Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Is Tomorrow a Stay-At-Home Day?

This is a common question at our house. A Stay-At-Home day is code word for weekend for my husband and I. Our kids interpret it as a day that mommy and daddy are not going to work and they are not going to daycare. Although their weekdays are wrapped around a hefty schedule at their daycare of circle time, free play, washing hands, lunch, naps, outside play and snack time, they still look forward to their Stay-At-Home days with mom and dad. Although how do you compete with the Library Bus Lady and the Music Man, who by the way has a better guitar that we have.

I came up with the code word when my older daughter kept getting her days confused and would switch from wanting to go to daycare everyday or wanting to stay home every day. By being a working mom outside of the home, I have to maintain a schedule like every other mom. But when my child is screaming because she wants to stay home or not spend time with me and instead spend time at daycare, I felt the need to come up with a code word to get our days under control. Therefore, the birth of the Stay-At-Home day came to be at our house.

Every weekend is planned to the point where sometimes I could use a weekend to recover from my weekend. I wish I could say that weekends are only about doing things with the kids but we do not receive weekly visits from the Cleaning Fairy. I hear she is like the Tooth Fairy but instead of leaving money she leaves a sparkling clean house. I will write myself a post-it note as a reminder to include her in my next birthday wish. But until then, weekends are also catch-up days where laundry get washed, folded and hopefully put away and also all household cleaning must take place.

But there is also at least one day or outing that is only for the benefit of the kids. This could be anything as elaborate as going to a local fair, aquarium, zoo, pumpkin patch, children’s museum or friend’s birthday party. It could also be as simple as going to a local park, driving to the beach to pick up rocks, going to grandma and papa’s or seeing a movie. The activity can occupy the entire day or be very simple and last only a few hours on one or both Stay-At-Home days.

It is hard to juggle home and work responsibilities while raising your family the best way you know how. My kids now know that there are usually two Stay-At-Home days each week and every time they give a little hoot and my heart swoons when I answer their question with a, “Yes”. It is one of the moments I long for every week and I treasure every Stay-At-Home day with them no matter what we end up doing.

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