So…what do I do all day?
I get that question all the time.
Travis jokingly asks me on a daily basis and I typically respond with, “Well, I ate bon bons and twiddled my thumbs waiting for you to come home again. Duh!” (because if I’m not in an office, I couldn’t possibly be working…)
And while Travis knows exactly how hard I work every day and asks me that question simply to drive me nuts, I think many people really do wonder what a stay at home Mom does allllllllll day.
I must say…it’s a fair question.
If you haven’t done it before, there’s no way you could know.
As my Mom said yesterday, “When I was working full time with two young babies, I wondered what women who didn’t ‘work’ did all day…and then your Dad and I made the decision that I would stay home and I quickly came to realize that being home was one of the toughest jobs out there.”
And while I can’t say I completely understand where she’s coming from since I never went back to my corporate job, I do know that I work at least 20 times harder now than I ever did pre-baby (which probably tells you a little bit about how tough my corporate job was).
Simply put – being a parent is a job that never ends. Ever.
I don’t get to punch in at 8am and head out for happy hour drinks at 6pm (though I’d be lying if I said I don’t host my own at-home happy hour with Travis and Abby every now and again). It may sound cliche, but being a parent is truly a 24-7 job. And being a stay at home Mom is tough work.
It’s also what you make of it. Luckily, I’ve wanted to be a Mom for as long as I can remember so I have very high expectations for myself. Here’s the proof…this is a poster I made when I was 5.5 years old…take a close look because there’s some pretty awesome stuff on here…
WOW. “I wish that I was a Panda” – seriously 5.5 year old Ali? At least I knew smoking was bad! And thank goodness I didn’t have aspirations of becoming an artist!.
Now that I’ve gone off on a tangent and have shared much more than I planned on, I want to break down a typical day…A Day in the Life of a Stay at Home Mom (of a 6 Month Old).
I’m being specific (“a 6 Month Old”) for a reason and it makes me wish I had written something like this on a monthly basis because my days are shockingly different now than when Abby was 1 week…1 month…4 months…etc.
Now we actually have some sort of schedule. Some sort of rhythm and pattern. And I must say, it’s some sort of awesome (for example, she slept 10.5 hours last night – I feel like a new woman today).
So back to my original question…what do I do all day?
Well, an average day goes something like this…
Wakey Wakey, Eggs and Bakey! Feed Abby. Change Abby. Daddy makes coffee and breakfast. Mommy pumps (the liquid gold I mentioned before takes dedication!). Mommy and Daddy eat. Abby plays with her toys by herself. Daddy kisses Abby goodbye. Abby plays with her toys with Mommy.
7:00am (or ~an hour after Abby’s been awake)
Daddy’s long gone (sad face). Mommy attempts to put Abby down for her first nap of the day (which has been easy as of the past couple days – yay for progress!).
7:00am – 8:30am
Abby naps. Mommy kicks into high gear (cleans dishes from last night’s dinner, stores liquid gold, cleans bottles for the next pumping session, gives into her OCD and straightens every pillow in the living room, responds to a few emails, begins writing a blog or a thank you note, catches up on the news and if it’s a really good day, catches up on some gossip “news” as well).
Abby wakes up. We play for a few minutes, talk about how awesome her nap was, and then she indicates that she’s ready to chow again (what a little piggy!). Feed Abby. Change Abby.
9:15am – 11:00am
Play with Abby (read to her, teach her new tricks – sitting up, crawling, assisted walking down the hallway, listening to music). Let Abby play by herself. Abby “drives around the kitchen” in her car while Mommy finishes the cleaning that wasn’t completed earlier.
11:00am – 12:30pm
Abby naps. Mommy lifts her 5 lb. weights and does her abs. Respond to more emails. If I’m at my Mom’s place, this is a good time to do laundry. Finish my blog if I’ve written one that day. Shower (if it’s a really good day and all of this is actually going as planned). Do anything Daddy should have done but forgot to do the night before. 🙂 Mommy eats a snack.
Abby wakes up. Again, we chat about how awesome her nap was and I get a few huge grins out of her. Feed Abby. Change Abby. Feed Mommy. Get Abby ready to go out for an adventure.
1:00pm – 3:00pm
Adventure time! Adventures include: long walks, grocery shopping, picking up Daddy’s dry cleaning, meal planning, going to KiKi’s, KiKi coming over to watch Abby so Mommy can go to the gym, etc. On a typical day, we go for a long walk…Abby loves being outside and Mommy loves walking.
Feed Abby. Change Abby. Teach Abby something new. Read to Abby. Tell her how awesome she is. Ask her when she plans on growing more hair so I can put bows and pigtails in it.
3:00pm – 4:30pm (on a good day)
Work as the James Family Financial Planner. Trip Planner. Social Planner. Food Planner. I basically take care of anything that needs to be planned or could be planned (ie: Abby’s College Fund). Spend a few minutes pondering what I’m going to be when I grow up. If I hadn’t showered earlier, I try to squeeze that in here. Since the earlier part of the day probably didn’t go as planned, I try to complete everything I had hoped to accomplish in this awake, happy Abby time period. Abby plays.
3:00pm – 4:30pm (on a teething day or a day that Abby just doesn’t feel like being happy)
Walk up and down the hallway singing songs, carrying a 15 pound baby, and hoping and praying she’ll calm down and/or fall asleep.
4:30pm – 5:30pm
Abby naps. Mommy “relaxes” (works on some ongoing project while watching the local news while making sure there’s nothing else I wanted to get done during the day).
Abby wakes up and guess what we do? You got it! We chat about how awesome her nap was and I ask her when she’s going to start taking two longer naps instead of three or four catnaps…she responds by smiling…I forget what I had asked her in the first place.
6:00pm – 7:00pm (on a good day)
Feed Abby. Change Abby. Head into the kitchen where Abby drives around in her car and I start cooking (I love cooking so this is one of my favorite times of the day!).
6:00pm – 7:00pm (on a teething day or a day that Abby just doesn’t feel like being happy)
Feed Abby. Change Abby. Head into the kitchen where Abby refuses to be content in her car and all she wants is to be held and snuggled by Mommy. Mommy gives up on the idea of cooking something amazing and starts pacing up and down the hallway…Daddy will just have to enjoy leftovers or canned soup that night…
Daddy makes his triumphant return home and Abby lights up with smiles and giggles (what am I, a stick in the mud or something?). Mommy enjoys some hands-free food prep time and a glass of wine. Daddy throws Abby in the air, hangs her upside down by her ankles and proceeds to scare Mommy nearly to death. Mommy looks away in fear.
7:30pm – 8:45pm
Mommy and Daddy take turns eating dinner and holding Abby (she wants to be a part of the action). Family play time.
Feed Abby. Mommy kisses Abby goodnight. Daddy and Abby head into the bedroom where Daddy changes her and tucks her in (this is a brand new development…only 3 days ago we were still feeding her one last time at 11:00pm).
9:00pm – 10:30pm
Mommy and Daddy catch up, relax, watch silly TV (The Bachelorette, So You Think You Can Dance, Falling Skies, etc.), and enjoy a few bon bons… 🙂
Mommy pumps. Daddy sleeps. Abby sleeps. And last but not least, Mommy sleeps.
And that’s a “typical” day in the life of a stay at home Mom of a 6 month old. As I write this I can’t help but laugh at myself because it just took me 3 hours to write this post. Let’s just say that nothing went as planned this morning…not that that’s a surprise.
Bottom line: I can’t help but smile when I think of where I am in my life. I love being a Mom. I love watching Abby grow. I love that I’m fortunate to have the option of being a stay at home Mom. I love good days and I even love the not so good days. Gosh, and most importantly, I’m glad I became “A Mommy that stays at home with her kids” because becoming a Panda would have been pretty darn difficult!
*These times are all approximate…I have a tendency to be too detailed so I’m going with averages here 🙂