6:30, Friday night. I’m curled up in the master bedroom in the Bear House, where I have been sleeping for the past four nights. I can hear the boys in the playroom. They are playing with the backup babysitter. Big Bear is saying “Help, help, help” over and over again and Little Bear is walking back and forth outside my bedroom door, saying “knock, knock.”
I have been a full-time mom since Monday morning. Mama and Papa Bear left for a much-needed vacation to the Four Seasons in Costa Rica, and I have temporarily moved in the Bear House. But right now I’m hiding in the master bedroom, my first real break of the day. I’ve been watching Forensic Files, of course, and reflecting on my time as a “real” mom.
I’ve been on the clock since 8 am Monday morning, but I’m not as exhausted as I thought I would be. I think I’m really enjoying my fantasy life as a stay-at-home mom. I’ve been in charge of school drop off. Each morning, while sipping coffee, Big Bear and I look for construction trucks as we drive south on Old Cutler Road. I’ve been in charge of bedtime and getting to tuck in the boys and kiss them good night. Each morning when I go to wake up Big Bear, I am greeted with “Good Morning, Rach.” How can that not put you in a good mood?
I’ve developed a mom mentality. I have become my worst fear. I have become one of those moms who doesn’t want to leave their children with a new sitter. I hear them in the other room and I want to pull up the nanny cam, just to make sure they aren’t being ignored.
Tuesday night, I went to my creative writing course. Before I left, I made sure to walk the backup sitter through the bedtime routine. After showing her where LB’s bottles are and which books to read to BB at bed, I left the backup sitter and my Day-Sons and went to class. I had mom remorse. But when I crept back into the house later that night, I snuck into both of their rooms and watched their sleeping faces. I looked forward to seeing them the next morning.
Each evening the backup sitter has come to relieve me for a few hours. I usually spent that time in the bedroom, but after 45 minutes or so I started to miss the boys. I have fallen into the role of full-time mom, but I have had lots of help. Besides the backup sitter, I’ve had help from Grandma and Grandpa Bear. All week, we took turns going to dinner. But last night they invited me to join them at the Biltmore. We stayed out later than we intended and when we got home close to 9, both boys were wide awake and running around the house. I became an annoyed mom. They were in their same clothes. They weren’t given a bath and they didn’t have their pajamas on. But they were happy, safe and clearly tired. They were both ready for sleep.
Slightly tipsy, I took BB to his room and read to him. After kissing him goodnight and making sure LB was also asleep, I retreated to the bedroom. The biggest adjustment hasn’t been waking up each morning to get BB ready for school. It’s been sharing the bedroom with a male.
Emmy, the service dog, has been my roommate. Each night I have been awoken to his pacing and more annoyingly, his snores. My love for him hasn’t grown since we became roomies, but I’ve been giving him extra attention and extra treats. I think he’s the most upset about mom and dad leaving the country.
Mom and Dad come home tomorrow and I will go back to my own apartment. It’s been fun waking up to happy children each morning and to get hugs and kisses each evening before bed. I usually rush out the door each night, desperate to get to my own house. But I have genuinely been enjoying my role as full-time mom. The one thing I’m really going to miss is being able to curl up in bed while LB naps, and read, write, or binge reruns of Will & Grace.
Since it’s our last night before mom and dad come home, I promised BB that we would have a movie night with popcorn. We talked about having a good dinner, taking a nice bath and watching either Trolls or Sung, the only two movies BB will watch at the moment.
Come Monday, I will be back to being a Day-Mom. I won’t be seeing BB until late each afternoon and I will be walking out the door at 6:30 each night. I will sleep in my own bed, with no restless or snoring dog sharing my room. I will go back to my real life. I’ve had a real glimpse of being a full-time parent this week and I think I liked it. I now see why parents want to have children. There is something about being wanted by a tiny person that warms your heart. I am going to miss that round-the-clock love.