Last week my son was sick so I stayed home from work with him. I had such grand visions of all the things that I would accomplish on my day as a stay at home mom.
I have always fancied that if I stayed at home my house would be so clean and I’d be so fit and cute all the time. Maybe I’d wear a little black track suit to go pick my son up from school (with Starbucks in hand) after my book club at Barnes and Noble. I’d also work on volunteering at the school and Fridays would be the day I ran copies for teachers in the workroom. On those days I’d wear skinny jeans and a hip scarf with some jewelry I got from my neighbor who sells Silpada. Scary how detailed the fantasy was.
Here’s what I thought I would do on my day off with a sick kid:
- Exercise in the morning before he woke up
- Shower, makeup and put on something decent for a stay at home mom – jeans, a sweater and some cute flats
- Head to the quick clinic to make sure he doesn’t have Ebola
- Do some major cleaning in the kitchen while he’s taking a nap
- Get all of the laundry done so I’d be free for the weekend
- File stuff and become magically organized after managing all the piles
- Throw away 1/2 of the junk in his room as he helped me sort through what he just has to keep
- Check emails at work every hour or two to make it look like I’m “in the game”
Uh, yeah, not so much.
Here’s what I actually did:
- Exercised in the morning because I didn’t yet know he was sick and I wasn’t going to work. I probably wouldn’t have done it otherwise since I had the day off.
- I emailed everyone at work to let them know I wasn’t coming in. I stayed logged in for a while and since it was only 8am there wasn’t much to see. Got bored with that and surfed the net.
- Brushed my teeth, put my hair in a pony tail and wore my skanky exercise clothes all day.
- We went to the not-so-quick clinic that also happens to be located in a grocery store. We farted around there for a while, ate donuts from the bakery and then got seen by the nurse practitioner. By this time it’s 11 am.
- We went home and he watched TV until lunch.
- My son reluctantly went upstairs for a nap.
- I don’t really remember much after that. Seriously. I think I looked at junk on the internet and pretty much wasted time until Ellen came on at 2 pm. (Watching Ellen was always in my plan as a “must do” I just didn’t write it down).
- Around 4 pm I had an “oh poop” moment when I realized that my husband would be home at 5:30 pm and it should look like I did something while I was home all day.
- I convinced my son to clean up his room a bit. I put a load of laundry in the washing machine and unloaded the dishwasher. To look really busy I was sure to have dinner cooking (vent hood blaring is a must to look frazzled) and be loading the dishes as my husband pulled in the garage.
Evaluating the actual vs. the goal I wasn’t very successful. I think that I failed my test for “stay at home mom.” Actually, I really only failed my fantasy stay at home mom criteria. Talk to any mom who’s home all day with the kids and she’ll tell you just how completely unrealistic my goals were for the day. Us moms gotta give ourselves some slack.
That said, I’m turning my “fail” into a “pass”. Yay me for deciding to take Mothering 101 for credit instead of a grade! I recommend you do the same.