The best thing about being a stay-at-home mom RIGHT NOW

In my couple stints as a stay-at-home mom, I've realized that all moods, phases, schedules, routines...are fleeting. As soon as you get into what you think will be *the* routine, a kid's sleep cycle is thrown off (due to teething or a growth spurt) or a kid goes off to pre-school or you have another baby.

I read recently that Type A personalities have the most difficult time staying at home with the kids full-time, and I understand why. Aside from the reality that all will go to bed (stay in bed? Questionable) at the end of the day, nothing about being a stay-at-home mom is routine or controllable. A mindset of a living in the moment really does need to be achieved along side a dose of adaptability and a motto of c'est la vie.

Before I gave up social media for Lent, I spent so much time looking for a stay-at-home mom schedule. We're gonna get up at this time; we're gonna have crafts at this time; we're gonna have story time at this time! Of course this was all contingent on me rising before the crack of dawn. Since I've been of social though, I think I've realized I was only trying to achieve this picture Instagram-perfect schedule because of all that I was seeing scattered throughout my various social outlets. Everyone else's days looked so pretty and scheduled that I thought am I missing something? Am I doing something wrong? Of course I want the best for my kids so I worked hard to fix the "problem". As of Ash Wednesday when I went social-free, I've embraced our own little unique day-to-day much more, almost completely. Maybe it's 'cause I have no idea what anyone else's days look like right now? I have no idea, but I've enjoyed the perspective.

Which brings me to the current phase in our house that is quite honestly the best thing. The Playing Together All the Time Phase. I have no idea what A is going to do when Ella goes to pre-school because they're so close. Saying they are two peas in a pod doesn't begin to describe their relationship. They've grown into a place of being able to play together without me needing to come in and structure or set it up to be that way. Imaginative play, too. Ella makes up stories and directs Archie and he happily complies, thrilled just to be playing with his big sister. There are quarrels—don't let me fool you. But nothing that can't be resolved without a little talking it out.

I know this won't last forever. It simply won't. They may grow up to be those two same peas in a (bigger) pod, but Archie won't be his cute learning-to-talk self and the stories won't be as outrageous and Ella won't be commanding us all to go by Daddy Pig, Mommy Pig and George. So to hell with the forced scheduled days. In only a few short months that will become a reality anyway when Ella has to be at school by a certain time. For now, we have our meal times, our snack times, quiet time and bed time. Everything else in between I let play out organically. Yes sometimes that's probably watching too much Peppa Pig, but other times it means going out for a day with one of our favorites for play time, shopping and rides on a carousel. We have dance parties, bake, play with play-doh paint, color, have tea parties, go on walks. The list goes on.

I'm so happy with this phase of our lives. My anxiety and depression can suffer from the lack of a predictable schedule but it really is wonderful to just be with my kids. Because as a mom who will have a kid in school before the year ends I too have become a member of the "it goes by fast" club.

Some seasons in life call for strict schedules, others call for just a whole lot of unstructured love.


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