Two Pieces of Advice


Seeing good friends is always worth the effort.

My friend Lauren gave me two pieces of advice when my second child was born. Her first suggestion was to get dressed.  Every day.  And her second was to leave the house.  Every day.

Those who do not have children can chuckle quietly to themselves, or think about how cute it is to feign challenges throughout the day, presumably out of boredom.  Those of us that have done it though, recognize the true accomplishment that it is.

And, Lauren is right. Committing to these two things keeps me sane.

Well, almost.

Nearly every morning I shower (even though I likely do not wash my hair) and put on clothes and at least a little make up before I come downstairs.  I guess it makes me feel more like a grown up than a college student if I am dressed, rather than wearing pajamas at one o’ clock in the afternoon.  It also makes me take the day a little bit more seriously, and live it by design rather than default, which feels better to me.

On the days that I do choose to stay in my pajamas when first coming downstairs in the morning, I admit to myself that I will likely still be wearing my mismatched flannels for the noon weather report, and probably for my husbands arrival home from work that evening.

The day gets away from me so quickly that if I do not start the day appropriately dressed, the time will not be available again until it is time to put my pajamas back on.

My friend Lauren gave me two pieces of advice when my second child was born. Her first suggestion was to get dressed.  Every day.  And her second was to leave the house.  Every day.

Those who do not have children can chuckle quietly to themselves, or think about how cute it is to feign challenges throughout the day, presumably out of boredom.  Those of us that have done it though, recognize the true accomplishment that it is.

And, Lauren is right. Committing to these two things keeps me sane.

Well, almost.

Nearly every morning I shower (even though I likely do not wash my hair) and put on clothes and at least a little make up before I come downstairs.  I guess it makes me feel more like a grown up than a college student if I am dressed, rather than wearing pajamas at one o’ clock in the afternoon.  It also makes me take the day a little bit more seriously, and live it by design rather than default, which feels better to me.

And so are trips to the playground.

On the days that I do choose to stay in my pajamas when first coming downstairs in the morning, I admit to myself that I will likely still be wearing my mismatched flannels for the noon weather report, and probably for my husbands arrival home from work that evening.

The day gets away from me so quickly that if I do not start the day appropriately dressed, the time will not be available again until it is time to put my pajamas back on.

So, I try to put on clothes first thing every morning to make myself feel like a functioning part of society.  Which leads to Lauren’s second suggestion:  leave the house.  Every day.

Admittedly, this takes more effort and I am less motivated to do this, especially in the winter with all of the gear required to remain free of frostbite during a New England winter.

Mostly, it is worth the effort.

Owen, Sydney and I all get to have some interaction with people other than each other (even if it is only the woman who checks us out at the grocery store), and it breaks the day into definable time slots.  This helps to keep the day fresh.

Of course, on days when one of us (often times it is me) has a melt down while out, I commit to myself that we will not leave the house again until spring.  That promise dies quickly after a day or two of being at home with only each other, and we run out of things to do, but I guess this is just part of the flow of being a stay at home mom.

Today, I pass this advice on to you.

I am grateful for the perspective and truly do find that it makes a difference in my weeks at home with only my kiddos.

Maybe you will too.

Or, at least it will give you somebody to curse when you have been trying for over an hour to prepare your children for the great adventure of  mailing a package.