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I can’t do this: An ode to stay-at-home parents


I’ve pulled off some pretty impressive feats as a parent.

I’ve changed multiple blowouts during the same conference call, without missing a beat.

I managed to pump and bring home milk from more than a dozen business trips.

I’ve parented through food poisoning, migraines and a host of other maladies.

And recently I transformed our Hoarders-style office into a damn cute playroom in three days time, for a Christmas morning unveiling.

But I couldn’t handle being a full time stay-at-home parent. No way, no how.

I’ve been off work for a week now (big ups to my employer!) on holiday break and these kids are riding me pretty hard. I haven’t put on makeup or real clothes in days and my hair is consistently in a ratty/greasy bun or a ratty/greasy low ponytail. That hasn’t stopped me from going out in public of course, but my role out in public this week has been relegated to “transporter of two occasionally wild animals.” My adult interactions have been limited to polite, desperate conversation with any other adults standing by whereever it is I’m watching my kids at the moment.

It’s not glamorous, at least half the time it’s not fun, and it’s barely rewarding because the few shining moments of being an awesome mommy feel overshadowed by all the yelling, cursing and staring forlornly at my phone while watching “Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses” for the upteenth time.

Moms and dads who regularly stay home with children, respect — 100 percent respect. I’m sure you have your rough moments too, but the fact that you keep doing it day-in and day-out is a feat. I’m only doing this for a week and a half and though Day 1 was as close to Mary Poppins as I could muster, Day 7 is a lot more bleak.

It doesn’t help that a recent snowstorm made it even harder to leave the house and both kids are in a post-holiday mania. They veer wildly from elation with a new toy to sobbing hysterics when their sibling touches it.

It’s a wild ride, and I don’t know how long I can hang on.

The thing is, once I get a moment alone, I start to reset, as we all do. Even just five minutes has me feeling refreshed. But that’s hard to come by when it’s just you and the kids. All. Day. Long.

I had grand plans for “organizing my house and life” over this week-and-a-half break from work, but I’m quickly becoming content with just survival and keeping everyone in clean underwear.

To those of you staying home longer, and aspiring to something even greater than keeping the kids fed and hydrated, good for you. I’ll root for you when I’m back at work next week, thanking the heavens for my wonderful daycare providers.

About Caley Clinton

Caley Clinton works in PR and is mother to two girls under the age of 4. She can be reached at caleyclinton@gmail.com.

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