Even I Don’t Know What I Do All Day

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Image via Rachel Engel

There are a lot of blog posts going around right now that talk about how much stay-at-home moms would be worth if they got paid, likening us to a full-time chef, chauffeur, maid, taxi service, and a myriad of other professions.

I love to read this comparison; it makes me smile. Is it true? For some people, I'm sure it is. But for others? Probably not. At least not yet. It's not true for me. I hardly think four bottles of formula for one kid and a toss-up of macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, or chicken nuggets for the other kid qualifies me as a “chef.” Maybe when the boy grows older and I'm feeding him and his soccer teammates large quantities of food every day after school, I will feel more inclined to claim that comparison. Not now, though.

These blog posts often go through a mother's day from beginning to end, with a long list of chores, activities, and errands, intermingled with sweet mother-and-child moments and memories, and it ends with an exhausted mother climbing into bed, feeling worn out and satisfied. I do identify with that because I feel exhausted and worn out and satisfied at the end of my days. Though, to be honest, sometimes I barely understand why.

{ MORE: Top 10 Tips for Stay-at-Home Parents }

Some days, I am thoroughly embracing the SAHM cliché, dashing to the bank, dry cleaners, and grocery store with my two littles in tow, and then trying to balance getting dinner together in between indulging my toddler, who is pretending to be a puppy, and working on syllable and consonant sounds with the baby. That is full-on Mommy Mode.

Other days, though, are fairly low key. All three of us might stay in our pajamas the entire day while my husband is at work since there are no errands to run. The kids lounge and play on the floor with their toys while I work on my computer. We watch a few Disney movies, and lazily have lunch together. Dinner on these days is often quick and easy, like breakfast food, or something in the crockpot that took me three minutes to throw together. After dinner, the kids and I will lounge around with their daddy, talking about the day and throwing tickles here and there. Bedtime comes for us all, and I will lie down satisfied and worn out, even though my day wasn't full to the brim with enough activities for four fully functional professions.

Perhaps I haven't gotten enough parenting perspective yet since my kids aren't in school and don't have extracurricular activities that take up time and energy and family resources. During the day, when it's just the three of us, I take so much joy in knowing that we can do whatever we want. We can go to the park or stay home, and it doesn't matter. I love this brief moment in time when my kids belong to me and only me, not a teacher during the day and a coach or instructor in the afternoons.

{ MORE: The Never Home Stay-at-Home Mom }

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The truth is I barely know what I did with my day when I went to bed. Things get done, eventually, and as long as the kids are happy and go to bed with a smile, then whatever I did or didn't get done during the day is irrelevant.

Are moms busy?

Yes, we are.

But who cares?

What do you think?

Even I Don’t Know What I Do All Day

Rachel is a stay-at-home-mom to her 4-year-old daughter, Sydney, and her 18-month-old son, Jackson. Her writing can be found all over the web, mostly detailing her own parenting struggles and triumphs, as well as her life as the military spouse of an active-duty airman. She also writes about her life as as a special needs parent on her blog, Tales From the Plastic Crib, and spends an unnecessary amount of time on Twitter. ... More

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