I was thinking today as I was loading my two toddlers, the dog and the double jogging stroller back into the car after a long walk out at the dog park today that the term "Stay-At-Home-Mother" is a serious misnomer. You see, while wondering why I've been so tired lately, it finally occurred to me that we have been out at least once and often twice or more every day since last Sunday for sure. It may have been longer, I can't remember Saturday. If we went somewhere Saturday then it's been at least every day since last Wednesday. I can't remember Wednesday either.
It is serious work leaving the house with two toddlers. First I have to figure out what time I'll need to leave in order to get back for lunch and a nap or decide to go after nap which only works if I'm going somewhere that doesn't keep business hours. I have to dress children, change diapers, feed tummies, pack the diaper bag and make sure there are clean, full sippy cups before even heading out the door. That of course doesn't count showering and dressing myself. Making our way to the car is always interesting, especially if there's more to take than just the kids and bag or if Sugar, the only one steady enough on her feet to go down the front steps reliably, has left the shoes I intend for her to wear in the car on our last outing. If I have to take the girls out to the van one at a time, there's a strategy involved as to who's in the better mood and therefore less likely to have a screaming, whiny meltdown in the house while I'm strapping the other one into their seat. If Sugar's the one waiting in the house I have to be sure I've got the house-key in hand since she'll lock me out.
Once you're loaded and get where you're going unloading is usually easier. Spice goes into her carrier on Mama's back and Sugar either walks or is loaded right into a stroller or cart. (We always park next to a cart return at places that have them.) After managing both girls through whatever we're doing the loading/unloading process is repeated as many times as necessary to complete our tasks. Usually there's also at least one diaper change for each girl and at least one passing out of snacks in there too. By the time we get home and finish up that final unloading, not only do I need to take the girls in but usually I need to pee. Two back-to-back pregnancies with big, low-lying baby girls takes a permanent toll on one's bladder that no amount of kegels is going to fix and I'm sure my neighbor lady has gotten quite the giggle watching me dance around on my front porch with my legs crossed and a baby under each arm trying to finagle the key into the front door before dashing into the house.
After repeating this process at least once and often two or three times on an almost daily basis, no wonder I'm tired! It's amazing how much more exhausting everything becomes when you have two, tiny little hitchhikers assisting at every step. I really think that a better term than "Stay-At-Home-Mother" would be "Leaves-Home-Frequently-And-Slowly-But-Doesn't-Get-Paid-For-It-Mother" You know though, I did get to go grocery all by myself a few weeks ago and realized halfway through the store that I was lonely.