majority of the day. But you know what? I remember having lazy summer days spent in front of the TV, and I turned out just fine. I’m giving my kids a nostalgic childhood. I’m awesome.
The 6 year old reads, the 4 year old uses words like “magnificent” in sentences on the daily, the 2 year old strings together 7 word sentences already, and the 6 month old is forever getting comments on how alert and observant she is. No brain cells dying in this house.
I sneak treats when they aren’t looking.
But sharing is caring!
Look, being a stay at home mom to 4 girls 6 and under is stressful. Some days, mama needs a sweet treat in the middle of the day in order to make it to the end of the day. I have to share everything else with those greedy little creatures. My mid-day Oreo is MINE.
Plus if they start getting cookies in the middle of the day, then my “you won’t get dessert unless you clean your plate” rule at dinner time will hold no weight. And we all know how unhealthy it is to eat too much sugar in a day. So I’m keeping my kids healthy by not exposing them to my bad habit. See–I’m awesome.
I enforce the ‘come caca’ rule.
Whenever her kids would complain that they didn’t like what she served for dinner, my Nana would tell them, “You don’t like it? Then come caca”. For those who no hablo, ‘come caca’ means ‘eat poop’ in Spanish. I always laughed at this story as a kid and thought my nana must have been awfully grumpy as a mom. But now that I am a mom, I totally get it. I am not a short order cook, so making 6 different dinners based on what everyone else wants is not an option. My kids can never agree on anything, so asking them to pick something that would make everyone happy is a joke. Plus, if I’m going to go through the effort of cooking, it’s going to be for something that I want to eat. They don’t like it? Then come caca. Also–no dessert
But kids should be free to discover their own likes and dislikes. They are people too, you know!
Yeah, they’re people. But they’re kids. They don’t know what they like or what they want. I’m exposing them to flavors outside of chicken nuggets and fries, while simultaneously teaching them the important life lesson of ‘you don’t always get what you want’ and ‘this is my house so we will eat what I want’. You have to be grateful for what you have, kid.
I enforce the ‘but did you die’ rule.
You will wait until they DIE to step in?? I’m shocked your kids are still alive.
Me too; they do some really stupid stuff. Look–kids tattle on each other. A lot. I can’t stand tattling. Some people make cute tattle monsters out of tissue boxes for their kids to complain to in order to solve the problem. I, however, prefer to be more direct: I don’t want to hear about it unless someone died. Anything less than death or near death or impending death is not a valid complaint, so go back outside/go back to bed/leave me alone.
I blog instead of doing the dishes.
So what you’re trying to say is that you’re lazy and don’t like to clean.
You know that saying, “A happy wife, a happy life”? Well the same is true for the lesser known phrase of, “Give mom an outlet so she doesn’t cut you”. The only way for my house to be clean all the time at my current stage in life is if I spent every waking not-feeding-my-kids moment cleaning, and cut my sleep down to 4 hours a night, so that I could spend those hours cleaning as well. There is just no way I’m going to do that. Sorry, not sorry. I’m tired enough as it is; I am taking every precious hour of sleep the baby will give me. And whenever I’ve gone through phases where I did do nothing but keep the kids alive and clean the house day in and day out, I got depressed. Anyone would. So I take selfish moments EVERY DAY to feed my soul and do stuff FOR ME. I let my girls see that pouring into myself and my passions takes priority over a spotless house. And in the long run, that is one of the best gifts I can give them.
(Related Post: Mama, Go For Your Dreams)
I curse in front of my kids.
Uh-huh. That reminds me–I’m actually busy this weekend, so we’ll have to reschedule that play date…
Before you get all Judge Judy on me–my kids are not allowed to curse, I am. I just tell them that those are grown up words, just like how beer and wine are grown up drinks. They can say them while they are drinking their wine when they are adults. I actually think this is an important lesson that most kids in this day and age don’t get: there are things that mom and dad are allowed to do and they are not. Because we are adults and they are kids. Don’t like it? Tough shit, kid. We all survived the injustices of childhood, and you will too.
I cry on the kitchen floor.
Your poor kids are gonna grow up so messsed up.
Some days, life is just too damn much. I like to consider myself to be particularly strong, and I do not like for others to see me in my weakness. But if there’s one thing motherhood is really good at, it’s breaking you down to a sobbing puddle on the floor. Guys, this job is HARD. Some days I just don’t have the endurance to battle anymore with my strong willed toddler/preschooler/6 year old. Some days the baby’s marathon cluster feeding breaks me down because I feel like if I have to sit to nurse her AGAIN I will go stir crazy. And I do go crazy, and then I’m trying to hide from them all behind the kitchen island while I cry my eyes out because I just can’t do it anymore.
But of course they find me, because they always find me. And they see me at my absolute worst, and I let them because I don’t have the energy to front. Then they sit on my lap and give me giant bear hugs and sloppy kisses and tell me, “It’s ok, Mommy”. Friends–I am a hot mess. But I let my kids see that. I let them see me fail, I let them see me freak out and lose it and experience big emotions. Then I let them see me get up off the kitchen floor, and keep going. So that way as they grow up and fail and freak out and experience big emotions, they will know that everything will be ok. They will know that they too can get up off the kitchen floor.
(Related Post: For The Days When You Cry on the Kitchen Floor)
So there it is, my friends. My list of why I am rocking motherhood–flawed as I may be. And you know what? YOU are rocking motherhood too!
I nominate the following moms to do their own #RockingMotherhood posts:
Andi from Lend Me Your Kite
Victoria from Dinner at the McGills
Susie from Momma Bee Saving
Juli from Mom Always Knows
Don’t see your name on this list, but still want to write your own #RockingMotherhood post? DO IT! And tag me on IG or FB so I can read it and cheer you on.