“So, what do you do all day?”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked this question (I will say that some people really have no clue and simply want to hear what my days are like). At first, I found this question incredibly offensive, as most moms do I think. Now? I find it a little funny. I also appreciate the question because it allows me to explain to that person what I actually do all day when I’m home with Andrew. It does vary from day to day but I definitely stay busy.
Some moms don’t stay busy when they’re home with their babe. Some moms don’t cook. Some moms don’t clean. Some moms put their kid in front of the TV all day instead of interacting with them. Some moms don’t take their kid to the park because it’s too much work, or run errands for that exact reason. Some moms get bored when they’re home with their kid. I am not that kind of mom. I cook dinner at least 6 nights a week and I don’t give Andrew Eggo waffles every morning for breakfast (although sooooommeeetimes I do). I absolutely use the TV when I have to, especially when I’m trying to cook and definitely in the morning for a half hour or so before I’ve had my coffee. I also use it if Andrew is incredibly fussy and nothing else is working. Absolutely I do! I love grocery shopping and I feel like I always need something from Target so Andrew and I are always out and about for a few hours. I love taking him to the park and I make it a point to go outside at least once a day, even if it’s only a 20 minute walk around our block.
I’m not saying that I’m perfect either. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here but I try really hard to be an “active” mommy. Not in a workout sense, I mean staying busy with him in every aspect!
On days we go to the park we are typically there for at least an hour. The kid LOVES playing outside so I let him. Yes I know it’s only one hour of my day, but with driving time and packing up all his crap, it’s a little extra. I probably do laundry once a day or at least every other day. I don’t clean as often as I should but when I do it definitely takes an entire day. As mentioned above, I cook our meals. Of course I don’t cook every single meal every single day, things come up. However, I would definitely say that I make Andrew’s breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner 90% of the time. I make Kyle and I dinner 90% of the time. I usually prep dinner while Andrew is taking his nap. I usually get to shower while he takes his nap, too. I try to do some crafts with him during the day as well.
These are just a few examples and they’re all FUN examples. I absolutely love being home with Andrew and I would never complain about being able stay home so much, but there are definitely things people don’t realize when they ask me, “So, what do you do all day?”
What don’t people realize, specifically? People don’t realize that trying to do laundry with a toddler is not easy. I open the laundry room doors and Andrew is set on closing them. I open the dryer door and Andrew thinks it’s SOOO much fun to pull out ALL of the clean clothes and throw them on the floor (it’s actually really cute!). I sort the laundry into piles (whites, darks, colors, towels, etc.) and Andrew starts mixing them back together. Folding the laundry usually has to wait until he’s taking his nap. My point? Doing a load of laundry takes a whole lot longer than you might think.
Cooking is also not easy with a toddler. Andrew loves to watch me cook which means he always wants to be held. I don’t like giving in all the time but I can’t handle him whining for an hour while I prepare dinner, so I hold him. Do you know how hard it is to make dinner while holding a toddler? For one, you can’t chop anything; you can’t use a knife period! It’s hard to stir something in a pot using only one hand. I could go on with this, but just know that it’s not easy.
What else? It’s absolutely harder, or I should say takes a lot longer, to go anywhere. I have to make sure he has a snack, water and/or milk, diapers, a clean diaper on, his shoes on (that alone is a challenge), a jacket on, a blanket just in case, my purse, his diaper bag, shopping bags since stores don’t carry them anymore and oh yeah, my shoes and jacket. I seriously have to make a list of everything I need to take with me to go to the grocery store. Then I have to get him in his car seat…oh my gosh that’s been interesting. I definitely can’t “run to the store real fast” like I used to. What you’re probably forgetting – I also have to unpack and unload when we get back home.
Cleaning the house is, you guessed it, also not easy. He’s terrified of the vacuum so I have to wait until he’s sleeping to run it, and pray that the noise doesn’t wake him up. Trying to dust every little knick knack doesn’t usually happen because, “Wait, Andrew, don’t touch that.” “Andrew, get off of there.” “Andrew, what did you just put in your mouth?” Yep…
Basically, doing anything with a toddler requires CONSTANT attention. It’s wonderful and frustrating at the same time. God should really give humans two sets of eyes – one set for the “normal” daily routines, and one set for watching your kid(s).
On top of everything I “need” to do, I also have fun. I do things for ME. Being a mom is the best part of my life but I’m also a woman. I love making photo books so every now and then I’ll work on one while Andrew takes a nap, and if that’s the reason I don’t get a shower then oh well. I love DIY projects so I try to find one every now and then. I won’t bore you with a list everything I love but I think it’s important to have “me” time every now and then. It’s also important to have “we” time. If you play all day long with your kid and don’t do the 3 loads of laundry that you were planning on doing, oh well! Who cares? You’re doing the absolute best thing you could ever do, you’re being a MOM! Let him interrupt you while you’re trying to do the dishes so that he can show you his sock, and dang it give him the biggest smile possible to show him that you LOVE his sock! Be present more than anything else.
So what do I (normally) do all day? I chase my kid around and tell him “no” a lot….probably too much. I get out of the house for a while because we BOTH need it. I try to keep him safe, constantly. I feed him real food (most of the time). I cook, I clean (sometimes), I shower (again, sometimes), I forgot to mention that I bathe him (yes I forget a lot of shit), I do our grocery shopping, I change a lot of diapers, I run to Target, I go to the bank, I pay all of our bills, I play with my son (blocks, trucks, bikes, golf, etc.), I do whatever else I “need” to do all while praising the leaf he just brought me, and I/we have fun. That’s what I do. You’d probably be surprised how long things take when you have a toddler. Some days, I don’t shower because I just don’t have time and some days I actually get to sit down and watch TV while I eat lunch. Every day is different and every day is a blessing. Please don’t assume that all moms take their days for granted and/or watch soap operas all day long. Most don’t, some do, and all are still trying to figure this whole “mom” thing out. There ya have it! A (too) detailed description of my wonderful “day in the life of Hailey”.