Being a stay-at-home Mom isn’t as glamorous as some tv shows would have you believe.
We don’t have a staff of housekeepers, assistants, personal trainers, chefs, and 5 nannies to help us out. It all falls on us. We are everything to everyone, but we love every crazy busy minute of it and wouldn’t have it any other way!
Between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m. I am roused awake by my daughter to either some sort of song (generally the Star Spangled Banner or Oh Canada ... yeah ... we’re hockey fans). Then when I don’t get out of bed the second she starts singing I get chanting “Mama, I’m awake. Mama, I’m awake. Mama, I’m awake” until I drag myself half alive into her room and promptly lay down in her bed until my son wakes up, usually within a few minutes.
I then yell at my husband to get our son and I scrape myself out of Evie’s bed to get the kids their milk and Mommy and Daddy coffee. Then we all sit in the living room for about 15 minutes until we really wake up (well, that’s not true. Evie wakes up like a tasmanian devil, my husband and I are more like molasses in sub-zero temperatures). My husband then gets ready for work while I play with the kids until breakfast time.
This is when the battles begin. I ask her what she wants for breakfast, confirm that’s REALLY what she wants, make it, and promptly get yelled at for not making what she wants. (Does someone have my IV drip of coffee? PLEASE?)
After breakfast Evie watches a show or two while Milo naps for about an hour. I get Evie ready for the day, which is where the next battle begins. If it’s 100 degrees out she wants to wear fleece pants. If it’s 30 degrees out she wants to wear shorts.
Brushing teeth and hair are probably the most epic battles of the day so I don’t even bother brushing her hair anymore (she has really curly hair anyway ... ). When Milo gets up, I get him ready, have enough time to make another cup of coffee and run out the door to whatever activity we have going on that morning. Not until I pull out of the driveway do I notice that I’m not only still in my black yoga pants and t-shirt I threw on when I woke up, but that they are covered in smushed fruit and yogurt. Oh well.
We usually do something outdoors or with friends in the morning. This involves me chasing my son all over creation while trying to keep Evie from killing herself by doing something far too dangerous, or stealing someone’s toy and not giving it back, or putting her brother in a headlock. But I am ever thankful for all my Mommy friends. They are the reason I have any sanity left. They make my days go so much more smoothly and when I leave a playdate, albeit exhausted, I’m refreshed from awesome conversation and the knowledge that I am not alone!
Nap time is my favorite part of the day. Generally my kids fall asleep on the way home and I’m able to transfer them to bed. On the rare occasion, my daughter feels naps are beneath her and she decides she’s not into it. So we try and have quiet time, which is generally pretty successful. She really loves her bed so I am SUPER lucky in that respect. On days that doesn’t work, well, let’s just say Mommy has to get creative.
After nap time, which usually lasts until 3, I usually play with the kids until Daddy gets home around 5. We play inside or outside or sometimes I just lie on the floor and let them crawl on me because I don’t have the energy to do anything else.
Daddy gets home and he plays with the kids while I either go to the gym or make dinner. I am incredibly lucky to have the most AMAZING husband and Father to my children. more than anything.
After dinner, it’s either bath time or playtime until Milo goes to bed at 7:30. Bathtime with two kids has become quite the event and a two-person job. My son only wants to be in the bath for like a minute and my daughter wants to spend all of eternity in there. So usually my husband quickly bathes our son and then I run in there and finish Evie. This is usually where the last battle of the day occurs; the hair brushing.
I try being nice, I try being mean, I try everything and nothing works so I end up just combing it while she’s screaming and batting my hands away. Awesome. Then we put on jammos and Evie gets a show to wind down. Before bed we read three books and climb in bed. Bedtime is fairly easy in our house but it wasn’t always that way and we worked really hard to get it that way. happened in our house with both kids. It wasn’t pretty but it was necessary.
And then after the kids go to bed, my husband and I park ourselves on the couch and watch some tube and before bed. It’s the recharge we need and so important to our relationship (even though sometimes I make him watch terrible movies or the Golden Girls and he whines the whole time ... but he always lets me because he’s the best!). And then by 11:00 p.m. I’m usually comatose and drooling on some horrible tabloid magazine in bed. Then I wake up and do it all over again!
My day gets off to a start at about 4:00 a.m. when my 1 year old starts getting annoyed at his wet diaper and empty belly. He doesn’t fully wake up at this point though, so I’ve learned that I can change his diaper and give him his milk and then he happily goes back to bed for another few hours.
At 4:30 a.m. the alarm goes off reminding me to wake my hubby for work. (He is capable of sleeping through just about anything, so I’m the alarm keeper and waker-upper.) Then at 4:45 I make sure he is actually awake and I try to go back to sleep before the kids wake up for the day.
Usually around 7:00 a.m. Joey wakes up ready to play. He almost always wakes up happy and plays in his crib a little bit while I drag myself out of bed. Then I change and dress him and get his milk. He and I snuggle on the couch for a bit while he has his milk and then he’s off to play. He is very independent lately and loves to roam the house on his own.
So, I close all the bedroom and bathroom doors and put baby gates in the entryway to the kitchen and do a sweep to make sure that anything breakable isn’t in reach and everything is safe for him. I also put the dog out for a little bit and make sure he has food and water.
Claire wakes up around 9:00 a.m. (sometimes happy, sometimes not so happy) and I take her potty, brush her teeth, dress her, and get her some milk. She likes to have snuggles on the couch while she has her milk too. Then she goes off to play with Joey and I get some laundry started.
After that we I fix us all some breakfast and we get ready for the day. I make sure that is all packed with milk and snacks, take Claire potty one more time, change Joey one more time, put on everyone’s shoes, and then we’re off to the car.
Most days we have a play date planned this time of day. On the days when we don’t I get caught up on my errands like grocery shopping. The days when we have play dates are great because I get to see my friends and my kids get to see theirs. Even if I’m exhausted from chasing my kids in two different directions, making sure Claire doesn’t forget that she needs to stop to go potty, and Joey doesn’t eat sand or anything else he’s not supposed to, these days go much faster and we all feel better afterwards.
I dread errand running days because Joey doesn’t like to be in and out of the car so the more stops we have to make, the crankier he gets. Claire is pretty good about it all, but she has her limits too. She lets me know when she’s had enough by telling me, “All done choppin Mama. I want to go home now.” Luckily this happens when I’m pretty much done anyway and she usually doesn’t fuss too much about it.
We go home and have lunch around noon and then Joey’s ready for his nap at about 1:00pm. After he goes down for his nap, it’s Mommy and Claire time. I like to make sure each kid gets some sort of one-on-one time with Mommy during the day. We play together, read books, color, and do puzzles. She also likes to “help” me do the laundry and tidy up the house. She’s very good at helping me to pick up and put away the toys and books that at this point are strewn pretty much all over our house. Then she has a snack and gets to watch a show while Mommy sneaks off for a quick shower.
My hubby usually gets home around 3:30 p.m., which is also about the time Joey wakes up from his nap. He notices how tired I am so he changes Joey and gets him something to eat while I get a quick little break. Then we all hang out together before it’s time to start dinner.
I start dinner around 5:00 p.m. and while I’m cooking, my hubby and the kids spend some time together playing, reading books, and having tickle fights. When dinner is ready we all eat together. Afterwards I clean up the dining room and kitchen and then I join my hubby on the couch for a little tv time.
At about 8:30 p.m. it’s bath time. We tried bathing them together and, while it was super cute and both kids loved it, it was way too difficult and nerve wrecking. So now, my hubby bathes one and I bathe the other. Then we get them into their jammies and have some more milk and snuggles on the couch before bed. They both go to bed at about 9:00. Joey starts to fall asleep while he finishes his milk, so I put him to bed and then come back to get Claire. I take her potty and brush her teeth then Mommy and Papa go tuck her into bed. This usually involves lots of snuggles and kisses (as well as a ritual she has come to insist on where in I make a funny voice for her “Po-bear” and then she giggles) and we all say goodnight.
I put the in her doorway so that we don’t have a tired confused toddler roaming the house in the middle of the night (yes, it has happened before and scared all of us). Then the hubs and I head off to bed to watch the news together and talk about our plans for the next day.
At about 10:00 p.m. I get up and tidy up the house one last time, get caught up on Campbell Patch and Facebook while I watch a couple of my dumb TV shows. I put the dog out one last time and once again make sure he has enough food and clean water. I make my husband’s lunch for the next day and then I head off to bed at about 11:00 p.m.
Of course, there are the other countless diaper changes, trips to the potty, snacks, and other activities that go on during our day. But these are all kind of a blur by the end of the day. If I’m lucky, I’ll get a few hours of sleep before the whole cycle repeats again tomorrow!
We both know how lucky we are to be able to stay at home with our kids. It can be very difficult to raise a family on one income, especially during these tough economic times. We really want to thank our husbands for working so hard to provide for their families and give us the amazing gift of being able to be stay-at-home Moms!
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