Stay at Home Mom. What do you do all day?
I feel like a lot of women judge other women just because they can. However deep down I think it’s because they are jealous. I am a 29-year-old Mom who has three children. Count them … THREE. I have been a Stay at Home Mom, a Working Mom, a single Working Mom, a pregnant Working Mom, a pregnant Work from Home Mom, and now I am a Stay at Home Mom again. I enjoyed working because I truly like to work and keep busy. I like to make a difference and I like to work hard for my money. However, I also enjoy being a SAHM (stay at home mom) because I don’t really like the idea of my children going to daycare and spending 8+ hours with a person who isn’t … well me.
Let’s break down daycare vs stay home shall we? …
Feel free to scroll down to the good stuff if you don’t want to hear my boring theory on SAHM/Working Moms. 😉
I use to pay a non-licensed person to watch my children. She was fantastic and I mean completely fantastic, we are friends to this day! I love her! However, she didn’t charge nearly as much as what a daycare facility would have charged, so I was getting a great deal financially and I knew that my kids were being taken care of properly. During the time that she watched my kids I became a single Mom and the cost of childcare became a huge concern for me. Fortunately, my ex-husband and I were able to agree upon the cost and it wasn’t an issue. Except it ate at it me every day because I missed being with my kids, I missed watching them grow up in photos. But I reminded myself that parents all over the world work and have to work and their kids are either at school or daycare because that’s where kids go when Moms and Dads are working, right? Right … but it wasn’t easy. Being a single working Mom wasn’t something I ever planned on doing and my kids were so young, but we adjusted just fine and the important thing was that my kids got to see both Mom and Dad happy. Which at the end of the day is the most important lesson (at least in our home it is). I did switch jobs to ensure that I could financially handle being on my own with my kids and as extremely stressful as it was on a daily basis for me, I did it because it was for my kids! Fast forward a little bit and my now amazing Husband and I have a child together (who is now 15 months old) and I am at home again. I did daycare for a friend during my pregnancy (I don’t have easy pregnancies) and I was able to contribute to our financial needs that way. Every little bit helps, right?
I read the other day that a SAHM’s salary is on average up to $115,000 per year. Sound crazy to you? NOT to me. Think of it this way…
If my Husband and I put our children in daycare in a licensed center our monthly bill would be between $1250-$1700/per month mind you, for 3 kids full time, in our area. If I were to return to work, they would need to be there for a complete full day, five days a week. That cost would be over half of what I would bring home a month per my pervious job. Plus, we wouldn’t see them nearly as often. Now PLEASE don’t think that I believe that because you work you see your children less often or you choose to do so. I have been there and I know plenty of parents who know the guilt of leaving their child at daycare but they have to support their family!! Be proud of what you do for you kids and for your family. Don’t ever let someone make you feel guilty because you are a working Mom or because you are a badass working Mom who has worked her butt of to get where she is at! You are a MOM and you are just as much of a Mom as I am, even though I stay at home. For you SAHM, be proud of your title. Don’t let someone brush you off with the “oh you are just at home attitude”!
Currently I am at home with our kids, we make our bills on my Husband’s salary and I budget, everything. I am extremely frugal when it comes to purchasing new things, whether that be clothes for the kids (I will have to share the amazing kid’s sales I attend each year.), clothes for us, splurges, food (proud ALDI shopper), utilities, and anything else you can think of. I drive an older car and we fit in it just fine (yes I am super jealous of the delicious looking SUV’s I see every time I leave the house, but I know that just isn’t in the cards for our family right now and guess what? That’s okay!) Our kids are happy and healthy and we live a happy life.
Now, back to the big question … what do I do all day? Has anyone ever honestly answered this? Do you have friends of colleges that you ask that too, but never really get a solid answer? Just a laugh and they change the subject type of answer. Well I am going to answer it and I will do it as honestly as I know how.
What do I do all day as a stay at home Mom? Really?
Where do I start? I wake up each morning and drag myself upstairs (our bedroom is downstairs) and open each kiddos door, that is … if they aren’t already awake. I look like a mess and I know it. Usually the toddler is up first and I change her diaper and we go to the kitchen to get breakfast. The other two usually follow or if I am waking them up because we need to be somewhere they get dressed right away. (Mind you, it is currently Summer time.) I get everyone something to eat, usually try to get in the bathroom to brush my hair and put on some makeup quick, which usually ends poorly and I do it later in the morning. I would like to take a minute to say … take this time for yourself! Get up a few minutes early and put some makeup on, take a shower, do your hair, make yourself feel good. It’s so important that Mom is comfortable and ready for the day! Once we are all ready our day is started and depending on what we have going on truly depends on what I do. If the kids are eating I do the dishes because I am already in the kitchen, plus the toddler likes to “help” and it’s easier when she is in the high chair for me to get those types of chores done. I usually find something that needs to be put away or start a load of laundry while the kids are getting ready. We either take off on errands whether it be groceries or gymnastics or swimming lessons or really you know name it … The toddler naps around 9am or so, all depending on what time she gets up of course. I try my best to plan around her napping for errands and appointments. Since we have moved the kids play outside, especially while the little one naps. I check emails, pay bills, clean up the house or actually clean the bathroom. Just as I am about to sit down and take some “me-time” a kiddo needs a snack or I realize it’s lunch time. The toddler wakes up and we repeat the meal process and I do the dishes again. A majority of my day is spent in the kitchen! Is yours? … I usually hear from my Husband when he is on break, so I take a few minutes to talk with him. We play and read books, the kids love to color, so I try my best to do an activity or have something planned for them to work on in the Summer. We finally sit down and rest for a minute, maybe watch a movie. If it is super nice outside, we will go play in the sprinkler. I generally forget what time it is and realize that I need to start something for dinner. Normally I am on my game and I have everything prepped for dinner or it’s in the crockpot. It all depends on our day and what we have going on that night. Summers are way more laid back than our hectic schedules during the school year. My kids don’t bathe every day and I don’t care. Unless they are covered in dirt or have a cold it can wait an extra day! No judgment please.
For example, this week, my Mother-in-Law helped me paint the rest of the whole house, my Husband and I painted our kitchen cabinets, we have company over this weekend, and we are still remodeling things and working on projects with the new house. Oh and we had swimming lessons for two weeks and we have gymnastics twice a week, every week. So cram all of that into a day with three kids and one tired Momma and it should give you an idea of what I actually do all day.
Obviously each day is different. Next week for example we have a vet appointment one day, a play date, gymnastics two different days (at two different times) and one day where the kids have no plans! I would love to say that I get to sit down a watch a show or read a book, which I cannot tell you the last book I read. (Someday though.) It’s exhausting! It may not sound like a lot but it always is. It may seem like I am home and I get to play with the kids all day and we have no rules or cares in the world, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I am their teacher, their parent, their guide every day. I hear “Mom!?” about 300 times a day and you know what … as exhausting as it truly is some days, I know that one day they will be grown and my halls will be quiet. I won’t hear the pitter patter of tiny feet running the hallway at 6 am. I won’t hear “MOM??” every five minutes and I defiantly won’t be fixing three plus meals a day for the kids. I will miss these days. I will truly miss the hugs and the little moments of watching them figure something out for the first time. It goes by so quickly and as much as I want my house to be kept clean and my hair to be done … it just doesn’t matter. So there’s an extra load of dishes to do. So there are seven loads of laundry to be put away and I’m about ready to have a meltdown … it will get done at some point. The kids are HAPPY.
I try my very best to take a few minutes for me … usually that means getting to take a shower. But I know one day I’ll be sitting outside on the deck reading a book and missing all the little things I use to do every day. But that’s what Grandkids are for, right?
I guess my point is that YOU matter. What you do all day, the picking up 10 times and the constant meals and laundry … I see you! I know how hard you are working and I know how lonely it can get. Believe in yourself as a Mother. Ask for help when you need and don’t feel guilty when you do! Find the right people to have in your corner and lean on them when times get tough. Remember that what you do is what your kids will do. What you teach them today or you taught them three months ago is what they will remember and it is what they will teach their children some day. YOU are important. You are important as a MOM, as a working Mom, and as a stay at home Mom. Don’t forget it!!