Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What Do You Do All Day??

Wait, how did this get in here?!
I’ve gotten this question a few times since I’ve had kids. But very often, I will get the sense from some unjustly judging people that I just suck at time management because the vast majority of my days seem to lack the incoherent ability to satisfy basic needs, let alone having time to finish knitting that scarf I started months ago.

I think it’s interesting how that question will be thrown at stay at home moms but yet, I doubt anyone would or has asked a nanny or daycare provider the same question. And to be perfectly honest, I have no idea what I do all day.

I do a lot of this stuff, especially ironing with my feet.
I will say that I most certainly do not sit on my bum, watch soap operas all day and eat bonbons.

I wish that was the case. Ohh, that would be lovely. But more than my desire to watch overly dramatic, incredibly attractive people have love affairs, marry and remarry other incredibly attractive people while I get fatter, I wish I could pee by myself for a second in quiet, tranquil peace and harmony.

Stay at home moms (and dads) do everything that normal, sane people (aka people without children) do but it takes us five million times longer to get a single task done. If you think I’m exaggerating, I promise you I’m not and (not a diss on you by any means, actually I’m a bit jealous of you and your wonderful unfamiliarity of annoying responsibility that comes in small, booger-picking, endlessly dirty, tiny-person size but) I know you don’t have a child yet.

This is a real and prime example of completing one simple task, getting out of the house, with kids:

Thank goodness for television and Yo Gabba Gabba!
Turn on Yo Gabba Gabba, get on the floor and talk to Tristen about how cool this car is, spot a different toy car across the room, blab about how cool that yellow car over there (across the room!) is and how he should go get it!!, Tristen naively and happily trots his little diapered booty over to that wonderful yellow car that will buy me a few minutes to look like a decent, non-scary person and as soon as his back is turned towards me, I race into my room, lock the door and brush my teeth, tame my lion-of-a-hair and on a good day, put on some makeup, only a minute passes and a knock on the door commences,

Aiden: “Mommy!!”

Me: “Give me a minute, Aiden. I have to get dressed.”

Aiden: “Aiden has to get dressed, too.”

Me: “Okay, we’ll get you dressed after I’m done.”

Aiden: “Mommy, open the door. I want to come out.” (He has “in” and “out” confused).

Me: “Give me a minute, Aiden. I‘ll be out soon.”

Aiden: "Open the door. I need (insert something - that happens to be in my room at the moment but he has a dozen more of  in his room but desperately needs THIS one - here)."

Me: "Aiden, you can have it in a minute. Go watch your show. Mommy has to get ready."

Sums up how I look . . . on a good day.
I finish with my horrid attempt to look like a person that doesn’t have young kids that have taken over their lives and their (lack-of-) beauty and I change Tristen and Ali’s diapers if I haven’t done so already, hand Aiden his clothes and tell to use the potty before he puts his clothes on, I wrestle with Tristen as I change him out of pajamas and into jeans and a shirt and proceed to threaten him with a time-out if he doesn’t stop kicking me, which of course, he intelligently replies, “No!! No!” as he adamantly points his (once-so-tiny-and-cute) little finger at me.

I look up and see my four-year-old wearing nothing but his Toy Story underwear while staring at the TV.

Why don’t they ever watch TV when I want them to?? But seem to love it when I want them to do something. Ahh.

Me (while pointing to the clothes on the floor): “Aiden, what did I tell you to do?”

Aiden: (insert absolute silence here)

Me: “Aiden.”

Aiden: (insert absolute silence here once again)

Me (as I step into his direct line of vision with the TV): “Aiden! Put on your clothes!”

Aiden (who snaps out of his Yo Gabba Gabba-trance and once again thinks I'm a crazy, psycho person for getting mad for "no good reason") confusingly replies: “Okaaay.”

I change Ali‘s clothes, if needed (she’s in onsie sleepers often), put a jacket on her, set her back down, get her car seat and two blankets out of her room, place her in her car seat and buckle her up, take the two boys to the bathroom and let them “brush” their teeth, then I brush their teeth, do their hair, grab their jackets, help Aiden put his on, wrestle with Tristen again, grab their socks and shoes and help them put those on, grab the diaper bag and anything needed for the diaper bag, which is usually almost all of it because it's never packed and ready to go (that would be too easy) and then double check:

Bibs - Check

Diapers for Ali - Check

Diapers for Tristen - Check

Formula - Check

Bottle - Check

Diaper Cream - Check

Wipes - Check

Change of clothes for Aiden - Check

Change of clothes for Tristen - Check

Change of clothes for Ali - Check

Grab my keys, phone and purse, put on my shoes and jacket and load each child into the car.

This scenario is on a very good day, which means minimal temper tantrums, minimal fights between the boys, no poop explosions, no cat vomit, no baby vomit explosion, everyone gets to wake up on their own (you don't mess with my kids' sleep) and everything is where it’s suppose to be so I don‘t spend forever looking for it (*cough* husband's fault *cough*), etc., etc., etc. Every activity in getting ready takes some pleading, demanding, convincing, some discipline, some time-outs, some physically picking up the child and setting them down because they think it's a fun game to run away from you, some "F-it, let's just stay home!" moments from mommy and more. And if that day we're trying to avoid cabin fever is a "good day," then we are out of the house and on the road in an hour. Yes, I said an hour; I suck.

So next time you think about asking a stay-at-home-mom what do they do all day, please remember this blog and think about how it only took you few minutes to brush your teeth and sympathize with us moms that take 20 minutes in order to make sure all the kids are happy, convince their kids to turn around so she can run to her bathroom, lock the door, weeze behind the door out of breathe for a minute because goodness knows she doesn't have time to actually take care of herself and work out, have a conversation about why the door is locked with her child, who wants to "come out" through the door, and then and only then, can finally proceed to brush her teeth. Yayy!

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