As a stay-at-home mom, I’ve often been asked, “What do you do all day?” The lives of SAHMs are largely hidden, so the question is a fair one. Do we spend our days reclining on chaise lounges, eating dark chocolate while our children totter from toy to toy? Or are we like Cinderella, constantly sweeping and scrubbing and singing?
In reality, the answer is different for every SAHM (but I can assure you that I don’t know any mothers who lounge all day). To paint a better picture of what this full-time job looks like, I journaled through a typical week day.
5:45am – My alarm goes off, and I peek at the baby monitor. Miraculously, my daughter is still asleep in her crib. She’s almost a year old, but still frequently winds up in our bed halfway through the night. I tiptoe into the kitchen where my husband is already pouring my cup of coffee (what a guy!). For the next 45 minutes, we sit in our dark, silent living room, sipping coffee, praying, and preparing for the busy day ahead.
6:45am – My daughter wakes up, smiling and babbling (very loudly). I nurse her, change her diaper, and pull her wild hair back into a ponytail. Then, while she crawls around, getting into mischief with our dog, I toss on shorts and a t-shirt, fill a sippy cup with water and a container with Cheerios, and get the stroller.
7:00am – The three of us (plus the dog) head out for a run. It’s so pleasant being outside all together while the world is still calm and hushed.
7:50am – Still trying to catch my breath, I whip up breakfast for everyone (eggs all around). Mealtime with a baby is always entertaining – and a massive mess. Thankfully, our dog loves cleaning up!
The stay-at-home mom life isn’t for everyone, but I absolutely love it – endless messes and all.
8:15am – Ah, the dash to get showered and dressed. My husband isn’t home this late every morning, but, when he is, it’s super helpful. We tag team cleaning the kitchen and getting our daughter washed and dressed. Then, we race to get ready. I’ve whittled my hair and makeup routine down to five minutes (having a baby definitely forces you into efficiency).
9:00am – Our church offers daily services at 9am. Most days, it’s an extra 30 minutes of aerobics for me: picking my daughter up, putting her down, and chasing her down the aisle. Today, though, she just waves at the elderly people in the pew behind us and plays with my car keys.
9:45am – We get home and immediately head to her nursery where our routine is nearly always the same: change the diaper, read a book, nurse, and rock to sleep. Once she’s sound asleep, I lay her in her crib and then turn into a tornado because I may only have 40 minutes until she’s awake. I strip the beds, throw a load of laundry in, unload the dishwasher, water the plants (which I will likely kill within the week), and then sit down at my desk to write. I compose part of a new article before my daughter wakes up.
11:00am – We play in her nursery, which involves knocking down towers of ABC blocks, putting all of her peg dolls into her laundry basket, and taking a dozen books off the bottom shelf. It’s a mess, but it’s the best.
11:30am – We head out the door to take care of a couple quick errands. First, we swing by the library. Then, we pop into a consignment store (Pro tip: baby clothes can be expensive and are typically only worn for three months, but consigned pieces can be adorable and so cheap.) before grabbing milk, bananas, and sunflowers (three staples in our household) at the grocery store.
12:30pm – Lunchtime! Lots of chatting and lots of strawberry smiles.
It’s certainly not glamorous, but it’s everything I’ve ever wanted.
1:00pm – After cleaning up from lunch, I fold laundry while my daughter unfolds laundry. Then, we crawl around the living room, practice walking, and play with a lemon (which apparently is better than any of her actual toys).
1:40pm – Since we have guests coming tomorrow, we bake a loaf of banana bread. My daughter loves playing with her mini spatula and staring at the stand mixer as it spins. I turn on some music, and it becomes a dance party.
2:30pm – We read some books. Then I nurse her, and she goes to sleep. I tidy up the house, schedule a dentist appointment, and pull out my cookbooks to choose some recipes for next week’s meal plan.
3:45pm – My daughter wakes up, and we go for a short walk in the neighborhood. The heat is oppressive, and I daydream about autumn.
4:15pm – It’s time for all of the little odd jobs I didn’t yet get to: sorting through the mail, penning a short thank you note, cleaning up the flour that I spilled all over the floor earlier. My daughter takes all of the Tupperware containers out of a drawer in the kitchen.
I wouldn’t trade days spent laughing and crawling around the kitchen floor with my baby for anything.
5:00pm – Daddy’s home, which means daddy-daughter playtime while I start to make dinner (a new recipe, so I have no idea how it’s actually going to turn out).
6:00pm – We sit down for dinner together. The meal is good (phew), and the conversation is better. I always adore this time of day!
6:40pm – I start clearing the table and doing the dishes, and my husband takes bath duty. Our dog gets her second dinner cleaning up around the high chair. I see it as a win-win for the two of us.
7:30pm – My husband and I read a bedtime story to our daughter, and then I nurse her to sleep. This cuddly time is just so good!
8:15pm – I sit down with my agenda book to plan the day ahead. My husband and I talk some more. I tell him all of the hilarious things that our daughter did that day. Then, I realize that I’m exhausted, so I get ready for bed.
9:00pm – I’m in bed with my book. I read until I realize that I’ve read the same sentence 10 times, and then I turn out the lights (I know, so young and wild).
The stay-at-home mom life isn’t for everyone, but I absolutely love it – endless messes and all. Getting to share the little moments with my daughter means the world to me. No, it’s certainly not glamorous, but it’s everything I’ve ever wanted. I wouldn’t trade days spent laughing and crawling around the kitchen floor with my baby for anything.
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