I think by now, the general population that follows Huffington Post knows that a stay-at-home mom or dad does more during the day than changing diapers and keeping the children alive. Or hell, maybe that is his or her only goal and she achieves day in and day out. I don’t judge.
However, we can’t deny the numerous articles floating around the internet about what a day-in-the-life of a stay-at-home mom looks like that carries the undertone of a shaking finger in your face and eyes as big as a strung-out crack head.
And I get it. I do, I truly do get it. When you are stuck in the throws of endless days that feel like they will never end. Days that are filled with you using words like “blowout” and “lactate.” You start to grow horns and learn how to cuss in a sing-song voice with tears in your eyes.
The slope gets too damn slippery sometimes and you slip right into not giving a fuck. From there you find you self settling into cynical and alone. Hello my Mirandas!
So you start reading shit titled, “What I Would Pay My Wife if I Could” and nodding along. You start feeling this stay-at-home mom pride, because you are a part of this group, you know. Then it turns to entitlement and then it ends with truth.
The truth of course being that you are you are alone most of time, changing shitty diapers and praying to someone’s God to please STOP the lactating!
Oh looky there, I went on a rant! Ha! Let me get myself back on track…
Basically, I used to put so much effort and energy into a clean house and appearing like everything was PERFECT.
Then I gave up caring and everything fell apart… as I suspected it would.
So after we settled into Castle Garvey, I found my groove in life again. I had some damn good ah-ha moments that would make even Oprah proud! I found the middle ground that is now keeping this household running so smooth I get to take more than one bath a week. I live for a good bath you guys.
Here is how organizing my life into a simple routine is working for me and keeping me sane.
Note: I don’t have a set schedule for the cleaning. That part has to be flexible because having a two-year old means no agenda on my part (so-to-speak). I stay home to be present with her so I put my chores on the back burner as far as time on the clock. I do them as I can, sometimes she lets me knock it all out, other times I do a little here and there.
Babysit from mid-morning to mid-evening.
- Babysit from mid-morning to mid-evening.
- I vacuum every Monday and dust every other Monday.
- Dinner and I usually do bath time with her.
- Same babysitting schedule. I have started strongly ” “suggesting” story time and activity times.
- I vacuum upstairs every week and dust every other week.
- Dinner and daddy does bath time. Unless of course it is mommy’s turn again because Charlotte is the ultimate decision maker. Of course.
- I schedule most play dates, appointments for whoever needs them and run errands.
- Laundry every week and bathrooms every other week (spot clean) and a deep clean once a month. We have 3 full baths (one with a double sink vanity) and a half bath downstairs. I am not boasting or bragging; I am pointing out the time it would take me to deep clean those every week. Hell no, good sir. Pass. I put Chris in charge of his own shitter so frankly I don’t know how often that one gets cleaned, other than when we have guest. Moving right along…
- Dinner and bath time.
- The Little Gym at 10:30. Run errands if there are any to run.
- Mom gets to write so if there are not leftovers to eat (which 9 out of 10 times there is) we eat out. I write and work until I summoned by either my husband or child.
- This is a fairly new schedule so on Friday I am often doing something I missed or couldn’t get to earlier in the week.
- Work 5 pm at restaurant job until I am done. This is the same for Saturday and Sunday.
Having a toddler pretty much requires you to have a ‘no agenda’ type attitude, which makes it hard to have a ‘stay on top of the house work, keep money coming in, have lots of sex with husband and cook delicious meals everyday’ type of attitude as well.
Something snaps eventually, and I am not trying to a 20/20 episode. During my recent self-discovery and coming out to the world that I am not the real deal Martha Stewart type I may or may not have mentioned that I also rely on a village (husband, friends, coworkers, that nice British guy at Target) to make it through my day and I am attached to my monthly planner.
I share a monthly planning app on my phone with my husband for joint stuff, but I am old school to the core and love to write it down. It is a process for me… it relaxes me to put in on paper and read it when I need to. I hold a lot of titles and I do a lot with my time. I need help keeping it all together, down to what I plan to cook to where I need to be at any given time. I like to set goals and I like check them off as I accomplish them.
Plus who doesn’t look forward to buying ANYTHING from Target. Especially their stationary and craft supplies; they have really stepped it up in that department. I get inspired walking around there sometimes.
In regards to anxiety, I find that having a plan keeps my mind on track and keeps me working on what I am supposed to be. It also has allowed to me let go of the feeling that I need to vacuum or dust all the time (for example). I know that I am going to tackle those exact jobs on their designated day, and I can move my focus to whatever else it is I need to, or want to depending on the day! Like today, writing!
I planned this schedule out very carefully. It fits my current schedule perfectly and is flexible all at the same time. Look at today, I saved my day for writing for a day that I know the household chores would be done and a day that dad would be available for an extended to amount of time to take the baton and make sure Charlotte stays alive. Heavy planning that if you notice, isn’t driven by the hands on the clock. I still feel in control, and relaxed enough to bust out something enjoyable for my readers.
Having this routine for the last month has brought down my stress level. I live in a larger house now, not much larger, but a bit larger in square footage and with more rooms. There is just more to do in the area of cleaning. I like a clean house, and even though my husband would say “I don’t really care one way or the other” or something to that affect, he likes the house clean too. He is compulsively doing the dishes.
I quickly realized it takes a LONG time getting this sucker clean. I also realized that in keeping with my 2016 goals, that you can check out in my post http://suburbanmishap.com/the-year-i-took-for-myself/, I decided to break it up into days. More than that, I needed to break up the deeper cleaning and not go bat-shit bananas over a little dust or toothe paste in the sink. I don’t have to pull out the rubber gloves every time I need to clean up just a little.
The cleaning and appointment/errand day routine was born and boom, I sleep better at night.
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