As a stay-at-home mom, I often get a myriad of reactions from others. Phrases like, “Oh, you’re so lucky” and “I could never do it, I would be so bored,” are things I often hear. I had never intended to be a SAHM and was both surprised at and thankful for so many things I have experienced over the last year. Here’s a day in my life.
My willful daughter, G, wakes up around 6:15 am, which gives me a window of about 20-30 minutes to hit the mental snooze. Some days, I stay in bed, pretending that she might fall back to sleep, but most days I check my email, go through the daily to-do list, and walk around like a panther so she isn’t alerted that I am awake. My husband snores on the other side of the bed, oblivious to her singing, talking and slamming in the next room. The next three hours are spent changing numerous diapers (definitely at least one poopy), getting G dressed for the day, making breakfast for both of us, making beds, starting laundry (yes, I do laundry every day but Sunday), emptying the dishwasher and getting myself ready. I have learned to appreciate a 5 minute shower. By the time 9:15 am rolls around, G is ready to hit the outside world.
Depending on the day, we have might have swimming, music, pool or beach visits, library classes, concerts, or just about anything else that gets us out of the house. Summer is filled with lovely stroller walks (until she begins screaming to get out), but winter is a tad more challenging. Because I don’t allow TV or electronic devices on while G is awake (expect my iPhone), this is especially challenging during the winter. Actually leaving the house can be a balancing act. Because I am a new mom, I’m positive that I don’t need everything in my diaper bag, but I take it all anyway…just in case. I run a local moms group, so I have to be everywhere on time to greet any new members and ensure that they feel welcome. Mom friends are ESSENTIAL to your existence as a SAHM, just so you know. Wherever we go, my car is packed with two strollers (don’t ask), baby bjorn, blanket to sit on, blanket in case it gets cold, and a clip on high chair. The diaper bag is filled with everything else. The best thing about meeting my mom friends every day is that everyone always has a great story about their child, and nobody minds if their story is cut off mid-sentence while the other person reprimands, comforts, or chases their baby.
Watching my daughter mesmerized by a guitar or hold her breath underwater is awesome. We spend our whole day together and I get to see every little achievement. Some might imagine a perfect existence with my smiling baby as I snap photos of each precious moment. That does happen. Just not every day. Some days I wonder if I can take another hour of screaming during a bout of teething. Other days, I just want to turn on the TV and veg out while she sits on my lap. Most days I worry about when she will reach the next milestone, if she’s getting enough independent play time, or if I gave her too much cheese at her last meal.
When nap time rolls around, it’s a nice break for me. Some days, I pretend I’m going to sit down for a minute and I pass out from exhaustion. Most days, I spend those two hours returning phone calls, mopping the floors, cleaning up from lunch, and folding laundry. When I’m feeling really accomplished, I squeeze in a workout. The last three hours of my day are the best because we sit together and play. I teach her new things (or try to) as we wait for my husband to arrive home. He and my daughter spend a half an hour together alone each night while I prepare dinner. I love to watch them together in our courtyard. After dinner is finished, the baths and showers completed, and all the clothes are put away, I put my daughter down with a favorite book and a lullaby and place her in her cozy crib. I curl up with hubby on the couch and turn my brain off for just a little while.