If you want to see my "What did you say" & "Let me tell you something" face, then make a reference regarding stay-at-home moms not doing anything all day.
I've been a SAHM for 5 years now. Nothing is more irritating than someone implying I have a year round vacation in my house, sitting on my butt, watching television, and eating bon bons all day. Oh, and when someone flat out asks me, "What do you do while your kid is in pre-school?" Uh, I don't know, KEEP THE OTHER KID ALIVE?!
Seriously people, at this point, it is just plain rude to make the assumption a SAHM does nothing all day or is uneducated. That is another kicker. The surprised shock on someone's face when they learn I have a college degree. If you want to be punched in the face, make a comment about my degree being "a waste".
Yes, I am sure there probably are SAHMs that do not accomplish as much as they could during the day. Yet, if at the end of the day, the kids are still alive; then the SAHM did her job. In all seriousness, being a SAHM isn't a walk in the park. It isn't all fun and games. Some SAHMs make it look better than others, or enjoy it more than others. It is a fact that being a SAHM can be isolating, frustrating, and exhausting.
My SAHM routine is ever changing. During the summer, I do have more "down time" than during the school year. I am able to schedule fun activities, camps, and regulate my time better. However, as soon as school starts, I can only juggle so many activities and squeeze in so many last minute appointments. For a little taste of my average day during the school year, I've compiled a rough schedule. This doesn't include sick days that require pediatrician appointments, special holiday events, or anything of that nature. Those things require extra time from my schedule to cook, clean, make costumes, and be present for the activity.
Everyday at 5 am, my alarm rudely interrupts my sweet slumber. I respond like so:
Unless I need to be showered and presentable, I throw on some workout clothes, put my hair up, and have some time for a devotional, reading, blogging, something DVR'd, or quiet cleaning. By 6 am, I am meal planning, calculating, and prepping for my son, preparing 3 different breakfasts and lunches. I pack my daughter's (SP) lunch and check her book bag to make sure she has everything needed for school. If I'm going to be out for lunch, I pack my son's foods and medical formula; and my own snacks and lunch. Then it is complete chaos after I wake the kids. Some mornings my daughter will have a great sensory day. She'll wake right up, dress herself, and wait on me to wash/compress her eyes (to prevent stys) and do her hair. Unfortunately, not every morning is a good sensory morning. Those mornings take more time to instruct her to get out of bed, calm her down, dress her, fight with her to wash her eyes, and do her hair. Those mornings are full of tears and stress. I send my daughter downstairs to begin eating her breakfast. I wake my son, change his diaper, dress him, and comb his hair. Then I feed him and myself. We go back upstairs to brush teeth and change another diaper. It is at this time I am nearing my departure time and running around making sure I have everything loaded in the car, make sure SP is wearing socks and shoes, and load the kids into the car to drive the 30 minutes to pre-school. After I've dropped SP off, I hope to join a local gym with childcare. (Let's hope they can instill come confidence in me to drop my son (HP) in childcare to workout for an hour.) If not, I will be driving right back home to go for a run or lift weights in my garage while HP takes a mid-morning snooze. Depending on the day, SP may stay an extra hour at school for a lunch program. I still have a 30 minute drive ahead of me, one way. I pick SP up from school, go back home for lunch and a nap, or just a nap. Nap is about 2.5-3 hours, depending on the day. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I wake them up early for evening activities.
During nap time, I eat lunch, shower, tackle my cleaning list, work on my blog, plan a weekly menu, make a grocery list, organize coupons for list, or prepare for my study group on Wednesdays. Basically, I do quiet things. Occasionally I will lay down for 30-45 minutes to calm a headache or energize for evening activities. That doesn't happen often.
Tuesday is gymnastics. I wake the kids from nap early, get them ready, pack the diaper bag for HP, and suffer through traffic. SP has her 1 hour class; then we sit in traffic/drive for 30 minutes to 1.5 hours. (Yesterday, it took me 50 minutes to get home.) Hubby comes home to begin supper (or I already prepared it during nap time), measure HP's formula/food, start laundry, empty dishwasher, prepare coffee pot, or anything that I might have neglected over the weekend. We have to bathe the kids, brush teeth, wash/compress SP's eyes, feed HP, tuck in HP, read a devotion with SP, lay out SP's clothes for the next day, and tuck in SP. It's around 8-8:30 pm. We're exhausted, but finish up cleaning the kitchen, folding/hanging laundry, or pay bills. Often we watch a tv show while doing stuff. I try to be in bed by 10-10:30pm.
On Wednesdays, we will begin going to several church functions. I wake the kids up early from nap to attend said church functions until 8pm. I try to have HP's meals totally prepped, measured, and calculated along with his formula for Hubby. SP has a Jesus and Me program she attends, HP is hanging out with his favorite nursery snugglers, I help in the kitchen for Wed night supper, gather the kids for supper, feed HP his specially prepared meal, take HP back to nursery with SP, and lead or attend a small study group. During this time, Hubby comes to pick the kids up from nursery, goes home to eat, and do the bedtime routines by himself. I will get home right as the kids go to bed. We will help each other tie up loose ends until bedtime. I'm not sure how this will affect my blogging. I will probably have to change my blog night.
Thursday and Friday will be "open" days. I use that word loosely. Those are the days I keep my normal routine stated above, but use the entire nap time to do anything I haven't been able to do before. Also, I know I can use those afternoons to cut nap time short to be somewhere, like an appointment.
Now that you roughly know my daily routine, you can understand why I become incredibly irritated at the lazy SAHM opinion. This same viewpoint is common among employers. While working, I witnessed several SAHMs' applications and resumes being passed over based on them being "unemployed" for several years. I am anything but lazy or uneducated; I simply hold a job that doesn't receive monetary compensation. Let's go ahead and accept that SAHMs are intelligent, hard working, and deserve respect.