I have heard over and over what people think about me as a stay at home Mom, but one thing I hardly hear is how appreciative those who I care for are for the things that I do. Most of the time, the lack of sleep, showers, and food go unnoticed. Some have this notion that mothers who stay at home with the kids all day are…in a way…either not pulling their weight or just sitting around, doing nothing the entire day. Boy, that is way off!!!
Here is a glimpse of a good day for me...
7:00 AM: My husband tells me it's time to wake up, however after a restless night with the baby I fight to open my eyes. My son still wakes several times a night to nurse and he occasionally tosses around on our bed, which makes it hard for me to sleep.
7:15 AM: My husband tells me he's leaving for work and gives a wake-up call to our nine-year-old daughter before heading out the door.
7:20 AM: I force myself to sit up in bed so I can muster up the energy to grab my overly energized toddler to change his diaper.
7:25 AM: I yell for my daughter to get up once again as I head to the kitchen with my baby on my hip so I can grab a cup of coffee.
7:30 AM: I yell once again for my daughter and quickly grab a drink of my coffee.
7:31 AM: My son starts whining and crying, asking in his baby talk for his juice and breakfast, which I can't give to him right away because his sister won't get out of bed. So, he settles for his Lil' crunchies snacks while I run back to the bedroom and literally pull my daughter out of bed.
7:35 AM: My daughter starts whining about not getting enough sleep, she's tired, and doesn't want to go to school, as she makes her way to the kitchen AFTER being told to get dressed.
7:36 AM: I tell my daughter again to get dressed as I get a quick drink of my coffee and start the task of packing my daughters lunch while stopping to give my son another lil crunchier snack.
7:40 AM: I threaten to ground my daughter if she doesn't head into the bedroom to get dressed while I finish up her lunch and start helping my mom by packing hers. *She works at the school where my daughter attends so she's getting ready too.*
7:45 AM: My daughter managed to go back into the room, sit on the bed, and watch the morning cartoons that are playing on the television. It doesn't matter that she needs to be ready to leave by 8:30 because that is what time her ride pulls in.
7:50 AM: I catch my daughter jumping up off the bed as I open the bedroom door. I yell a bit more for her to get a fire under her butt and get ready. She back talks and whines some more. Once I see her picking out her clothes, I ask her what she would like in her lunch. She's very indecisive, so when I ask I don't get a straight answer. I go back out and pack what I think she wants.
8:00 AM: My daughter comes out of the room and flops down at the table with her phone in her hands. (Knowing she's not supposed to touch it before she's completely ready.) I tell her to put her phone down and she begins to argue with me. I raise my voice, tell her if she doesn't put her phone down she's grounded, and she whines as she turns it off.
8:05 AM: I give my son another one of his snacks and pick up some toys so he can occupy himself while I finish fighting to get my daughter ready for school. Then, I ask my daughter what she wants for breakfast since I already packed her lunch. The indecisiveness continues and I decide for her.
8:10 AM: My daughter nibbles at her breakfast while I'm reminding her of what she still needs to get done while feeding more snacks to my son.
8:15 AM: My daughter has finished her breakfast, puts on her shoes, and goes to brush her teeth. I find new toys for my son to play with while I drink a bit of my cold coffee. While drinking my coffee, I try to plan my day in between the fussiness of my son because he wants another snack.
8:25 AM: My daughter comes out of the bathroom and I quickly fix her hair and tell her to get her bookbag from the room.
8:30 AM: My daughter leaves for school with a messy, quick ponytail and I go to the cupboard to pick out my son's breakfast. *This is usually where my headache kicks in from the lack of sleep and the stressful morning.*
8:45 AM: My son finished his breakfast and I change his diaper. Then, I put him back into the height chair so I can grab a warm cup of coffee and enjoy it this time.
9:00 AM: My son makes it clear that he's ready to lay back down. I grab him up, head back into the bedroom, and nurse him to sleep. During this time, I do my Bible devotions on my phone through the app.
9:30- 11 AM: This block of time is different every day. The very first thing I do once laying my son down is run to the bathroom for the first time that day. Then I grab something to eat. Sometimes I lay back down with my son for a bit. If I don't, then I start working on my to-do list, which could be updating information on one of my blogs, planning and plotting for my book, research for my book, dishes or laundry, or I read. If I do lay down, I don't fall into a deep sleep because I'm afraid that if I do...I won't hear my son cry.
11:00 AM: My son wakes up crying for his mum mum. I stop what I'm doing and get him from his bed. He shows me that he wants to play with me, so we go out to the living room floor and play.
12:30 PM: My son makes it clear that he doesn't want to sit in the kitchen anymore and he wants to play. So, I close up my laptop.
12:31 PM: By this time, I am wishing I could have had the dishes done and laundry started. I take his stuff from lunch, put it by the sink, brush off the crumbs, and we head into the living room.
12:33 PM: Diaper change.
12:35 PM: I THINK about taking a shower at my son's next nap.
12:36- 1:30 PM: My son and I play more in the living room. He's adamant on pulling out every strand of my hair as he pulls my hair, pokes me in the eyes, and laughs about it all. Of course, when I see something cute, I snap a picture.
1:30- 2:00 PM: My son starts to get cranky and tells me he's ready for a nap. We head into the bedroom and I change his diaper. Then, nurse him to sleep. *This is usually his longest nap of the day.*
2:00 PM: I can't make myself get into the shower because I fear my son will wake up and I won't hear him cry. *We don't have a baby monitor system.* So, I decide to throw in a load of laundry and do up the dishes. I clean up the toy mess my son left all over the house, which made it look like a tornado came through.
2:30 PM: I do a bit more work on the laptop.
3:00 PM: My daughter comes through the door from school. I beg her to keep it quiet because her brother is sleeping.
3:30 PM: The baby wakes up and is ready for more food. So, we head to the kitchen and I find him something to eat, feed him, and let him play with his sister.
4:00- 4:30ish PM: I'm wishing for a nap, but my daughter informs me that she's hungry, so I make her something small to eat to hold her over until dinner. *My son decides he needs to eat, too, so I give him a snack.*
5:00 PM: Again...my son decides he's hungry too, so I give him more snacks. *Dinner is prepared by my step-dad or Mom.*
5:30- 6:30 PM: Husband tends to come home around this time. He grabs his plate from the microwave if we've finished dinner or sits with us to eat.
7:00 PM: Start to fight my daughter to gather up her bedtime clothes and get her shower.
7:30 PM: Bath baby and have my daughter take her melatonin because without it, she doesn't sleep well.
8:00 PM: Start the bedtime fight with my daughter, while cleaning up any messes the kids made in the afternoon.
9:00 PM: Nurse my son to sleep once his sister is in bed.
9:30- 10:30 PM: Get ready for bed and lay down to watch television until I am ready for sleep.
11:30-2:00 AM: Sometime in here my son wakes up in his bed, crying to join me and my husband in our bed. I grab him, nurse him, and we fall back to sleep.
** Some nights I'm up every hour or so with my son. Only on a couple occasions has he slept ALMOST all night.**
Remember, this is a good day. I could add in the countless times I have to argue with my daughter about something, or sick days, or errands that need to be done. I'm busy during the day... most of the time I don't have the time or the opportunity to shower (unless I take my son into the bathroom with me) or even eat.
So, the other day when my husband said, "You know I do often overlook how much you actually do for our family. Thank you. I appreciate it." it floored me. In eleven years, he has NEVER thanked me for doing what I do and it meant sooo much to me.
So, if you're a stay at home Mom.... YOU'RE DOING AN AMAZING JOB. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK. IT IS APPRECIATED!!
If you're the working parent... don't forget to tell your spouse how much you appreciate them and do it often.