Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Setting the record straight

The life of a stay-at-home mom has been seriously under-rated in recent years. Many people, when they hear this term, get a mental image of a lazy woman in house-robe and slippers, hair undone, sitting on the couch, watching soap operas and nagging her husband. I would like to set the record straight.
I like to think of myself as a fairly well-educated, reasonable person. I went through four years of college, graduated at the top of my class, and have had my fair share of part-time jobs, from super-market cashier to seating hostess to teaching music. And let me tell you, the job of stay at home mom is more demanding, more time-consuming, more self-sacrificing, more fulfilling, than any of those other things.
My typical day looks like this:

5:30 a.m.
Get up and have some quiet time with the Lord. Read, Pray, Memorize. If I'm lucky, I may even get some tread-mill time in before the kids wake up.

6:30 a.m. Everybody is waking up, and everybody wants breakfast, right now. Fix Joel's lunch before he leaves. Nurse the baby.

Do you know how long it takes to simply 'get going' in the morning with three little ones all four and under? Everybody needs help getting breakfast, using the potty, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, combing their hair, having diapers changed, etc, etc. This process alone can take anywhere up to an hour or more.

Usually spent doing reading lessons with Cosette, helping Eli with his letters and colors, doing morning devotions and Bible memory with them, working on their geography, starting a load of laundry, making beds, hopefully taking my own shower, etc, etc.

By this point, it's been 4-5 hours since breakfast, and everybody is ready for lunch; plus, the baby needs nursed and fed again. Hopefully, this whole process is done and over with by about noon.

Usually spent reading to the kids, cleaning up a few rooms ( I usually pick two rooms a day to dust, vacuum, etc), running any errands that may need done that day, letting the kids play outside if it's warm enough.

Kids naptime. They usually sleep about 1 1/2 -2 hours. During this time, I might get a few minutes of computer time (like right now), start dinner preparations, fold more laundry, start a grocery list, work on menu planning, whatever.

Everybody is waking up. This is the 'before dinner' crunch time, when Joel will be home soon, I've got dinner started, everybody needs Mommy to read a book or get a snack, the baby needs nursed, etc, etc. Sometimes I also have a piano lesson to teach.

Dinner, Feed baby, clean up, give kids bath, do evening devotions/Bible memory, lay kids down.

MY time!!! Read a book, take a shower, catch up on dishes, check my blog, talk to my hubby, watch a movie, etc.

Also, add into there miscellaneous things such as church meetings, Kids Play Group, Small Groups, Joel's meetings and responsibilities, grocery shopping, trying to occasionally have a social life, and whatever else I'm forgetting---and you'll quickly see that being a stay at home mom is anything but relaxing! It's demanding, time-consuming, and requires commitment, organization, and hard work. (Of course, I suppose you could just skip the commitment, organization and hard work, but trust me, your life would soon fall apart.....)

I'm hoping to soon do a post on just how I've tried to add some peace and organization to my days. And, I'll be interested to hear other stay at home mom's comments on their own 'survival' skills. Stay tuned :)

1 comment:

Beverly said...

I enjoyed reading this!! You are a blessing - you'll remember my post about rising early ;-)


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