Monthly Archives: November 2014

It was the best of times, it was, well, you know. . . .

Sometimes it feels like this.

Sometimes it feels like this.

I have an awful confession to make. It’s horrible.  Get ready to hate me. Put on your judging pants.

I don’t love being a stay at home mom all the time. In fact, sometimes I don’t like it at all.

Go ahead and call child services, or the pound or whoever. I’ll wait.

This is something that is not supposed to happen to stay at home moms. They are supposed to be full of gratitude and joy for all the special moments, boogers, rainbows, smeared peanut butter, and glitter that their children offer them every day.

But me? There are days when we walk by a ground floor conference room in our neighborhood where a meeting is going on and I want to smash down the door and sit down in front of that PowerPoint, eager to take notes on the sales goals of some random industry, rather than go home and play Chuggington again.

Bad Mommy, right?

See, I stay at home with the boys (Or boy, I guess, seeing as how one is in school all day). And really, when I made the choice to leave my job, it was a no brainer for me at the time. But I wish I had known a little more about what it would do to me, before I jumped into it.

Like I wish I had known that having a job makes you feel like a person, a contributing to society person, an economically empowered person, a thinking person, a skilled person. Because I didn’t realize having a job gave me all that until I didn’t have any of it.

I also didn’t know just how absorbing and all consuming being a stay at home mom could be. I figured I would take care of the boys and we would play and do fun stuff and then I’d have time to do my own stuff, you know, fun stuff for moms like vacuuming and calling to make doctor’s appointments. Nope let me tell you, these bosses are demanding. Being at home with them means being At Home. With Them. And if I am in the same room (and since this is the Fun Apartment, pretty much anything outside of the bathroom constitutes being in the same room) then I am on duty. It might be heavy duty, or it might be light duty, but it’s ON.

And it’s that ON-ness that’s so wearing. Because I’m ON for everything. My boys are actually pretty independent, but even so, there’s just so much needing going on. Sometimes, horrible mother that I am, I just want to be by myself. I don’t want to be Miss Bossyboots. I’m tired of feeling like the kitchen staff on Downton Abbey. I want to walk up the stairs without UN level negotiations. I don’t want my purse to contain enough snacks, toys, and books to teach six months of kindergarten. I want to be a person people listen to.

Am I saying that I wish I hadn’t chosen to stay home? No, I don’t think I’m saying that. I just wish someone had sat me down and told me honestly what staying at home with two kids in a tiny apartment would really look and feel like. Then I would have stocked up on more box wine. So, my Present Self is telling my Past Self. However, I’m starting to think that my Past Self may have been a little slow on the uptake. . . .

Am I saying that I want to go back to work tomorrow? Well, not tomorrow. But next week sometime, maybe. I would kind of like to go to a meeting once in a while. I’ve got this exciting new skill set, you know. (I am, of course, convinced I will never work again. Maybe you could chime in here, Future Self?)

For now, I suppose Present Self had better quit moaning about the life choice she was lucky to have and get back to it. After all, fun doesn’t make itself happen here at the Fun Apartment. It’s time to kick back and eat bonbons.

Now for the obligatory disclaimers:

1. Of course I love my kids. I love them beyond all reason. A hummingbird of joy flies between my heart and my throat as I watch them sleep. But why do I even have to say this?

2. Working moms have it even harder. And they are all awesome, way more than me (I?) But I am sometimes insanely jealous of them, because someone thinks they have value and expertise beyond wiping dirty orifices. And they pay them for it!

3. As I have drafted and rewritten this over the last couple days, the boys have been perfect angels and the fun at the Fun Apartment has reached record levels. Hypocrite much?

4. HR has announced that Stay at Home Moms Company Holiday Party will be held at the pub round the corner from the Fun Apartment again this year. Hope to see you all there. I’ll be the one in sequins with the feather boa that has peanut butter on it.

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Field Trip!

Lately, I have realized that despite living in one of the world’s greatest cities, we never spend much time in it. Not really enjoying it, doing New Yorky type things, all four of us together.

Since that’s kind of the point of the Fun Apartment, and we seemed to be missing it, I planned an outing. “We’ll go to IKEA!” I thought. “All together! What Fun!”

(Believe me, the irony of going to visit a Scandinavian Megabox Superstore with a giant parking lot as a New York activity is not lost on me. But I’m cool with it.)

So off we went. And here’s something cool about visiting the Brooklyn IKEA: Sure, you can be a regular person and take a car or bus there, but why would you, when you could take a water taxi?

Rollin' on the river.

Rollin’ on the river.

We as a family have always been suckers for boat rides. In fact, I’ve always been a little surprised that we don’t live on Staten Island. Also, once the man of my dreams discovered that the water taxi stopped at the home of his mistress, we had to physically restrain him from diving off the boat before we reached the dock.

And we disembarked in the giant wild IKEA parking lot for our adventure. “Yay! Family activity! The kids will love this!” I thought. All those pretend rooms! We will have to pull them out of here with pliers!”

This store has chairs!

This store has chairs!

However, upon entering, all my vast hopes were dashed. The yahoos spotted the playroom. And after that tantalizing sight, the charm of the little rooms went out the pretend window. During our long progress through the showroom, I had to answer the question “When can we go to the playroom?” a number of times that I have no idea how to express using scientific notation, not being a math person.

OK, there was a small amount of fun in the pretend rooms. And I wasn’t even that into them, either. There must be something wrong with me. Is IKEA-mmunity a thing? No new and novel ideas jumped out at me. We will not be redoing the Fun Apartment with unpronounceable accessories. Kinda surprising, considering I’m pretty Swedish.

Hmm. He was just here. . .

Hmm. He was just here. . .

Although the section with kids beds was a bit of a revelation. Everyone was very intrigued by these trundle bed drawers. But if we got one, the bed in the drawer would block the door to our bedroom, so scratch that. Or are you allowed to push in the drawer while the kid is sleeping?

But finally we proceeded to the playroom, where the tired kids had to wait in a long line to enter paradise through the eye of a needle. Smarter people, I assume, not being one myself, bring their kids there straightaway, and then dash off, load up those enormous bags on funky carts and reclaim their offspring somewhere near the hot dog part of the outing. As it was, the hot dog line seemed to expand to outrageous proportions every time we went near it. (Although only one of us likes hot dogs. It’s the little guy.)

Eventually, we claimed the children, our box and obligatory impulse buy, along with a package of apple cookies for our return journey and IKEA spit us out into the giant parking lot. Dazed, we made our way in the rain back to the water taxi.

All in all, after we stumbled in late for dinner and long past bath time, the outing wasn’t a complete wash. The resident architect made several notes and is over on the couch sketching on graph paper. (Or possibly drafting a divorce agreement.) While the whole shebang was a good faith effort, I think next weekend we might try something a little more manageable.

But we did secure this:

Traytable

Tray tables in their locked and upright positions.

Awesome, right? It has solved the racetrack, play kitchen, and Lincoln Log storage problems in one fell swoop! The man of  my dreams won our storage solution contest! And I didn’t even know he liked squid.

Except, now I think we might need another one. Maybe two.

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