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A Day in the life of the Stay at Home Mom

September 20, 2011

Before I had children, I used to envy the cute stay at home moms in my neighborhood. I imagined wearing comfy but stylish yoga inspired outfits and sipping lattes with my girlfriends as our little ones played in the sand at the park. We would enjoy uninterrupted time in the afternoons when our babies napped and I would actually have dinner on the table and perhaps a trace of lipstick on when my hubs would arrive home. I would have time to work out and I would be so rested without having to work 8 hours a day.

Now I know the truth. The yoga clothes hid the spit up stains and smeared peanut butter handprints on my backside. The only trace of lipstick in my house is usually scrawled on a receipt in my wallet when I need to write something down and cannot find a pen.

My day started at 5:45 am. My daughter was up…therefore I was up. Both kids were raring to go at 6:30 and I had a load of laundry going by 7am. Somebody had a potty accident before breakfast and I was dishing oatmeal and waffles out by 7:15am. By 7:35 both kids were fed, I had gulped down a cup of coffee and half a bowl of oatmeal and cleaned the other half off of Leighton’s face and hands.

7:55am–Morgan is dressed but shoeless. He’s screaming about not wanting his hair brushed and Leighton is fighting to wear her fancy red shoes today. I give in, knowing that they will be destroyed at the park this afternoon. By 8:15 and we are all dressed and standing in the garage, minus one Spiderman backpack. I race into the house to retrieve it and come back with the “Back up back pack” with sends Mo into fresh fits of hysterics. It’s his T Rex back pack from preschool and his four year old self just cannot cope with carrying a “baby” backpack. Sigh. I can’t cope with being late for Pre K again and I am determined to get there in 5 minutes if it kills me.

8:35 am–both kids are dropped off and I jump back into the car and head to the gym for my one hour session with the trainer. He knows I’ve eaten potato chips and drank a few glasses of wine over the weekend and spends the next hour making me pay for it. I am a soggy sweaty mess as I dash out of the gym and race to the grocery store. I spend the next hour mowing down people with time to spare that take up too much space in the aisles. I fight the urge to sigh as I realize that I am yet again in line behind someone who is (GASP) writing a check and I know that we will burn another 4-5 minutes as they write down every bit of required information. LADY? Check CARDS. Thank you.

10:15–arrive home and put away groceries, cleaning out fridge as I go. 10:25 shower. 10:35 dress. 10:45 make lunches to take to park. Salad for me, cheese and crackers and fruit for the munchkins. Everything cut into cute little shapes to encourage their appetites at the park. 11:15  and I am back out the door and in the car cursing the fact that my dry cleaning is still sitting on the floor at home.

Pick up kids and take to the park. Unload two children, a stroller, a cooler, a picnic blanket, a bag of sand toys and juggle it all up the hill to arrange lunch in the shade. Enjoy a brief respite  while both littles eat their food before friends arrive and their attention is focused on tackling the playground. Roll eyes repeatedly and make mad dashes after littlest munchkin who does not seem to realize that she is not allowed to climb stairs or take the slide by herself. Remark on my mad biceps definition as I hoist said little munchkin and do four quick runs down the slide hoping to satiate her lust for speed and excitement. Nope. Merely encouraged her to giggle even more as she braved the throngs of “Bigger Littles” and pushed her way through to repeat the slide again.

Endure 2 meltdowns per child as our play group plans to meet our friend R this week when she arrives home with her new daughter from China. Try valiantly to hold the thread of a conversation between choking episodes (tricky tricky Cheddar Bunnies) and skinned knees and a face full of sand courtesy of a four year old (comment deleted).  No lattes were sipped and no one really ever gets to sit down. At least not anyone with kids under five.

2:00pm. Leave park with two whining littles and arrive home to the reality of breakfast dishes still sitting on table and a picnic to clean up. Quickly pass out snacks and drinks (because they never eat at the park) and start doing dishes. Empty dryer. Fill Washer. Rinse…Repeat. Take out garbage.  Sweep the floor…chase Leighton out of the guest bathroom and then try to get her down for a nap.

3:00pm. Leighton sleeps for 30 minutes while I make popcorn for Morgan. He’s still hungry and might be trying to drive me mad by eating every 15 minutes between 2 and 5pm.  I brew an iced latte in the Keurig and sit down next to Mo to watch Megamind for the 8,000th time …and Leighton starts to cry.

4:00pm. Prepare dinner. Might as well. We have a parents meeting for pee wee soccer and have to leave the house at 5. Meatless Monday for two toddlers and exhausted Mama: Crescent rolls stuffed with cheddar and mandarin oranges. I just don’t have it in me to make a vegetable and the two of them have been eating like hyenas ever since we got home.

5:00pm. Fight both children into clean clothes and wipe the remains of the play ground sand off of the two of them.

5:15pm–car is loaded and we are on our way.

5:18pm. Get pulled over for not coming to a complete stop at stop sign. Not sure whether I am more upset about the ticket or possibly being late to soccer.


5:42 pm–our soccer meeting is actually in another state and we make it with a few minutes to spare.

5:50 pm–chase Leighton back and forth across the gym for 15 minutes remarking again on my mad biceps strength as I haul her back to the one chair that I have managed to hold on to in the parent seating area.

6:15pm–load a cranky bug back into her stroller and begin the search for a green piece of paper with Morgan’s name and soccer coach information.

6:40pm: back into car for trip home

7:05pm: Dinner x 2.

7:30 pm: Jammies and tooth brushing. No bath tonight. Frankly, I just can’t face the manual labor involved in juggling two little monkeys in and out of the tub. Grab a washcloth and wipe them down. It’ll do.

7:40pm: two stories and two songs.

8:00pm bed time.

9:00 pm…zzzzzz

9:08 pm. Sigh. I still have laundry.


8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 20, 2011 4:22 am

    I hope you know I am laughing with you not at you as I too wonder what happened to all my extra time…thanks for helping make me feel normal!

    • September 20, 2011 4:30 pm

      totally, Carissa! I thought I would have MORE time…silly me 🙂

  2. September 20, 2011 2:03 pm

    HA! I have tears of laughter rolling down my face. AMEN!

  3. Laura Hodges permalink
    September 20, 2011 4:57 pm

    Jen….perspective is everything, n’est-ce pas? This is why God send small children to young parents…so you have the strength and energy to keep up with them! Hang in there girl…as always, my money is on you!

  4. Valerie permalink
    September 21, 2011 2:12 am

    Jen- Thank you for making me feel very thankful! I applaud your efforts and am glad its you and not me…cause I would certainly be in the locked ward at the hospital if I had to do what you do every day 🙂 Hope to see you soon.

  5. September 21, 2011 3:16 am

    ohhhh man, does this ever sound so familiar! haha!!! love it! sometimes at the end of a 3 day weekend i am actually looking forward to going back to work just so i have a second to think!!! 🙂

  6. Liz permalink
    September 26, 2011 3:49 pm

    A taste of my future reality in a couple of years! I think your honesty keeps us all coming back again and again. Even with such a hectic day, I bet you’re not jealous of me, stuck inside, sorting vendor bids – boring!

  7. September 30, 2011 8:30 pm

    Please don’t burst my bubble! Every morning as I’m hopping on the freeway to go to work I pass bunches of cute mom’s walking on the beach sipping coffee. I am soooooo jealous of them, say it ain’t so!! 🙂

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