There is a common misconception that stay-at-home moms have it “easy.” They get to stay at home all day with their kids and not worry about the day-to-day stresses that come with being a “working” mother.
However, ask any such mom and they’ll tell you that the role they play within their family is anything but easy. Take Jill Elliott Vardaman, for example.
For Vardaman, some days can be so stressful that she and her husband have created a safe word: Walgreens. She explained in a video posted to her Facebook page:
“When Sage was born, I started staying home with her. My dear husband would call me coming home from work and say, ‘Hey, do you need me to pick anything up?’ I’d say, ‘No, I need to run to Walgreens.’ And he’d say, ‘What do you need? I can stop.’ ‘No, I need to go to Walgreens. I need to count toothpaste, I need to read every greeting card, I basically need to run away from home. I always promise to come back. It just means it’s been rough and I need to get away.’
So for the last nine-plus years, that has been code in our house for if I’ve had a bad day. So if I say, ‘Yeah, it’s been a bad day,’ he’ll say, ‘Is it a Walgreens day?’ I’ll say, ‘No,’ or sometimes it will be, ‘Yeah, there’s not even a Walgreens big enough. The distribution center would not be enough.'”
Once she gets to Walgreens, Vardaman designates a specific amount of time she’s allowed to “run away” from home.
Since her kids’ timeouts are a minute for every year they have been alive, she is allowed 40-plus minutes of Walgreens time — because she is 40-plus years old.
The stay-at-home mom explained in her video:
“The tagline, which always cracks me up for Walgreens, is that it’s on ‘the corner of happy and healthy.’ […] I have chocolate and that’s happy and the healthy, I figure, is not just my physical health, but it’s my emotional health, not just for me but for my kids. If I leave, even if I do come back, it’s good for all of us, if we go to separate corners.”
Vardaman gave other parents advice, telling them just to “hang in there, keep pressing on, tomorrow is a new day.”
And she’ll be in aisle 24 for another 16 minutes if you care to join her.