Wendy Knuth Author of Moore Zombies, blogging about the human experience.

Tag Archives: #momblogging

The Ups & Downs of Being a Stay-At-Home Mombie

EPSON MFP image

As a woman, I can tell you that being a stay-at-home mom is a wonderful and rewarding job.  However, it isn’t without pitfalls.  Cook, clean, and wipe butt?  Sign me up, I’m in.  Men, don’t judge.  There is a reason why I can’t talk about being a stay-at-home dad.  Yet I’m sure the experience is quite similar.  Also, ladies, please don’t judge.  No matter how much you decide to work “outside of the home”, it is complicated.  I would just like to stress the point that being a stay-at-home parent is a full time job, without outside pay.

Decisions, decisions.  Do the math.  Can the family be supported on one income?  Now do the mental.  Can you cope?  My husband (the old, bald guy) and I opted for the scrape by method, and since we were just starting out, we decided he would be the crumb winner.  That allowed me to be a stay-at-home mom for about ten years.  Would I take it back?  Absolutely not.  Were there hardships?  Absolutely yes.

It turns out that raising children is very difficult.  At times you may feel like a sleep deprived zombie with a shrunken brain.  Oh, the ups and downs.  But, who doesn’t love a good roller coaster ride?  I actually learned a few tricks along the way.  Let’s review.

Up:  Home cooked meals and Garanimals!

Down:  Arguing over which color cup you chose to use and how much milk you poured into it.

Fix:  Compromise – change the dang cup to your child’s preference, transfer milk from Cup A to Cup B and tip milk carton as if pouring more milk, but leave the cap on – your child will feel smug, and so will you.

Up:  Being there for every single crucial moment in your child’s life.  First roll onto back, first sit up, first noise/word, first crawl, first steps. . .

Down:  The sheer difficulty of trying to make it to the grocery store in between naps, feedings and diaper changes.  Just when you think you might have an hour, nope, rethink plan, and hope there will be another window of opportunity, maybe today.

Fix:  Wait.  All good things come in time.

Up:  Things to do for free – my favorites were parks and the library.

Down:  Having accidents (of both kinds) at parks and the library.

Fix:  I got nothing here.  Oh wait – don’t take your kids anywhere, ever, and then this will only happen at home.

Up:  The excitement of experiencing everything for the first time all over again from spiders to rainbows.

Down:  The power of an instant lobotomy like headache resulting from an inhumanly and inhumane high screech made from your young child, perhaps after seeing a spider.

Fix:  Ibuprofen.

Up:  Volunteering at school and seeing the gleam in your child’s eye when they see how proud you are of him, and you can tell how proud he is to have special moments be witnessed by you.

Down:  Feeling guilty about missing something exciting at school – a play, a spelling bee, etc.

Fix:  There is none – you will feel guilty about something to do with your child(ren) for the rest of your life.

Up:  Being there to explain everything to your child, especially the why.

Down:  Your most intellectual discussion of the day probably had something to do with Dr. Seuss.

Fix: Encourage your child to read.  Explain this to him or her: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” (Yes, Dr. Seuss).

Up:  Being so happy that hubby is home to relieve you of your duties if only for a little bit, because he realizes that you have been on high alert ALL day as there is no such thing as childproofing, you have dealt with numerous disgusting substances, you haven’t had any adult contact or highly stimulating conversation, you have “worked” all day- we’re talking going to the bathroom with the door open or something terrible could happen to the children no-break kind of day.

Down:  Realizing that hubby is not sympathetic to your cause because he has also worked all day, even though he was able to have some meaningful conversations, feel productive, solve complex problems, make money, and go to the bathroom with the door closed without fear of immediate harm to his young children.

Fix: Don’t worry, that last rant resolves on its own as the children grow older.

To be super fair, if I were to rewrite the last “Up” bullet point from my husband’s point of view, it might read as follows:  Being so happy to come home to a home cooked meal after having worked all day, including plunging clogged toilets, clearing sewage lines, and dealing with difficult customers, knowing all the while that this hard work has allowed for my loving, caring, appreciate wife to be able to stay at home with the children.

In summary, enjoy the ups and cope with the downs.  Just remember you are in charge of each and every wonderful new day in molding the mind of your little human being.  “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” (Dr. Seuss).

Wendy Knuth is the author of Moore Zombies picture books and chapter books for children.  One of her characters is a stay-at-home Mombie zombie named Mombie Moore.

Mombie Moore

art by Brian Allen

The 20 Year Old Wedding Cake

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The old, bald guy and I are about to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary!!!  The picture of the old ripped and torn aluminum foil wrapped thingy-a-bobby?  It is the top tier of our wedding cake, and it has been in our freezer for literally 20 years.  Read it again.

We have all heard about how you are supposed to put some of your wedding cake in the freezer and then defrost it for your one year anniversary and actually eat a bite.  Yuck.  For some reason we reluctantly participated in this tradition.  Even if it tastes great, it is very difficult mentally to cope with the one year old part.  Who came up with this silly tradition?  Perhaps it is an early test of the “in sickness or in health” part of your marriage vows with regards to food poisoning.

Let’s move on to mental health.  Where or how is mine?  For some odd reason, the cake went back into the freezer and became a point of nostalgia for me.  Years passed and my hubby would occasionally ask me when can we get rid of this cake?  We’re never going to it eat.  Well, true.  But it would be like throwing away a piece of our history.  I can’t say that we argued about it but I think he saw that it would make me sad.  He gave up asking quite some time ago.  I think he came to terms with the fact that as long as I am alive, this cake will be in the freezer.  Honestly, if he had thrown it away without my knowledge for the greater part of the last decade, I probably wouldn’t have noticed.  But, don’t tell him that.

So there I am, trying to think of some unique gift for our 20 year anniversary and I suddenly remember – the cake!!!!  I’m going to defrost and put it on the table next to his real presents.  I think he and our kids will get a kick out of it.  I’m pretty sure our boys don’t even know what that ragged aluminum foil wrapped thing is that has been in the freezer for their entire lives.  I’m not sure if they have ever heard the story behind it.  Don’t worry – the old, bald guy is not into social media so he won’t see this post until post anniversary.

There is only one problem.  I will be setting myself up for disaster.  I imagine that after a fun evening and some giggling about the ridiculousness of it all, my hubby will probably ask if we can finally throw the cake away.  It’s a dilemma.  We’ll just see how things go. . .

Wendy Knuth

MooreZombies.com