What do Stay at Home Moms DO all day?

While usually we are being quaint and adorable like a live Norman Rockwell painting, there are a few other things that get us from WHYGODWHY in the morning to Netflix-O’clock at night.

We clean things so they can be destroyed right exactly before you drop by. I don’t mean to brag, but my kids are capable of making my house a major health code violation in ten seconds flat. Sometimes I think about posting pictures of what my house looks like when it’s clean – just for reference.

Welcome to my home. Here is a picture of what my house looked like one time last week.  It could also look like this more often if I had 47 maids and manservants.

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Pre-Destruction

Due to a current cash flow problem, we have had to reduce our Downton Abbey staff size.

Please come back in 25 years to see it like this again.

Thank you.

We are always smelling things. Pillows. Clothes. Carseats. Butts. My life is just a game of: where and what is that horrible smell? Did something die? Did someone poop? Is that a piece of pizza under there??

I just need you to know that I KNOW about the smell. Okay?

There’s only one thing worse than being stinky, and that’s been unknowingly stinky.

I am not that girl.

I have been trying to solve this mystery since Tuesday.

I appreciate your patience.

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This is me, soaking in the glory that is 10 seconds of clean-house. Just let me be. I need this.

We take family photos and hang them on the wall so that we can live vicariously through those happy…and remarkably clean people.

Look at them, aren’t they precious?

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So precious. Marianne Wiest Photography.

Laundry. We are literally always doing laundry.

Step 1: Wash load.

Step 2: Forget.

Step 3: Smell Load.

Step 4: Hmm. Smells fine. Dry load.

Step 5: Smell dry clothes.

Step 6: Dammit.

Step 7: Re-wash and dry.

Step 8: Pull out dry clothes to fold “later” and throw them on your bed.

Step 9: Forget until you go to bed. Dammit.

Step 10: Throw clothes on floor.

Step 11: In the morning have children run through clothes until you can no longer tell what is clean.

Step 12: Throw pile back on bed because you cannot even.

Step 13: Repeat until you die.

We are keeping people alive.

We are just saving lives, one pair of adult scissors at a time.

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When you drop by. I don’t want to talk about it.

Delivering the children. To school, from school, to birthday parties, to dance, to sports…

I’m just a girl, sitting in a minivan…praying you don’t ask me to get out.

These Lorelei Gilmore shorty shorts did not anticipate leaving the vehicle. I brought the kids and they are dressed. I can not guarantee any other kinds of hassles or formalities such as bras, pants, or shoes.

The kitchen counter. We all have our one thing that makes us feel like we might be in control. Mine is my kitchen counter. Kids engaging in WWF wrestling? Toddler screaming while being permanently velcroed to my calf? It ACTUALLY being cloudy with a chance of meatballs?

I do not care if the heavens have opened and giant chili cheese dogs are bouncing off my front porch.

I can’t control everything – but I can control one thing: and that is my kitchen counter. If you need me, I will be wiping it down for the 102nd time today.

Feeding people. I serve up three meals a day so that people can cry, fall on the floor in convulsions, and agonize over which is better: my cooking – or- starving. Then they choose starving…because my food is just. that. bad.

Insert eternal eye roll.

And then the Lord gave us wine. Thank you, Lord.

Grocery Shopping. I am making moral decisions at the grocery store.

Do I spend my life savings on organic – and feel very good about my healthy and conscientious choices?

Or…

Do I fill my cart with hormones and pesticides and feel like a money saving boss?

Life is so complicated.

I cope by buying mostly organic and hitting up Dairy Queen on the way home for lunch…because balance.

We are not searching for unsolicited advice.

Things you can do instead of give me advice:

Clean my minivan.

Get me a Roomba that eats toys.

Pour me a coffee.

Tell me I’m pretty.

That is all.

We are not judging you. 

You know what I don’t have time for?

Judging.

I do not care if your kid eats fruit snacks or cucumbers. I don’t care if you homeschool or are a working mom. I just don’t even care.

I don’t care if you don’t want kids or are on the career track. I say more power to you – and please while you’re up there, break a few glass ceilings for my girls, would ya?

I don’t think my life is harder or that I’m some sort of martyr. I think that this is exactly what I chose to do – and sometimes it is hard, because that is the nature of things that matterJust like any great dream, it is worth the cost.

Things worth believing in are also worth fighting for. Sometimes that looks like hard work and sacrifice.

These kids – they are my dream.

And I believe in them 100%.

You do you my friend.

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28 thoughts on “What do Stay at Home Moms DO all day?

  1. LG

    I could hug you. I simply could.
    My daughter’s superpower is mess. I clean up her room, and she walks by, simply walks by and it is hit by a tornado. I have no clue how that happens.
    As I type this comment, there are clothes waiting to be folded, on the couch. It seems pointless to fold them, because in less than 24 hours, there will be another load there. What’s the point, huh? But if I let it stay, I get Kafka dreams when I sleep at night.
    Ah, the joys of being a work-from-home-mom.

  2. allison

    Dear friend,
    I needed, NEEDED a little laugh at the end of this day. Thank you. This was worth a few re-reads and then sharing with a dear friend so she could laugh too. Hugs to you ❤️

  3. barbarakay1

    Hang in there: in 25 years you will miss them. (and even those who have no kids don’t always have perfectly neat homes.)

  4. Jenny Ryan

    I don’t even know what to say, other than did you steal me somehow and my life and write this? Too perfect.

  5. stomperdad

    I had the great pleasure and luck to stay home (most of the time) a couple years ago with our then three year old. It was probably one of my favorite times as a dad. We would get mom and big brother off to school and it would be just us the rest of the day. We attending play groups and cooking classes. We went on hikes and did the grocery shopping. It was easy because it was only he and I. When his brother would arrive home from school, then it would be “game on”. In the 1/2 hour or more it would take me to cook supper they could wreck the house!

  6. Jessie

    Yes, this is exactly it in a nutshell! I love the last part about not judging because, let’s face it, I frankly do not have enough energy or brain cells to waste on such trivial matters as the children keep stealing them all!

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  8. Megan B

    I love your gray/silver rug in your living room! Where did you get it? I’m looking for something just like this for my living room. Thanks!

  9. Naynay

    ROFL. I have a full time job and full time kids – 7, 5, 3. I always wondered how other moms kept their homes clean. Power to all moms! Thank you it was a great and refreshing and encouraging read.

  10. Dee

    You keep on, sista~! You are right where God needs you to be. And trust me, even though the laundry may be endless and some days may seem to drag into oblivion – you will wake up one morning and those precious kiddos will be full-on adults and your heart will miss those mounds of laundry and long for those days that seemed to drag on into oblivion. Cherish every moment you can – no matter how chaotic because that’s what makes treasured memories for a lifetime.

    Oh – and keep on bloggin’ about it because…well…that’s what will probably save your sanity! HA!

  11. Heather

    I am so very grateful for this!! I have felt like I was such a failure because of all of these things. I thought that no one else has these problems and there has GOT to be something wrong with me that I can’t seem to get everything done perfectly and keep it that way. Thank you so much for letting me see that I am not alone and that maybe, just maybe, I am a normal mom. Thank you, also, for all of the comments from your readers because they have shown me the same thing. Especially the laundry issue….dear God! I guess I’m just trying to say I love you!!!! 😄

  12. Carina

    I died laughing as I read this. 😊 Thanks for writing what we all think. Especially the whole, have a clean house for ten seconds right before someone stops by. And I want a Roomba that eats toys…..

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