It’s been about five months since we decided to stop homeschooling and put our kids in school. The most common question I get, hands down, is:
“What do you do all day?!?!”
The other version of that is: “You must have so much time on your hands now, what do you do with it all??”
For some reason, people think that I must really have nothing to do now that my kids are gone most of the day. I get that, I really do. I mean, going from having my kids with me 24/7, rain or shine, sickness or health, good or bad, tired or not, was time consuming. It was hard to balance it all. And having my days suddenly open up probably seems like the perfect opportunity to sit at home, eating Bon Bons and twiddling my thumbs.
When people asked me that question in the beginning, I felt like I needed to defend myself, like I needed to make stuff up so they would know I wasn’t, in fact, sitting on the couch staring at the wall all day. I would giggle awkwardly, but inside feel defensive and protective of myself. I believed I needed to justify whatever I was doing. That’s mostly because I’m a recovering people-pleaser and have always had this darn piece of me that cares what other people think. I’m getting better about that now, though.
So I thought I would write a post about what I do. Cuz, ya know…I do actually do stuff. Now, let’s be clear: I’m not writing this to justify myself. I’m writing this for all the peeps out there who think stay-at-home moms of school kids must live their days filled with manicures, coffee dates and massages.
You want to know what I do all day? Here you go.
Let’s start with this:
This, friends, is a collection of unmatched socks. How it is possible to have so many unmarried socks is beyond me. It seems that every day when I do the laundry, there is another casualty. I keep a bag in my bedroom and when I’m sorting the laundry, any unmatched socks go into the bag. Then, every month or so, I go through and find that miraculously, many of the matches found their way to their mates! Thankfully, many of the poor lonely souls pictured above found their “sole-mates” that day. =) You’d be surprised how much time it takes to go through a bag of socks and find all the matches.
For the last few months, I was taking classes at Light University to get my life coaching certification. Each class takes about five weeks to complete. So while my kids were in school, so was I. It has been a lesson in patience and growth for me. Being out of school for almost 20 years has made my essay-writing a bit (ok, a lot) rusty, and remembering how to annotate correctly was almost the death of me.
I’ve also been doing a lot of this. I’m writing a book! That’s right. A book. Like, one of those things you read. With paper, and a cover, and a title, and everything. I’m pretty stoked about it, if you can’t tell. It’s also a bit of a time-consumer. It has been incredibly fun, but it’s also one of those things that can make two hours go by lickety-split.
I try to do this a few times a week. I love baking. And I love having a treat for my kids when they come home from school. These are my tried-and-true, favorite-ever Skillet Brownies. Baking them and then seeing my kids wolf them down when they walk in the door makes my mommy heart happy. I feel kinda June Cleaver-ish.
This. It never ends. It’s like trying to dust the surface of a tree while you’re chainsawing it. Sure, it helps, but two seconds later, it’s covered again. With seven people in our house, there is always something in our sink. Until I do the dishes after the kids leave, when for a few glorious hours, the sink is empty and I’m content.
Along with all of that, there is the appointment-making, appointment-attending, minimum day pick-up (does anyone else feel like minimum days will be the death of you??), sweeping, sheet-changing, dog-brushing, dog-walking, dog-feeding, business-managing, blogging, life-coaching (myself and others), oil-changing (not by me–THAT would be a miracle), torn shirt-mending, meal-planning, meal-prepping, quiet time with God-ing and intentionally taking a moment to breathe.
And after all that is when the real work happens: the moment my children enter my car, it is a whirlwind of school day recaps, homework, dinner, chores, showers, and nighttime routines.
I know I’m not alone here. I know all of you moms, whether you’re working outside the home or not, whether you’re a homeschooler or not, get to the end of your day and you just need to take a breath. It’s amazing what can be accomplished in a day.
I will say, I do make time for those coffee dates and massages, though. I’m blessed to have a husband who is able to support us so I can have space to meet a friend for coffee, or go get a massage or get my nails painted or go buy a new dress. Without those things, I would be a miserable, burned out, tired mom. In order to be the best mom and wife I can be, it’s vital that I take care of myself, too.
So, for all of you wondering what I do all day now that I don’t have the weight of my children’s educations on my shoulders, now you know. I do pretty much everything. And most likely, if you’re a mom reading this, you do too.