Yes, I said stay-at-home Mom. I'm sorry to all my sisters (and brothers) trying to glorify our profession by giving ourselves a fancy job title like "Full Time Caregivers", or "Alcoholics", but I just need you to know what I'm talking about right now.
Now that Ellie has hit the ripe old age of three, I feel obligated (which is just another way of saying entitled) to impart some of the wisdom I've been fortunate enough to learn the hard way. Wait... that's what she said! !Opah! Not the right context? My timing on that joke always sucks.
But before we begin I feel it would help you set the stage in your "theater of the mind" (an ad agency term we in the biz used when pitching radio) to tell you what's happening in my house at this exact moment. Nick has abandoned me to have a guys' night, I'm watching a Netflix movie with Martha Plimpton who marries a dude she met in prison (he's choking her on the kitchen floor right now and I'm wondering why Netflix put this in my 'may we recommend' cue), Lila and Hadley are fast asleep and Ellie is upstairs reading one of those Time/Life hardback books about aliens. Well, not reading so much as looking at the pictures and every once in a while I'll hear something like, "not you... you're not my Mom" come out of her room and I just keep drinking and typing louder while repeating, "I do believe in spooks! I do believe in spooks! I do I do I DO!" over and over and over. Oh and I'm also on my third rum and Coke.
So without further adieu - stuff no one told me before I quit my job.
1. The amount of time you spend giving unto others will be taxing on your soul. Some days you might even wake up to a baby crying, think about what the day has in store for you and lose the will to live! LOL! *gunshot* I keep waiting for the day that my girls are like, "It's okay Mom, we don't need dinner tonight." or "Hey, Mom. Don't worry - we're not going to have a water fight with the toilet water today while you put the baby down for a nap." But that doesn't happen. It. Never. Happens. You are responsible for their every move. EVERY. MOVE. And, if you're lucky enough to have three under two and a half, you are responsible for the every move of three tiny people. Which is sort of like trying to coordinate a marching band half time show with a bunch of ferrets. So it's crucial that you take time for yourself and cultivate some sort of hobby. It's a wonderful emotional outlet to do something you really enjoy. Preferably something you can do at home, during their nap time. Like painting or chain smoking cigarettes.
2. Your interaction with other adults that don't live inside your television set will be extremely limited. The competition that used to drive you to become a successful employee clawing your way up the corporate ladder that you found in your co-workers will now come from the other Moms you hang out with once a week. They will act as your measuring stick of self-worth and constantly force you to reflect upon your parenting skills. So quickly make friends with a lot of worthless fatties. Or pedophiles. You'll drive yourself crazy otherwise.
3. Being at home all day with your kids means they will destroy any article of clothing you put on their little bodies. You can choose not to change them, but then the ants come. And then everyone gets all judgey-judgey when they come over. "Oh my god... there are roaches on your baby!" Or, "Is that lice?" And it's an algorithm - the nicer the outfit, the more frosting that ends up on it. Therefore, I strongly recommend you buy only cheap clothing at resale shops. For the kids, not for yourself. Wearing other peoples' used clothing is just nasty.
4. Pace yourself. It might seem like a good idea at the time when you're chewing your baby's food and spitting it into her mouth for her or breastfeeding or changing her diaper on a regular basis but don't over exert yourself for heaven's sake. I mean, kids have no memory until they're like 12 or something and do you remember being left in a poopy diaper all day? See? That's my point. You turned out just fine. Save some of that overzealous newborn energy for when they're two and you wake up from your nap to find them playing with the electrical outlet and you think, "Welp, they've gotta learn sometime" and fall back asleep.
5. Babies hate any toy you buy for them. They will play the shit out of some toy in the gym nursery and you immediately run out and buy it because you think it will mean at least one full hour of silence so that you can watch your stories in peace. But the minute that toy crosses your threshold they recoil in disgust at the very sight of it. Immediately return all toys you receive as gifts and use that money on Chinese lessons and butt implants. Let's just say I'm working on a little 'conspiracy theory' about how the U.S. job market is going to look in fifteen years.
6. When you're with your kids 24/7, it's real easy to get comfortable and ignore personal hygeine boundaries in the name of convenience. But I'm here to tell you that some things should remain sacred. Because one day they will learn how to talk. And one day you're going to run into your ex-boyfriend's best friend at the grocery store and your daughter will tell him how this morning Mommy's poop looked like a snapping turtle.
Oh great, now Martha Plimpton is dead. The end.