People think that being a stay at home mom means that my house is spotless. Well that couldn’t be further from the truth. You see, I may not currently work outside the house but that doesn’t mean my day is not busy, busy, busy. Here’s how my day goes:
I wake up at 4:00 am to help my husband get ready for work. Oftentimes I am his alarm clock and he relies in me. I then prepare him breakfast and pack his lunch. Once he’s out the door, I have the option of going back to sleep but I try my best to stay awake so that I can have quiet time with God. I make some coffee and read my Bible while homemaking and praying. I get maybe a an hour of alone time before my 4 year old wakes up and asks for breakfast. This happens around 5:30 am. Shortly after that the baby, 9months old, wakes up and wants to eat, so I take care of him until my oldest, 7year old, wakes up. Once they’re all awake I make sure they get dressed, make sure they’ve eaten breakfast, I pack the 4 and 7 year olds lunch pales and we’re out if the house by 7:30ish. We drop the oldest one off first and then we drive 5-6 miles in the opposite direction to drop off the 4 year old at his school. By the time I return home it’s usually close to 9:00. So I have decisions to make at that point. Clean up for a bit, prepare to make dinner early depending on what day it is or do some homework and study, because I have returned to school. No matter what I do, the baby seeks my attention. At some point I end up playing with him and giving him all of my attention. I manage to do a task or so, perhaps a load of laundry and read something for school or start prepping for a dinner meal. If the baby takes a nap mid morning then that buys me an hour or two to study.
Once 1:30 hits then I’m off to my oldest sons school to get a decent parking space since it gets hectic. Once parked I will attempt to study some more but by then the baby is crying to get out of the carseat so I hold him up front with me, there goes studying. Once I get my son around 2:30 it’s either off to my sons piano lesson or dash off to get the 4 year old if my husband can’t get him. By the time we get home from all of that it’s close to 4:00 pm, which by then I usually have to prepare dinner or start cleaning the kitchen if I’ve already cooked dinner. This is followed by bath times which gets chaotic. Usually my husband is home in the evening and helps out where he can.
After dinner and bath times, we aim for bedtime at around 7:30. By this time I am exhausted. Once all the kids are finally in bed, my husband and I try to spend a few minutes together but he usually ends up falling asleep and I say I’m going to study but end up falling asleep at the desk. My night ends about 10 PM. And then I get to do it all over again.
I’m very busy all day, every day. I have 3 boys who like to play. I have a husband who comes home from work and takes his clothes off and leaves them on the floor. Yes, he actually does that and is amazed when his clothes magically move to their proper place. I have a baby who literally wants my attention all day long. I have homework and studying of my own to do, I have to help my 7 year old with his homework questions and I have to deal with the 4 year olds tantrums because all he wants is candy.
I do plenty around the house. My house is not always in tip top shape, but I do try to keep the living room visitor- ready. It doesn’t always pass the test, but it’s ok. I do get embarrassed at times, but I have come to the realization that this is my life in this season. I have to roll with the punches. My kids are happy and not lacking and if I survived another day, then I feel like I’m winning.
Now, when my mom comes to visit, I can instantly see on her face her disapproval. She’ll always make suggestions as to what I could be doing when the baby is sleeping or what have you. No matter how many times I explain to her that I am busy and can’t do everything all the time, she manages to be critical at times. Because I constantly get interrupted by something or other, I must study in parts. It can be very frustrated. There are things that I must forego like working out. I really can’t squeeze that in. I want to and am determined to eventually put time aside for that, or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.
I’m not complaining about my situation, but I would like people to be kinder to stay at home parents. We don’t just sit around all day doing nothing. Staying at home with the kids and caring for the home is a tough job, one with no pay and no benefits. There’s already guilt because we’re not contributing financially to the household, but we sure contribute in many other ways.
My house gets messy at times and it’s not always organized. Does that make me a bad person? No! I think that means that I put everyone else’s needs above my needs and wants, such as wanting to have a clutter-free, clean home. I can only dream at this point. Let’s be kinder to each other. The next time you’re visiting a friend whose home is less than satisfactory (according to your standards), cut them some slack and perhaps offer a helping hand. I guarantee it’ll be much appreciated.