Often times I get asked, “What do you do for work?”. A typical conversation starter here in the U.S. I’ve always hesitated and muttered out something to the effect of, “nothing” or “I don’t” or “I’m a stay at home mom”. And in recent years, as I’ve grown into the role and title of stay at home mom, I’ve realized two things:
- People don’t appreciate the time, effort and energy that goes into said job title. Probably mostly due to ignorance from being conditioned by t.v. shows that depict a breed of lazy, entitled women who spend their days leaving the kids with the nanny, meeting up with friends to sip mimosas, get mani’s and pedi’s and hang by the pool until it’s time to pick up take out and meet their hubby at home just in time for dinner. (I’m looking at you, Yummy Mummies!) And hey, I’m not knocking indulging in those types of days every so often.. Self care, am I right?
- Maybe I can help to educate those who are unaware of what all goes down in a typical stay at home mom’s day.
Now, as I mentioned before, this is a look inside my own personal daily agenda. I’m sure every stay at home mom’s to do list looks different, more or less intense, but the core elements are still there!
- 6:30- Alarm goes off, drink a cup of water, make the coffee, feed the cat, feed the dog, feed and water the chickens, water the garden and flower beds, pick any produce that is ready to come off and come inside to sip some coffee or tea while checking emails and such.
- 7:30- Make breakfast, eat, do dishes, get dressed and ready for the day, make the bed, start a load of laundry (if it’s on a laundry day).
- 8:30- Start our school day: Devotionals, Journaling, Nature Study, Math, Language.
- 12:00- Prepare and eat a leisurely lunch
- 1:00- Back to school: History, Science and other electives (Sometimes we leave around this hour for community classes or music lessons, the library and grocery pick up depending on the day)
- 2:30- Free time.. when I usually catch up on a book, podcast, YouTube video or even take a nap! (Holla!) Though with my latest blog endeavors.. this hour will likely dissolve.
- 3:30- Time for indoor chores: Monday is a rotation of monthly chores ie: changing filters, cleaning out the car etc… Tuesday is laundry and wipe down the kitchen. Wednesday is open to whatever needs to be done. Thursday is scrub bathrooms, clean out the fridge and plan school for the next week. Fridays is more laundry, dust, vacuum, meal plan and order groceries.
- 4:30- Start prepping and cooking dinner, feed the pets (again)
- 5:30(ish)- Eat dinner, do dishes (again) and family time
- 7:00- Family errands out in town, finish up chores or exercise
- 8:30- Close up the chickens for the night and shower
- 9:00- Tuck Raygan in for the night and spend the rest of the evening with Robert… usually by turning on a movie, a.k.a. falling asleep on the couch around 10:00!
Each day varies slightly, depending on the season and such. But as you can see, the responsibilities of a stay at home mom is enough to exhaust even the most energetic momma. If you are a stay at home mom and completing a schedule close to mine and still have abounding energy left over, teach me your ways! It’s probably something to do with drinking more water, eating more kale and exercising. *insert eye roll. Not trying to mock anyone, but dang if I don’t already drink kale infused water while working out and I’m still tired y’all! I think it just comes with the territory.
Also, nobody speaks of the mental weight that mothers hold on a daily basis. Trying to make sure all of the task boxes get checked, all of the kids get to where they need to go on time, chores get done, meals get made, animals don’t die, bills get paid, car stays maintained… oh and don’t forget to take care of yourself because you can’t pour from an empty cup and try to keep a smile on your face in the process. A weight that can only be lifted by supportive family members, prayer and a righteous planner! I’m so grateful for a husband who is understanding of the load that is involved with being a stay at home mom. He takes care of his own lunches, helps with chores when he’s available and takes all of his shirts to dry cleaning.. Praise the Lord! (Ironing was never in my contract!) But I know there are many women who are struggling to hold it all together and just can’t muster up the courage to ask for help. I know, because I’m a recovering perfectionistic control freak. I’m still working on admitting when I’m feeling overwhelmed. I’m still trying my hardest to figure out when I can squeeze in that few extra minutes of “me time”. I’m still trying to convince myself that it’s ok to spend the money on a massage (which is a bit easier of a pill to swallow than the others).
So, next time you ask someone, “what do you do for work?” and they answer with being a stay at home mom, show them some love! Give them a hug and encourage them that they are doing an invaluable job. There are no other job titles that expect an employee to uphold multiple positions, give no insurance or 401k, don’t offer vacations or even monetary pay for that matter! And if you are a stay at home mom, you go momma! I’m proud of you! I see you hustling! Rocking that mini van and veggie straws like it was your destiny. Good for you! Don’t let anyone rob you of the joy that you find in taking the best care of your family and home. Hold your head up and respond with dignity next time someone asks you, “what do you do?”. Say something along the lines of, “you can’t handle the truth!” or “if I told you, I’d have to kill you!” or whatever your heart desires. But by no means, discredit what you do because you don’t collect a paycheck. (This bit was probably more for me than it was for you)
To get to feed my family nutritious meals, share irreplaceable time with them and to tuck them into fresh, clean sheets in the evening is so fulfilling… In ways that money could never pay. The reward of noticing how much my kiddo has grown and matured as a result of the environment I’ve tailored for her is precious. I’m so thankful for this opportunity, and I hope you are too!
And lastly, but not leastly (is that a thing?)… let me not fail to mention the parents who are rocking their out of home careers and still providing a safe and loving environment for their families to enjoy. This post was in no way intended to condemn you for not being a stay at home parent. It was simply meant to bring light to those who are and to help the public realize it’s not as easy as it sounds… So quit the generalizing! You keep doing you, Boo! I’m gonna live my best life and go make my famished family some dinner… it’s 5:00 somewhere!