Before I was a Stay at Home Mom, I never thought I would be… what could those moms possibly be so busy doing all day long? How hard could it really be? These were the thoughts that ran through my head as I sat in the cool, relative quiet of my hedge fund office, in my heels, tailored suits, carrying my granola bar and sippy cup free designer handbags. My biggest daily headache was commuting. Fast forward nearly 4 years, and my days are busier now than they have ever been… though when I get to the end of it, I often can’t tell you exactly what it was we did all day. I just know that I’m exhausted, haven’t showered in probably two days, the house is wrecked and the sink is full of dishes. So one day, I decided to write down some of the day’s highlights for an inside look at the real daily life of this Stay At Home Mom.
An Inside Look at the Real Daily Life of this Stay At Home Mom
For the record, that’s a stock image… and not really my reality. I haven’t carried an actual purse since the children were born – opting instead for a wristlet and card holder I can tuck in the diaper bag. I also almost never wear heels of any kind, I’m a brunette and I have two girls… but otherwise, it’s a pretty accurate depiction of my typical frenzied state.
Morning… Starts 5:30AM
I can hear Lil’ M chatting away downstairs. Usually, hubby is already getting up to shower for work, so he goes to settle her back down until I get up at a more reasonable 6:30AM. Since she climbed out of the crib last month, it’s become more of a concern, but (fingers crossed), she hasn’t done it again since!
Once hubby is out of the shower, I stumble, although these days at 7 months pregnant, it’s more like waddle, into the bathroom to brush my teeth. In my bleary-eyed haze, I somehow put Big M’s Dora toothpaste on my toothbrush and wind up brushing with pink, bubble gum flavored tooth paste. Yuck!
I get dressed now, otherwise I won’t manage to for hours, or if I do, something bad will happen – like a toddler Picasso on the living room couch. I get Big M up, followed by Lil’ M. Grab them both cups of milk and turn on a show (which they fight about before both agreeing to Bubble Guppies), so I can pull breakfast together and get myself coffee. I really want to eat one of the rice krispie treats we made yesterday for breakfast, but restrain myself so I don’t have to give one to the kids too… because as soon as I take a single bite, I know they will hear it from the next room and demand one as well.
Everyone sits down to breakfast, and I realize my coffee, now 20 minutes old, is cold and untouched. I put it in the microwave to reheat it. I’ll find it there when I go to re-heat leftovers for my lunch, cold again and still untouched.
For my own sanity, I decide to get everyone dressed and packed in the car to head to the playground. I had to chase Lil’ M around the living room and kitchen table three times before catching her to change her dirty diaper, and Big M swears she doesn’t have to go.
We arrive at the playground, are there for all of 5 minutes, when Big M announces she “HAS to go to the potty!” The portable potty saves the day again! We all walk back to the car, she pees in the back of the car on the portable potty, which Lil’ M then has to have a turn sitting on too, and after disposing of it all, head back out to play.
Other kids and moms we don’t know arrive at the playground. They have snacks – an assorted tray of cut-up cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and green pepper. Big M, who acts like I’m trying to kill her when I serve her vegetables, runs over to ask for some like she hasn’t eaten in 2 weeks, and immediately scarfs 3 strips of bell pepper. Who is this child?
We’ve been at the playground nearly 2 hours, Lil’ M’s face is beat red, and she’s drank all her water. Two hours of following the little dare devil to make sure she doesn’t walk off a 6 or 8 foot drop opening in the playscape, while fielding calls to and from my builder and the appliance store to replace the wrong microwave that was delivered for the kitchen at the new house. She’s starting to fall over she’s so tired… and so am I. I give the 5 minute warning that it’s time to go home. The whining begins. I promise lunch, the whining stops, but Lil’ M now sprints out to the parking lot and my 7 month pregnant self in flip flops manages to chase her down and snag her by her arm before she actually makes it.
We make it home, and the lunch requests start. Big M wants the same thing EVERY.DAY. Peanut butter and jelly, peach yogurt and, currently, peaches. Only today we are out of peach yogurt – the store was out of it when we went the day before. Meltdown begins. I give her the choice of vanilla or strawberry – she opts for nothing. Then as soon as I sit down to eat, decides vanilla might be okay. Lil’ M refuses to sit down in her chair to eat. She gets up and then comes and tries to take Big M’s food off her plate, despite having the exact same food on her own plate. Big M is screaming because Lil’ M is touching her chair, touching her, touching her plate. I mentally do a ten-count and remind myself nap time is right after lunch.
NAP TIME AT LAST! Do I a) clean up the morning’s wreckage? How did they make this big of a mess when we weren’t even home all morning?!?!?, b) feed myself, since I never managed to actually eat during the chaos of feeding the children, c) lay down, d) write tomorrow’s blog post. I usually opt for b) and d), and only get through b) before Big M starts knocking on her door because she needs help with a costume change or a puzzle during her Quiet Time. She’s ‘too big for naps.’ After resettling her, I go to the bathroom and realize, more than halfway through the day, that my underwear have been on inside out all day.
It’s 2:30 – Lil’ M is up… why do those 1.5-2 hours go by faster than any other time in the day? Time for snack. The girls opt for apples and goldfish, which I also refer to as ‘mommy crack.’ Before having kids, I probably hadn’t eaten goldfish in 20 years, and now I eat twice as many as they do every time the box comes out!
It’s now raining outside, and Big M is requesting ‘a project’… despite the activities I share, we don’t do something blog-worthy every day. Today, I pull out old school coloring books, stickers and markers. I get them set up, and take a quick bathroom break. I come back out less than a minute later to discover Lil’ M decorating Daddy’s single malt canisters on the bar with her princess stickers! At least it wasn’t with markers.
It happens to be a Friday – that means pizza night! I fondly remember when Friday used to mean calling it quits early at work and heading out for happy hour. Now, it just means I’m off the hook for cooking dinner!
4:30PM… the witching hour begins. I stave off the crankiness with a dance party! The girls now make requests like I’m a DJ – Meghan Trainor, some Frozen, and we wrap things up with a little Toto… it’s almost like a Friday night at the bar pre-kids. Almost. After an hour of dancing, the pizza arrives. The kids’ eat more at dinner on Friday night than any other night of the week, and there might not be enough pizza left for Dad when he finally makes it home. After pizza, it’s more dancing, jumping all over Daddy when he walks in the door, baths and bedtime rituals.
Post Bedtime… 8PM
The kids are both in bed asleep. And on Fridays, after a long week at work, the hubby usually isn’t far behind them. I settle in to folding the mountain of laundry I washed over the last 2 days and have yet to find a moment to fold. I reduce it to a less overwhelming molehill over the course of 2 hours.
10PM… the entire house is a sleep. And I’m spending late night on my big Friday night altering Big M’s tutu before her first dance recital.
My glamorous Friday night… The rest of the house is asleep, and I’m altering straps on Big M’s costume for tomorrow’s dress rehearsal #mommyreality #KidBloggersofIG A photo posted by PlaygroundParkbench (@pgpbmeghan) on
My mother-in-law often reminds me, “These days are long by the weeks, months and years are short!” I often blink and can’t believe how big Big M has gotten, or that Lil’ M is now wearing the clothes that her big sister was wearing when she was born. And as grateful as I am to tuck them in at night for a few sanity saving hours of blessed peace and quiet, I also love that I get to spend these formative years with them.
On the days where I want to rip my hair out, run out the front door screaming, or desperately wish to return to the corporate world, I often check out #mommyreality, #averageparentproblems or #theimperfectmom on Instagram and take solace in knowing that I am not alone!
What does your mommy reality look like?