12 Hours in the Life of a Stay-At-Home Mom

Hidey Ho Scribblers – J Monkeys here.  So way back in June when school ended, I was having a drink with some mommy friends.  Several of them offered up this sentiment: “Oh, I just love the summer, having my kids home and being able to spend time with them.” 

Hmmm, I did not agree – I was dreading summer (not like going to the dentist, but more like needing to make a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles) – and I immediately felt guilty and like a failure as a mother.  What is wrong with me?  Why don’t I like spending 24 hours a day, for 75 consecutive days with my children?  I must be a terrible parent!  For those who don’t know, I have a whiny 7-year-old Niecey-Poo and 4.5 year old twin boys, Generally Good Child and Mr. Pissy Pants.

But wait, I absolutely LOVE my children.  I would happily die to save them from a zombie apocalypse or some other more mundane tragedy.   What is wrong with me? 

Well, here we are 72 days in and I thought I’d share the last 12 hours with you.   I hope you enjoy it more than I did…and honestly, it wasn’t a bad day.

  • 6:30 this morning – I awoke and began work before I even got out of bed – the children were up and ready for a snack and a movie.  I made hubby’s lunch, made my bed, fed the cat, bathed and dressed Mr. Pissy Pants, let the dog out and cooked breakfast. 
  • 7:45 – I showered and checked my email – deleting a bunch of things that I wasn’t going to read anyway.
  • 8:00 – I parked the children at the dining room table and fed them breakfast amid many complaints about the nature of the pastry I had prepared for them.  Mmmmm – butter braid from Niecey-Poo’s school fundraiser last year.  I negotiated a battle over vitamins and Poop Juice (Juice to make the boys poop, not poop flavored.  Ewww.  We’ve been potty training FOREVER! and Mr. Pissy Pants refuses to have his BMs without the fiber powder in his juice.  TMI?)  I dressed one kid, put shoes on two.
  • 8:25 – Fiber’s working!  Mr. No BM  (aka Mr. Pissy Pants) has missed the commode again.  He needs another shower and a second set of clothes.
  • 8:30 – I head upstairs to inspect the damage to Mr. Pissy Pants’ bed.  Even wearing a overnight pull up, he’s somehow managed to pee through not one but 2 rubber sheets and onto his mattress – again!  Thank God for Nature’s Miracle.  Make note to move “New Mattress” up the As-Soon-As-There’s-Extra-$ list.  I decided to clean the boy’s room and give them back some toys.  We had removed all toys a couple of months ago after a regular barrage of trains, cars, potato heads and more trains were being flung at the windows.  I vacuumed the room, organized the sleepy-buddies, issued 11 instructions to “Go outside and play!” kissed 2 boo-boos, agreed with a 7-year old tantrum of “You’re SO mean!  I’m not your friend any more!” and finally offered one stern admonishment to sing more quietly to not wake the neighbors.
  • 9:25 – put in the second load of laundry for the day, folded yesterday’s laundry, fed the kids a snack, sent them back out to play 8 times ,and told them to close the back door 13 times.  It took 55 minutes for me to watch a 40 minute TV show on DVD.
  • 10:30 – I swear to God, one of the children complained, “There’s a fly in the house – where’s the fly swabber?”  Really?  A fly?  How did that get in?  Could it be a result of the now 19 times you didn’t close the back door?!  And yes, some people have fly swatters; we have a fly swabber.  Then there was an incident resulting in Generally Good Child sobbing that Niecy-Poo wasn’t his best friend any more.  Nicey-Poo pitched a fit because I wouldn’t abandon the dishes I was washing to find 1990’s Beany Baby names hidden in a word search.  And I had a 10 minute “conversation” where Mr. Pissy Pants said, “I want a snack.” I replied, “We have to go to the grocery store.” Mr. Pissy Pants countered with, “I don’t want to go to the grocery store.  I want a snack.”  We went around and around.
  • 11:00 – fed snack #2 to them.  I wrote a menu for next week (the only writing I’ve gotten done lately, by the way!) and drafted a grocery list.
  • 11:45 – amid demands to play with the newly resurrected trains, I left the twins home with their Aunt and took Niecey-Poo off to run errands, including a trip to the grocery store.
  • 12:30 – Abandoned errands to return home.  Mr. I-BM-In-My-Pants had struck again, twice, and Auntie was done.  I cleaned up the $hit storm, gave him his 3rd shower of the day and his 3rd set of clothing as well.  I never did get to the grocery store.  Sat with them as they ate the wholly unhealthy lunch that Auntie made with nary a complaint among them.  Brats.
  • 1:00 – I sent them to play with trains and escaped to fetch Mommy’s Little Helper from Dairy Queen.  It’s an addiction I’m trying to quit, but really, if a bowl of ice cream helps me get through the day…maybe it’s best to have the ice cream.  When the kids can’t see me, of course. 
  • 2:00 – we played in the pool for a while and then they watched The Lorax while I hung out on my computer for a bit.  My husband slays zombies on his PC for stress relief, I settle people into a nice B&B.
  • 4:30 – I made dinner which none of the children were willing to eat, even when Hubby got home from work at 5:15.
  • 6:00 – we went to the playground until…
  • 7:00 – it was time for bed.  Finally!  The boys are asleep and now at 9:26, I’m done with my blog post (nearly) and I need to check on Niecey-Poo to see if she’s catching Z’s yet. It’s now 9:37, and she’s sitting here next to me wondering why I won’t write her actual name…sigh.  Go the ____ to Sleep!  (links to the awesome book read by Samuel Jackson – completely inappropriate for children.

So, maybe it’s my kids’ ages, maybe it’s the fact that we’ve been potty training for a very long 14 months and though we’re closing in on it, there’s still a bit to go.  Generally Good Child has this down and Mr. Pissy Pant’s doctor has given me some things to try, including a modification to the poop juice formula, and an increase in the consumption of fruits that start with the letter P.  Pears, peaches, plums.  Maybe my frustrations have something to do with the fact that as a writer, I’d like to spend several hours at a time in my head interacting with the character’s there, but I haven’t even been to visit lately.

Today’s Secret: Whatever the reason for my dread about my previously favorite season, I don’t think the problem is that I’m a bad mother.  And look, I got a blog post out of it.  🙂

Today’s Question: What do you do with 1800 consecutive hours with your children?


11 thoughts on “12 Hours in the Life of a Stay-At-Home Mom”

  1. With tears in my eyes, I was rolling with laughter as I read through your not-so-funny day, your post was reminiscent of my past and I guarantee, other mothers. I try very hard not to take home my grandchildren, we have thirteen, I go there and give them back when I leave. If you are interested, here’s a great way to feel guilty, send them to summer camp for kids. They take all kinds. Foolish me, I never sent mine. I didn’t want to feel guilty. Paid my dues, I have.

    1. Thanks! I happy it was funny – because really – it is funny. I do love being with them, but OMG I need some serious time to myself! I never used to understand why my mother-in-law took vacations alone – now I get it.

  2. Laughing with you–not at you, my friend. I recall those days with the fondness and perspective that only time can give you. Sometime when one of the boys is whining to you about his own child’s misbehavior and tries to tell you that you “don’t understand how much tolerance it takes”, you officially have permission to laugh in his face and smack him upside the head, as I recently did to my 24 year-old son who is dating a young woman with two daughters, 4 and 5. I don’t think he actually finished his sentence before I interrupted with a “Really?” followed by hysterical laughter and a swat to the back of his head. He contritely responded, “Okay, I had that coming.”

    I totally agree with Gail on the summer camp thing. It’s worth saving your pennies next year to put the boys into day camp for a few hours a day. They will thank you eventually and you will be a “better,” or at least less stressed, mom for it. Hang in there. Eventually they “get” the potty thing.

    1. Oh – I’m looking forward to that – very forward. In fact, I might print this post and put a copy in the boy’s time capsules that I’m making…hmmm – that’s a good idea. 🙂

  3. This former stay-at-home-DAD with 3 kids, all grown now, made a ritual of riding bicycles into town each day. We would lounge in park pools, play ball and frisbee on the green, hang out with parents (virtually all moms) and kids at the playscape, and eventually find our way to the ice cream store. And then there were shopping errands. The littlest guy road in a trailer behind my bike, and he’d share space with bags of groceries sometimes. Those were the best summers of my life!

    1. Yeah – that all sounds great, but like it would take a LOT of energy! Good for you! Honestly. I don’t have sidewalks and with busy streets I’d worry about biking – even when they are a bit older. We do have a town pool, but even the shallowest part would be over the twins heads….sigh. Hopefully by next summer we’ll be able to be further away from a bathroom and do more. Thanks! 🙂

  4. Year round school, sister. 20 days off in a row, not 60. Works out so much better. Except November, when the weather’s not nice enough to do anything, and you can’t get Christmas shopping done because, for some reason, the kids dislike walking around in blindfolds and earmuffs.

    Oh, and wine. Wine always helps, especially after a poop day.

    1. Yes – wine. I even went so far as to make ice in a tray yesterday so that I could have some Bailey’s that had been lurking in my fridge. Sadly, there was only one scant glass left…gotta get to the packie and buy some more…and where can I send them for year round school? I’m in, but is there a bus to England?

  5. Hi J. That was so funny. Like Paula, I’m laughing with you not at you. I too have been there and done that. The good news is that they are going to grow up and that is when you can send them to summer camp 🙂 The bad news is … right now they need your undivided attention. This is why I didn’t start writing until now. Another piece of good news … school is about to start! As much as this is a hectic time for you I promise that in the future you will look back upon it with fondness … well … maybe not fondness. Take heart because this too shall pass.

    1. Thanks Gerri! I’m looking forward to looking back on this…someday. People keep telling me that it goes fast and I suppose it does, but right now, it doesn’t seem like it! 🙂

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