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Tantrums, Poop & Whining…Laughter, Love & Learning (Mom Mode)

I don’t remember when I actually wrote this post- but I never published it. It got lost in the shuffle of posts, and today I found it. Today I had a good read looking back at a frustrating moment in my life. 

We are in mom mode all of the time as stay at home moms. While this post to me now seems somewhat negative as I read it, I know that I was in one of those hard moments. One of those moments where things just kept piling on. 

I love that I have an outlet and a way to talk through my feelings on this blog. I love that I can share these frustrating moments, knowing that there are so many moms that totally understand and get this. Thank goodness I love my job as a mom- otherwise the tough times would be so hard to navigate!

Have you experienced things like this? I know you have…

I just spent 38 minutes on the phone with my insurance company. 38 minutes because I submitted a claim to them (twice) and was denied- twice. The first time I hadn’t submitted the correct info- my bad. The second time, I did and they are claiming I didn’t. On the insanely long phone call they finally got around to telling me (more like figured out on their end) that I’m supposed to submit the claim to a different department than the claim form indicates. Even though it’s a prescription, I’m supposed to submit it as a medical claim, not a prescription drug claim… um, ok. Now I have to submit the claim a 3rd time. At least this time I get to use an online system instead of snail mail (as I had to do twice for the prescription drug claim). Who wants to bet that the medical claim comes back saying I need to submit it as a prescription drug claim!? All of this to get reimbursed $49. At the end of the day, my time just doesn’t seem worth it. I’ve spent who knows how long submitting claims, plus the long phone call today. 

My pre-mom self judged. I judged my own mom for staying home and not working when we were in school. I didn’t understand what she did all day. Until now. I didn’t understand that there is sooooo much random crap that has to be taken care of, and that a simple phone call to an insurance company can last FOREVER and still not be resolved. I never understood that even when your children are in school, there’s just a ton of things to get taken care of.

I did, however, understand that taking care of a baby or a toddler was a full time job. I mean people pay good money to send their kids to daycare, and that number is high for a reason. Toddlers and babies are hard to care for and require a ton of energy. While I never envisioned myself as a stay at home mom, the minute I was pregnant, my husband and I knew that we wanted to take that path instead of daycare. I knew it was going to be tough, but obviously you just don’t know until you do it.

No one is there to give you a heads up that there aren’t relaxing moments. Other people see that we go to the pool, and do fun things a lot. Yes we do. But none of it is relaxing. Gone are the days that I can put my headphones in, lay out in the sun, close my eyes, and take a dip in the pool when I feel like it. There is nothing relaxing about going to a pool now! I have to be in the water the entire time (because what toddler wants to sit on the sidelines)?! I have to worry about water safety and be aware at all times.

I can’t get lost on my phone reading something while we are at the playground… I have to make sure my daughter is safe, making good choices, treating others nicely, and not falling off of the play set. Odds are, if you see me on my phone, I’m texting myself something that I don’t want to forget, or I’m adding something to our grocery list, etc. It’s something that needs to be done, not something that’s fun.

I’m also not getting to chat with other moms while at playdates. I see that a lot of moms get to do this, and I admit I’m a bit envious at times. My daughter, however, wants to play with me. And, while sometimes it would be nice to have a break, I also want to play with her. I also want to be there in teachable moments. Toddlers haven’t the slightest idea how to interact with other children. They think it’s ok to take things from others, push, etc. They need to be taught and they are still learning. So, whether my daughter is the one pushing or the one being pushed, I want to be there to help- to teach.

So, while it might look like stay at home moms have a lot of time to relax, and get to have all of the fun, really we are on the go at all times and always in our “mom mode”. Mom mode is my job. I wouldn’t go to work as a teacher and not be in teacher mode, so I certainly can’t work as a stay at home mom and not be in mom mode. The difference is that we don’t get to go home. We don’t get to leave work. There’s no break in our day. Occasionally, I utilize nap time to just do nothing and take a breath, but it’s rare. Because, if I don’t use it to get things done, things pile up! I have more to do now, and more things that I’d like to get done and accomplish than I ever did as an engineer or a teacher.

I would give anything for a phone call to the insurance company to take only 5 minutes, or to not have to make the phone call at all! LOL!

Oh and don’t forget about “toddler time”. It’s like we are moving at a snails pace all day. When your toddler wants to put on their own shoes, it is both refreshing (that you don’t have to do it), and suddenly the most irritating thing that’s happened that day (since it takes forever). But you stay in mom mode and stay patient, calm, and supportive- because gosh darn it, you want your toddler to put their own shoes on!

Don’t get me wrong, being a stay at home mom is the best thing I’ve ever done with my life. I love it. There are moments that I want a day off, and there are lots of tantrums, poop, and whining. But there’s also laughter, love and learning. I am more of a teacher now than I ever was teaching high school chemistry. I am a teacher all day every day, all night, all the time. I have phases (like right now) that are tough and frustrating and I wish so desperately I could get a break, but at the end of the day I wouldn’t trade this life for the world.


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