Where the crepe are my bon-bons? Why isn’t my soap opera on?! Maybe because one, I don’t like bon-bons. Two, the TV is turned off.
There is a misconception that being a stay-at-home-mother (SAHM) is easy. We have all the time in the world and our days are just peaches and Pinterest crafts with our kids. We lounge about the house while our kids run around like little wild hooligans, trashing the house, tormenting the animals, and screaming until we go deaf. We just have this serene smile on our faces while we sip our coffees and chat on the phone for hours with our girlfriends. Must be a great life to have, and everyone wants to be a SAHM.
As SAHMs, our days are pretty darn busy. I have to say, before I go any further, that this is not about working moms vs. SAHMs. I’ve been a working mom, and that’s really freaking hard too. Just as hard as being a SAHM, but in a different way. This post is simply to dispel the myth that the life of a SAHM is one of leisure. It isn’t.
So what I have done is chronicle a typical day in my life. Most of my chores get done ‘in the background’, meaning that sometimes, even though I may have vacuumed in the morning, the carpet may visibly need it by the end of the day. That I may have done all the dishes, but in prepping dinner, the sink is full yet again. It doesn’t mean I didn’t do anything all day. It means I have a dynamic household that is always producing messes, debris, spills, crumbs, laundry, dishes. I have learned that there truly isn’t such a thing as being ‘caught up’ on housework. I laugh at the thought.
6:30 am: My alarm goes off and I hit the snooze button until about 7:20, because I like to wake up slowly rather than be jarred awake suddenly. Either the Mister will ensure I’m completely up, or come 7:30, my second alarm will go off.
7:25 am: I wake the girls up, hand them their outfits, and tell them to get dressed. This year they have breakfast at school, so that has helped me save time somewhat. I also have a cup of coffee, take my medicine, wake up BabyBoy, change his diaper, and make sure that I’ve switched my pajama pants for jeans and thrown on a shirt.
7:55 am: We head out the door and pick up one of SchoolGirl’s friends. Her mom is a friend of mine, so usually in the mornings, we’ll chat for a few minutes if there’s enough time.
8:10 am: We arrive at SG’s school and I drop her and her friend off, then head to the bus stop so KinderGirl can catch her bus. SG’s school doesn’t bus her, since we live close to the school.
8:30 am: KG’s bus usually arrives between now and 8:50 am.
9:00 am: I usually take about an hour for some leisure time, today I was at my friend’s (mom of SG’s friend) house for that time.
10:10 am: I get home. The Mister is playing Call of Duty.
10:15 am: I toss BabyBoy in the tub.
10:25 am: I unload the clean dishes from the dishwasher and put them away, then load it up again with dirty ones. I start to wash the dishes that didn’t fit in the dishwasher.
11:25 am: The Mister says he’s going to go lay down because he doesn’t feel well, and I change the diaper of BabyBoy, who has pooped. I begin to think he might have a stomach bug, because it just isn’t the norm for him to have runny crap. My own stomach hurts, actually, but I say nothing about it hurting, just that I think I might possibly have a stomach bug too. I sit down to finish my coffee and begin to write out a shopping list for BJs.
11:43 am: BB and I head out to BJs.
12:13 pm: Leaving BJs, I remember that Bottom Dollar has Tuttorosso tomato sauce/puree/crushed tomatoes (and that I desperately need to restock them in my pantry) on sale, plus butter cheaper than anywhere else. I also remember that the Mister had spoken about grabbing the lunch meat package from a nearby deli, so BB and I head to Bottom Dollar and then the deli.
1:25 pm: BB and I arrive home. He’s fallen asleep, so I carry him inside and lay him on the sofa, then head back outside in the rain to bring in the groceries and put them away.
1:45 pm: After putting the groceries away, I take the clothes out of the dryer, put the wet clothes from the washer in, and throw a new load into the washer.
2:00 pm: I decide that I am tired of sweating and feeling like crap (chills and just ickiness all around) and decide that I will take a break for an hour.
2:48 pm: SG gets home from school (her friend’s mom picks her up for me), and asks me what the white folder in her backpack was for. I realize that somehow, my folder of her paperwork from second grade had gotten into her backpack. I ask her what she did with it, she informs me that she gave it to her teacher.
2:55 pm: I arrive at the school and dash into her class to get the folder, the teacher and I have an impromptu parent-teacher conference about some things in SG’s action plan, and a motivational plan that they’ve developed to encourage SG to stay on task in class.
3:15 pm: Back at home. BB is still sleeping, the Mister is trying to nap, and my stomach has launched an all out war. I’m nauseated, hot/cold, and shaky. I better not be getting sick. I brew some tea and tell SG to read until she goes to KG’s bus stop.
3:23 pm: I check the roast, and it is still not thawed out. A moment of panic ensues as I scramble to figure out what I’m making, then I spot pork chops in the freezer. I can defrost them in the microwave. Bazinga. Then more panic as I remember I didn’t have sides for the roast because it’s a freaking pot roast I was going to make with carrots and potatoes and onions and crap what am I going to make with the pork chops?!?!
3:25 pm: Veggies and something else. That’s what. I gather the recyclables in my arms, pull out the trash bag from the kitchen, and toss them out, getting rained on in the process. Joy. I come in, dry off, and sit down with BB to play with alphabet blocks.
3:53 pm: SG arrives with KG, and I send them to go work on cleaning up their room…which I have decided is our big project for tomorrow.
4:15 pm: I guess I should start dinner, eh? 🙂 I don’t want to yet, because BB is doing so good with his letters and their sounds. But I should.
4:25 pm: It’s really hard keeping track of all this. So, I have the chops defrosting. I washed more dishes, dried them and put them away. I look at the living room and realize that I need to straighten up for the five thousandth time today. The girls are begging me to take them to see their Nana, so maybe I’ll do that…if they eat their dinner. Now would be the time where I assist with homework until it’s time to actually start cooking dinner, but since the girls don’t have school tomorrow (long weekend), I have some time to type up my day. Yes, I am typing this as it happens, or making a note so I remember when I do get in front of my computer.
5:13 pm: Pork chops are in the oven, and in about 10 minutes I will start the veggies. SG had a mini-meltdown when I had to inform her that she could not go to activity night at her school because I had missed the registration deadline. Talk about a moment where I just wanted to curl up in a ball and vanish…I also washed more dishes, dried them, put them away, and started another load of laundry. I realize that I’ve forgotten to put a new bag in the trash can when I toss in some damp paper towels, so I go ahead and put a new bag in. It occurs to me that I might need to do the litterbox tonight, and I decide that vacuuming will wait until the children have gone to bed.
5:20 pm: I check the temperature of the pork chops, and somehow manage to stab myself in the stomach with the thermometer. Dinner has drawn blood. I can feel my eyes narrow, then I shrug and go to move a glass bowl from the stove-top so I can begin the vegetables. Except I fail to notice that I’d placed that bowl right in front of the vent where all the hot air from the oven comes out and burn my hand.
5:21 pm: They’re getting cauliflower and corn tonight. I’d really liked to have made baked potatoes, but I only thought of that a moment ago, and apparently the laws of physics simply don’t apply in my oven, because it takes well over an hour before those darn things are even remotely done. Physics don’t apply to hard-boiled eggs on the stove-top either. I want cheese on something, for goodness sakes.
Okay, here I have to stop because this is getting close to 1500 words long, and I find that once you get above 2,000 words, people tend to think “Meh, TL;DR” (Too Long, Didn’t Read).
So we’re planning on going to see the Mister’s aunt after dinner. The kids just want to get out of the house, and I can’t blame them. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll think of something.
Usually after dinner, the kids have some free time while their siblings get showers/baths, then any homework that didn’t get completed before dinner is completed. Around 8:30 is snack, and 9:00 is bedtime. However, they have off tomorrow, so bedtime will probably mean “Go to bedroom at 9:30 and lay in bed giggling until 10. At least 10.”
BabyBoy falls asleep anywhere between 8 and 10. That’s the best window I’ve been able to get him on. Then I take some time to unwind, maybe have a glass of wine, catch up on the news, and maybe watch some shows.
And no, they aren’t soap operas. They’re informative.
So yeah, when anyone minimizes all that I do on a normal day, I get a little ticked off. Imagine working on a block of wood, and you have to square the edges and smooth out any rough spots. You can’t put it away. And every time you turn your back, woodpeckers come and make it all rough again. You have to fill in the holes and sand it all over again. It never ends. That’s my life. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. I always say that for all the less than amazing aspects of motherhood, my kids are my greatest, most amazing accomplishments, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
But make a remark insinuating that I must have a pretty leisurely life staying home and sitting on my behind all day, and you may find yourself missing a limb. I work hard. I work 24/7, and I don’t get paid (monetarily, at least…the emotional compensation is amazing), and I rarely get any vacation time, sick days, or paid leave. If I happen to take a sick day, it simply means I cut back on my normal routine knowing full well that I’ll just have that much more to do the next day in order to catch up.
HA! Catch up…I’m such a silly woman. 🙂
What things have people said to you that just really irk you as a SAHM, or even a working mom? Leave a comment and share it with me!