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A Stay at Home Mom gets Everything & Nothing Done

August 11, 2018
A Stay at Home Mom gets Everything & Nothing Done

I’m a Stay at Home Mom and I love it. And I mean love it.

I didn’t expect to.

I had no clue I’d love being home all day with my little ones. But I really, really do.

Motherhood as a whole is so many things. It’s beautiful and impossible and perfect and overwhelming and hilarious and never-ending. It’s glorious and insane all at once. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted and yet way more than you can handle.

Honestly, Motherhood is a way of life.
Stay at Home Mom with her children

Best. Job. Ever.

And being a Stay at Home Mom? I think it’s the greatest job in the whole world. Now that I know what it’s like to be present for all the daily moments with my children, I couldn’t not be there for them. I would sell everything I own to keep this job. It’s not for everyone. And that’s okay. It’s more than okay. But, it’s totally for me.

Yes, your days can sometime feel like you’re in Groundhog Day. They can feel monotonous. Sometimes you feel like you’re on a hamster wheel you can’t seem to get off of but then when you finally you do get off it, you miss it. It’s a special and unique thing to be a Stay at Home Mom. There’s much more to it than meets the eye. And ear.

Because at the end of the day—

It looks like healthy and happy kids and a still-standing house.

It sounds like “It was good, how was yours?” when your spouse asks how your day was.

But oh, there’s so much more.

A fellow Mama recently asked me, “Do you work inside or outside of the home?” BOOM. That Mama gets it. She didn’t ask me if I stayed at home. She asked me if I worked at home. I hugged her. And I almost kissed her.

I’ll yell it from the rooftops and I bet every Mother out there will yell back in agreement with me—raising & caring for children is a full-time job. And this isn’t a debate about Stay at Home Moms or Career Moms (both are rockstars). This is about the sheer amount of love, energy, work and patience it takes to raise children. The fact is, whether you’re staying at home and taking care of your children or you’re going to work and they’re in school or daycare, someone is taking care of them. All day long. So, I’ll say it again—it’s a full-time job.

With overtime.

Hours. Not pay.

And despite the insane amount of energy & effort it takes to keep these little human beings happy, healthy, thriving & growing, a funny thing happens when someone asks us this one simple question:

“What’d you do today?”

Huh.

That’s like the most loaded question ever.

You don’t know what to say.

But why? Why don’t you?

Why is it hard for a Stay at Home Mom to answer that?

I’ll tell you why.

When you’re a Stay at Home Mom, there is a strange dichotomy of feeling like you have gotten nothing done while simultaneously feeling like you are doing everything.Click To Tweet

And you are right. On both accounts. Because while you are checking very few things off your “to do” list, you’re also keeping actual human beings alive and all the wheels in motion for whatever they need to be in motion for. So the truth is, you’re getting everything done while somehow also getting nothing done. And that’s an odd thing to come to terms with.

“What’d you do today?”

You want to say “Everything.” You want to recount every moment & detail of work you did the entire day just to prove (mostly to yourself) how much you accomplished, but you’re way too exhausted to do that (from all that hard work, duh). You want to share every magically sweet moment and milestone, no matter how big or tiny, but there were a million and you don’t even know where to begin. And you want to say you basically achieved the impossible in taking care of all the people and all the things.

Or you want to say “Nothing.” Because all you managed to do that day was reheat your coffee 11 times and hold your fussy baby, maybe it feels like you did nothing. Maybe because you let the kids watch movies all day so you could pay some bills and clean the house you feel like you weren’t on your Mom A game that day. Maybe because you didn’t do anything measurable it feels like you didn’t do anything important.

C'MON MAMA's baby passed out on box like the way a Stay at Home Mom feels

This is basically me at the end of every day.

So 99% of the time a Stay at Home Mom’s answer to “What’d you do today?” sounds something like this:

“I took care of some things.”

Or my go-to: “I TCB’d.” [Took Care of Business]

And God forbid, sometimes you might even answer: “Not much.”

BUT THAT IS A LIE.

Because that’s not the full story. That’s not even like the Epilogue of the story. That’s more like one sentence in a 37,682 page book.

“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Well guess what?

You can’t judge a Stay at Home Mom's day by it’s cover either. Because what it looks like and what it sounds like don’t give even close to the full story. And honestly, unless you’re living it, even hearing all the details of the day is still just the Cliff Notes version.Click To Tweet
It looks like children who are okay and a home that is miraculously in one piece.
It sounds like “I ran some errands & got some things done I’ve been trying to do.”

But here’s what a Stay at Home Mom’s day—and life—really is:

It’s waking up as your SuperMom alter ego and turning that fierce & loving Mama spirit all the way up when you hear that first peep from your child. No matter the time.

It’s protecting little humans that realistically spend a good portion of every day actively testing the boundaries of life and death and doing 117 things an hour that are guaranteed to end in a booboo.

And then it’s kissing and “fixing” those booboos that you saw coming 20 miles away.

It’s keeping little (and big) tummies fed and full and happy.

It’s trying your damndest to sort out fads from real nutrition and buy the healthiest stuff possible for your kids. Feeding them and feeding you probably looks totally different. I’ll snack on Combos from the gas station any day of the week, but you better believe my kids are eating Annie’s snacks because I feel like those are healthier and if you tell me they aren’t I’m going to cry right here right now because I’ve been buying that stuff for almost 4 years.

It’s being “on call” all day, every day, for the rest of your life. Just like physicians get calls around the clock from their patients when they’re on call, the same goes for Mamas. Our children can (and will) call us anytime of day or night and we will answer and be there for them.

It’s laundry.

If laundry was a song it’d be a broken record. Click To Tweet

Maybe this is why I never finish the laundry?

And the irony of this never-ending pile of laundry is that your own clothes make up the smallest portion of it. Your spouse & kids are the real culprits. Probably because you wear the same thing most days. (Just me? Cool.)

It’s also knowing which clothes need to be hung & which ones can go straight in the dryer & which ones have stains you’re working on. I bet no one else in your house knows how to sort it correctly. I’m not Type A, you are. (Actually I’m not Type A anymore—that is one thing Motherhood has definitely changed about me—but that is for another post.)

It’s tickle fights and sword fights and playing chase and hide-and-seek and building towers and acting out stories and drawing masterpieces. It’s whatever those tiny minds and bodies need.

It’s keeping up with everything in the history of the world. Dates for kid stuff, dates for adult stuff, dates for family stuff, and dates for stuff that has nothing to do with you but everybody still gives to you to keep up with. Moms are like universal human calendars that update constantly and sync to everyone else.

It’s getting to be there for all the moments. When someone says, “I wish I was there for that” you smile because you were there for it. And it felt good.

It’s being a referee in the background of every single activity every single day if you have more than one child.

It’s keeping tabs on what food you’re out of, what food you’re almost out of, and what food is about to go bad so you need to eat it first.

It’s braving the grocery store. And then putting all those groceries away. And doing the stuff Moms know to do, like washing the fruit.

It’s listening—to the chaos and the silence. Because seasoned Mamas know that silence is not always golden and sometimes chaos is the sweetest sound.

It’s changing out the coffee pot carbon filters that no one else even knows exist. (I love coffee, obvi.)

It’s making your children feel like they are the most important and special thing in the world as often as possible. Because they are, no question, but making them feel that way is the important part.

It’s remembering the dog’s birthday.

It’s some of your biggest fails and biggest successes in succession day after day…after day.
It’s answering questions from the mind of an inquisitive child every other second. The most popular question is 'Why?' followed closely by 'But why?'Click To Tweet
Stay at Home Mom's kids sneaking snacks under the table

Busted. Sneaking snacks before dinner.

It’s not losing your patience when you can’t seem to put the “Why” question fire out.

It’s sensing when Grandma would benefit from a loved up FaceTime call with the kids.

It’s balancing outdoor fresh air time and indoor cozy time.

It’s weighing the guilt and sanity that comes with too much screentime.

It’s knowing what time you need to do every single thing to still make it home for nap and bed time.

It’s getting to be the recipient of the best love in the world because you’re the one with them. This is my favorite part of being a Stay at Home Mom.

It’s noticing your child’s nails are too long and sharp and trimming them.

And it’s knowing when you need to Q-tip those tiny ears of theirs. (I know some people don’t believe in Q-tips because wax can be protective, but I am not one of those people. RIP wax.)

It’s knowing when the sheets need to be changed. Not just on your own bed, but on the kids’ beds.

It’s appreciating the perfect imperfectness of it all.

And it’s being okay with messy and real—in your life and in your home. And embracing it.

It’s soothing little souls throughout the day when this great big world is just a bit too much for them.

It’s paying attention to which toys your children still play with and which ones they haven’t touched in months.

Then it’s stealthily getting those toys out of the house and to Goodwill without your kids noticing because it’s 100% guaranteed that if they see that toy in your hand they will desperately have to keep it even though it’s been sitting in front of them every day for ages & they haven’t touched it once.

Stay at Home Mom snuggling sick child

There’s only one good thing that ever comes out of a sick child: The Snuggles.

It’s understanding when your babies need discipline and when they need a little extra love.

It’s loading & unloading the dishwasher continuously. Forever and ever. The End.

It’s knowing the bottle and sippy cup parts need to dry fully before putting them back together.

It’s somehow magically understanding that adorable toddler talk when it seems no one else in the world can.

It’s noticing when they’ve outgrown something and mentally noting when they’ve almost outgrown something.

It’s making your child feel like they have your complete, undivided attention when your mind is in a million different directions. You feel that scattered mind of yours but you try your hardest to make sure they don’t.

It’s never truly having a day or night off. Because let’s be honest, even if you are away from your children, they’re always still on your mind. Someone should warn us that once you become a parent you have your own personal cloud flurry of worry (cue Olaf) for your precious babies at all times.

It’s not getting to take a sick day when you’re, well, sick…and it’s taking care of everyone else on theirs.

It’s juggling the absolute sweetest moments of your life with some of the toughest ones.

It’s being a teacher who is expected to be an expert in every subject under the sun from Language to Math to History to Humanity to Etiquette to PE to Reading to Art to Home Ec.

Stay at Home Mom's kids learning at home

School is in session.

And let’s not forget you’re also the cafeteria lady.

Oh. And the cook, too.

It’s a cycle of laughs and hugs and tantrums and kisses and pouts and holding your ground and raising the white flag that repeats all day long.

It’s the love. Oh, it’s the love.

Stay at Home Mom in Super Mom costume

Sometimes I feel like Super Mom. Sometimes I don’t.

Being a Stay at Home Mom is literally being everything and everyone to everything and everyone.

It’s being all-knowing. And all-doing. It’s basically being a Superhero.

But let’s be real—that’s a lot to tell someone in response to a 4 word question. So you don’t. But maybe sometimes it’s okay if you do. Maybe sometimes it’s okay to talk about all the Stay at Home Mom badassery you’re doing.

I wouldn’t trade my Mama super powers or Stay at Home Mom status for anything in the world…even though it can be completely exhausting.

But you know what?

I’m sure even Wonder Woman would be beat after a day as a Stay at Home Mom.
And I know Superman would.

 


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For a Stay at Home Mom, there's a strange dichotomy of feeling like you have gotten nothing done while simultaneously feeling like you are doing EVERYTHING. And you're right. You can’t judge a Stay at Home Mom's day by it’s cover. Because what it looks like and what it sounds like don’t give even close to the full story. And honestly, unless you’re living it, even hearing all the details of the day is still just the Cliff Notes version.
#stayathomemom #sahm #motherhood
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16 comments

Sonya Johnson November 27, 2018 - 11:24 am

You have written an amazing piece of truth!! I’m on the “other side” of mama-ing as my youngest is 16 yo and yes I’m reading an article about mothering littles… I think it’s good for me to remember what it was like when I was in the trenches so I can help encourage other young mamas. We ALL need to stick together to help each other at every stage of mothering. I also homeschooled my kids and I have never had one regret. I love that I was there for every mile stone even if it means we drive older cars and we don’t do expensive vacations, etc.
All this to say… You’re doing a great job of encouraging mamas and I hope you continue to have such a positive outlook on reaching others! It’s a hard job but the rewards are awesome on the other side!!! ☺ Do your best and no regrets!

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C'MON MAMA November 27, 2018 - 3:29 pm

Sonya, you just made my whole day, Mama. Thank you for the sweetest message. It’s obvious you are a wonderful mother just from reading your message. You’re so right about sticking together & helping each other through all the stages. We’re all in this thing called Motherhood together. And like you, I’d sacrifice everything to be able to keep being there for all the little moments & mile stones. I love those MOMents. Thank you for the love, Mama.

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Colleen November 14, 2018 - 9:31 pm

I get to do both: work part of the year and be SAHM part of the year. Regardless of what role I’m in, I think moms tend to do all of this, all the time.

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C'MON MAMA November 16, 2018 - 7:52 am

I think you are so right that it’s a universal Mama thing to possess all the powers & patient that keeps everything & everyone going all the time. Mamas run the world, right?

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A Frazzled Mom September 16, 2018 - 8:05 pm

This! A thousand times this! Thank you, I needed this today.

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C'MON MAMA September 17, 2018 - 8:08 am

Hang in there, Mama! I’m frazzled on the daily, too. I’d be willing to bet we all are. The best thing to know is that we’re all in this beautiful crazy thing called Motherhood together. And sometimes on the days we feel like we’re failing the most, we’re actually winning in the biggest way ever–with safe & loved little ones. Safe & loved because of US.

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Leah August 26, 2018 - 10:58 pm

Perfectly written. It’s crazy how we can all be so different yet, what you wrote probably applies to every stay at home mom out there! I know you wrote my daily life and I’m amazed at how accurate you were, it’s like I have a stalker or something.
Love my babies and love staying with them, mostly (my 3 year old makes me say “mostly”)
Thank you for your time to write this to give me strength that I’m doing it right, or at least like you!

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C'MON MAMA August 31, 2018 - 4:42 pm

It makes ME feel so good to know that other Mamas feel this same way! And that, like you said, even as different as we may be, our days look so alike. One of the things I’m most grateful for is that we’re all in this thing called Mamahood together! pS – I have a 3 year old, too. I totally get the “mostly!” 😛

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Mama Jane aka Mom, Mama, Momma, Mommy, Jammy, Jamby August 17, 2018 - 8:35 am

WoW Oh WoW. An amazing write up! Amazing. Amazing writer. Amazing MAMA. Amazing Badassery. Amazing GirlPower. I’m such a Proud Mama! 💓

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C'MON MAMA August 22, 2018 - 8:24 am

Thank you, Mama! I think we can all agree that Mamas run the world. Right? Right!

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Sammantha rollins August 16, 2018 - 6:16 pm

Exactly how I feel! I’m a new mommy so some of the things you talk about I have yet to come across but I can’t wait for them!

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C'MON MAMA August 17, 2018 - 7:29 am

Congratulations, Mama! Welcome to the best hood in the whole world – Mamahood! The time we get with our kids = some of the most magical moments out there, no doubt about that.

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Annise August 16, 2018 - 10:58 am

I read somewhere that 3 children = 2 FULL TIME JOBS

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C'MON MAMA August 17, 2018 - 7:22 am

I believe it! Omg, I believeeeee it!

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C. Reynolds August 16, 2018 - 9:42 am

THIS. This is everything.

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C'MON MAMA August 17, 2018 - 7:24 am

Thank you, Mama! It feels sooo good (& validating) to know all my fellow Mamas feel the same!

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