Oh boy. Here we go.
Before I fan the flames of the so-called mommy-wars (which is the most ridiculous moniker), let me preface by saying it is not my intention to say working moms are better/worse than work from home moms, or vice versa. Being a mom is hard, period, regardless of how one goes about it. Note: I use the term “work from home mom” because being a mom is WORK, even if you don’t cash a paycheck.
When my first (and at the time only) child was around 4 months old, conversations were happening all around me about what moms do all day. Those that chose to work outside of the home felt strongly that they would be bored, or that they just weren’t cut out to do the at-home thing. In abundance were assumptions like, “My house would be so clean!” and other such nonsense. On the flip side, those that chose to be at home couldn’t fathom how to fit in punching a time clock. About the same time, I remember seeing a letter to Dear Abby from a working mom who was ticked off that a friend now didn’t seem to have time for her after having a baby. “What does she do all day?” the letter writer mused.
Today I took stock of everything I did. I wrote it all down. Just so I could see what exactly it is I do all day.
- Woken up by 3-year-old at 4:40am. Soothed her back to sleep. In her sleep she clings to my back, nudging me ever closer to falling off the bed. She is a heater and I am now sweaty and hot.
- 5:15am: Son joins us in bed as husband hits the shower. I become a mom sandwich.
- 6:30am: Am poked in the face by grinning 3-year-old daughter. She announces that it’s time to go downstairs.
- 6:35am: Heading downstairs, I am hollered at to “WAIT! Mommy! I HAVE to hold your hand when we go down!” Silly me, I forgot. I have but two things on my mind: breakfast and coffee.
- 6:36am: Turn on kettle for coffee and contemplate breakfast options. Hmmmm, scramble? Pray that we have bacon.
- 6:45am: Hubby leaves for work. Kids beg him to stay home and play. Every. Single. Day. I again remind them that Daddy going to work means we have food to eat.
- 6:46-7:00am: Put away last night’s dishes, reminding myself to do them tonight so I don’t have to start tomorrow already ‘behind’. Start breakfast. Suddenly remember that the laundry I started last night is still in the wash and will likely need to be re-washed to eliminate musty smell from sitting wet. The laundry room is by the garage, which is also where our freezer is located. Mental note: pull something out for dinner tonight. While sniffing clothes for evidence of mold, debate whether to put them in the dryer and let the bounce fabric softener take care of it or just rewash. Check dryer and there is a load of clothes in there. Not wanting to fold, I restart the washer AND the dryer. Dryer = ironing. Yay! Look at me I’m multitasking! Washing AND drying at the same time.
- 7:00am: Pry minions off of the T.V. or whatever else they are doing and hit the table. Remind them that this is breakfast – if they are hungry they need to eat now, and to please refrain from asking for waffles as we are driving to preschool. (Sometimes I wonder if they think I have a mini fridge in the car.)
- 7:30-8:30am: Assemble workout gear. Wrestle sports bra, burning calories before I even workout! Get myself dressed. Play “Rain down clothes on my head” aka: throwing the kids’ clothes over the bannister while they run back and forth trying to avoid getting beaned in the head by socks and shirts. Luckily for them, my timing stinks! (Makes my day when I nail ’em, though!)
- 8:30-8:45am: Time to head to school! Find shoes, coats, and school bags and get in the car. Sometimes I start this process at 8:20 because it takes that long to get in the car. Who knew it could take 20 minutes to put on shoes, walk 10 feet and buckle up?!
- 8:45-9:00am: Drive to preschool, playing “I spy” and “Slugbug” on the way. We spy the same things every. single. day. And I know where all the parked Volkswagens are located on our route.
- 9:01am: Sigh of relief as 2.5 hours just opened up. This feels like the clouds of heaven parting for the singing of angels.
- 9:15-10:30am: Workout with the neighborhood ladies. (So fun!)
- 10:30-10:45am: 15 minute window to cram in 1 errand that is preferable to do sans kids. Usually it’s the post office or a quick grocery run.
- 10:45-11:15am: Race home, wrestle sports bra back off (which is now sweaty and much more of a challenge), hop in and out of the shower, find clothes that don’t look like I picked them up out the floordrobe. (Foor + wardrobe = floordrobe. That’s the pile of clothes that isn’t dirty, but I’m too lazy to put away.) Throw goo in the fro and off I go to pick up the minions.
- 11:30am: Pick up minions. They insist on running around the grassy area at school for at least 15-30 minutes. Cool. Wear yourself out!
- Noon: Back at home, we clean up dishes and prepare for lunch. While lunch is in the works, I remember forgotten laundry and promptly switch loads. Finally remember to take out of the freezer what will become dinner. Fold a load of clothes, but don’t have time to put away just yet. Throw ingredients into machine to make bread. Lunch is ready!
- 12:30pm: Hear all about school day and whether minions had any time outs. May also be entertained by random preschool song. Decide what needs to be done between now and dinner.
- 1pm: Head outside to play (ignoring what needs to be done) because it is finally sunny out. Promptly get blown away by crazy windy Whidbey weather. Oy. 5-year-old suggests frisbee. In the wind it should be called boomerang. Play tag instead.
- 2pm: Kids watch a show, play play dough, ask for a snack, build with legos and/or draw. Then puzzles or games. I am still determining what we will have for dinner. Put away some laundry while playing “get your booty” up the stairs. (That’s me pretending I’m going to pinch their rears as they run away squealing.) Put all the laundry away while we are playing hide and seek. I hide in a good spot to catch a quick nap.
- 2:01: Damn. They found me.
- 3pm: Get serious and start picking up. Laundry, vacuum, scrub a toilet or two, inevitably making it a game for the kids who beg to help, thus making the task take twice as long, and do some writing. Mow the lawn if it’s getting too shaggy. Finalize dinner plans, do any prep work/marinating etc.
- 4:30-5pm: Hubby arrives home. Round 2 of angel chorus singing. Catch up on the details of the day while kids exclaim “Hooray! Daddy’s home!” Daddy retreats to mental man cave to decompress from the day. Hide and seek doesn’t work for him either. Minions are becoming stealthy. They find him.
- 6pm: Dinner makes it to the table. We eat and then clean up. This time, I do all the dishes so tomorrow I can come down to a sparkly kitchen.
- 6:45pm: Bath, teeth, stories, bed.
- 7:15-8:45pm: Live the real life version of the beloved children’s book, “Seriously, Just Go to Sleep”. They are finally out. Round 3 of angel chorus singing.
- 8:45-10pm: Everything that didn’t get done is crammed into this time slot before we hit the hay. Mail, bills, laundry, mopping floors, writing for work, designing workouts, internet research, television date nights, and more singing of angels.
- 10:01pm: Coma.
And that’s my day! No daytime TV or bon bons for this mama! (What is a bon bon anyway?)
What is the best part of your day?