Over a Sunday brunch with a group of friends, someone said to me, “I have never been able to ask this because people can take it the wrong way, but what do stay at home moms do all day?”. Being 11 months pregnant at that time, I would have no idea what keeps a parent at home and possibly busy the entire day, but I promised this friend that I when I do find out, I’ll let him know. Now I’m letting you know, Brian.
It’s. Non. Stop.
Babies just seem to up the ante when it comes to tackling laundry and the number of times that you can wipe a surface. What was simply a weekly chore of throwing clothes into a wash and letting it spin away has now become an unending stream of stain removal (Who knew that yam puree and yes, poop, can stain like that!). Add in scraping up throw up, disinfecting bottles, and the daily mopping now that we have a crawler. For a while I wondered if I had been hired at a home cleaning agency and just didn’t know it.
If you think that waiting for that bus in the rain was long, try waiting on a fussy child go to or go back to sleep. Children do not care if you have a pot that is boiling over or a bladder that is about to burst. The time to put a baby to sleep, get them to eat or dressed is like the time spent driving through rush hour traffic to and from work: Disproportional, done several times a day, and non-negotiable.
^Finally exhausted from reading night time stories with mommy and ready to go over to her own crib.
When they’re young, the whole breastfeeding and milk bottles thing means that you’re on call 24/7 every few hours. When they’re older and taking solid foods, this brings you back to #1: More cleaning. And if you’re one of those moms that insist on making all the baby food from scratch, or you have a fussy eater that likes to look at the food more than eat it, then you can count away your time there as well.
^A slow and messy dinner: My LO having corn on the cob for the first time and loving it.
It may seem like “home free” once the kid is down for a nap or sleeping for the night stretch, but the shop sure isn’t closed. There are appointments to book, paperwork to review, bills to pay, and research on your next purchases to do. For parents who choose to work from home, count in any part-time work and/or helping out the partner with his/her business and time just flies right out the window.
Oh, and don’t forget that all of this is done while still in PJ pants and with disheveled hair. Grooming and dressing like a normal member of society has been temporarily placed at the bottom of “daily things to do”.
5) Checking Mommy Blogs/Forums-
This is when you are finally able to ask your partner or family member to watch the baby for a bit while you “go to the bathroom” or “quickly take a shower”, but you bring your phone into the bathroom with you. Here you get the extra 10 minutes to sit on the ledge of the tub either to troll the web or simply be quiet for a few moments and gather back up your sanity. On more ambitious days, you use the time to intensely read up on “sleep solutions”, “baby rashes”, or “How to potty train”. If you’re lucky, you may be able escape a couple times in a day without someone suspecting what you are really up to.
To all those SAHM and parents, have I missed anything? What keeps you busy all day at home with the kid(s)?