I don’t have a job. Well, not a paying job anyway. I don’t have a workplace to check in to every day, a boss to report to, or deadlines to make. I don’t have to worry about coworkers or office drama or remembering important meetings. I don’t have a dress code to follow or a commute to make. I can stay home and do whatever I want, whenever I want. I am free and my calendar is wide open.
Just kidding, I have three children.
Let me fill you in on a bit of what I do.
First things first, my elementary school child has to be at school at a certain time every day, otherwise she’s sent to the office for a tardy slip and I consider myself reprimanded for not doing something so easy as take a child to school on time. This is where all the seasoned moms laugh hysterically, because somehow somebody can’t find a shoe or a jacket, or the children are still hungry because they refused to eat the lovingly prepared nutritious breakfast, or the homework pages have been mysteriously glued together and refuse to come apart, or the toy for show-and-tell is suddenly the worst toy ever and you need a new one RIGHT NOW, or the baby’s lovey has gotten stuck under the sofa and is wedged in tight and he is crying hysterically and won’t calm down without it, or, or, or… you get the idea. It’s a miracle we make it out of the house in the first place, let alone on time.
Then there are two children, and we run a tight ship around here. One day a week Grammy graciously comes to play while I volunteer in my elementary daughter’s classroom. This is a huge perk of being a stay-at-home mom. I get to interact with her peers and see her learning in action. She knows I have a good relationship with her teacher and is therefore held accountable for what she does in school. Plus, the younger two are building a great relationship with their grandma.
Another morning I help teach preschool to my second daughter. A friend and I have teamed up to do a co-op, where we take turns planning lessons and adhering to a theme of the month. We rotate houses and make sure our children are receiving excellent play-based academic instruction. This takes a bit of prep and research on our part, but it also saves us the cost of preschool and ensures our children receive the quality instruction we desire.
The other weekday mornings are for extracurricular or enrichment activities for the younger two children. We attend gymnastics courses, do a Bible study, and go on field trips to places suh as a local wildlife rescue or the fire station. In other words, we don’t just sit around at home and watch tv; instead we are moving and learning.
The mornings fly by and then it is lunchtime. We might be able to grab a quick lunch with a friend, but more often than not the children are tired and cranky at this point and it’s all I can do to get some sustenance in them before they crash for the afternoon. The toddler takes a nice nap while the preschooler can’t decide if she’s tired or not. Sometimes she falls asleep and sometimes she just plays or looks at her books. I’ll attempt to make and eat my own lunch and do damage control from the mess of the morning rush.
Then it’s time to pick up the older one from school and eat a snack. We’ll do homework or projects or play at the park or do extracurricular activities for her, such as soccer or ballet, and I’ll prep and make dinner. I love that I am able to try out new recipes and take the time to make things from scratch.
Husband will come home to eat with us and the bedtime routine will commence: bath, books, bed. If he’s not late coming home or isn’t attending a night class, he will spend the evening putting the kids to bed while I clean up from dinner.
After getting another glass of water, or finding a bug bite that’s itching, or remembering to tell us just one more thing from the day, the children drift off to sleep in their beds. This is the time for my husband and I to catch up on our day, watch a show together, or I’ll read while he preps for work.
By then it’s late and I just know somebody will wake up in the middle of the night needing something. I put myself to bed to begin again the next day.
So you see, I might not have a full-time job where I get paid, but I do actually do things during the day that provide value to my family. I am enriching the lives of my children and running a household. I am instilling morals and discipline into my children and helping to make them well-rounded productive members of society.