I know that I am not the only mom out there who can’t stand hearing people say “Oh you are JUST a stay at home mom? What do you do all day?” It gets old after the 1st time but to hear it from strangers really gets me going. Someone said this to me the other day (a complete stranger) and it really got me thinking, do people actually know what a stay at home mom with two toddlers does all day?
On most days I feel like I am some insane mom who can’t handle or control her boys, but I honestly do try my hardest. This parenting thing is hard work – especially when I have been home with them alone for the past 4 years. My hubby is a great support to us (especially on the weekends) but he works long hours and then add his 2-3 hour daily commute and I am basically raising the kids on my own Monday – Friday. I don’t regret my choice for one moment because I truly love being able to stay home with them every day. I am just saying that it’s not always easy. I am such a lucky mom to be able get the chance to create all of these memories (not all of them good) with my kids. Not every mom has that chance and I don’t take it for granted one bit.
I burn dinner, I mess up games, I don’t know how to play with the trains right and I suck at Angry Birds, but you know what I am giving it 1000% each and every day. I am in charge of a lot of things that my husband would do if he was home at 6pm every night, but he isn’t so I can raise these rugrats. I change lightbulbs, I have trash duty, I change batteries, I fix things that are broken. Right now I am attempting to change the blinkers and light bulbs in my minivan.
So do you want to see what my typical day is like? I am not sitting on my behind eating Bon Bons and watching my stories all day. Trust me, that sounds nice but that’s not what a stay at home mom does. And trust me I am not the June Cleaver type. I’m lucky if my kids eat at the table half the time. Oh and when my husband gets home from work I am not wearing an apron with my hair is not perfectly done – I am probably on my fourth second glass of wine, wearing my oversized pajamas and my hair is falling out of the pony tail that I put in 12 hours prior.
So here is what a typical day looks like!
- 5:00 – 6:00am – depending on the day, this is our normal wake up time. Usually the hubby is getting ready to head out the door so he will take Ben downstairs for his milk, vitamins and cereal. He will also throw on a tv show for him until I can get my tired behind out of bed.
- 6:30am – I hop in the shower praying I can finish getting ready before Sean starts pounding on his door wanting out. Yes I do have it locked on occasion. He is an escape artist and I don’t want to be on the 5pm news as the mom whose kid was found 6 blocks away wandering in his pjs alone. Because he will (and has) gone outside by himself – especially this past week so he could “feel the snow”.
- 7:00am – Wander downstairs with Sean in hand, changing any diapers, getting more milk and feeding the kids their breakfast. I will make Ben’s lunch and wash any dishes that were left in the sink from the night before (which is usually a bunch of wine and/or pint glasses).
- 7:30am – Attempt to get both of the boys dressed and ready to go. I start this an hour before we have to leave because it takes an entire hour to complete the task.
- 8:30am – Start to get the boys out the front door. We don’t need to leave until 8:40 but it takes me 10 minutes to get them down the steps, chased into the car and buckled up. Sean does not enjoy this process at all. He usually is distracted at least 10 times because he saw a bug or a spider or a leaf. Trust me it’s not an easy task for me either. Some days he will just take off up the street and I am chasing him like a mad woman before he darts into the road. My neighbors already know that we are “that” family.
- 8:50am – Arrive at school. Three days a week I get to drop Sean off in his classroom (after he runs down the hall screaming because he can’t take his rocks that he found in the parking lot into his classroom). Once he is dropped off then I take Ben to his classroom and RUN as fast as I can out of the school before anyone stops me!
- 9:00am – I sit in my car for 5 minutes and breathe (and check my emails and Facebook)
- 9:15am – I either go back home and start the laundry and cleaning or I may hit up Shop Rite, BJs, Target or one of the other errands that I need to get done before heading back to school to pick up Sean. Usually just as I am in the middle of putting groceries away, I looked down at my watch and realize “sh*t, it’s time to go get Sean).
- 12:00pm – I pick up Sean and feed him lunch in the car while we either run a quick errand, watch a movie, take a walk or just have a temper tantrum.
- 1:00pm – Head back to school to pick up Ben. Grab the two boys and attempt to exit the building without Sean destroying the broom closet or classrooms. Both boys take off out the back door running through the parking lot to the car. Every day I think they are playing the game of frogger, dodging in and out of moms, toddlers and cars. Thank goodness all the moms in their minivans keep an eye out for my kids!
- 1:15pm – Arrive back home, unpack lunch bags, back packs, admire their daily artwork.
- 1:30pm – Get them a nice tall cup of milk and attempt to put them down for naps/quiet time and attempt to make my lunch.
- 1:35pm – We have 2 kids who need to use the bathroom. Help them with this task…..
- 1:40pm – I sit down to my lunch only to hear Sean screaming because he is stuck on top of his dresser and can’t get down. Then Ben comes out saying he’s not tired and won’t stay in his room.
- 1:45pm – Both kids are back downstairs with me begging for tv.
- 2:00pm – Fighting ensues so I send them to the basement so I can finish my lunch and attempt to plan dinner.
- 3:00pm – Fighting has taken a turn for the worse and someone is injured. I kiss a boo boo multiple times before separating them. I bring out games or crafts or head outside – just something to distract them from the fighting. Forget that I just missed General Hospital (for the 14th time in a row – wait, Jason Quartermaine left the show)?
- 3:10pm – Fighting again because someone stole a piece from the game/puzzle/crayon, etc…
- 3:30pm – I pour my first glass of wine (ha I wish – just checking to see if you were still paying attention).
- 5:00pm – After 3 hours of non stop whining, fighting, peeing of pants, etc. I finally get to cook some kind of dinner. They fight over who has the blue cup, scream that they don’t like peas (even though they just told me last week that was their favorite food on earth) and usually spill their water everywhere.
- 5:30pm – Dinner time is over, the floor has more food on it than what made it into their bellies. They watch a show or two while I attempt to clean up any messes and eat my dinner (which is usually cold at this point).
- 6:30pm – Bathtime! That usually goes well until it’s time to get out. I spend 20 minutes chasing two naked boys around the upstairs of my house because they refuse to get dressed.
- 7:00-8:00pm – Attempts at storytime and then bedtime (most nights)
- 8:05pm – Crying because they need more water, milk or another blanket.
- 8:30pm – Mommy sits down to watch some DVR and drink a nice cold bottle glass of wine.
- 10:00pm – Daddy comes home, we say hello and then I head upstairs to rewash the laundry that sat in the washer all day because I forgot to put it in the dryer.
- 11:00pm I head to bed.
Yes, I do squeeze in some facebook, words with friends and a few emails, but this is what a typical day for me is like. Add vacuuming, dusting, laundry, etc to the list and you have my day! I don’t get to sit down often and when I do it’s usually not peaceful. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. One day I will look back at this schedule and laugh (not in the next few years but someday). Right now it makes me cry a little but that’s okay. It’s called being a mom and I get up each and every day a do it all over again because I know that I love my kids and they love me.
So the next time you ask a stay at home mom what she does all day, please refer to the chart above and tell her that you hope her day gets better. Hey and I am very thankful that I don’t have to get up and go work outside of the home each day because I have no idea how I would be able to do it. Working moms deserve a round of applause. They have to do the housework, the dinners, the dishes all while cramming in a full time job! I am just saying that moms who work at home with their kids deserve respect as well because it is a job! A job paid in kisses, hugs, poop and puke!