When I was a working mom, I clearly remember asking the question over and over to my stay-at-home-mom friends, “What do you do all day?” As if since they weren’t at work, they had oodles and oodles of time at their disposal. The response was always, “Oh, you know, go to the park, make sure to get out of the house…that kind of stuff.” I never got any specifics and the whole SAHM life continued to be this ever-cryptic concept the details of which I couldn’t fathom. Until I quit my job and stayed home.
I chronicled some of my earlier thoughts on the whole staying at home thing in this series of posts:
- Adventures of a Working Mom Staying At Home | Week One
- Adventures of a Working Mom Staying At Home | Week Two
- Adventures of a Working Mom Staying At Home | Weeks Three to Five
- Finding Mary Poppins (Month Five)
If you’ve been reading along since then, you’ve noticed that there’s been a lack of posts since Month Five. The reason? I’ve stopped thinking about the life I’m living and am simply living it.
But what exactly do you do all day?
Okay. Every day is different. Some days are good. Some days are not so good. (Now I know I shouldn’t do these things, although I do these). Some days I park them in front of the t.v. for too long. Some days we go on awesome exploration adventures. Some days I can’t stand them. One day I left them (for 10 days and loved every minute of it). I’m so glad I took this time, but sometimes I find it exhausting.
Alright, alright. Well, I think you know we like our arts n’ crafts around here. Painting (with or without color) is a favorite. We read. We bake (a lot). We play. We visit museums, parks, and friends. We run errands several times a week.
Even if we don’t do a thing, it’s always busy. There’s always laundry to do, dishes to clean, bums to wipe, potty time, crying time, food to cook, tidying to be done, fights to break up, discipline to be meted out, dirty clothes to be changed. It’s never ending, and the time you have to yourself are the few moments after they’re in bed and before they wake up. Kind of like my schedule when I was a working mom.
The parts of the day that are spectacular are when the kids first wake up in the morning and the day is bright and so is your outlook, and then again at night when you’re snuggling with clean, warm, tucked in babies. Everything in between is life. As hectic in nature and as tedious to recount as a working day. It’s all just a day. So, if you ask me now what I do with my days, I’ll probably answer with, “Oh, you know, go to the park, make sure to get out of the house…that kind of stuff.”
If you really want examples, here’s what we did this Monday – a rare actual “stay at home” day – top to bottom.
- Before breakfast, the kids played on their own and locked themselves in their room until there was banging and crying.
- Then there was shrieking, followed by streaking.
- Then there was breakfast, with crumbs and messes to clean up afterwards.
- Then there was splashing in the bath and more screaming, followed by more streaking.
- Then there was me almost eating an earwig.
- Then Sam bit the earwig.
- Then there was peeing on the carpet.
- Then there was playing with flashcards, playing with blocks, playing with cars and trucks, reading, and more banging and crying.
- Then there was pretending to rap with the T-Pain Effect Microphone that a certain couple gave us (that certain couple does not have children).
- Then Jane dressed up as a tiger, then a pirate, and Sam dressed up as a fairy, then a princess.
- Then there was painting a cardboard box, then sitting in it before turning it into a tunnel, before Jane decided to wield it against Sam as a weapon.
- Then there was digging in the dirt and flinging the dirt at each other, until there was dirt in someone’s eyes and yelling by me.
- Then there was lunch, with refusals to eat, screams for not enough to eat, followed by t.v., and attempted nap time.
- Then there was pretend fishing off the deck.
- Then there was using binoculars to spy some birds in the sky.
- Then there was picking Meyer lemons from the bush in our backyard and messy, messy, messy, messy baking of Mini Lemon Pies.
- Then there was more playing, some fighting, more me losing my patience. (I should have referenced this great article before I embarked on the yelling).
- Then there was dancing (to inappropriate music), which ended up becoming dancing in the buff.
- Another bath.
- Then there was a race around the house while I prepped, cooked, cleaned.
- Then dinner with rice grains strewn across the floor.
- Then there was some stuffing of babies into pajamas, bedtime stories, and bed.
- More shrieking and laughter.
- Golden silence.
- Then dishes, then floors, then laundry, then our dinner.
- Then my real day started. But by then it was already time for bed.