What a Stay-At-Home Mom Does All Day, Wednesday edition

I read a blog entry by another stay-at-home mother the other day, and it saddened me to see it spread all of over Facebook as *THE* way a stay-at-home mother spends her day.  Her entry read as if she was chronically overwhelmed by her daily tasks. Ok, so maybe her day IS like that, every single day. Friend, may I suggest Confessions of an Organized Homemaker? Hopefully, you can find some time to read it.

*I* am a stay-at-home mom. Right now to only two small boys, ages 4 and 3(just barely). I have 5 children total, but the three girls have grown up.

I admit, I do take the easy way out, now. I switched to disposable diapers a couple of weeks ago. Aldous, my 3 year old, has weaned. However, having two active young children keeps my hobbies and interests from getting as much attention as I could give them when they were much smaller. Now, Aldous prefers to not be in the Ergo on my back for hours while I sew...darn it! So, I sew when I can.

I wanted to share my day with you, if for no other reason than to say "I'm not a SAHM because I'm too disorganized to keep from getting fired at job outside of my home".

So, here it goes! First, here's my chore list for today:

Water plants
Declutter dining room and desk


Pick up

make beds
sweep, mop, clean kitchen
litter box
vacuum downstairs

I plan my chores, I plan my meals, I plan my exercise, I plan my sewing, and I plan my week. And, then,  I do what I plan. Sometimes there is a small problem, but I have found having small children and meeting their chaotic needs drains me of brains cells. Having a plan keeps me from having to think as I move through my day and my week. Think once per week, coast the rest of the time. 

In addition to those chores, on the bill for today is a bit of exercise (minimal...I did a 4 mile run yesterday. I'm training for a half-marathon, again), lunch with a friend, and of course cooking dinner. Today we're having some vegetarian meatballs in pasta sauce, whole wheat pasta, grilled polenta, collard greens, and a tomato and lettuce salad. Maybe some garlic bread. (I'll be skipping the pasta, tomato, and bread). Definitely some fresh fruit.

Wake up: 6 or 630 (I don't set an alarm, I wake up by myself.) go downstairs for a cup of coffee (already made), come back up. Wake the boys if they haven't woken up, dress them and myself in the clothes we chose yesterday. (if I forget to do this, it's ok, b/c I hang the clothes in outfits when I put away the laundry..we can still just grab and go). Wash faces, comb hair, brush teeth, make beds, pick up, water plants (they're all upstairs)

By 730: Downstairs, make breakfast. Boys play while I cook. Today was yogurt, breakfast strip, strawberries and kefir, plus vitamins. I prepare the whole plate while the "bacon" is cooking, then carry them to the table, seat the boys, put their napkins (cloth that I made) in their laps. While boys are eating, pack William's lunch for school and make my breakfast. Sit down and eat while the boys are finishing.  

830: finish eating, clear table, wash faces, wash table, line up boys for shoes and socks. Check shirts for spills. 

845. Back pack on William's back, Aldous on my back in the ergo, lunch box in William's hand, coffee cup in mine, head out the door for the half-mile walk to William's school. 

920, back home, checking my chore list to get ready for the day. Wed is an easy day to allow me to sew a bit. Since I'm eating lunch out today, I probably still won't get to sew during the day, but I can do a bit after dinner. William is short one polo shirt for his school uniform.

By 1020, living room and dining room cleaned and vacuumed, diaper bag packed, Aldous' diaper changed and face washed, rain boots taken off, sandals put back on, head upstairs to put on clean clothes and *maybe* mascara. Ok, forget the mascara. Load the hand-me-downs I'm sending to a friend into my car.

12:30 home from lunch, fixed more food for Aldous since he didn't eat much lunch, and ate a nectarine myself.  Upstairs for nap, change clothes, potty, change diaper.. Enter today's food in Weight Watcher's Online, and look at vegetarian cookbooks while I wait for Aldous to sleep. 

1:00, Aldous sleeping, heading downstairs to make the polenta for dinner, wash my workout clothes, and then going back upstairs to figure out what stuff I need for William's new polo shirt. While I was stuck at the stove for 30 minutes, I made custard style yogurt (see recipes section)..still had 22 minutes of polenta left, so prepared collard greens and lettuce for dinner, looked at facebook, 

200 laundry washing, cut out short sleeved white polo for William, watching tv. Upstairs to thread up my machines for later when I can sew. 
230 watching tv, perusing cookbooks for new ideas, facebook. Hang up laundry (on clothes line).
245 pack bag w/ toys, water, bananas,(for park) and write check for after-school sports, wake up/diaper change/shoes Aldous, walk to pick up William (half mile one way).
play at the park, eat snacks, drink water, walk home.
4:00 boys watch tv, eat popcorn, while I work in the kitchen, on my chore list, and do my exercises before starting dinner at 5.
5: start dinner. the only chores left on my list are clean kitchen, sweep & mop downstairs....a 20 minute job, tops. also, chat w/ friend via Facebook about her own menu ideas for dinner.

6pm, dinner on the table at 6 despite burning the garlic toast, oops!, txt from hubby that he's 10 min late, we all finish eating by 630-ish..so leisurely! put away leftovers, clean kitchen, sweep, mop, start dishwasher (set 4 hrs ahead)

7pm take down laundry from clothesline, fold put away.(running clothes, napkins, bibs, and kitchen towels/rags)
715 boys to park with dad for a pre-shower romp. 
730 I head upstairs to work on the polo shirt, done at 930, enjoy TV episodes on Hulu while I sew!
800 boys back for baths, pjs and stories, then bedtime. (not my job...I'm sewing)
10:00 snack, then upstairs to get out tomorrow's clothes, shower and bedtime!

So, there you have it. Anyone who knows me knows this is a typical day. Occasionally a catastrophe, but they usually only result in a slight hiccup in my day, not a whole day overthrow. I have time to sit and stare, spend too much time on Facebook, chat with my Uncle Jack about where he's playing next and who all's coming to his next "music night" and what he's cooking. I believe I am a more typical example of a stay-at-home mom. I get stuff done. It's my job. I take care of my kids, I manage to eat relatively well, and get plenty of exercise. And, sometimes I get to sew.

Today's exercise: 2 miles slow walking w/ Aldous on my back, walking William to and from school. 63 push ups, 20 jumping jacks, 10 crunches. (took less than 15 minutes to do those exercises)

So, that's what I do on most Wednesdays. Perhaps one day I'll do my "home all day with both kids" day! 


Mrs. Bianca said...

Thank you for posting this. I love how you plan ahead so much. You give me hope and an example to strive for!

Anonymous said...

You know I don't have small children, but my day is very similar. I have things I do every day (make beds, pick up, kitty boxes, prepare meals) and things I only do on certain days (laundry, clean bathroom, etc). I'm not overwhelmed, I too spend too much time on facebook, and I manage to talk to my mom and my sister on the phone every day.

And then there are all the other people I know that are pretty much like me and you. I think the overwhelmed mom is the rarity!


Julia said...

I didn't see the original post you mention, but as somebody for whom organization and accomplishing stuff comes pretty naturally, I definitely get where you're coming from. I'm maybe not quite as structured as you but to make my own life more sane and pleasant I HAVE to be organized and to get done what needs to be done. Life would be pretty miserable otherwise, which is maybe exactly what that overwhelmed mom was saying.

Jacki said...

Julia: I would be SUPER unhappy with daily events coming at me when I was unprepared for them. In fact, most **horrible days** I've had have been totally my own fault, for not being prepared. That said, planning/organizing doesn't come naturally. I have ADHD and before I put some serious effort into learning to organize myself, I was a disaster. I'm no dummy, tho...it didn't take long to see how planning ahead made my life easier. A few relapses into un-planned spells taught me some very valuable lessons. I like to know what's happening next, and if I'm the one planning my day, there aren't as many surprises. And, I can actually spend some time doing the "extra" stuff I like to do, not just "get by"

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