Just wanted to share my journal entry. I never could have imagined myself being so fulfilled and challenged 2 years ago! :-)
Just as I was thinking to myself last night that Abi's been sleeping all the way through the nights, she woke up ready to start her day at 4:30 AM. That's when V wakes up for work. So we staggered to the couch and I put on a few videos hoping she'd go back to sleep. At 9:30 I put her in the stroller to walk 1.5 miles to the bus stop, where V had parked our car (he was sick and didn't want to walk in the cold), and of course she fell asleep. And there went my free time for the day.
When I got home, I wanted to transfer a sound clip of her singing from our tape recorder to the computer so I could send it to friends and family. She came in and was playing nicely with her dollhouse, then came over to me and decided to do a very toddler thing, and pushed the top button on the computer tower. Luckily it wasn't the power button. It was the one that opens the CD drive. This amused her for a couple seconds, then she pushed the button and it went back in. Then out again, and this time she pushed the tray itself and it went back in but didn't sound so great so I told her to please push the button and be gentle. She's normally pretty good about being careful if I tell her. Enter the next power struggle of the day.
She tried to sneak pushing the tray but I told her firmly to push the button. She pushed the tray and I warned her that I'd give her at time out if she did that again. So then she sauntered up to the tray and pushed it in with her chest, keenly watching me with an impish grin to see what I would do. I told her to use her finger to push the button (with toddlers you have to be very specific). Finally she asked me, "Kick it?" and made a couple of fake kicks, just missing the computer tower, with the sound effects of "boom! boom!" That did it. I turned the computer off and that was the end of that.
In the early afternoon Abi put herself down for a short nap and I took advantage of it and totally cleaned our guest bathroom from top to bottom, even under the cabinets. Right now we use that one because it holds the steam in, unlike our glass master bathroom shower, and I was embarassed to have any guests drop by. After that I picked up, folded and put away laundry, and ate lunch.
Abi was grumpy most of the day, so as a matter of sanity I asked if she wanted to see the puppies at the mall's petstore in the late afternoon. She cooperated fully in getting dressed. We saw the puppies at the mall, then went to the playground which she was not too keen on. Too many kids doing too many wild things. I thinks she's happiest with one or two friends right now.
We walked over to the elevator and she expertly pushed the button and we rode down. Then she spotted the escalator and we rode it up and down at least 10 times. She got good enough to know when to step over the yellow line at the end of the ride. Finally we went to the bookstore and she played with the Thomas the Train set and when I was pretty sure she was pooped out, we went home. She was happy to watch a video and eat a sandwich while I made another of my famous tasteless clean-out-the fridge, one-dish-wonders. At dinner I discussed with V to maybe start helping me out with cooking, and reminding him that on one of our first meetings I warned him that I could not cook. He agreed, as long as I chop the veggies for him since he gets home late.
I have to say, thinking over all I did today, that being a stay at home mom is no picnic. It's not like I sit around all day and relax. Sometimes people find out what I do for a "living" and say "Oh you get to stay home and have fun with your daughter all day. How nice!" But really, we are out for at least half of every day both because things have to be bought, errands have to be completed, and Abi has to be taken to her library classes and playdates-- but also because I'd go nuts if I had to stay home all day. I turned down a babysitting job for a toddler down the street because his mom didn't want me to take her son out of my house.
I consider my number one job being Abi's mom, and to do the job right takes a lot of time and planning and energy. When she's occupied or asleep I will try to do chores enough to make our home livable. It can get unlivable so quickly if I let it. The very last thing I have on my mind is cooking dinner. That is the last priority for me, and I usually put it off until V is about to walk in the door because I hate cooking. In 20 years no one will care if I made another dinner flop. I don't want to have memories of Abi vegged out in front of TV all day so I could have a clean house and a gourmet dinner. And yes there are those moms who can do it all and still cook a good meal complete with side dishes even (oh the wonder!). But I'm not one of them. And I'm starting to accept that it's okay, I don't have to be Martha Stewart. I just have to be Abi's mommy.
7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."