Stay-at-home-mom. Or SAHM. I have seen a few posts on facebook lately about how SAHMs are lazy, sit around all day, and they pamper themselves. And the big question, What do SAHMs do all day?
When Sam and I got married 6 years ago, we decided I would be a stay at home mom for a while. Then I started school, with the intention of going to work when I was finished. A few years later, here I am with a nice nursing degree and 3 kids. Together, we decided our kids needed me home. They are all quite young, 5, 3, and 1, and we knew that we would be paying most of my check to daycare. Plus, for a good job, I would be driving an hour to and from work. It just made sense for me to stay home, at least until our youngest, whoever that may be, is in school. We get along fine without my income. We aren't rice, but we live comfortably. So, what do I do all day?
Well, for starters, I kiss boo boos, comfort our night crier, give baths, feed and clothe kids, I read books, play games, teach letters and numbers, how to share, and how things work. I also watch when someone says "look mommy!" I babysit babydolls and stuffed animals, I am a patient for future nurses (or doctors), I tickle backs and tummies, and most importantly, I love.
But it's not all good things. I punish, I correct a pincher, I sit someone in timeout, I say "no, we don't talk potty talk" a million times a day. I am the bad guy sometimes. I change a diaper, I wipe a butt, a nose, or hands.
Then, there are the household duties. The cleaning, the laundry, the yardwork, the animal care, the car cleaning.
A typical day for me starts at 6-8 depending on when Alta decides to wake up. From there, she gets a diaper change and a cup of milk. While she drinks, I get myself dressed. By the time that's done, the boys are pounding down the steps. I make and feed them breakfast. I feed the dogs, the cats, the chickens, make sure the hamster has food, and make sure everyone has water. I might feed myself, if I have time. The boys then go outside and play, Alta plays around the house while I do dishes and laundry. Then it is snack time. While they eat their snacks, I pick up the living room or bathroom or both, if there is time. After snacks, Alta takes a nap. The boys do their thing, usually back outside, they would live out there if I would let them. I do outside chores. Stir the compost, pick up dropped apples and pears, pick up trash or sticks, maybe weed the garden, I am also working on the garage a little bit at a time. I also try to play with the boys, if they let me, usually they will if the neighbor kids aren't around. Then I go in and make lunch, Alta will wake up, we all eat. Then I try to do school work. Parker is learning his letters and Landon is working on kindergarten and first grade things so he doesn't forget or fall behind for when school starts. Alta sits in her high chair and listens to us sing and learn. We also will try to do a craft or color or play with play-doh or paint at this time. Then it is back outside, but this time Ali and I go too. We spend an hour or so playing in the yard. Then come in for snacks again. Then I pick up the house again. The boys go back out and Ali and I putter around the house. We play with her toys, read, or just sit and cuddle. She then takes a nap, if I'm lucky. During this nap, I finish what I didn't get to during her first nap and then clean the floors or something else that I can't do when she is awake. After she wakes up I start thinking about dinner and start it while she plays around the house. Around 7:00 I have the boys put away all outside toys and come in. They then pick up any toys around the house. Sam gets home at 7:50, we eat, the kids get a bath and go to bed. Hopefully by 9, again, if I am lucky. I try to pick up anything that's left out if I have the energy. We spend time together watching TV or whatever. We go to bed around 11. We sleep, and then another day starts.
This is my typical day. Throw in the days where I have to go shopping, pay bills, or go take care of my mom, or even worse, if someone is sick, all the above gets even more busy.
I laugh when I see someone commenting that a SAHM does nothing all day. I laugh, because, really, they have no idea.
Some days I would gladly trade it in for a daycare and scrubs. But normally, I love my job, I love taking care of my kids, I love being here when my husband gets home from work and taking care of him. I love that I have a husband, who takes care of our financial needs, while I take care of our emotional needs. It is a busy life, but it is a good one.