Tonight, my husband posed one of those husbandly questions that had the potential to take a turn south, especially when posed to his stay-at-home-mom wife.
“What do you do all day?” he asked.
I gave a huff, then decided to ignore the temptation for offense. And, well, he said this after I “jokingly” told him our house would be in a greater state of disrepair until after Christmas, as I was simply too busy to maintain its usual state of “order.”
I sat there for a second and couldn’t come up with anything of substance, other than to gesture wildly at our children.
“I don’t know, but it has something to do with them!”
What do I do all day?
The stay-at-home life is a funny beast.
Long ago, in the early days of motherhood, I decided I would never be intimidated to take my child(ren) somewhere. It’s easy as a new mom to stay homebound, as everything you need is within reach, no one has to look presentable, and your child can be wild away from judge-y eyes. But, frankly, that gets old quickly. I try to at least take my kids out for a few errands every day. Some days that simply looks like lunch at McDonald’s, but, goshdurnit! We left the house! Fully clothed!
Other than that, I try to complete at least a few domestic tasks—toss in some laundry, load the dishwasher, turn on Roomba away from my daughter, as she’s nervous around the roaring, predatory black disk. Every now and then, I’ll do the bathroom-scrubbing thing, but…gross. Or dusting. What is the point of dusting?! It just comes back! Also, why did we buy all dark-wood furniture? Le sigh.
I also think our house eats a lot of my time. I love our house, but this sucker is loooong. And I’m horrible at completing tasks. So, if I drag the clean laundry all the way from the laundry room at one end to the master bedroom at the other and a kid needs something back in the kitchen, I’m going to abandon the laundry for anywhere from 45 minutes to two days, as we dump everything onto the bedroom’s chair when it’s time for bed. It’s inevitable.
Again, I’m still not certain what I do all day, but I do know that by the end of the day…Mama is tired! Today I even squeezed in a 20-minute afternoon nap while my son was dancing around to Blue’s Clues. These little people have so much energy, so maybe they suck out some of mine?
I realize this doesn’t seem to fill up a full day. But I truly don’t know where the extra bits of time go. I imagine they go into the “Can I have some milk?” and “Will you read this book?” or “Can we talk about presidents some more?” categories of my life. I keep hearing (and believing) that I’ll miss these moments someday soon.
And so, at least for the month of December, I’m cutting myself a little more slack. I have a mountain of cookies, pies, pastries to bake, special meals to plan (on top of the daily meal grind!), parties to attend and host, family to visit, etc., etc., etc. Oh! And I’m supposed to be making the season especially special for my kiddos. Thankfully, they get super excited by seeing one strand of Christmas lights on someone’s house. So, if you put in the effort to decorate even the tiniest bit, we see you! And thank you!
New Feature Alert! Since I started this blog with the idea of talking mainly about books (hence the name), I thought I’d start to post what I’m reading at the end of each new post. I’m always in the middle of some book, whether I’m enjoying it or not, so I’ll keep you updated.
Loving My Actual Christmas by Alexandra Kuykendall (December book club pick!)
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (more on this later, I’m sure!)