I had it all planned out, this new job of mine. I was the lucky one, so to speak. I dreamed of leisure-filled days, walking downtown while pushing my (way too expensive) stroller along the beautiful St. Croix. I planned on keeping poop charts, everything would be color-coded and I would quickly get through the stacks of parenting books I had bought.
It all looked so picturesque.
But I was delusional. My well thought out plans … never happened.
I had officially put the acronym SAHM — stay-at-home mom — as my job description. But little did I know there was no job description for being a MOM.
I racked my brain thinking of something to compare it to. How can you compare it to anything? It’s about 55,000 jobs all wrapped up into one pretty little polka dot package. Between the bodily messes, the screaming kids and the constant demands, I was expected to be this loving, sweet, patient, compassionate mother. I keep missing the nomination deadline for Mother of the Year. Besides, I don’t have room for a trophy in this house full of toys.
The long nights with babies waking and endless days of praying to the Nap God — “please, please nap today.” And when my husband walked in the door I would throw the kids in his direction. I would quickly sneak into the background and find a quiet place to drink my wine. Usually it was in the upstairs closet. Don’t judge. In a house full of boys it is hard to find my happy place.
There were times when I wondered, should I really be doing this? Aren’t there professionals who need to be involved? How can they be OK with this? I wasn’t trained for this job as MOM. I didn’t major in Mommy 101, let alone master in How Not to Screw Up Your Kids.
I was in a new reality. Staring in my own “Survivor” show. But who was going to vote me off? These little half pints in pull-ups?
Hell no. I got this far and this was my island. I was here to stay.
The days and months went by.
I was finding routines and getting accustomed to surviving on four hours of sleep.
And best of all, I was still employed as MOM.
Although I was still sweating the small stuff like mothers do, I was learning that this job as MOM came with many perks. YES, I could hide my wine in a Winnie the Pooh sippy cup but there was so much more to what I was doing. I was shaping these little peeps into first class citizens. I was kissing boo-boos and learning how to master the perfect Hot Wheels crash. I was building Lego cities and improving my lightsaber skills. I was realizing that these monthly milestones were so much grander than they appeared. I was ready to put out a press release — my big boy in the booster seat, Thomas-the-Train-wearing underpants, regular fork using little man, was ready for the biggest, boo-hoo-yahoo moment of all — kindergarten. Who wrote the book on how to deal with that?
And with my sippy cup filled and my less than perfect scorecard, I knew it was time. Time to start loving this job because there was no way around the fact that I had been promoted to CEO.
Alicia Donovan is a native to Stillwater. She is the mother of two (adorable young) boys. She is devoted to her family, her friends and her two dogs. She believes this lovely river town is the best place to raise kids. She is realistic about life, an admitted control freak and loves building the community by connecting people. She is the head organizer and chief of details at Moms of Stillwater.