What the Hell Do We SAHMs Do All Day? Take a Look...
by Ashleigh Wilkening
Photograph by Twenty20
“What the hell do you stay-at-home moms do all day?” Although, I’d like to believe the majority of the population understands that we are as busy as shit and not sitting on our hineys eating bonbons and watching soap operas all day while our children play contently, judging by the number of times I've heard this question. clearly I'm wrong.
If there still remains some lingering doubt of what a stay-at-home mom does all day, here's a glimpse into a normal day for me with three little ones:
1:00 a.m. Baby wakes up. Feed her and put her back down.
6:00 a.m. Two toddlers up. Cereal and cartoons while I drown my tired sorrows in coffee. Listen to my boys fight over whether or not a pumpkin is, in fact, called a pumpkin or a jack-o'-lantern.
7:02 a.m. Baby up again. Change and feed her again.
7:27-7:35 a.m. Attempt to take a shower. In-between singing to the baby, I tend to my boys' relentless interrupting requests. No, I can't get you a gummy treat right now. Yes, of course, I would love to fix your toy.
7:36 a.m. I realize I forgot to wash my hair.
7:47 a.m. Change everyone. Brush my boys' teeth.
8:05 a.m. Attempt to feed my boys breakfast to the background noise of them telling me "No hungry!" and "Icky, gross!" upon viewing their plates.
8:20 a.m. Kids request a snack after telling me they're starving. Give them their original breakfast in snack form. They take the bait. #winning
8:30 a.m. Call pediatrician to make well-baby appointment. Kids use this opportunity to manage to find hidden pool noodles and sword fight. Throw some gummy treats at them to buy a moment of silence. Fight erupts over one wiping a booger on the other. Finally make it through the call and have no idea when I made appointment for.
Sprint to the checkout upon noticing that meltdown are impending as everyone is getting hungry and tired.
8:45 a.m. Throw dirty laundry in the washer. Note to self: Need more laundry detergent.
8:48 a.m. Contemplate what we're doing for the rest of the day. Decide on grocery store. Need to pick up stuff for dinner. And, laundry detergent. Do not forget the laundry detergent.
9:00-9:30 a.m. Commence the Olympic sport of getting this circus show out of the house. Find toys my boys desperately need to bring with them. They were exactly where I asked them to look. Shocker. Remind my eldest to pee. Change diapers. Pack waters, snacks and diaper bag. Remind my son to pee again. Find lost shoe. Argue over which shoe they want to wear. Displeased with socks. Find different socks. End up with sandals. Out the door at last.
9:32-9:40 a.m. Get two toddlers and a baby strapped in. Forgot grocery list. I've come too far. I'll just wing it.
10:00-10:42 a.m. Rush through the store like a contestant on "Supermarket Sweep." Between circumventing my children's desire to touch everything and abating tantrums and fighting, end up throwing random crap in the cart. Sprint to the checkout upon noticing that meltdown are impending, as everyone is getting hungry and tired.
11:07 a.m. Haul groceries, two toddlers and a baby into the house in one fell swoop. Exhausted and arms feel like jelly.
11:15 a.m. Feed and put Baby down for a nap. Yes, again.
11:30 a.m. Short-order cook the shit outta lunch. My boys take a couple of bites. Success!
12 p.m. Put Thing Two down. Lay down with Thing One because he needs a nap and he won't unless I accompany him. Maybe I’ll get lucky and catch a few ZZZ's.
12:16 p.m. Baby wakes up. No siesta for me. Crying on the inside.
12:30 p.m. Attempt to put the baby back down to sleep. She disagrees with my request. Find lost coffee cup.
1:05 p.m. Thing One is up. Initiate a quiet activity until Thing Two awakes.
1:12 p.m. Realize I haven't eaten all day and stare at my boys’ leftover lunch plates, contemplate eating their scraps. Wonder what my life has become.
1:15 p.m.-1:37 p.m. Dishes. Cleanup. Throw clothes in the dryer. F*ck! Forgot laundry detergent! Oh well, I didn't want to do more laundry anyway. Find Febreeze.
1:40 p.m. Thing Two calling for me to retrieve him from his lair. Sounds like an unpleasant wake-up. Hide in the pantry and shove a cupcake in my mouth before proceeding to get him.
1:45 p.m. Pick Baby up and snuggle her. Feel dampness. Remnants of her blowout is seeping through her clothes and onto my arm. Give Baby a bath.
1:55 p.m. Realize a suspicious silence. Come downstairs to see my boys using diaper cream to fingerpaint our patio door. Clean up mess.
2:15 p.m. Put Baby down for a nap.
Kid escapes. Return said kid to room and tuck him back in. Rinse and repeat.
2:32 p.m. Help my boys build a robot out of blocks only for them to tell me how bad I am at making things out of blocks. They're right, I suck. This is Dad territory.
2:42 p.m. Playing blocks turns into throwing block which turns into a wrestling match to only end in tears. Play referee.
3:05 p.m. Play hide and seek. Pretend not to see my boys hiding three feet in front of me in plain sight. Find hiding spot, but not too good. When my 3-year-old becomes distracted and forgets to find me, I contemplate taking a nap.
3:17 p.m. Baby up. Feed and change her.
3:35 p.m. Commence the act of leaving, once again.
4:47 p.m. In addition to forgetting laundry detergent, also forgot dinner items. Proceed to pick up pizza.
5:15 p.m. Dinner. Change Baby and get her ready for bed.
5:45 p.m. Bath for my boys. Repeatedly tell them not to pee on each other.
6:15-6:30 p.m. Feed and put Baby down for bed.
6:33 p.m. Stumble upon a pantless toddler screaming that he went poop. Wipe his butt and as I helped him put his pants back on, he showed his appreciation by wiping a booger in my hair.
6:35 p.m. Set my boys up with some coloring and sticker action while I proceed to finish cleaning up from the tornado of all-day chaos. Dishes. Clean up the kitchen. Pick up toys.
7:00-7:30 p.m. Books. Brush teeth. Prayers. Say good night.
7:30:02 p.m. Pour myself a glass of wine.
7:32-7:58 p.m. Kid escapes. Return said kid to room and tuck him back in. Rinse and repeat.
8:00 p.m. Take out the garbage. Make my son's school lunch for tomorrow. Set out clothes for everyone.
8:12 p.m. Watch TV. Pass out.
Any unaccounted time was most likely engaged in diverting a toddler meltdown or maybe, just maybe, I finally got a chance to pee (gasp)!
So, there you have it. Hope this helps to clear up any confusion as to what the hell I do all day. Mind you, this is a relaxed day without scheduled or planned activities. Yes, really. More often than not, there would be school drop-offs and pickups along with a doctor appointment thrown into this timeline.