Thursday, July 22, 2010

What DO I Do All Day?

My cousin Jenn recently sent me an interesting article about stay-at-home moms. Someone had written a letter to the author that went something like this: “I don’t have children, but I have a good friend who does. Ever since she had children, she claims to have no time to spend with me, even though she doesn’t have an actual job. I find it hard to believe that she can’t even spare a few minutes to call me on the phone every couple of days. I just can’t comprehend what she could possibly do all day. I mean, sure she does laundry and makes dinner and cleans the house, but so do I, on top of having a 9-5 job. So what exactly do stay-at-home-moms DO all day?”

The article made me wonder if any of my friends wonder what the heck I do all day. So I thought I’d give you all a little run-down of my typical day.

6:30am – Wake to the sound of child laughing, cooing, and rattling the bars of his crib. Stay half-awake waiting for inevitable loud thud followed by wail of distress.

7:30am – Realize no thud/wail combination has been forthcoming; tiptoe into nursery to confirm that child is still breathing. Realize he has fallen back to sleep. Go back to bed.

8:30am – More laughing and cooing, followed by loud wail as child realizes he’s starving to death. Haul heavy, squirming child out of crib. Wrestle on changing table to change diaper and outfit.

8:50am – Strap child into high chair; provide with spoon, pot lid, or other obnoxious noise-making instrument. Prepare child's breakfast. Feed child.

9:30am – Complete feeding of child; hose off child, high chair, self, and entire kitchen. Move child to basement for playtime. Place in playpen and start up stairs to prepare own breakfast.

9:33am – Return to playpen, confirm that child is wailing due to frustration rather than injury. Distract child with toy, head back to kitchen for breakfast.

9:34am, 9:36am, 9:39am, 9:42am, 9:47am – Repeat previous step.

10:00am – Finish own breakfast. Clean up kitchen. Return downstairs to entertain child. Remove child from playpen. Follow child around downstairs, cleaning up messes left in wake (restacking plastic dishes, restacking pile of juiceboxes, returning books and CDs to shelves, etc.) and preventing various assorted tragedies (closing drawers, pulling child away from sharp table edges, fans, lamp cords, electrical plugs, etc.).

11:00am – Start to heat microwaveable heating pad for back, which will no longer straighten completely after an hour of helping child “walk”. Notice the time; heat bottle for hungry child instead.

11:15am – Feed child bottle on couch, repeatedly moving remote control, books, pillows, one’s own hair, and other objects from child’s reach.

11:30am – Wrestling match to change diaper again. Place yawning but protesting child in crib. Observe on monitor.

12:00pm – Screeching ceases; child is asleep. Shower, dress, brush teeth. Blog. Have lunch. Start laundry/move laundry to dryer/fold laundry/start dishwasher/unload dishwasher.

2:00pm – Screeching resumes. Rescue child from crib. Feed child lunch. Hose off child, high chair, self, kitchen.

3:00pm – Wrestling match to change child’s diaper and food-drenched outfit. Place child in car. Realize that diaper bag is missing crucial components (e.g., diapers). Repack and return to car. Realize child is hungry again. Make bottle. Return to car. Go grocery shopping. For each item placed in cart by mother, remove two items knocked into cart by child. Retrieve shopping list from child’s mouth. Stop so child can be admired by passing shoppers. Retrieve shopping list from child’s mouth. Get in checkout lane. Retrieve shopping list from child’s mouth. Retrieve credit card from child’s mouth. Retrieve keys from child’s mouth. Return several packs of gum pilfered by child to shelf. Stop so child can be admired by bagger. Retrieve shopping list from child’s mouth. Leave store.

4:30pm – Place child in kitchen. Remove groceries from car. Retrieve child from underneath kitchen table. Begin to unpack groceries. Retrieve child from underneath kitchen table. Finish unpacking groceries. Retrieve child from underneath kitchen table. Begin to prepare dinner. Begin to retrieve child from underneath kitchen table, think better of it, and continue preparing dinner.

5:30pm – Interrupt dinner preparation to feed child. Hose off child, high chair, self, kitchen.

6:00pm - Daddy arrives! Hand off child to Daddy. Collapse.

And that is what I do all day.

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