A sample day in the life of a stay-at-home Mom*
Between 5 and 7:30 a.m. Wake up to sounds of my husband trying to be quiet. Marvel that my children slept through the night and pray for another hour of quiet before the party starts. Write morning pages, finish a few things for work and make my shake. Empty dishwasher, start breakfast prep, set out stuff for making dinner. Put in load of laundry.
Head back upstairs where Sam finds me stretching in my room so we do a little Yoga together before his brother wakes up. Sam’s the loudest little Yogi ever so Jake’s up before long and hits the ground running. And then falls hitting his knee on an unidentified object since I was being so negligent as to use the bathroom for a moment.
7:45 a.m. I bring some first-aid stuff upstairs to deal with his scrape. Sam insists his brother wants a boo-boo pack and hurries downstairs to get it. He falls too. So there we are, the three of us on the stairs, two-thirds of us in tears. I suggest we start the day over. We get dressed and come down for breakfast.
8:05 a.m. Noticed the box of Band-aids is suspiciously empty. Found them stuck all over Sam’s door. I scraped them off while he explains that he was “just decorating.”
8:10 a.m. Noticed the Neosporin cap is missing, spent the next 15 minutes hunting for it before Jake finds it and choke to death. Change Jake’s diaper. I’m too slow because in the 12 seconds he had the opportunity he manages to pee all over his lovey, Zebra. Luckily I have a spare.
8:25 a.m. The water I’d set to boil for our oatmeal evaporated in the meantime. Almond butter toast and honey it is. (It helps to remember that when Plan A fails, you’ve got 25 more letters to work with).
8:20-8:30 a.m. Managed Sam’s meltdown over not being allowed to watch “Bob the Builder.”
8:32 a.m. Breakfast on the table, bags are packed from the night before we’ll be out the door on time today. For sure. Except I didn’t read Sam’s mind and therefore “messed up” his toast.
8:33 a.m. Manage another meltdown because I cut Sam’s toast into rectangles instead of his “favorite shape, triangles.” FYI: yesterday, the request was for rectangles. Jake, on the other hand, loves the toast, doesn’t care about the shape but thinks it makes a lovely hat.
8:40 a.m. Eat my toast standing up while combing almond butter out of Jake’s hair.
8:55-9 a.m. Clean up (by which I mean the kids not the breakfast dishes, those get thrown in the sink on a good day), wrangle kids into shoes and car-seats. Catch a whiff of stinky realization that I need to change Jake’s diaper. Stupidly smell his pants to see if he needs new ones. He does. Plus, I need a shower because, well, let’s just say I should’ve used my eyes instead of my nose!
9:00 a.m. Load boys up, lock myself out. Get in through super-secret means, tie my shoes while I pee. Yes, multi-tasking at its finest. Sing wheels-on-the bus all the way to the gym, pausing only to look for Cement Mixer Melvin and Rescue Rita. Also, forgot to announce “Time Tunnel approaching folks.” Promise to try to remember tomorrow.
9:30 a.m. Arrive at the gym daycare, breathless after carrying 30-pound Jake from the back-40 and keeping up with Sam who can’t wait to play trains. In the spirit of efficiency, I consider that my warm-up and sign in pleased that we are, for once, on time today. At which point I’m told I was actually signed up for 9 a.m. Cool.
9:45 a.m. Grateful for a cancelation, I am finally able to hit the treadmill, workout and shower all by myself. Even in an itty-bitty shower stall with little privacy and no scented potions from home this time to shower and get ready in peace is such a luxury that I’m willing to work out hard enough to need one after years of boycotting exercise due to the fact that I hate it. A few people have asked me why I go through the trouble of going to the gym when I could just go for a walk with “one of those kid-pusher things.” For those who don’t know, that would be a stroller and I suppose it’s possible that someone who’s never pushed one with two siblings in it wouldn’t understand that is an exercise in both patience and futility but not so much a physical one since you’re always having to stop to give someone his bottle back or pick up the blanket that you just ran over and will now have to wash before bedtime.
11:00 a.m. Stop at the “Tractor Park” on the way home to supervise play and sharing practice. Watch in awe as other parents are able to relax and read as their children fling sand into my kids’ faces. Remind Sam we don’t have a snack bar because we had to leave the store last time due to his not listening. As he starts to throw a fit remind him that if he does that I won’t have the energy to remember to buy them next time either!
11:30 a.m. Bribe the kids back to the car with the promise of lunch and an episode of “Caillou.” Yes, even if it’s sunny. People say television is a babysitter like it’s a bad thing. I’m more of a “most things in moderation” kind of mom. Ad-lib “Wheels-on-the Bus” all the way home to include all of the “Sweet Pickles” characters.
Since I’m already over my word-count, just trust me that the afternoon is a blur of crafty activities, clean up, sharing practice, explaining why it’s not okay to tow each other by the neck, hunting down remaining strangulation hazards, trying to keep one kid relatively quiet while the other naps, prepping dinner, bum-wiping, re-wrapping the toilet paper on the roll, Google contents of Sam’s giraffe and ideas for how to fix his tail, laundry, and the list goes on.
Yeah, that whole bon-bon thing? It’s crap!
Flash forward to the chaos of the day fading into dinner negotiations, bath time fun and subsequent tsunami zone, then stories, songs, bedtime. I SAID BEDTIME!!!
And then I clock out.
At Bedtime Jake is screaming for Zebra. Oh, did I not mention that as I was filling the tub he decided to toss Zebra in there, giving him a nice soak. Remember this morning when he peed on the other one and I was so glad I had a spare? Yeah. I didn’t get that into the dryer yet.
Motherhood is full of Sophie’s Choices. Do I give him the wet zebra or the one he peed on this morning?
I’ll leave you on that note … I know there are so many things I missed. I’m sure you can help me fill in the blanks. Hopefully this is enough to demonstrate the “bored” is the dumbest adjective to describe this mad-awesome gig.
*After writing this it was brought to my attention that technically I’m a work-from-home mom but as far as I’m concerned, the details here are representative of the stay-at-home mom part and the work-from-home part happens on the treadmill, at the park while supervising sharing practice, between singing rounds of wheels-on-the-bus, and between 9 p.m and 2 a.m.