What I Do All Day.

Yesterday I totally misinterpreted a tweet about what stay-at-home wives (those without any children) do all day long, and it totally inspired this post.  My misinterpretation led me to think about what I do all day long; there is always fodder online about what stay-at-home moms do all. day. long. when the kids are gone ("Don't you get bored?"), so I thought I might come up with a list of things that I do while my kids are both at school.

1. I eat breakfast.  I tend to stay up later at night, way past everyone else, and therefore am a raging grumpy person when it comes time to get up.  Getting out of bed is hard, and I wait until the last possible minute.  So in the 7:30 - 8:50am stretch of making sure both kids are up, dressed appropriately, fed, lunches packed, bags packed, not missing the bus, going to the bathroom before we leave the house, driving one to school and doing the drop-off routine, eating my own breakfast doesn't always happen.  If I can't come right home from dropping Greta off at preschool, I will cram something down quick, but if I can come home, the first thing I do is eat.

2. I run errands.  It is amazing how long it can take to go grocery shopping, hit up Walmart, stop at the bank, and then play choose your own adventure with any of the following: The Fresh Market, Marshalls, Home Goods, Michael's, Gap, Old Navy, Barnes & Noble, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, the library, doctor appointment, pet store, etc. depending on who needs what for which current occasion.  And while my children are excellent errand runners, if I need to do a lot of these or the weather conditions are not favorable (hello, rain), I will go and do this by myself so I am not standing in puddles waiting for the very poky Greta to get in the car and buckle up twelve times over.

3. I do chores.  Yes, chores.  They are not fun, they are not cool, they are not hip, but someone has to do them and that someone is me.  And the more people you have in your home, the more of a mess it gets to be.  The laundry alone never seems to end.  The worst part about it: as soon as it's finished, it starts all over again.  The moment I finish vacuuming the floor (once the vacuum cleaner is put away, of course), someone spills Rice Krispies.  It's like reverse karma.  Plus, cleaning in an empty house eliminates someone needing to use the bathroom right after you put the cleaner in the toilet.  Bonus: Cleaning in an empty house means it's much easier to adios broken or abandoned toys with no one realizing they're gone.

4. I try and do some work.  Work?  What work?  Oh, right, I run a small business and an artisan group.  If I can peel myself away from the tasks at hand that make the house run and make sure everyone has what they need when they need it, I might try and find some time to sew, pack orders, answer emails, and do 1,000 other administrative things.  This all tends to get dumped to the bottom of the list and I'll work on it after everyone's in bed (see #1).

5. I might meet up with a friend.  This is a very, very rare occurrence as Greta's preschool schedule doesn't allow for much time alone, but when it happens it is really nice to be able and sit and talk with other adults or have a meal without having to a. share it or b. go to the bathroom three times, two of which are probably just for fun.

6. I sit and relax for a half hour.  Scandalous, right?  That I might be home alone in a quiet house and not do anything for anyone?  This is the common thread online and in life- the stay at home mom is sitting with her coffee reading a magazine.  How lazy is she?  But you know what?  Hell, yea!  Mom has earned that coffee and couch time with all the other crap she's been doing so cut her some slack.  The truth is, sometimes I just need to sit down and give myself a little bit of time to decompress, just like everyone else.  Some days there is more of that and some days there is less.  It all balances, but I need a little bit of me time just like everyone else, and once the family is home there's little chance of it happening.

Just because I am "home" doesn't mean I'm home in the same way it does for someone who leaves for a job and who then returns home to relax.  My working environment just happens to be in my house and I am most often always doing something.  And truly, right now, the amount of time I have by myself passes by so quickly in the day, I am lucky to get one or two of those things accomplished before I have to go pick Greta up from school.  I'm really looking forward to next year when they are both on the same schedule, in school all day, so I can just roll myself back to bed to take a nap once they leave.  But I digress.....

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