Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Day in the Life | being a stay at home mom

… in the past 6 months there have been a string of comments made, both about myself and about stay at home mom’s in general… not so nice comments, I’ll add.

First of all, I am not lazy, I am not just a slob, I am not selfish or inconsiderate, I don’t watch TV at my own convenience and  I never sleep in.

I really need to get this off my chest, it’s been eating at me for a while now, even beyond the 6 or so months. I have always gotten an “off” response when people hear I stay at home… so… I think it’s time to clear the air.

And Moms (Keehner and Riddell) this is not in any way directed at you, both of you have been supportive and kind of John and I and our decision to be a 1 income household.

My day doesn’t start when I decide. Most of the time I am greeted by the sound of escape artist Rooster running across the kitchen floor and blasting sleeping Layla’s door open. She cries, he runs, I run after him, it’s 6:40 am… I’ve tried the locks, gates, lack of stepping stool objects, and still he scales the door with those monkey feet and creeps downstairs. My 3 year old, he is a ninja.
So, then, after the diapers have been changed and the potty rules laid down, Lydia strolls down the stairs. “Hi Momma” she says, “Hi Baby”. I love that she is 5, the perfect little angel, most of the time. At this point it’s about 7:30 and Layla is clinging to my hip, to avoid a fight I turn on some PBS kids and Layla and I retreat for a 15 minute “flickr break” to check the comments and see what others uploaded in the night, we swing by “face book” and I skillfully check my pages, and block her attempts to restart the computer. My 1 year old is an octopus.
Pee Break, Chaos ensues in the living room.
I return to the living room to sing a few songs along with cartoons, do a silly butt-shakin dance and kiss a few boo-boos. I like this part a lot, we all giggle and everyone is happy. My day would be a breeze if it went like this all the time.
8:30, John’s Home, I sneak through the gate, leaving the kids happy since they are unaware of my escape. I kiss my hubby and ask how his day was… grabbing the stray toys from the path, “Can I get ya something” I ask… “A Pop” and I get hubby a pop and talk with him while I start breakfast. Scrambled eggs again ;)
At this point Rooster realizes I’m not there, he is hanging from the gate, “Momma, Momma, I need to be supposed to be in there!” Layla hears him… now she knows… “Uh Uh Uh” she is grunting at the gate too… and Lydia, of course puts her 2 cents in “Mother, I’m hungry!”
I spend the next few hours, feeding them, scolding them and quieting them. Daddy needs to get some rest and it seems that everyday they forget how important it is to get quiet. Someday they’ll learn.
I steal another flickr break, with Rooster this time, who insists that since he has peed on the potty twice already he has earned to look at ghostbuster pictures or pbs games, so, I compromise, we flip between flickr and elmo for about 15 minutes. I set the uploader to put some photos on, then Rooster gets a bath. Layla needs one too… she’s next.
We all return to the living room, have our lunch… sandwhiches, chicken nuggs or fruit, with milk and whatever else we can find. We roll around in the floor. Not for long though, I’m backed up on laundry, and dusting and sweeping… not to mention the bathroom… I do a little of all 3, And Lydia comes with me, to get some big girl time. She still hasn’t mastered the whisper. My 5 year old has no “volume” knob, it’s all outside voice all the time ;) We talk about all kinds of things while I sort laundry, I enjoy that too. She’s my little buddy.
The rest of the day follows suit, sometimes Layla naps, sometimes she doesn’t.
6:00 rolls around, PJ Time, we wind down, or try to, then up to the bedrooms at 6:30. We say the prayer, tell a story, give hugs and kisses and talk about the “stay in your own room” and “leave the light off” rules. I remind them that Layla is a baby and needs her rest, so if they don’t fall asleep right away,  to please be quiet.
I tuck Rooster back in at least 3 times, or send him back to bed… Lydia has 1-3 pee breaks. My Children, the sneaky stall-ers. ;)
I try to spend some time with John before he leaves for work. I need to do those dishes, but, hubby time seems more important…
John leaves at 9:45pm. I kiss him and tell him to be careful. I straighten up the house, a little and try to stay awake to play on flickr, type up blogs and respond to emails. It’s my time but I am thinking about how cozy the bed sounds.

I can count on one hand the times I have been out and about without any of my kids. I miss them when they’re away. I don’t spend “girls night outs” with anyone or spend my afternoons watching soaps and eating candy. I don’t spend my husbands hard earned money on handbags or clothes. And I enjoy getting gifts at tax return time. I don’t think that I am a queen, I don’t think I am above hard work. I take out the trash, I do the dishes, I vacuum and change diapers. I get the luxury of watching my children grow everyday… I CHOSE to sacrifice having “nice things” to have wonderful memories. I am not lazy, I love my family and I don’t appreciate your rudeness. My job is hard. Whether you think so or not.

I am far from a saint.

I mess up, have bad days and sometimes, yeah, I don’t work as hard as I should, but we all have days like that.

I hope I didn’t come off badly, it just hurts when people don’t see the time you put in, and the effort you make.


Beth Simmons on February 18, 2010 at 6:18 AM said...

I love this post Johnna! It's real life. You are such a busy and great mom! My life is not like that anymore but I still remember:) Actually, I kinda experience it when I'm with the grandkids at Naomi's. It's why God gives us children when we are young:) Keep up the good work, your are doing a great wife and mother job!!

annie on February 18, 2010 at 4:18 PM said...

being a mom is a full time (plus some!) job, no matter what anybody says! :) you are so blessed to be able to stay at home with your children as they grow up. my mom stayed at home until I was well into elementary school, and only started working because of circumstances that she had to. you are most definitely just as good as any other mom that decides to work! :]

Amber Rosie on February 19, 2010 at 5:29 PM said...

I am so sorry that people have said mean things, so not nice! You do work hard! I am glad that you get to stay home with the little ones, they are all so smart because you get to work with them on all of that school stuff. I can totally tell a difference between your kids and others who don't get to keep their mommy's with them. You totally have a full time job, don't let anyone tell you different!

Tasha on March 9, 2010 at 9:50 AM said...

People just don't get it. They're too wrapped up in themselves these days. No one seems to remember a time, back in my grandparents day, when they had little to no money, usually just the dad worked but everyone was happy. There was no tv, no computer, no DS, no distractions. It was all about family. I'm PROUD to be a stay at home mom!!

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