What a Day in the Life of One Stay-At-Home Mom Really Looks Like

What a Day in the Life of One Stay-At-Home Mom Really Looks LikeA day in the life of a stay-at-home mom…

1:27am Baby wakes up to nurse. I barely wake up, enough to get her latched and settled.

1:32 Drift back to sleep.

1:33 Switch sides, drift back to sleep.

4:32 Repeat above.

6:15 Alarm goes off. Roll out of bed like a sneaky ninja so baby doesn’t wake and start the morning breakfast routine.

7:04 Smoothies are made, hubby is out the door. Sip coffee and make a mental checklist of things to do today:

  • Pay some bills.
  • Respond to emails.
  • Grocery run.
  • Do a load of laundry.
  • Return the library books.
  • Talk to hubby about planning that kitchen project.
  • Start dinner early so I’m not rushed.

Feeling positive!

7:08 Try to squeeze in a yoga workout before the kids are up.

7:16 Baby is up, ready to nurse, mid my first downward facing dog. I plan to get back to this workout later.

7:20 Older kid wakes up and the next two hours are a blur of serving food, letting the dog out, wiping bottoms, getting out crayons and paper, getting dressed, starting the dishwasher — all while sending and receiving texts from my mama tribe.

9:32 Oh yes, start the laundry. Reheat unfinished coffee.

9:40 Sit down to the computer. Pull up my tabs. Get distracted by social media. One of my besties just posted some family photos and I notice she has the cutest shoes. I’m now searching for blue ballet flats.

9:52 Oh ya, pay bills.

10:01 “Mama!!” Have to go settle a dispute over a lego. Realize I never ate breakfast. Grab some granola and grapes and head back to the computer. Kids follow me back to the desk and sort through the top drawer asking me how to use random office supplies.

10:18 Bills paid! Victory! Look down and realize I am still in pajamas. And baby wants to nurse. For the next hour we nurse, get dressed, play and snuggle while the older kid jumps on the bed around us. I realize if we’re going to get to the store before nap time, we better hurry.

11:29 Reheat coffee.

11:30 As we hurry to get to the car, older kid smacks into a corner and now has a giant goose egg on his head. Baby sympathy cries. Twenty minutes later, they are both calm, but hungry for lunch.

11:52 Pull out various contents from the fridge to make a “quick” hodge-podge lunch. Note that we are out of eggs. Feed and clean up kids and their chairs. Find baby has a dirty diaper. Change it. Start to load up but big kid needs to go potty. Grab the library books.

12:34 The grocery store run consists of one kid resisting getting in her carseat and the other insisting he can buckle his own seatbelt. Everyone has an opinion about what we put in the cart, there’s some excitement and some disappointment over the final choices. Both fall asleep on the way home, but wake up as I go through the library book drop-off line.

2:18 Baby is cranky from a too-short nap so she clings to my legs as I go in and out the door to get the groceries. I try to at least put away the cold stuff before I go lay her down for a better nap. I realize I forgot eggs.

2:36 Let the dog out again, then go nurse and lay the baby down. Try not to fall asleep myself.

3:12 Wake up to older kid calling from the other room that he needs a snack. Make his snack, put away the groceries and then sit down to return some emails.

3:26 Phone rings and it’s my mom. We haven’t talked in days so it turns into a 50 minute conversation while I try to also focus on email responses, and help older kid dig through buckets of lego parts searching for a very specific blue rectangle.

4:18 The phone conversation ends when the mailman knocks on the door and the dog goes ballistic. Baby wakes up crying.

4:32 Get baby calmed down. I remember my workout plan and change into sweats. I finish the workout with her crawling all over me.

4:53 I sit down with my littles to rest for a few minutes and read a book to them. One is interested, one tries to eat the pages. I look around and realize the place is kind of a wreck, so I try to make a game out of putting toys away. They don’t buy it. I find something sticky on the coffee table run to get spray and a rag to wipe it up. Come back to find baby has a blowout diaper. Rag and spray come in handy for cleaning up all the messes.

5:23 Ahh! Dinner! The next hour is mostly chopping, heating, grating, stirring and also trying to distract/entertain baby. Have to stop to nurse once. Thankfully older kid is helpful. Until she wants to hold his favorite action figure. Then he runs off to do his own thing. I’m on my own.

6:14 Hubby is home, he wrestles with the kiddos while I finish getting dinner in the oven and start the pile of dishes I just added to the sink.

6:38 Dinner is on the table, we all sit down together. We even start a conversation about the kitchen project, but are mostly busy encouraging kids to take good bites and not feed their dinner to the dog.

7:08 The hour and a half after dinner are a blur. The clean dishes in the dishwasher need to be unloaded before the dirty ones can be loaded. A friend sends pics of her baby trying solids for the first time so we text back and forth. Kids are running around getting out their last bits of energy. Hubby bounces from helping with dishes, playing with kids, taking measurements for the kitchen project.

8:36 We start the bedtime routine. PJs, teeth brushed, books (plus one more for him, one more for her), prayers, nursing and me laying in bed with them. I fall asleep waiting for them to fall asleep.

9:40 I groggily wake up, get in the shower, brush teeth, go put away toys one more time so they are not staring at me when I walk out in the morning. Take my vitamins, remember I should have taken them twice today and comb my hair. Looking back on the day, I feel pretty satisfied that somehow it all got done.

10:47 Climb in bed next to hubby who is reading from his phone. I grab a book and read for just a few minutes until my eyes get heavy. When my book falls out of my hand, I put it on the floor and turn off the lamp. Just as I get comfy I remember: I never put the clothes in the dryer. Ughh. Make a one last mental note to restart the washer in the morning.


11 thoughts on “What a Day in the Life of One Stay-At-Home Mom Really Looks Like”

  1. Now imagine having to do all this…after being gone for 8+ hours at work…all the same stuff needs to get done…less time to do it while still spending good time with the kids. Just saying…

  2. I have done both…been home with the kids and worked full time…staying at home was definitely different but way better and easier.

  3. Perfect! I smiled and laughed and remember every moment of your day just like my own! It seems like a lifetime, but is gone before we know it. And the darn laundry, always that darn laundry. Thanks for capturing motherhood!

  4. Most of my cousins are mothers already and they work at home. I’ve seen them struggle with their day-to-day activities. This is very true! I’m not a mom yet and I don’t think I’ll be any time soon haha (I’m still 22 btw), but I learn a lot just by observing my cousins 🙂

  5. Oh yeah?
    Now imagine that you’re a single parent.

    Go ahead.
    No “hubby” to make a smoothie for or wrestle the kiddos for a minute.

    Just you.

  6. This brings back memories! Thank you so much for articulating so much of my past life (the kids are 12 and 14 now) 🙂 With all the fatigue, struggles, missing adult/me time, I still wouldn’t change a thing.

    Much Love

  7. ps. youre going to bed way too late, and you need to get the kids to a playground, rather than sit in front of the computer….now wait till you have to get the older kids to school, and still have disrupted sleep from nursing.

  8. I don’t mean to be critical, but I think a lot of mothers need to hear this. 1. Maybe don’t spend so much time texting with the “mama tribe” when you can be getting the morning going. Those morning hours are precious. They go quickly. 2. Do the computer stuff at night when the littles are sleeping. (I have actually left “social media” due to the distraction, closed my FB account, and I don’t have a smart phone) 3. Try to do simple dinners that don’t take an hour to prep. 4. Put the kids to bed early. I used to keep the kids up until hubby got home. It was a mess. Bedtime is 6 pm for us. By 6:30 everyone is usually asleep (often 6:15). They don’t usually see daddy during the week; but we are a functional family. I serve the kids dinner around 5. Maybe this won’t work for every situation, but I have my evenings “to myself” (if you call nursing every 3 hours “to myself,” lol). I have about 2-3 hours of serious productivity time (6:30 to 9:30 ish) before I hit the sack at about 10. I give credit to any mother who chooses to raise her children (even if it means one income, etc.). I do not pity mothers who sit at the computer (or on their phones) while their children are awake. Mothers need to be present. I am sorry for coming across strong. My life is just so much easier since I have learned to prioritize. I don’t think it needs to be so hard for mothers.

  9. Motherhood is hard … period. Each situation (sometimes choice, sometimes not exactly a choice) has aspects that are easier and aspects that are harder. I have been a stay-at-home mother. I have been a stay-at-home mother homeschooling my children whilst taking care of my mom and dad (until he passed away) on a daily basis, if not several times a day. I have been a single mother working 40+ hours a week whilst going to school AND taking care of my mom (until she passed away). If you are doing it right, ALL OF IT IS DIFFICULT! The upside of being a stay-at-home mother, you may not feel it at the time, but you have more opportunities to focus primarily on your children whilst getting accomplished what tasks are possible. Upside of working outside the home, speaking as a single mother, people are slightly less likely to judge you on the many parts of your life that isn’t perfect. People are judgmental poopy-heads to both … as mothers, let’s at least not do it to each other!

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