Stay at home moms have this amazing ability to handle chaos like no other. Have you ever wondered what stay at home moms do? I’ll tell you.
I stood over my large, high-efficiency washer, and I surveyed the contents of an already full load. A pile of soiled sheets lay at my feet, waiting their turn, and as I looked down at my yoga pants I glimpsed a stain from the recent diaper blow-out. Number 2. Looked like I’d be changing my clothes a third time. In the past 24 hours there’d been two peepee accidents, one diaper blowout, three episodes of vomiting (all three projected onto my person), and one diarrhea disaster (on the new rug). I had read a fellow homeschooling mom’s blog that morning that discussed the need to relax this holiday week, and enjoy the time off school with our kids. I agreed with her, but I was about relaxed out for the day. And it was only one o’clock.
My husband had recently enjoyed a rare string of consecutive days home from work for Christmas, and after the big day he just kept getting exasperated at the chaos.
“Every time you pick something up, you turn around and they’ve made another mess!” He exclaimed.
– Stay at home moms everywhere, “Welcome to my world.”
When my husband came home at night he was welcomed by a clean house. And when I say clean, I don’t mean pristine. That’s impossible with three kids six and under. I meant livable. Like not tripping over our own filth, clean silverware, and sometimes the freshly laundered socks and undies even made it to the drawer. Sometimes. The scene he saw when he arrived home didn’t come by chance. It came with blood, sweat, and most definitely overwhelmed tears. Often times it came with mom up on two wheels, skating very close to the edge of a mental breakdown. Just being honest.
Keeping a home under control and children safe, (mostly) clean, and especially loved wasn’t a burden for me. It was my great love. And because I respected and appreciated my husband’s hard work away from the home, I took extra measures to have a warm, home-cooked meal waiting, and a tidy home front in which he could relax. I didn’t do it because I had to. It was a labor of love, for me, a language my heart spoke to his through action, not just mere words. I loved being a stay-at-home wife and mother, but that didn’t mean it came easy.
Stay at home moms have so much work to do! Having been a career mom too, I could definitely say that I spent more time cleaning now than I had ever done before. When you make the decision to stay home with your children you make the decision to take all the extras that come with the job. Kids at home means more meals. More dishes. More messes. More laundry. More sweeping. More wiping of smudgy fingerprints. More activities. More… I think you get the point.
As stay at home moms, you are a teacher (especially if you choose to homeschool like me), a chef, a referee (when you have multiple kids), a nurse, a counselor, a pastor, a taxi driver, and that’s just getting started. You also take on the role of caring for issues around the home (since you don’t have anything to do), and the assigned errands pile up almost as high as the dishes in the sink. Everything you do on the daily makes a mess you must cleanup, and some days you feel like the movie Groundhog Day; you’re picking up the same messes over and over, and over.
Here’s the important part, though. I chose this mom life, and I love it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. In fact, I worked very hard to make this SAHM thing possible (as did/does the hubby), and I consider it an answer to prayer/gift from God. But it sure ain’t easy! And it’s definitely not for the faint of heart.
But here’s the cool part. Somewhere in between wiping liquid poop off my new rug, scrambling eggs (don’t worry, I washed my hands), and rocking a baby down for a nap, I get to spend my day with little versions of myself. There’s this room full of tiny girls who came from my body, and now I get to try and teach them the best parts of what I’ve learned, and hopefully mentor them not to make the same mistakes I did once upon a time. What an absolute honor.
Mom life ain’t easy, but it’s certainly grand. It’s hard work, but the best job I’ve ever had! Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go change out the laundry while the baby’s still asleep.
This post originally appeared at BrieGowen.com.