That irksome question that people like to casually ask stay-at-home moms is, “So, what do you do all day?”
It almost feels like you have to defend yourself to be a stay-at-home mom. I think the question that they are really asking is – “Why are you a stay at home mom? / Why aren’t you out in the world doing something productive?” / “Aren’t you bored out of your mind staying at home all the time?” / “What do you really do with all that extra time you have?”
I usually go out with the girls to the library, park, a friend’s house for a playdate or the mall in the morning and come home in the afternoon for their nap. Here is a sample schedule for a day in which we stay at home.
7:00 am-8:00 am – Annelise wakes up and comes running to my bed. “Mommy, come on! Mommy? Mommy?”
8:00 am – I
get drag myself out of bed. I change Annelise’s diaper, then Katelynn’s.
8:15 am – I take our dog Cole out to the yard for his morning pee and poo.
8:30 am – I make the kids breakfast and feed Katelynn and sometimes have to help Annelise eat.
8:45 am – Annelise spills her milk. I encourage her to be more careful while cleaning up the mess.
9:00 am – I make myself breakfast and
eat try to eat in peace.
9:15 am – I wash the dishes.
9:30 am – If laundry needs to be done, I sort and do laundry (I have to do about four loads of laundry a week)
9:45 am – I change Katelynn’s poopy diaper.
10:00 am – If the house needs vacuuming (I have to vacuum twice a week because of the dog hair!), I vacuum upstairs while the kids are playing downstairs.
10:15 am – Annelise interrupts me, “Mommy, are you all done vacuum?” I will tell her no and encourage her to play with Katelynn. She refuses to and will simply wait for me at the stairs.
10:30 am – I am almost done vacuuming but I hear hysterical screaming/crying from both the girls. I run down the stairs to see what’s going on. They are fighting over a toy. I try to calm the girls down. I try to convince Annelise to play with something else. Sometimes she’ll push Katelynn to get her way.
10:45 am – I am disciplining Annelise for pushing Katelynn. She is not liking the discipline…It takes 15 minutes for her to calm down and apologize to me and Katelynn.
11:00 am – We go outside to our yard for some play time. I blow bubbles for the girls or we color with chalk on the concrete.
11:30 pm – The girls are fighting over a piece of chalk. I have a talk with both the girls.
11:45 am – I make lunch.
12:00 pm – I feed the girls lunch.
12:30 pm – I make myself lunch and
eat try to eat in peace.
12:35 pm – Annelise wants me to hold her. I tell her she has to wait since mommy’s eating lunch. She sulks and goes to a corner to suck her thumb.
12:45 pm – I wash the dishes.
1:00 pm – I read books to the girls.
1:20 pm – I change Annelise’s poopy diaper. (Sometimes I feel like a professional poop cleaner…)
1:30 pm – I put the girls down for their afternoon nap.
1:45 pm – Annelise sneaks out of her room and says she doesn’t want to sleep.
2:00 pm – I put Annelise back down for her nap. She finally takes her nap.
2:15 pm – I have to decide whether I want to shower, take a nap, or fold laundry or vacuum downstairs. I need to take Cole out for his afternoon pee/poo.
3:00-4:00 pm – The girls wake up from their nap. I change their diapers.
4:00 pm – Time for their afternoon snack.
4:15 pm – Katelynn has managed to grab a hold of shoes and she is gleefully gnawing on one for the hundredth time. I tell her no and take the shoe away. She throws herself on the ground and starts wailing…as if it’s the end of the world. I ignore her and she eventually gets distracted by another object.
4:30 pm – Coloring time or an art activity for Annelise. Free play for Katelynn.
5:00 pm – Time to cook dinner.
5:30 pm – Annelise interrupts me, “Mommy, watcha doing?”
5:45 pm – Katelynn is crying because she’s hungry. I appease her with some cereal. Annelise wants some too. They gorge on Cheerios or goldfish.
6:00 pm – Dinner is served. Danny will feed Katelynn. I can semi-enjoy dinner. Annelise refuses to eat dinner. I have to scramble to find something she will actually eat (lately the only things she wants to eat are Cheerios, goldfish, fruit, kimchi, pickles, cheese, milk, bagels, yogurt, soups).
6:30 pm – Danny will do the dishes while I play with the girls.
7:00 pm – Bath time for the girls.
7:30 pm – Drama ensues because both the girls want to be held by me (not daddy) at the same time. I try to hold both of them on my lap but they are pushing each other while on my lap. (Sigh)
7:40 pm – Annelise is frantically searching for her bunny. She cannot sleep without her bunny. (Sigh) We search high and low for her bunny. I finally find the bunny downstairs. I make a mental note to purchase a back-up bunny in the case of an emergency in which we really cannot find her bunny. Of course, this is the 20th time I make this mental note.
7:50 pm – We brush the girls’ teeth and change their diapers one last time.
8:00 pm – We pray together and put the girls down for bed.
8:30 pm – Annelise sneaks out of her room and attempts to negotiate her bedtime…
8:45 pm – Put Annelise down again. She wants me (not daddy) to lie next to her in bed.
9:00 pm – I sneak out of Annelise’s room.
9:00 pm – Midnight – Cole eats his dinner. I am exhausted and want to sleep but I get my second wave of energy (I’m a night person!). These are the things I can get done while the kids are asleep – I can take a shower, read, fold more laundry, clean up clutter around the house, go grocery shopping, clean the toilets, watch TV, spend some time with Danny.
12:30 am – Katelynn wakes up crying because she lost her pacifier. I grope around her crib for her paci. I find it and place it back in her mouth. She falls back asleep.
1:00 am –
I finally go to sleep. I should be sleeping right now but of course, I found something else to do – blogging….I will so regret this tomorrow morning!
This is what I do all day, every day. Sometimes it feels like the chores are endless. The dishes pile up, there is always laundry that needs to be done or folded, the toys are always cluttered around the house, and something always needs cleaning.
Sometimes it feels like the battles with discipline are endless. I am constantly having to remind Annelise to share and not push and to be gentle with her sister. I am perpetually taking random objects out of Katelynn’s mouth and telling her to not touch dangerous items.
I am a diaper-changer, a housekeeper, a chef, a wife, a referee between the girls’ squabbles over toys, a discipliner, a story-time reader, an art teacher, a bible teacher, an educator, a temper tantrum tamer, an entertainer, puppet show master, professional tickler, but most of all a mommy who has been blessed with the opportunity to love and care for her children.
I have been given precious time to nurture these relationships and to teach them the ways of the Lord. I have to remember this in moments where it really does feel like I’m doing the same thing over and over again.