Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What Did You Do Today?

When I first transitioned from working-mom to stay-at-home-mom, this question made me cringe.

T would walk through the door, give hugs and kisses to all parties, and then ask, "So, what did y'all do today?"

I always got defensive.

Like I needed to justify being home all day.  Not contributing to our family financially was a hard pill to swallow at first.  I knew I was contributing in other ways... but it felt weird being completely dependent upon someone else for our income, even if that someone else was my husband.

When I was working, we met each other with a "HOW was your day?" once arriving home.  Now that his end-of-the-day question was, "WHAT did y'all do today?" I always felt like I needed to have a laundry list (pun intended) of things to tell him.

You see, a stay-at-home-mom's daily accomplishments are not always tangible or even visible.  It's more about staying afloat, meeting everyone's needs, surviving the day relatively unscathed, minus a boo-boo or two.

Lately, mostly since we added E to our family, I've felt like a chicken with my head cut off.  I literally don't stop moving from the time I wake up until the time I pass out in bed - or usually, on the couch in the middle of a DVR'd episode of The Bachelor.  (BTW, he's nice and all, but boring, no?)

The other day I was talking to my older sister who is pretty much the queen of stay-at-home-mamas, seemingly always having her sh*t together and actually accomplishing the pins she finds on Pinterest (I didn't know people actually did those things on Pinterest).  I told her I was feeling overwhelmed lately... like my days were blurs and nonstop motion and running around trying to stay afloat but then... at the end of the day I'm looking around like, what did I even do today?!

She, doing her big-sister and stay-at-home-mama-expert job, reassured me that I am in fact getting things done.  But that the "things" we get done from sun-up to sun-down may be tasks that we don't even realize, but tasks that are still oh-so-important (sorry for the overuse of hyphens... stay with me...)

Now, I am the queen of a to-do list, finding immense pleasure in drawing little squares beside my tasks and happily putting a check mark in those boxes once said tasks are completed.  However, I'd recently gotten away from making such lists.  Instead, I've been keeping mental lists in my head and sometimes asking Siri to remind me to do things at a set time.

After talking to my sister about it all, I decided it was time to get back to my love of to-do-list-making (more hyphens!).  She said maybe writing down all of the mundane things I'm doing each day (laundry!  dinner!  dishwasher!) will show me that I am, in fact, getting a lot of stuff done amidst the happy chaos as a stay-at-home-mama of two.

I found a cute new notebook.  And a pen.  And started drawing my squares and listing my tasks under each day of the week, planning out my to-dos.

And I have to say, at the end of my first to-do-list day, it was nice to look at my notebook and see a tangible list of all I'd accomplished.

I also realized that a lot of what takes up my day may not be a task beside a square inside of a cute notebook from Target.

Because if met with the question, "What did you do today?" - here's a typical honest answer:

I got Cameron up and dressed and teeth brushed and hair did.
And I nursed Everette.
And changed his diaper and got him dressed.
And made breakfast for CK and then pumped while she ate breakfast.
And then I did the dishwasher while I scarfed down a quick English muffin.
And then I went to do a load of laundry, but realized there was already a load in there I forgot to start.
And I washed the pots and pans from last night's dinner.
And kissed a boo-boo.
And got a bandaid for said boo-boo.
And cleaned up the toys from the morning.
And made a doctor's appointment.
And put the load of laundry into the dryer.
And paid a bill online.
And nursed E.
And took CK to gymnastics.
And nursed E.
And froze the milk I pumped this morning.
And ordered some pictures for E's baby book.
And put CK in timeout.
And made CK some lunch.
And talked to CK about her behavior and our reward system.
And vacuumed while eating my own sandwich while bouncing E in the Ergo carrier.
And played Barbies with CK.
And coached E through some tummy time.
And nursed E.
And wrote thank-you notes.
And put both kids down for a nap.
And squeezed in a quick 20-minute Jillian Michaels workout.
And prepped dinner.
And finalized vacation plans.
And nursed E.
And called the insurance company to request new cards.
And planned CK's preschool holiday party.
And organized CK's valentines.
And nursed E.
And read CK some books.
And taught CK the sound of the letter B.
And tried to convince her that the number "eleventeen" does not exist.
And helped CK spell her name with playdoh.
And shopped online for a birthday present.
And painted CK's toenails.
And started cooking dinner.
And nursed E.
And gave both kids a bath.
And finished cooking dinner.
And I run and take a quick shower while T has both kids, we eat dinner, I do the dishes while T puts CK down, I nurse E, sing him a song, put him to bed, and hellooooo wine and couch and trashy reality tv and my husband.
But usually I'm asleep in like 20 minutes.

So THAT'S what I did today.  And I have to tell myself, it's okay, it's enough.  I am enough.

I am the meal-making, dish-doing, house-cleaning, laundry-folding, boo-boo kissing, book-reading, errand-running, activity-planning, appointment-making, milestone-documenting, budget-keeping, letter-teaching, present-buying, party-planning, grocery-store-going, milk-making mama and wife - the best two jobs in the whole world.

And I don't have a boss giving me a raise or patting me on the back or telling me, "Good job!  Way to fold that laundry!"  And I don't have a paycheck to take to the bank.

But I do get paid in the best possible way.

It comes in the form of a husband's smile when he walks through the door... a little girl needing a hug from her mama when she gets hurt... a baby napping on my chest with a tummy full of milk.

And a home that I take pride in keeping warm and organized and happy amid the wonderful chaos of our lives.

Today, I was a mom, and a wife.  And it was enough.


  1. You are doing more than enough! You rock and your family is lucky to have you. Love you!