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What do SAHMs do?

March 30, 2012
by Erin B

In thinking about bike trips that stay at home moms (SAHMs) could add to their day, I first have to think about what SAHMs do in a day.

This is a re-occuring theme in the SAHM community.  My husband/wife/mom/sister/whatever have no idea/appreciation for what I do in a day.  I can’t help with the appreciation part; I am lucky enough not to have that complaint.  I have noticed that there isn’t a lot of specific discussion on this topic.  Generally it’s sort of vague “take care of the kids, clean the house” type of things.

My day is pretty specific.  I don’t know if everyone is like this, but I am.

After breakfast, T goes to work and I clean the kitchen and put away the breakfast dishes.

At about 9am, I start getting little girl ready to leave the house.  We have a social thing every morning from 9:30 to 11:30.  It could be swimming lessons, or playschool or library trip or knitting or play date or grocery shopping.  Yes, to my mind grocery shopping is a social thing.  Little girl has to interact with the general public and people aren’t born knowing how to do that.  When we are grocery shopping, she helps carry things or talk to the lady giving out samples.  She says excuse me, good morning, please and thank you as appropriate to the people we see.  Each day of the week has one of these scheduled.  Sometimes the play date is at our house and we do a little extra cleaning first, sometimes we go out.

We get home shortly after 11:30 and I spend about 20ish minutes making lunch.  We eat lunch and I spend about 30 – 45 minutes cleaning up from lunch, washing dishes and organizing the dishwasher to run.  I will often start a load of laundry over lunch so that I can put it in the dryer before we leave for the afternoon.  I also sweep the floor and maybe go over it with a damp cloth.  If it is really dirty, I wet mop and that takes an extra hour or so.  Our floor always looks dirty.  Part of that is little girl dropping things, part of it is that we really need to replace the kitchen floor.

By this time, it is around 2pm.  Little girl and I always go for our 1 hour of active play.  Sometimes it is a walk, or to the indoor play ground or running in the backyard or whatever is weather appropriate.  Sometime we visit a friend and little girl runs around her house with it’s long hallways.  Sometimes, when it’s really cold, we just put on music and dance for an hour.

3pm or shortly after is snack time.  Then I clean up from snack time and move on to a quiet activity, read a book, play clay what ever.  Often combined with folding that laundry from earlier.

Little girl helps make supper and T gets home mid way through that process.  It is more or less exactly the same any day it is just her and I at home.  It completely breaks down over the weekend or when T or the big girls aren’t at work or school.  And I have politely left out the temper tantrums, spilled juice and potty runs.

It isn’t daytime TV or bonbons.

But little girl can sit nicely in a restaurant and entertain herself quietly while T and I visit with out of town guests.

The house isn’t perfect, but it isn’t a total disaster either.

It’s what works for us.

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