life as a sahm isn't all rainbows and sunshine... it's a lot of mess
Mom Life

So… what does a SAHM do all day?

For those who may not know, SAHM means “Stay at Home Mom”

I was putzing around the house this morning getting things done when I remembered something my husband asked me once.  He asked me out of pure curiosity… not judgement, or intent to be condescending.

“So, what do you do all day?”

My instinct was to get defensive and upset, but – knowing me far too well – he had prefaced this question with his sincerest “…hey I don’t mean this in a bad way…” phraseology.  How can you be mad at that?

I, of course, broke my day down for him and he was happy I shared my life with him.  But this made me think:  so many people don’t actually know what a SAHM does all day.  I guess it’s just a “grass is greener on the other side” scenario, where you see someone doing something different that you’ve never experienced, and you just wonder.  You imagine yourself in their shoes and come to the conclusion it must be easier that whatever you’re facing.

Here’s the scoop:

It’s just like a normal job.  EXCEPT: you are your own boss as a SAHM, and the people you let down if you don’t/can’t/won’t do your job are your own family members.  There’s limited pressure to be productive, which makes it even harder to not be your own worst enemy.

I’ll take a step out into the pouring rain here and say I’m a procrastinator by nature. If you’re at all familiar with Myers Brigg’s personality types, im an INFP; we’re literally the worst procrastinators out there. Needless to say, it’s really hard for me to do this job and do it well.

At a certain point I realized I needed structure and routine to be as good at this as I have become, and I only average a passing C. I’ve even dabbled in making chore lists, but even this works for only a couple of days.

My SAHM Routine

  • Kenna wakes up sometime between 5:30 and 6:30.
    • I don’t push wake up times.  Whenever she wakes up, Jonathan brings her into bed with us for snuggles and tickles (I’d be lying if I said I always love this).
  • Between 6:00 – 7:00, Kenna and I get up for the day.  We go into the kitchen and get breakfast together (check this future post out for what I feed Kenna in a day), and help Dad get ready for work if he’s running behind at all.  I get coffee, and the world starts to brighten.
  • Dad leaves for work at 7:00, and we play together until she’s been awake for 2-3 hours.  Usually we listen to some motivating, upbeat music and have a dance party.
  • Around 8:00 – 8:30 I put Kenna down for her first nap.
    • I still watch her for sleepy cues; strict bed/nap-times don’t work for her.  I know she’s ready to nap when she becomes almost inconsolably fussy.  Recently she’s started biting my knees when she’s tired… Yay, parenting.
  • ~ 8:30: This is where the real work starts.  I try to get as much done as possible during Kenna’s first nap.  I put on some actual clothes (this motivates me slightly) and do the following things if time allows:
    • Make the bed.
      • For some reason doing this first really kicks things off for me.  I don’t know why, but this just makes me feel like super-mom.  Maybe it’s because I never made my bed as a kid (shhhh).
    • Start a load of laundry.
    • Set out Jonathan’s work clothes for tomorrow.
    • Pick up and put away all of Kenna’s toys from our morning together.
    • Spray any diapers we have accumulated and hang them outside to dry.
      • We use cloth diapers.  For a run down on that, check out this post.
    • Take Cooper outside to do his doggie do’s, and play ball for about 10 minutes.
    • Sweep the dining room, kitchen, bathroom, living room, entryway, and front porch.
    • Mop (every third day).
    • Empty the dishwasher and reload it with the morning’s dirties.
  • Generally that all takes me about an hour, maybe longer if I get distracted.  With whatever time I have left until she wakes up, I grab a second cup of coffee to recuperate.  I then either blog, watch Netflix, or plan some sewing (I don’t usually have time to actually sew).
  • Kenna usually wakes up about 60-90 minutes after she goes down, if she isn’t teething, sick, thirsty, overtired, in a bad mood, feeling like a helicopter, transforming into a robo-overlord… etc.  You get the picture.  Sleeping has always been a challenge with her, so anything goes.  If she wakes up before usual, I just get her up; we don’t fight about naps.
  • ~9:30 – 10:00 Kenna wakes up and I give her a snack.  We play inside, watch a show, play outside with Cooper or sometimes go for a walk.  I baby-wear to make the outside activities easier (if you’d like to learn more about this, check out my baby-wearing post).
  • We both do lunch around 11:30 and continue playing afterwards. I shoot for 3 hours of wake time between nap 1 and nap 2.  If she had a nap shorter than an hour, I’ll usually keep her awake no more than 2 hours and it becomes a three-nap day (this doesn’t happen often).
  • Usually nap 2 falls around 12:30 – 1:00.
    • During this nap block I finish any of the first nap cleaning I didn’t accomplish.  I also keep up with the dishes going into the dishwasher and any dirty diapers that need to hang to dry.
    • Again, I take some time to myself if time permits; this allows me to stay centered and feel like a human being.
  • ~ 2:00 – 2:30 Kenna wakes up and I give her another snack.  We do much of the same that we did between nap 1 and 2, but usually she is a lot more fussy during this time.  I end up doing a lot of baby-wearing in this time frame, especially once we start cooking at 4:30.
  • 4:30 we start dinner and talk to Dad while he’s driving home.  I try my best to move dirty dishes into the dishwasher as I make them.
  • Dad gets home around 5:20 and we all eat dinner together.  After dinner, Kenna plays with Dad while I put away leftovers, clean up dinner dishes and run the dishwasher.
  • 6:00 is bath-time for Kenna.  I use soap every other night to avoid drying out her skin.
  • When we finish up her bath, we start her bed-time routine.  Kenna is generally in bed asleep by 6:30 – 7:00.
  • Right after Kenna goes to sleep I clean up any toys still out and take a shower.  Jonathan and I spend the rest of the night together; sometimes I sew while he plays PC video games in the office.
  • 9:30 – 10:30 Jonathan and I go to bed.
  • Kenna just recently started waking up only once at ~ 5:00, so I’ve been getting a decent amount of sleep and it’s amazing!  Again, this is if she isn’t feeling under the weather or like a robot overlord helicopter.

That’s my day in a nutshell as a SAHM!  Weekends or days off for Jonathan are only slightly different.  I still have the same work to get done; this is where I get frustrated the most: you never get a day off.  I still wouldn’t trade it for anything, and I enjoy every second I get to spend with my munchkin.  Here are some pictures of my dirty house from this morning, because I like to keep it real.

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Until next time,
Rachel

1 Comment

  1. […] exciting because I’m kicking off our 4-week course on keeping a clean house as a SAHM!  I did a post a while back on my daily routine, but things have changed so much since then.  I’ve decided to come back around to it now […]

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