Thursday, October 17, 2013

On being an accidental stay at home mom

Last week, I read this blog post from Matt Walsh, Jerkface, and thought it was fascinating. SAHM's, WHAT DO YOU DO?

I've been staying at home for just over 2 months now, and I have to say... It's a pretty easy gig. I'm probably exceptionally lucky for a few reasons:
1. It was financially sketchy, but not a crisis, for me to stay home right now. 
2. My kids are pretty self-sufficient - on purpose, we have made them that way.
3. My kids are older - at 14, 12, and 7, they can do a lot of things on their own.

So while my circumstances are maybe different than what Matt Walsh is using as reference, I'm still a SAHM*.... and since he asked, THIS is what I did Tuesday:

6-6:15 - wake up, roll out of bed, start coffee. H and #1 are already up - she has to be at school at 7, and he has to be at work at 7. He rides his bike, she usually rides mine (unless I'm feeling exceptionally kind and give her a ride). #2 is usually also awake, but she leaves later than they do. Yesterday, this part was REALLY exciting, because I almost started a fire when my coffee maker died a dramatic, smokey death.

6:30 - spend a billion minutes trying to drag Gab out of bed. Giving her the top bunk was a terrible plan, she is NOT a morning person. (Unless it's a weekend, then she's up at 6).

6:40-7:25 - try to get her to eat breakfast, but she's the slowest moving human ever.

7:25-7:55 - drag Gab through teeth brushing, hair styling, getting dressed, and shove her out of the house.

7:55-8:30 - walk Gab to school - usually she rides her scooter and I walk with her. #2 comes with us, and walks to school from there. I walk back home with the scooter.

8:30-8:45 - consider running outside. It's cool now, but I hate being hot, and the sun is out. Decide to just run and stop thinking about it so hard.

8:45-9:30 - quick 4 mile easy run around the neighborhood. Schedule was for 4 easy, and I just made loops until I hit that. Pace felt easy, and I avoided checking the Garmin, but it was negative splits, so that was exciting. Wheeee.

9:30-10 - think about how much I want coffee RIGHT NOW, eat some breakfast, drink chocolate milk - a poor substitute :(.

10-10:45 - check Amazon for replacement coffee makers. Consider my options, debate if the potential savings is worth waiting for. Decide I must stop at Target to buy a replacement, because I will surely perish without it for 24 hours.

10:45-11:30 - read blogs, dick around on twitter/fb/etc. Find reviews of an Evan Dando show last weekend. Think about applying for Amazing Race, and decide that would be CRAZY....

11:30-12 - Consider lunch options. I'm feeling lazy (more than usual...), and kind of want to just toss some chicken nuggets in the oven. Briefly consider going out to Souplantation for lunch. Decide I'm not quite that lazy, and make eggs instead - egg whites, ham, a ton of spinach, some cheddar cheese, and then drown all that isht in salsa verde. I've been eating this for weeks.

12-12:05 - Complain via text to the H that I wish I had coffee RIGHT NOW. Realize I'm being ridiculous because I am, in fact, doing absolutely nothing, and could just go get some. Then immediately realize that I'm too lazy....

12:05-2 - play around on the internet, googling info on #1's XC meet this weekend. Watch TV. Deadliest Catch on Netflix streaming, then the end of an episode of Party of Five on Amazon Plus. Get half-way through before I have to pick up Gabby.

2-2:45 - pick up Gab at school, then head to Target to pick out a new coffee maker. THANK GOD. She's also being super adorable, so I buy her a slushie. I'm so nice to her.

2:45-3:15 - head to #2's school and wait for her. When she shows up at the car, ask how school was. "Fine." What'd you do? "I don't know. Nothing." She DOES spill that she was invited to a Halloween party, so that's exciting - she's had a little bit of a rough transition to middle school this year, and her BFF moved away a few weeks ago, so I'm really glad to see her excited about something.

3:15-5 - get Gab started on homework - 2 math worksheets and reading. Thankfully, this math I can still do, but they use weird words and terminology. I'm not a fan - it is just overly complicated. Look over #2's homework assignments - her teachers post everything online, so I make sure to review it every day, and watch her do it. Otherwise, she will be mysterious and sneaky and not actually do it. This is probably the most exhausting part of my day - chasing down 7th grade homework. Review her grades, and get irritated that she's not turning things in. She's so dang smart and is sabotaging herself. She will never, ever be ungrounded this school year... The H shows up at home around 4:15ish. Says he wants to run, and then kind of hangs out until...

5-5:20 - #1 calls and asks to be picked up from cross country practice. The H is really nosey and rides with me so he can ask her a million questions. She was doing 400's - they got through 6, I think?, at an 80sec pace. Laugh inside at the idea of trying that. I would die dead.

5:20-6:30 - H finally goes to run. I make dinner - grilled pork chops, baked potatoes, grilled asparagus. It's delicious.

6:30-8 - watch tv. I watch a lot of tv.

8-8:45 - make lunches for the next day, make more coffee for me (I drink a LOT of coffee), clean up the kitchen.

8:45-9 - convince kids to get to bed.

9-10:30 - watch tv, some more. It's my expertise.

The great thing is, I have every morning free, from 8:30-2 (or 1 if Gab is getting out of school early). Sometimes I cross train, sometimes go grocery shopping, sometimes... nothing at all. It's pretty great.

Living the dream....


  1. I fully understand the feeling of despair when there's no coffee.

  2. I am amazed at your ability to drink coffee so late at night. How do you do that?

  3. Chasing down middle school homework IS exhausting. Most of DD's teachers are on the online bandwagon, but not all.

    In a perfect world, I think I'd like to play the SAHM game for a month or two. Just long enough that I get bored with the novelty of having large chunks of unstructured time, day after day.

  4. I feel the same way, its a pretty sweet gig. :) Although, my day includes nursing the baby and occasionally cleaning. Today I cleaned the bathrooms, vacuumed and folded some laundry. However, cleaning does not happen every day. Lots of coffee drinking and dicking around on the internet does. You would think I would write more on my blog, but that isn't happening.

  5. I'm jealous. Maybe one day, I too can live the dream.

  6. I don't have kids, so what the hell do I know, but if Matt Walsh's wife can't even sit down for a few minutes for a cup of coffee, then maybe she's taking this parenting thing a little too seriously. There's a difference between a full-time mom and a martyr.

    Anyway...enough soapbox. Your post made me laugh and I'm relieved that you solved your coffee crisis.

  7. When I was able to work from home, THAT was a dream. Sure, I didn't have a truly defined stop-time some days, but I could churn out work while watching TV and make my breakfast on the stove in between emails. I could start work, go for a mid-day run, and jump on a call in sweats, or jammies -- from my BED.

    My master plan was to have babies and work from home, but alas, my current job does NOT allow telecommuting. Guess I'll have to face a decision someday.

  8. Quite clearly, Matt's article was not talking about a mom whose kids are at an age that where the oldest is a babysitter in itself. Apples to oranges. Furthermore, the point of his article was not comparing mothers... why do people get so stuck on that?

  9. Well I have a SAHM for 9 yrs now and I am grateful that we can do this for our kids but for me it is the hardest job I have ever had. I would not change a thing and I don't regret giving up my "career".

    I could not live without coffee.
    Nobody would want to live with me if I did not have coffee. :)

  10. Just received a cheque for $500.

    Sometimes people don't believe me when I tell them about how much money you can get filling out paid surveys online...

    So I show them a video of myself actually getting paid over $500 for doing paid surveys.


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