Staying Home with Toddlers: Toy Trucks and Stickers on the Dog

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“I have to get out of this house today,” I thought as I watched my two-year-old twin boys push around their toy trucks on the hardwood floor while I sipped my morning coffee. I considered what we might do today, because anytime we leave the house involves careful planning for (hopefully) successful execution. Part of me wants to do all the things, while another part of me knows that it is sometimes much easier to stay home all day with two unpredictable and rambunctious toddlers. If I wrote a book on the chronicles of a stay-at-home parent, the title would be “To Leave or not to Leave the House.” But today, and usually most days, for the sanity of myself I try to leave the house.

Staying home with toddlers“What will it be?” I pondered as I continued to watch my boys, who went from pushing toy trucks to flipping through picture books at a remarkable pace. I contemplated the play gym, the library, or even a quick trip to Costco for a few grocery items. All of those things sounded like tasks I did not want to take on today. I imagined the process of getting two children out of car seats and into a stroller or a cart in this hot Arizona heat and it sounded daunting. “What is wrong with me?” I wondered. Is it normal to feel this way? I carry mom guilt heavily on my shoulders because I want to do all the things. I feel like leaving the house every day is a requirement to get the gold medal for motherhood and that it measures my level of productivity.

Thankfully, like clockwork, my best friend called me and told me that she had barely left the house for a few days with her kids because she didn’t feel like it. She added that Fry’s grocery pick-up and the Starbucks drive-thru was the closest thing to getting out of the house. I felt a wave of relief fall over me as she spoke these words. “I am not alone,” I thought. I often have to remind my Type A, extroverted demeanor that it is okay to not do all the things. This is a season in life where it is complicated, and my sweet boys will not fault me for letting them push around toy cars in the house for the whole day. If I see it from their perspective, they most likely hardly notice the days we leave the house versus the days we stay home because they’re busy playing either way.

As I continued to sit there and watch my kids play, I reflected on days prior to having children when I could just run out of the door of my home at the drop of a hat. When needing a few items at the grocery store for dinner that evening wasn’t a huge drawn-out event. When running to drop-off a box at the post office took less than ten seconds. It dawned on me that it is the freedom of being able to be on the go whenever I please that I miss. Motherhood is complicated, and it is feelings of loneliness and isolation that these pregnancy books don’t warn you about. “There will be days that you feel like you have lost some of your freedom,” said no pregnancy book ever.

Some days are harder than others, but I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world. I work hard to look at the glass half full, versus half empty. As I continue to watch my boys flip through their picture books with wonder and joy, I am reminded of how lucky I am to be in this season of life. I might have moments where I long for those easier trips out of the house, but this current season is so fleeting and irreplaceable. So today, we stayed home. We pushed toy trucks around. We colored with crayons and stuck stickers on paper, but mostly to the dog. We cuddled and watched a few episodes of Mickey Mouse Roadsters. We smiled and we laughed. I cherished this day, and that gold medal for motherhood? I totally won that today, because my kids are loved today.

Keep mommin’ on because you got this.

XOXO,

Bri

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Brianna is a 20-something stay-at-home mama to twin boys, Liam and Noah, and a crazy yellow lab, Zoey. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Spencer. Although a piece of her heart will always lie within her Midwestern roots, her family currently resides in sunny (and prickly) Phoenix. Prior to spending her days in leggings and messy buns, she was a high school English teacher to some pretty awesome kiddos. Staying at home with her boys is one of her favorite seasons in life thus far and she is excited to share it with you! Aside from being a stay-at-home mama her passions include hiking, indulging in anything that contains chocolate, reading a good book, photography, interior design and organizing, drinking hot coffee with cream, and brunching. Sit back and relax, enjoy reading her triumphs mixed with the best days of motherhood. We are a tribe as moms and this is motherhood uncensored.

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