I have gotten used to people staring at me with compassion (or shock) as I go grocery shopping with my three children (3 and under...for another two months). "You certainly have your hands full!" is the most popular response. But I have never understood the reasoning of these same people who, when they realize I stay at home, get a blank look on their face and ask: "But what do you do all day?".
So for further enlightenment, and hopeful entertainment, I have constructed a sample itinerary of my day. The following list does not include: all of the times I methodically pick up toys as I walk through rooms, times for attitude readjustments (the kids' and mine), grocery shopping, ballet classes, and many other weekly activities. But you get the idea.
6:30 a.m. Hop out of bed and into the shower to the sound of children singing and chattering in their bedrooms.
7 a.m. Breakfast for M&W. Release the dogs outside. Start a load of laundry. Run a load of dishes.
8 a.m. Potty training begins for the day full force. Complete with all of its false alarms and the acceptance of "well, we almost made it". William's newest thing is to scream "Mama! pee pee!" in extreme anxiety, and then after sitting down for two seconds smile and say "yay! pee pee!". Nope, sorry William, no chocolate chips for faking it. Read several books next to the potty chair before achieving victory.
8:30 a.m. Get everyone dressed and cleaned up after breakfast. Quick vacuum of
all the floors. Convince M&W to keep the cushions on the couch instead of the floor while I'm cleaning.
9 a.m. Shut the dogs up. Check chickens. Grab a few bites of breakfast while feeding Amelia in her bumbo chair. Clean smeared applesauce out of William's hair before company arrives.
9:30 a.m. Friends arrive. Try to get a few sentences in here and there while overseeing four children playing together. Spend the next two hours teaching the concept of sharing cheerfully. Reading snippets of books, kissing hurt fingers, offering crackers and juice, rushing to the potty, and enjoying seeing another adult human being during the day.
11:45 a.m. Good-byes. Lunch time.
12:30 p.m. Early naps. It's been a busy morning and emotions are flaring. Get two out of three children asleep. The third situated with books. Eat lunch. Check email and surf pinterest, facebook and blogs for 20 minutes. Breathe. Recharge.
1 p.m. Start making bread. Paint around windows in mud room. Start a couple craft projects that are on the list.
2:30 p.m. Kids wake up. Early. (Problem with early naps.) Go for a walk down the road to throw rocks in the (dry) creek. Soak up some sunshine.
3:30 p.m. M&W help knead bread dough. Successfully coat the entire kitchen in flour. William eats his assigned chunk of dough.
4 p.m. Kids want to paint. Cover the entire mud room floor in newspaper and spread a roll of craft paper on top. Let them step in (washable) paint and walk all over the paper. Foot art.
4:30 p.m. Bath time. The paint managed to get all over their legs and inbetween toes. Get some laundry done while they are playing in the water.
5:30 p.m. Finish making bread. Clear the table. Send the kids out onto the front porch to play. Attempt to have some cleanliness and calm in the household.
6 p.m. Clay's home. Thank goodness. Make supper. Eat. Family worship.
7 p.m. Play outside and enjoy a lovely end of summer evening with the children and chickens running around the yard. Ignore the fact that William is running around in underwear (potty training necessities) and the stripes on them clash horribly with the stripes on his shirt. Also ignore the fact that Amelia's face is covered in baby food from her supper.
7:30-8 p.m. Put the kids to bed. Story time, brushing teeth, prayers, children running around screaming with hilarity trying to avoid the inevitable. Children secured in bedrooms. Giggling finally subsides as sleep overcomes them.
8:30 p.m. Collapse on the couch with netflix and a glass of wine. Another successful day in the Dodson household.
I love staying at home with my children, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Striving to do my best for them. And I am so thankful for a husband who supports and encourages me in this, as in everything else.