A House of Order
I don’t know about any other moms out there, but sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed with my “daily duties.” For those who think that stay-at-home moms sit around the house all day eating bon bons and watching soap operas, let me just say that you are far off from what actually happens during the day for us moms.
In our house, my husband wakes up at about 5:45 a.m. to get ready for work. I get up at about 6:15 a.m. and head to the kitchen. I proceed to make him a breakfast shake and his lunch. Yes, he takes a lunch – saves a lot of money on the expense of eating out. I make him a sandwich, which entails defrosting the lunch meat (if it’s frozen), preparing his bread with mayo and mustard, drying off the defrosted meat, adding the meat, adding the cheese, and wrapping the sandwich in saran wrap. The whole process of making his lunch takes about 5 minutes and the shake takes another 5 minutes, adding a couple of minutes if his shake container has been soaking with dish soap and water and I have to wash it.
After this, sometimes I get to go back to sleep – that is if the 4 month old isn’t awake and if my 4 year old and 2 year old are still asleep. Most often however, a majority of the children are awake, so I don’t get to go back to sleep. If the 4 month old is awake, I change his diaper and sometimes his clothes (depending if he’s had a blow-out or spit up all over the place). Then he usually wants to nurse (this takes about 10 to 15 minutes).
If the kids are awake, I proceed to check my email and sometimes add to my blog (like I’m doing right now).
Once the kids are awake, I make them their ovaltine (chocolate milk) and make them bowls of cereal (sometimes I make cream of wheat or oatmeal, but most often it’s either Life cereal or Honey Nut Cheerios).
I get in the shower (sometimes with 2 of the kids) and proceed to clean not only myself but my kids. Sometimes I even try to shave my legs (luckily we have a long tub so we have plenty of room). Then it’s time to get out. I dry myself off, let out the water, and help the kids out of the shower. I dry them off. This process can take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. I try to get at least half way dressed and put a diaper on the 2 year old so he doesn’t have an accident on the carpet.
Then I take the kids in the room and have them pick out the shirt they want to wear and dig out clean underwear, socks, and jeans or shorts (depending on the weather). Then I help them get dressed if they need help.
I then go and get myself dressed. By the time I get dressed, it’s time to nurse my 4 month old again. I nurse him, change his diaper, and sometimes even need to change the 2 year old’s diaper.
Then it’s time to brush our teeth. I brush my teeth while the boys brush their teeth. Once I’m done, I then proceed to finish brushing their teeth and rinse all toothbrushes and put them away. The boys then go play and I wash my face, put mousse and gel in my hair, and go on to do my makeup. We all put our shoes and get ready to leave the house.
During the school year, Brian goes to preschool. You would think it might only take 5 minutes to load the kids into the car and leave, but it actually takes anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes, if we’re running on schedule and there aren’t any unexpected dirty diapers or bags aren’t forgotten (aka backpacks, purses, or diaper bags). During the time Brian is at preschool, I try to run my errands with the other 2 kids.
During our errands, I nurse my 4 month old again, change his diaper, and check to see if the 2 year old needs a diaper as well. After our errands, we pick the 4 year old up from preschool.
When we get home, it’s time for lunch. I either make hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, or sandwiches. After lunch, I clean the dishes (from both lunch, breakfast, and sometimes the night before). Usually, right about the time I sit down to start eating my lunch, my 4 month old wants to nurse again. I change his diaper, nurse him, and put him down for a nap.
From the time after lunch up until about 4:00 p.m. the day sometimes becomes a blur – it can include playing a game with the kids, helping the kids clean up their room, cleaning the bathroom, cleaning the front room, washing clothes, drying clothes, attempting to fold and then put away clothes, emptying the trash, watering the garden, harvesting the garden, folding and putting away more clothes, checking my email, adding to my blog if anything comes to me, dusting, and trying to figure out what to have for dinner. Don’t forget I’ve changed some diapers for both my 2 year old and 4 month old, as well as nursed my 4 month old a couple of times during this period of the day.
I try to make sure the house is somewhat in order before my husband gets home, which may include vacuuming, cleaning up the “piles,” and having dinner ready for us to all eat together. After dinner, I put away any leftovers and proceed to do the dishes. If everyone has eaten their food, we have some ice cream for dessert. I then wash those dishes. It’s time to nurse again and change another diaper.
I then help the boys pick out their pajamas and help them put them on, putting a fresh diaper on the 2 year old. I put my pajamas on. Then we have our church stories and say our family prayers, along with singing our family song afterwards. I then tuck the boys into their beds, reassure them that there are no aliens or monsters in their room and turn their light off (leaving the bathroom light on until they are asleep).
Once the boys are in bed, I change the 4 month old’s diaper and nurse him, putting him to bed after nursing – sometimes this process can be as quick as 10 or 15 minutes, but other times it may take as long as 45 minutes.
I then wash my face and brush my teeth and take my medicine. Then I get to finally relax, whether it is reading a book, doing a word search, or watching a tv show on dvd.
So, like I said earlier, I definitely do not sit around the house eating bon bons and watching soap operas all day long. Life is very busy with 3 kids and a husband to take care of.