I get it! I get what it’s like to be a stay at home parent, and I get why it’s hard. I mean, I always understood that, as soon as the babies were home – but I didn’t put two and two together – raising babies was hard.
I was so BUSY with newborn twins, what with around the clock feedings and naps, and then with sleep struggles and then finally getting to the stage where they can play, that at the time I thought, I’m totally good at home, by myself, day in and day out. I’m sure I have many a blog post on it, as I was a happy little clam. I’m still happy, but also going INSANE. But not with the babies – I’m not tired of their company at all actually. But being a stay at home mom is so LONELY if you let it be. I imagine that if you are a permanent stay at home parent, your secret to happiness is doing something with your days besides stay at home with babies, whether that be play groups or time to yourself. But you can’t just sit in your house every single day. And I’m not home permanently – I’ll be back to work full time in August, so for now, I don’t want to let these months slip by me without enjoying them to their fullest.
So that’s why, what started out as the occasional trip to Target and then Costco turned into an “OMG I must get out of this house on a daily basis”. It happened overnight, really. One day I was fine at home, and the next – I couldn’t imagine NOT leaving the house. We still run errands.
But this week we’ve started something new – story times, sing a longs, and playgroups.
Today we went to our first sing a long “rhyme time” at the library for kids 0-24 months. There were at least 30 people there, mostly with toddlers. There were some babies though, even one as young as about 6 weeks. My babies were a little shell-shocked, with C being curious in a new environment but not exactly smiling, and B having MULTIPLE meltdowns when the room started singing and clapping. He was that kid in the back corner where everyone turns around to see who’s making the fuss. And then, I had them both sitting on the ground, but C started to fall so I turned away from B for a second to help her back to a sitting position, and while I was doing that, B fell, like flat on his face in front of the woman next to me. And then he really cried. He wasn’t hurt or anything even close, but he wasn’t liking the position he fell into. I don’t blame him. That’s my life with twins. It’s so hard to tend to both of them at the same time! I offered up a “Sorry, Bud” and a “You’re okay!” with the hope that he’d calm down and he did, but he still didn’t smile.
It’s obviously good for them to go out and see the world, and C even seems to like it, so of course I’ll continue. But I wonder if this type of behavior B has towards crowds, lots of people, etc. isn’t something I can “fix” by more exposure – and may just be how he is. Maybe for now, maybe for a while. I’d hate to put him through a stressful situation time and time again in hoping the exposure changes him. That said – I have two babies, and one of them really likes to socialize. So for now, we’ll be going back to that sing a long.
Now tomorrow, we’re off to a town-sponsored play group for the first time. For B, it’s all about crowd control and noise. Once the volume gets to a certain point, he feels completely overwhelmed and shuts down. I understand. I’m not sure how many people will be there tomorrow so we may end up with a repeat situation.
In related news, when I am home with the babies I decided I want to change and extend their toys and stimulation. It’s the same old light up, loud obnoxious toys, where the babies don’t have to think much – most of these toys are trance-inducing. They are great with a fussy baby and certainly have their place, but when it comes to exploration, I want to spice up their lives (and mine). This website was recommended to me:
The Imagination Tree. It has a million awesome, fun, and cheap ideas for toys and activities at home. I mean, really genius ideas. Once I browsed through this, I got many ideas and am loving the thought of making my own toys. Sometimes you don’t really have to spend money on gadgets and things that light up – babies would prefer the wrapping anyway.
So I’m starting with sensory bottles and “treasure baskets”. When they’re all done I’ll put a picture up to give you a better idea, but I just love the concept of taking things around your house that are safe for babies and letting them do the exploring. I’m also excited to transform the second bedroom upstairs that’s full of crap into the official “play room” for the babies. Pinterest is addicting – so many great ideas! So there will be more on all that when I actually get around to doing something about it.
I got this idea online – so simple, yet I never would have thought of it. The trays on my high chairs come off easily and have those lips on the end to keep liquid in. I simply poured some warm water in and enticed the babies to splash it a bit. They didn’t understand what the heck I was doing, so I added one drop of food coloring. Just one. Granted, they should have worn bibs but honestly, only the ends of their sleeves got wet and no stains whatsoever. Only B even wanted to touch the water, C just looked at me like I was insane. Which I may be, but it’s fun to let babies explore. And babies love water, so it seemed like a good place to start.
I think being a stay at home parent means combating loneliness, yes, but also being creative. Same toys, same house, no company…it just won’t work for me at least. So far, getting out of the house once a day and thinking up some fun activities that let the babies explore is helping. You know what else would help? Warm temperatures over freezing, maybe some grass.
Here’s how the last week went down:
And that was our week!